Microsoft Surface Pro

Score

Sections

View All

Pros

  • Outstanding screen
  • Innovative design
  • Windows 8 at its best
  • Comes with Wacom digitser pen

Cons

  • Heat and noise
  • No digitiser pen storage
  • Woeful battery life
  • Shallow app store

Key Features

  • Review Price: £719.00

What is the Microsoft Surface Pro?

A tough question. It’s neither a straightforward tablet, nor a tablet/laptop hybrid. It’s more ambitious. The Surface Pro is nothing less than an attempt to create the perfect PC for the ‘Post PC’ era. It’s a tablet you can use at home on the sofa. It’s a PC you can plug into a monitor and use in your (home) office. It’s a laptop replacement that lets you work on planes, trains and anywhere between. It’s a digital canvas you can take notes with on a factory floor or building site. It’s all these things. It wants to be all these things. But is it?

Key features: 10.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 resolution screen; 1.7GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, 4GB RAM; 64GB or 128GB storage; USB 3.0, microSD, mini-DisplayPort; 276.4 x 173 x 13.5mm, 910 grams

Microsoft Surface Pro 23

Surface Pro video review

See the Microsoft Surface Pro for yourself with our video review.

Surface Pro vs Surface RT

The Surface Pro’s key features hint at this naked ambition. Its 10.6-inch screen is the same size as the cheaper, £399 Surface RT, but it has an upgraded 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. Instead of a weedy Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, it has a laptop-grade 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor. Instead of the crippleware Windows RT, it runs full Windows 8 Pro. It adds a mini-DisplayPort port that lets you connect to any monitor at up to 2,560 x 1,600 resolution. Instead of a merely adequate 2GB RAM, it has 4GB.

There are numerous smaller improvements, too. The Surface Pro has a USB 3.0 port, instead of 2.0; the touchscreen supports 10-points of touch rather than 5-points; and it comes with a Wacom digitizer pen, allowing proper pen input and hand writing recognition – a feature many a dodgy iPad stylus attempts to accomplish with little success.

Finally, there’s the keyboard covers – the touch-based Touch Cover (£99) and the traditional Type Cover (£109). They’re important because, while Surface Pro costs £719 (64GB) or £799 (128GB), neither comes with a cover. They really should. A Surface Pro without one of them… well, it isn’t complete. Add £100 or so for your cover of choice and you reach the true price of a Surface Pro.

What does the Surface Pro 2 have to offer?

Surface Pro – Design & Build Quality

Whichever you choose, it’s a hefty price to pay. But at least Microsoft hasn’t skimped on design or materials. Quite the opposite.

Like the Surface RT, the Surface Pro’s build quality is exemplary. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the kickstand that flips out to prop the Surface Pro up, and the magnetic clasp that holds your choice of keyboard cover. The stand has a smooth, reassuring action, while the magnetic clasp is so strong you can lift the Surface Pro up by its cover – emphasis on can, we don’t recommend you do.

The Surface Pro looks fantastic, too – more like an actual ‘slate’ than any tablet we’ve seen. But it’s damn heavy. At 910g, the Surface Pro weighs 230g more than the Surface RT, and at 13.5mm the Surface Pro is 4mm thicker, too. It’s 258g heavier and 4mm thicker than the iPad 4, and that’s before you factor in the Touch Cover (214g) or Type Cover (210g).

Now, before Microsoft fans cry bloody murder… yes, neither is a fair comparison. The Surface Pro is basically a laptop in a tablet body, whereas the Surface RT and iPad 4 use low-power processors that can’t run desktop applications like the Surface Pro.

Microsoft Surface Pro 25

But the Surface Pro’s extra bulk has a couple of important consequences:

  1. It’s uncomfortable to use as a tablet for long periods unless you rest it on your arm, leg or other body part, and even then it’s hard to feel comfortable for long.
  2. It feels as if you’re carrying an actual laptop in your bag, even if it’s a few hundred grams lighter than a MacBook Air.

Neither problem is insurmountable or intolerable, but it’s a flavour of the awkward balancing act Microsoft’s all-purpose hybrid treads.

A more annoying design oversight is the lack of storage for the stylus, or digitizer pen as Microsoft no doubt prefers people call it. It’s damn annoying.

Indeed, at time of writing we’ve actually lost the pen that came with our Surface Pro, and when we did have it, it was invariably where we were not – i.e. at home when at work and vice versa. You can clip the pen onto a cover when using one, but it’s a poor substitute.

Since we’re on niggles, the magnetic charging connection is fiddly to use – a poor imitation of Apple’s mag-safe connections.

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’

N64oid

Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors

pokken

Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer

Int-Ball

These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3

airplane

Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones

Emojis

It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites

WhatsApp

New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money