Scratching More Than the Surface: A Microsoft Surface Pro Mini-Review

on 15 February 13 1 Hathem rewarded for 1 time
When Microsoft announced that it was coming out with an operating system that would pretty much blur the lines between mobile OSes and more traditional full-fledged laptops, no one thought that the final product would be so groundbreaking. (Well, some did think that – this is Microsoft, after all – but there was still room left over for counter-speculations.)


Fast forward a few months and we now have Windows 8 in our midst. While there’s a version more suited for primarily mobile gadgets (Windows RT), the full-on version is still an OS that embodies what the company was aiming for all along: An operating system that works great both as a mobile OS and a full-featured PC OS.

Showcasing the Revolutionary
Click to Add Picture

Of course, software is only as good as the hardware running it, which is why parallel to Windows 8’s development Microsoft also saw fit to get into the computer-manufacturing business to develop machines that really showcase what Windows 8 is all about. A few months back they released the Surface RT, which of course ran on Windows RT. While terrific in its own right, both the computer and the OS it runs merely scratched the surface (pun intended) of what Windows 8 could truly be.


That potential has been fully realized with this month’s release of the Surface Pro. Rather than being just a tablet hybrid, Microsoft’s second computer is now an out-and-out computer that just happens to be as portable as a tablet PC. It’s powered by a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU, 4 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM, and an Intel HM77 APU with integrated HD4000 graphics. It is available in both a 64 GB SSD variant and a 128 GB SSD one, and has a screen measuring 10.6 inches.


Unfortunately the Surface Pro doesn’t have an HDMI port, making do instead with a Mini DisplayPort. It also only has one USB 3.0 slot to go with its Micro SD slot, and has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It also has a battery that can only go for four and a half hours of continuous video playback.

Alright, so the physical ports and online connectivity could do with more options, and the battery could definitely use more longevity, but the Pro has everything else going right for it.


It has a sexy, half-business, half-fun tapered boxy look, and it’s constructed of sturdy magnesium material. Its 10.8 x 6.8 x 0.53 inch dimensions and 2.6-pound weight also make it a breeze to carry around.

The screen is capable of displaying 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution; and can support up to 2560 x 1440 pixels on an external display. And in case you’re wondering about the low compatibility of the Mini DisplayPort with most standard displays, an HDMI and VGA adapter is available for the Pro, albeit sold separately.


The Surface Pro also comes equipped with a Surface Pen that comes in quite handy; and of course there are the much-hyped (and deservedly so) Type Cover and Touch Cover specialized keyboards. Even better, you can also go with third-party keyboards and mice (via the USB 3.0 port) if you so prefer.

As for the OS itself, its performance on the Surface Pro couldn’t be more fine-tuned. The merits of Windows 8 are best discussed in a different article, but suffice it to say that it runs quite admirably here, as is expected of a software-hardware tandem coming from the same company.

The Verdict
The battery life falls a bit short of current standards, but it isn’t exactly a slouch either. A single USB 3.0 port is also usually enough for most casual consumers, being that the Surface Pro functions well enough on its own. These aside, Microsoft’s second PC is something to look out for. Other, better machines may be subsequently released, but for what it can do, the Surface Pro is as good as hybrids come. For more on laptop parts, check out http://www.laptopaid.com







When Microsoft announced that it was coming out with an operating system that would pretty much blur the lines between mobile OSes and more traditional full-fledged laptops, no one thought that the final product would be so groundbreaking. (Well, some did think that – this is Microsoft, after all – but there was still room left over for counter-speculations.)

Fast forward a few months and we now have Windows 8 in our midst. While there’s a version more suited for primarily mobile gadgets (Windows RT), the full-on version is still an OS that embodies what the company was aiming for all along: An operating system that works great both as a mobile OS and a full-featured PC OS.

Showcasing the Revolutionary

Click to Add Picture

Of course, software is only as good as the hardware running it, which is why parallel to Windows 8’s development Microsoft also saw fit to get into the computer-manufacturing business to develop machines that really showcase what Windows 8 is all about. A few months back they released the Surface RT, which of course ran on Windows RT. While terrific in its own right, both the computer and the OS it runs merely scratched the surface (pun intended) of what Windows 8 could truly be.

That potential has been fully realized with this month’s release of the Surface Pro. Rather than being just a tablet hybrid, Microsoft’s second computer is now an out-and-out computer that just happens to be as portable as a tablet PC. It’s powered by a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU, 4 GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM, and an Intel HM77 APU with integrated HD4000 graphics. It is available in both a 64 GB SSD variant and a 128 GB SSD one, and has a screen measuring 10.6 inches.

Unfortunately the Surface Pro doesn’t have an HDMI port, making do instead with a Mini DisplayPort. It also only has one USB 3.0 slot to go with its Micro SD slot, and has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It also has a battery that can only go for four and a half hours of continuous video playback.

Alright, so the physical ports and online connectivity could do with more options, and the battery could definitely use more longevity, but the Pro has everything else going right for it.

It has a sexy, half-business, half-fun tapered boxy look, and it’s constructed of sturdy magnesium material. Its 10.8 x 6.8 x 0.53 inch dimensions and 2.6-pound weight also make it a breeze to carry around.

The screen is capable of displaying 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution; and can support up to 2560 x 1440 pixels on an external display. And in case you’re wondering about the low compatibility of the Mini DisplayPort with most standard displays, an HDMI and VGA adapter is available for the Pro, albeit sold separately.

The Surface Pro also comes equipped with a Surface Pen that comes in quite handy; and of course there are the much-hyped (and deservedly so) Type Cover and Touch Cover specialized keyboards. Even better, you can also go with third-party keyboards and mice (via the USB 3.0 port) if you so prefer.

As for the OS itself, its performance on the Surface Pro couldn’t be more fine-tuned. The merits of Windows 8 are best discussed in a different article, but suffice it to say that it runs quite admirably here, as is expected of a software-hardware tandem coming from the same company.

The Verdict

The battery life falls a bit short of current standards, but it isn’t exactly a slouch either. A single USB 3.0 port is also usually enough for most casual consumers, being that the Surface Pro functions well enough on its own. These aside, Microsoft’s second PC is something to look out for. Other, better machines may be subsequently released, but for what it can do, the Surface Pro is as good as hybrids come. For more on laptop parts, check out http://www.laptopaid.com

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Hathem Brand - Blogger / Copywriter - Reno, Nevada - Hathem Brand has been writing about technology for more than three years now (two years professionally, and a little over a year in freelance), dabbling in everything from computers to e-recycling to

Microsoft Surface Pro  Windows 8  High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) 

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Hathem 1 Hathem rewarded for 1 time

Hathem Brand has been writing about technology for more than three years now (two years professionally, and a little over a year in freelance), dabbling in everything from computers to e-recycling to future tech and whatnot. He currently writes blogs, sales copies, and such for LaptopAid.com, a website that provides laptop parts, as well as useful advice, for laptop owners in need.

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