Surface Pro or RT?
Have you ever used a tablet and ran into a roadblock where the website you’re using won’t open, the email folder you’re trying to access isn’t available, or the spreadsheet you need to work on isn’t feasibly editable? The Surface RT on the Windows 8 RT platform with an integrated desktop mode, a USB port, and Adobe Flash is the closest we’ve gotten to have pseudo-laptop capabilities on a tablet without relying on a remote desktop. So why shell out the extra for the Surface Pro? For many users, the Surface Pro is the one-stop-shop for all of your computing needs. If you don’t game or edit video the Surface Pro can replace your whole current setup. The specifications allow you do work effortlessly between programs and run touch-friendly apps with ease. It fits great in a backpack or briefcase, and it starts up and shuts down in a blink of an eye. For a thorough look at what the Surface RT has to offer, check out our review.
First and foremost, the IPS screen is absolutely phenomenal. Never have I ever seen Windows look that good on such a small device. Text is bright and crisp, and the sensitivity is on par with most tablets.
Throw away your notebooks, boys and girls. The desktop version of OneNote paired with the included pen is the most intuitive thing I’ve ever used. Converting handwriting to text is quick and simple. Use the lasso feature (initiated by the side button on the pen) to free-hand select text, drawings, and handwriting to resize it and move it around your notebook. As a student or professional, the best part is that all of your notes are easily categorized and date stamped. Meaning when finals come along, you aren’t flipping through pages of notes to find what you’re looking for.
Hands down, this is a great feature. Everybody seems to knock the Surface Pro because it doesn’t sit on your lap as well as a laptop does. This is absolutely absurd. It is a tablet, and even the fact that it has a fighting chance to sit by itself on ones lap without the aid of a case is impressive.
Solid State Drive
Never did I think I could use a tablet to accomplish my normal day-to-day tasks at the rate I would like them done, using the programs I like to use. Also, there’s no need to put it to sleep because it takes less than 10 seconds to boot. So you might as well just save your battery life by shutting down.
First, I tried the stylish touch keyboard ($119.99) instead of the type keyboard ($129.99) hoping that I could adapt to not having mechanical keys. That didn’t last long. It is neat that it is smart enough to know the difference between resting your hands on the keyboard and actually typing, however I just couldn’t get a feel for where the keys were without looking first and concentrating on keeping my fingers on the appropriate keys. Do yourself a favor and pay the extra for the type keyboard.
In most battery tests it lasts a mere five hours. Not what you’re used to seeing in a tablet. Keep in mind Microsoft knows this, and they explained that they did that because they were trying to keep the Surface Pro as slim as possible. There are rumors Microsoft might release a battery case in the future so don’t fret too much.
Plain and simple, I’m not very impressed by this camera. I don’t plan on using it ever.
Windows Desktop Mode
The pen is essential when using the Surface Pro in desktop mode using the native Internet Explorer and legacy Windows applications. Microsoft did a great job making Office 2013 more touch friendly. However with the 1080p screen, in desktop mode all text/icons are naturally smaller making it harder to touch. Hopefully there’ll be a fix for this in the future.
Samsung ATIV Pro 700t
Very similar specs to the Surface Pro, however at $1199 I’d take the Surface Pro any day. It does, however, sport a bigger screen and longer battery life than the Surface Pro.
This is probably the best competitor to the Surface Pro. The $949 price tag includes the tablet, a Bluetooth keyboard, and a rather goofy desktop dock/stand so you get a little more for your money. However, Acer is practically admitting that it’s made for desktop use, otherwise they would have a viable option for an attachable keyboard. The biggest downfall is that there is no pen input.
Great machine for $699 if you can cope with an Intel Atom processor. So it doesn’t quite have the power the Surface pro does but it has a great typing dock for those ThinkPad keyboard lovers. The 10 hour battery life is phenomenal. Lenovo isn’t all that interested in aesthetics though (big surprise), as most of the competing tablets are much more pleasing to the eye.