The "1-Minute" Review
Microsoft Windows-based tablets have been tried dozens of times before. Tried and failed, as a matter of fact. Now, with Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to “reimagine” the whole concept of the desktop operating system, and in doing so has come up with a new generation of tablets that can do more in ultra-thin, and ultra-light form factors. The clearest representation of this effort: the Microsoft Surface 8 Pro. It’s the future. Or is it?
Unlike today’s most popular tablet computer models, this one doesn’t run on a low-power mobile computing chip to try and reduce heat or prolong battery life. Instead, it comes with an Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000 for maximum performance. It’s essentially a full-blown mobile computer that uses the tablet form factor. It looks every bit as good as the first-generation Windows 8 RT tablets but offers far more power and functionality.
Speaking of functionality, the Surface 8 Pro will let users run all of their favorite legacy apps a.k.a. Windows desktop programs natively. This makes it functionally better than all of its ARM-based counterparts, though whether or not users will actually care for such a feature still remains to be seen.
Windows 8 is shaping up to be either Microsoft’s latest fault or its saving grace. Either way, the Surface 8 Pro tablet is a sight to behold. It has all the right hardware features, including a built-in kickstand and support for an external keyboard dock. Plus, the software allows running both modern and classic Windows programs. It’s a great way to experience the future of the desktop, but only if you’re willing to pay the price.
Need to Know: Microsoft Surface 8 Pro
1. Boasts a 1920x1080 Full HD 10.6-inch touchscreen display with pen input. (The Good)
2. Default software allows the use of “legacy apps” or native Windows 7 programs. (The Good)
3. Costs over double the price of the Microsoft Surface RT tablet. (The Bad)
4. Some features require the use of an external keyboard dock. (The Bad)