Notwithstanding its form factor, we don’t really feel like calling the Microsoft Surface Pro a tablet, given its amazing specs. At best we can call it a hybrid, and a damn good one at that. But, will its spectacular design give it enough strength to beat its competition and emerge as a runaway success?
For starters, it boasts of amazing features, and all in a really neat little package. You’ve got an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and Windows 8 Pro within a 10-inch screen tablet in the Surface Pro! With a 128 GB SSD drive within, it’s got ample storage space too. We also love its detachable keyboard, which is also extremely sleek and looks good.
However, we worry that the Intel Core i5 processor within the Surface Pro, despite its sheer power, could end up draining the device of its battery real quickly. On the other hand, some of the other hybrid devices like the Acer W510 and Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 are powered by the Intel Atom processor, which promise much better battery life. On the downside though, their prices in the $800 range don’t really make it a lot more cost-friendly than the $1100 Surface Pro.
The Surface Pro would also face competition from its similar Windows RT based tablets, like the Microsoft Surface. But, there are very few Windows RT tablets out in the market, which promise good battery performance and can also run Office. However, Windows RT can’t work as well as Windows 8 Pro and can only run limited apps. In all likelihood, consumers would prefer shelling out a little extra and going for a Surface Pro over the RT-based Surface.
Another new competition on the block is the upcoming iPad 4 with 128GB storage. The iPad has been around for a while, and even though the latest version wasn’t as well received, it still holds the top spot in the tablet world. With its vast variety of apps to choose from, the iPad is everyone’s best buddy – from the corporate employee, to the college student who loves his games. However, from a performance perspective, the Surface Pro is far more powerful, and could still be a more appealing pick.
The new iPad uses a flash drive for storage, which does make it more power efficient than the Surface Pro’s SSD. On the downside though, Microsoft’s Surface Pro will only have 83 GB of memory available for use since Windows 8 will take up quite a bit of the space. The iPad, on the other hand, could have more storage space available for use, since iOS wouldn’t be as memory-intensive an OS. However, we wonder if storage space would be as big an issue in this day and age of cloud services.
But if cost is a concern, consumers will do well to stick to 10-inch Android tablets instead, which are much more pocket-friendly, but not quite as powerful.