Microsoft Surface Pro Review Round-Up: The Ultimate Ultrabook Experience Or Hefty Hulk?

By Anu Passary | Feb 12, 2013 09:41 AM EST

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Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet recently hit the shelves and the 128GB version of the device sold out in just seven hours on its U.S. online store.

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The Surface Pro released in both Canada and the U.S. on Feb. 9, and the reviews are already in. While some are praising the latest Microsoft tablet offering as the best Windows 8 tablet available in the market, others find it too hefty.

Here's a review round-up of the Surface Pro, whether it's worth the $899/$999 price tag it sports.

Engadget

Engadget feels that the Surface Pro improves over the Surface RT by leaps and bounds, and is the best current tablet running Windows 8, but it "feels like a compromise when used as a tablet or laptop."

"That it offers compatibility with the massive back-catalog of Windows apps gives this a strong leg up over the earlier Surface RT, but the thickness, heft and battery life are big marks against. We're confident Microsoft will keep refining Windows 8 to make the OS as a whole more seamlessly tablet-friendly, and we look forward to testing the dozens of touch-friendly hybrid and convertible devices due this year, but sadly Microsoft's second tablet doesn't have us reaching for our credit cards. Not quite yet," noted Tim Stevens.

CNET

CNET isn't waxing eloquent on the Surface Pro either and feels that the device "almost gets it right."

"The Surface Pro's gutsy design successfully reinvents the Windows 8 laptop by cramming an ultrabook experience into the body of a 10-inch tablet. Those wanting to go all-in on the tablet experience won't regret buying the Surface Pro, but we're holding out for a future, more polished generation of the device," noted the site.

Forbes

Jason Evangelho's review for Forbes takes into account his first impressions and is "enthusiastic about the Surface Pro in its role as an ultrabook and productivity machine."

"For those not willing to wait for the full review — perhaps those of you holding out for Surface Pro over the RT — I seriously doubt you'll be disappointed with this hardware," says the Forbes review.

Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal notes that the "hefty (Surface Pro) tablet is a laptop lightweight."

"I like the original Surface and see it as a tablet with the extra benefit of some Microsoft Office programs. However, I am less enamored with the Surface Pro. It's too hefty and costly and power-hungry to best the leading tablet, Apple's full-size iPad. It is also too difficult to use in your lap. It's something of a tweener — a compromised tablet and a compromised laptop," writes reviewer Walt Mossberg.

The Verge

According to The Verge, the Surface Pro is the "first real computer to come out of Redmond."

"It's as fast, consistent, and capable as any ultrabook I've tested in the last several months, and from a touch and responsiveness standpoint may be the best I've used. It has no confusing app incompatibilies, no weird performance issues. Sure, it's heavier and thicker than the Surface RT and has frustratingly poor battery life, but it's worth both the tradeoff and the extra expense," writes David Pierce of The Verge.

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