The Surface Pro in the test
In the French Microsoft Online Store, I ordered the Microsoft Surface Pro on Tuesday and received yesterday, 1 week before the official launch in Germany. Now I’m busy testing with the Pro device, which markets Microsoft as an uncompromising hybrid between tablet and Ultrabook.
The Surface Pro is a 10.6-inch tablet weighing 900 grams. It is thicker than the Surface RT with 13.5 mm to 9.3 mm. Thus, the device is a thick and relatively heavy tablet with 900 grams, again a lightweight and thin Ultrabook.
�The weight definitely falls on the first unpacking. It does not look as if you can hold the device easily in both hands for a long time, let alone in one hand. But after a few hours of use, the weight seems to fly away more and more. Meanwhile, I feel it only in direct comparison to the iPad, for example, as heavy, otherwise I notice the weight is no longer negative.
The design of the Surface Pro is impeccable. What Microsoft calls a VaperMg case feels like a wonderfully supple aluminum or metal case and is a real eye-catcher in the matte dark gray. However, fingerprints magically attract it like many other devices.
A very positive thing that struck me immediately is the fan noise, or the lack of noise, because the Surface Pro is completely silent. Even when you hold your ear to the slots around the back of the device – the fan system known by Microsoft as “Perimeter Ventilation” – you can not hear the slightest noise. In everyday use, the fan should not attract anyone’s attention. When the load is intense, the fan will of course start audibly, but not disturbing. No other ultrabook can match the Surface Pro in this regard. Only the MacBook Air has delivered similar results so far.
The fan slot around the Surface Pro
I am pleasantly surprised by the quiet running of the powerful tablet. The fan slot of course has its disadvantages, because he and the stronger inner workings are the 4.2 mm more in the thickness and the weight to owe.
Inside, namely an Intel Core i5 processor with 1.7 GHz. A CPU that is used in most current ultrabooks and that is quite powerful enough to use Photoshop to edit images or to perform simple video editing. Some games can be played, even if the Surface Pro is definitely not a game console. Here, the fan noise then increases accordingly.
�Windows 8 runs incredibly smoothly and without any jerks on the device, unlike the partner device Surface RT. Whether Modern Style UI (Metro UI) or the desktop with the numerous x84 applications that are accessible on the device without any problems, everything runs quickly and smoothly. In my opinion, better than on many Ultrabooks I have tested, such as the Lenovo Yoga 13 “, the Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch or other Windows 8 hybrids with touch screen.
The Moder Style UI of Windows 8 on the Surface Pro runs smoothly and fast
I have the 64 GB version of the Surface Pro, which still has 25 GB left after installing my favorite applications like Dropbox, Twitter, smartnweb, Amazon, Evernote, Wunderlist, Spotify, Chrome, Firefox, etc. That’s not very much, but it’s enough for me. Add to that 7GB Skydrive memory, Dropbox memory, Box, Copy and a MicroSD card. The Surface supports MicroSDXC. So the place is enough for me. If that does not work out, it will probably have to do with the 100 Euro more expensive 128 GB version.
�In addition, the USB 3 port on the left side of the Surface Pro can be used to connect and use lots of high-capacity external hard drives.
�By the way, no useless software is preinstalled on the device as on pretty much any device of an OEM partner with Windows 8. Yes, I speak with you Acer, Samsung, Asus, etc.!
The Surface Pro impresses with its peripherals. Not only a USB 3 port, but also a display port is available. Why not HDMI? The display port can support higher resolutions than HDMI, giving the professional user more options. A plus for me, others bothers that because a display port to HDMI adapter is needed if you want to connect the Surface Pro to a TV or projector. The display port is on the bottom right side.
�Directly above is the magnetic power supply connector, which can be optionally used for the included, digital pen. The power supply is compact and provides sufficient cable length. Within about 3 hours the device of 0 is fully charged.
�The speakers of the Surface Pro are not very loud, but at least stereo.
�Neither the front camera, nor the rear camera is particularly worth mentioning. The device is not really suitable for taking pictures or videos, but for Skype it is enough.
