There’s no caps lock light, a pet peeve of ours, but at least the keyboard is well designed outside of this, and both left- and right-handed typists will be at ease here. The included trackpad on the cover means you still get a mouse, albeit a small one.
As a portable desktop with the keyboard cover, the Surface Pro is a great experience, and one merely needs to click the kickstand at the back of the case into place to find exactly that.
The screen is lovely and sharp, too, with wide viewing angles and some really lovely text recreation. Overall, it might be seen as a touch too reflective, but looked at dead on, and the Full HD screen is one of the better parts of the package.
You can get a decent amount of work done on the computer, too, and the 1.7GHz Core i5 should be enough for most people.
This isn’t designed for games, and we’d have appreciated a touch more memory, but unless you’re taxing either the built-in Intel graphics or memory too much, this set of specs should be fine.
While the system performance can handle its own, the battery is much less impressive.
It’s a little all over the shop here, but for the most part, you’ll find an unimpressive three to four hour maximum, and that’s through relatively basic tasks such as surfing the web, writing documents, and general usage.
Use it less and you might find more life is possible, but we didn’t manage more than a couple of days on standby, and this is one machine you’ll want to leave on charge often.
A shame, too, as this is the big demonstration for Microsoft, and yet it doesn’t last as long as some of the other tablets produced by other brands.
The price is also a huge factor, and with a starting price of $999 for the 64GB version (or $1099 for the 128GB model we checked out), and then the addition of a $140-150 keyboard cover, this is not a cheap entry into the world of Windows 8.
That’s around $1100-1200 for a machine that doesn’t offer a whole lot of battery life or usability in transit.
That last factor is something we test quite heavily, knowing that many users take to cars, buses, planes, and trains to get work done. Hopefully you’re not driving while working, but we know that both the front and rear passenger seats are used for homework for some families.