We reviewers are imperfect in many ways. We don’t (much as we’d love to believe otherwise) know everything. We may have personal biases, some known to us and, more dangerously, some unknown. We sometimes assume things that we ought not to have. We can, you’ll be shocked to read, sometimes even make uncomplicated mistakes – misread a manual, fail to find the control for a feature which we then report to be absent. And so on.

Hey, we’re human.

But there is one systematic imperfection that applies to almost all our work: the things we are reviewing are new. Usually brand new, sometimes a little shop-worn thanks to their use by other reviewers. But almost always the products we write about we are using within a month or two after launch.

But if you buy that product, how will it perform in six months, or two years? Will it be better or worse than new? Can something even be better than new?

I shall try, from time to time, to share some longer term experiences with specific products. There won’t be many of them because I don’t own that many, and thus don’t have them for lengthy periods. But I’ll do what I can.

And, so, to start: the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. How good is it? Amazing! Has it improved? Definitely!

And how disappointing is it? Quite!

The product

A brief recap. A few years ago Microsoft introduced two lines of tablets: the Surface (which began as the Surface RT) and the Surface Pro. The Surface started off using a weird version of Windows, but now (we’re at the Surface 3) uses real Windows. The Surface Pro always used real Windows, and the launch of the Surface Pro 4 came approximately with the launch of Windows 10.