Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT - U.S. Markets closed

Recent

% | $
Click the to save as a favorite.

Intel Corporation Message Board

  • wallisweaver wallisweaver Feb 9, 2013 9:40 PM Flag

    First Impressions: Microsoft Surface Pro

    Microsoft’s Surface Pro launched today, and I’ve spent the last 24 hours evaluating their sophomore PC hardware effort with mostly positive observations. What follows are my initial impressions of the Surface Pro, with a detailed review coming down the pipe within a week.

    Surface Pro ≠ Tablets
    First, one important guideline to keep in mind: I won’t be comparing the Surface Pro to the iPad, because the Surface Pro defies characterization as a tablet. Anyone slapping the same label on these devices is doing you a disservice. The Surface Pro runs a full desktop OS, has the internals of an ultrabook, and resulting benchmarks put all tablets to shame.

    My review unit shipped with the Surface Edition of Microsoft’s Wedge Touch Mouse (an accessory I’ve become enamored with), the 128GB Surface Pro, and both versions of the iconic snap-on keyboards.

    Having only used the Touch Cover on the Surface RT, it needs to be said that the Type Cover is in a league of its own. The physical keys have a subtle inward curve, and while the amount of travel is minimal, it’s a joy to type on. I instantly adapted from my full-sized ergonomic keyboard and am punching this article up in Word without any slowdown or errors. I would be comfortable using it for my daily writing duties at Forbes, and it’s a no-brainer for productivity on the road. If you purchase the Surface Pro, don’t leave without the Type Cover.

    Display, Graphics…and Gaming?

    The Surface Pro’s 1920×1080 display is stunning and a noticeable upgrade from Surface RT’s 1366×768 resolution. As with RT, this is a best-in-class panel with pure whites and vibrant, realistic color.

    I plugged in an Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver, installed Steam, and enjoyed Portal 2

    Beyond productivity, the Surface Pro has another distinguishing trait which separates it from the tablet market: gaming chops. Not just Angry Birds or Jetpack Joyride, but AAA core titles like Portal 2 and XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

    Portal 2 ran surprisingly well using these settings and a 1920x1080 resolution

    I installed and played both on my Surface Pro and was pleasantly surprised with the results. Portal 2 ran smoothly at 1920×1080 with medium shaders and high texture detail (see image, right). XCOM performed equally well at 1920×1080. (At a reader’s request, I’ll also test StarCraft II and Diablo 3 for my final review.) With Intel’s HD Graphics 4000, an Intel Core i5, and 4GB of RAM, the early verdict is that a Steam install wouldn’t be out of line. Hardcore gamers need not apply, but casual or “mid-core” gamers should dive in.

    Improved Audio
    Compared to Surface RT, the Pro’s audio capabilities have undergone a dramatic increase in quality. Music is louder, crisper, and has a shade more bass response. The speakers are in the same general location as the RT, but notice in the picture below how the top half of the Pro has venting slots. Not only are the drivers slightly larger, but I suspect the design also improves the acoustics. Rest assured you’ll be able to enjoy podcasts, Hulu Plus or Xbox Music from a distance without straining to hear.

    Battery Life Observations
    The Surface Pro’s battery ran down during the roughly 3 hour process of writing this first impressions piece. This included 30 minutes of gaming, 15 minutes of music streaming, and constant web activity. Auto-brightness was on, and I kept Outlook and MetroTwit running in the background. This is by no means conclusive testing, but in terms of anecdotal observation, battery life may be a concern. I’m confident that enabling battery-saving features, reducing brightness, and not putting the Surface Pro through “review-style” paces will result in 4 to 5 hours of battery life. Apparently all this horsepower doesn’t come without some sacrifice.

    Since this is all about first impressions, I’ll say I’m enthusiastic about the Surface Pro in its role as an ultrabook and productivity machine. During the next week, I’ll rigorously test its tablet incarnation, run it through some benchmarks, and give you a more detailed analysis of battery life, gaming performance, digitizer pen, wedge mouse, and general usability.

    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.

    From Forbes

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

    SortNewest  |  Oldest  |  Most Replied Expand all replies
    • Surface Pro reviews are definitive that the Pro is vastly superior to the RT ARM version of the product.

      Also nice are comments saying it shouldn't be compared to a tablet because it blows tablets away:

      "The Surface Pro runs a full desktop OS, has the internals of an ultrabook, and resulting benchmarks put all tablets to shame."

      So, we can expect Intel-based tablets that will meet or exceed the form factor and batter life standards of all ARM products but whose superior performance will distinguish them. Probably by the end of the year.

      The Surface Pro is extensive evidence of Intel's traction in mobility and if Apple doesn't quickly jump on the bandwagon, they can expect to be condemned to the second tier of technological prowess. Intel is at last ready to take significant tablet market share by making tablets competitive with desktops in performance. Those critics who said that nobody wants a tablet with desktop performance are being shown the error of their ways. Even though the Surface Pro still has a ways to go, it is solid progress and a demonstration of demand. Improvements will have quickly in rapid-fire sequence given the power of the Intel fabrication roadmap.

      "The Surface Pro puts all tablets to shame."

      The ARM Bubble continues its descent into the land of sharp objects. Surface Pro is yet another...

      Sentiment: Strong Buy

 
INTC
34.25-0.25(-0.72%)Jul 24 4:00 PMEDT

Trending Tickers

i
Trending Tickers features significant U.S. stocks showing the most dramatic increase in user interest in Yahoo Finance in the previous hour over historic norms. The list is limited to those equities which trade at least 100,000 shares on an average day and have a market cap of more than $300 million.