�A highlight is the kickstand. Although this only offers an angle to the stand, the function is nice, because you do not have to buy extra accessories. If you do not like the kickstand, you have to look for suitable accessories.
right side of the Surface Pro with kickstand, display port, microSD slot and fan slot
Also cool are the touch and type covers. While the Touch Cover is more of a gadget than a professional accessory, the Type Cover delivers great results. Tapping on the thin keyboard is amazingly smooth. I type there as fast as on my MacBook Pro. In addition, the Type Cover is a chic protective cover for the display of the Surface Pro. The felt-like fabric on the back feels very good in the hand. The only minus: I think the type cover should be offered in the same colors as the touch cover, not only in black.
A hitherto often and strongly criticized feature of the Surface Pro is the battery or the running time. 4-5 hours are possible, but only with mediocre to easy use. More realistic are 3-4 hours. For a tablet, this value is of course utterly bad and even most Ultrabooks last much longer. BUT: Ultrabooks in the class of the Surface Pro, i. in terms of size and tablet shape are rare. The battery life of the available similar devices are not much better. In addition, other hybrids like the Sony Vaio Duo do not deliver much more battery power.
�If you want a device that can last all day, you can not stick to a 10-inch Ultrabook, but you have to choose an ARM tablet or an Atom processor. These offer long battery life, but also much less power. From this perspective, the Surface Pro is one of the few devices you can buy that combines tablet and ultrabook well and without much compromise. If you want that!
Supplied with a Wacom Pen. The pen is a good size and offers digital artists a way to make pictures or the like. While there are some advantages to using it, the Wacom Pen is a bit inaccurate from time to time and often requires two or three attempts to tap something on very small targets.
�Meanwhile, many apps support the WinTab Driver, with which the pen can also use pressure sensitivity. Finally, the support for Photoshop was finally added.
The Surface Pro’s display is one of the best I’ve ever seen. The Full HD 1080p resolution is razor sharp, the colors are full and natural, the viewing angles are fantastic. There’s nothing to complain about, at least in the Modern Style UI. In the desktop, however, the menus and icons are extremely small at a 1080p resolution and 100% text size. Therefore, Microsoft delivers the device with 125% or even 150% text size. In this case, although the icons are larger, blurring occurs more frequently. For example, Chrome’s menus and icons on the desktop will be big enough, but slightly out of focus. Other programs such as Photoshop does not support the magnification and always stays at 100%, which makes the menus extremely small. For users who are having trouble with their eyes, problems could arise here.
The touch sensitivity of the Surface Pro includes 10 fingers and not just 5 like the Surface RT is flawless. I did not have any inaccuracies. The on-screen keyboard can also be operated quickly and smoothly. However, I definitely recommend a type or touchcover. Why recommend? Unlike the Surface RT, none of the two keyboards are included in the price of 879 or 979 euros. Here you have to put 119 for the Touch or 129 Euro for the Type Cover drauflegen.
However, the Surface Pro has a big problem. But that’s up to Microsoft, not the device itself. The company from Redmond has spent far too much time publishing the device in Europe. The next generation of processors is already available with Haswell and therefore could soon also come a new version of the Surface, which offers more power and longer battery life. Too bad, Microsoft!
All in all, I am very pleasantly surprised by the Surface Pro. The performance, the fan noise, the design and the construction quality leaves little to be desired. The kickstand does not offer perfect support in every situation, but is often quite practical. The covers are extremely well built and especially the type cover does not let me miss a “right” keyboard. In addition, the touchpad on the Type Cover is very easy to use, which is unfortunately still not the case with most other Ultrabooks. After some time I have to withdraw this statement, because the touchpad works, but unfortunately misses a precise way of working. So it stays that way: Nobody can handle Apple’s touchpad.
The battery life is not intoxicating, but for me only a small minus, which does not scare off the purchase. The display is the biggest plus, though at times there may be small problems in the desktop view. As a remedy, you could downshift the resolution here, which is a pity, but the screen remains with its rich and bright colors and perfect angles the heart of the Surface Pro.
Who is this device for? Anyone looking for a strong, tablet-sized ultrabook that values ??quiet operation and often has to take the device with them from work to work needs to warmly recommend the Surface Pro.
�If you are looking for a light tablet or a long battery life, you should use an Atom processor or ARM device
�- small, yet powerful
�- no useless software
�- chic design, kickstand, pen and cover (separate)
�- Windows 8 Pro
�- liquid, smooth
�- heavy tablet
�- Battery life
�- at most mediocre cameras
�- Microsoft has been waiting too long to publish in Europe