Well the dust has settled and it is eventually here – Microsoft’s new Surface Pro tablet. From the specs it looks a serious piece of kit with its i5 processor and 4 GB of RAM and to be honest I would be very tempted in getting one. The question is though would you be tempted to give up on the ‘traditional’ laptop and switch all your daily tasks to a device which aims to be the best of both worlds – tablet and laptop? Lets take a look.
So what are the advantages of the Surface Pro?
1. Runs the full desktop version of Windows 8 meaning you can run all your usual programs.
2. It comes with Microsoft Office as standard. This will be a major plus for the business orientated customer.
3. It is very quick thanks to its i5 processor and SSD drive.
4. It can be a tablet when you want it too and a laptop when you don’t.
5. Access to the full Windows Store. Apps make sense a lot more when using a tablet rather than a desktop or laptop.
6. Touchscreen interface. Most Windows 8 laptops and Ultrabooks don’t have this yet. Windows 8 makes more sense with touchscreen rather than a mouse.
And the ‘traditional’ laptop?
1. Most laptops are a lot cheaper than the Surface Pro.
2. You can run Windows 7 on a laptop which a lot of people are more comfortable with. Windows 8 is a big learning curve.
3. The Surface Pro has a good screen but it can be too small for some.
4. Storage space on the Surface Pro might be an issue. Even though it comes in 64GB and 128GB versions after you install all the inbuilt apps you only get 29GB free on the 64GB model with 89GB on the 128GB model. Not exactly loads is it? On a laptop you get hundreds of GB depending on the model you purchase.
5. The battery life on the Surface is awful. Apparently in some tests it ran out after 3 1/2 hrs. Most laptops will exceed this.
6. Actually doing ‘proper work’ on a laptop is much easier. Typing, printing and so forth is much easier on a laptop than on a tablet. Yes you can add a keyboard to the surface but it costs extra.
The Surface Pro is a good piece of kit but trying to be a hybrid means Microsoft has had to make compromises in some areas (eg battery life is better on a laptop while the iPad is a better tablet) but this is not the main obstacle it faces. The price is very steep and it also runs Windows 8 which for a lot of business people is still untested. A lot of businesses are still in the process of upgrading to Windows 7 and won’t probably upgrade to Windows 8 for a long time (if ever) and this is the main market that Microsoft is aiming for. As much as I would probably buy a Surface Pro (if I could afford one) I think it is going to struggle.
So what do you think? Are you tempted or will you be sticking with your ‘old’ laptop?
About the Author
Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.
For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.