From every account the Surface RT and Surface Pro are physically some of the best tablets around. Crafted using a Magnesium case and built with a kickstand to allow the device to stand up and be used as a laptop when attaching a magnetic keyboard. These are tablets built for business.
Sadly though, sales of the Surface RT are presumably poor. The reason for this is that many people are waiting for the Surface Pro, a fully fledged tablet than runs Windows 8 proper (rather than the RT version that only runs software from the Windows Store). This is a Core i5 processor, 64 or 128 gigs of memory, 4 gigs of ram and a reasonably decent graphics card all packed into a full HD 10.6 inch screen. You can run any Windows software on this including Photoshop, Chrome and even play a round of Starcraft.
Early looks at the Surface Pro are positive:
Performance was equally as impressive as the display and the Intel Core i5 processor is the perfect combination for Windows 8. One of the big complaints in our Surface RT review was the hit and miss nature of Windows RT performance on the Tegra 3 chipset. It’s night and day with the Surface Pro. This thing flies. Opening up multiple apps is super fast and despite its tablet-like appearance, this is a full-power Windows PC. It’s a great notebook computer that beats out the competition in a number of ways, but it’s also still all about compromise.
There’s just one problem: price.
Microsoft came out with pricing of $899 without a keyboard (an extra $120) for the 64 gig model so you’re looking at no less than $1018. Many see this as a potential competitor to the Macbook Air and as any Apple fanboy will tell you “OBVSLY TEH MAC AIR IS BETTER!”. I’m not going to get into the discussion of which is better but if you prefer Mac OS then get the Mac Air, if you need to use Windows 8 then the Surface Pro is an option. However, the real issue here is not the Surface Pro competing against the Mac Air, it’s competing with other Windows 8 touch ultrabooks.
Acer sells an 11″ laptop for $550. Samsung sells an 11-incher and everyone has a fullsize ultrabook on sale for under $1000. You’ve got to be pretty desperate for a tablet that can provide the ability to use Photoshop to find the Surface Pro appealing from the perspective of price.
Techcrunch totally thinks I’m wrong and they do have a point however a fullsize ultrabook is still the Surface Pro’s biggest competitor; not a Macbook Air. I personally have to stop myself from buying a Surface Pro but in this generation, I think it’s a skip.