Moving this screen size to 11.6" would solve a lot of problems. The fact that the ATIV 700 and the Thinkpad Helix have gone 11.6" should tell MS something.
My primary issue with the smaller form factor is that some of my legacy apps, like my Access Database are just a little small at this size. 11.6 would be perfect.
How do you explain the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Lenovo S2110? Clearly there is a market for 10" tablets (and smaller) as well. There is nothing inherently better about one size than another and it comes down to personal preference.
If an 11.6" device works for you then buy a non-Surface 11.6" device. A Surface doesn't need to be this size if others Win 8 devices are. I would rather have MS do something different and push the envelope like they did with the Surface (smallest and lightest ultrabook ever). MS isn't even a manufacturer. Let the other companies figure out how to make one of every size. MS only needs to inspire them and show the world that it is possible for a company other than Apple to design great hardware. If MS can somehow push the envelope even further by making the Surface 2 11.6" then go for it but making it 11.6" for the sake of hitting an arbitrary number is pointless
Those are pure tablets. The Surface Pro is an ultrabook that has tablet functionality. This assumes the user will be doing REAL work which in turn requires REAL room.
Because the SP is so small, we are forced to set zoom at 150% if we want to work on our legacy Office apps without going blind. On an 11.6" screen I could comfortably work on my Access Database at 125% zoom which means I can fit more on my forms. In addition, my external monitor will look much better at 125% zoom as opposed to 150% (where stuff is so big it just looks silly).
You really seem to get hung up on this, "MS did it so it must be awesome" meme. There is nothing intrinsically good about a product simply because it happens to come out of MS.
11.6" is hardly a random number. It is the minimum size at which you can have a full keyboard with usable keys.
If it is no harder to carry around an 11.6" screen than a 10.6" screen, why not go for the larger form factor. I selected the SP at the time because the other 11.6" offerings were overpriced IMHO.
If anything is a random number it is 10.6".
As Sinofsky tells it, Surface was in development for three years before its official reveal at an LA press event last June. This was in the summer of 2009, when Microsoft was putting the finishing touches on Windows 7 and just starting to shift its development efforts to Win 8. For those keeping score at home, there wasn't even an iPad to compete against; Microsoft already knew that Windows 8 would be touch-friendly, and that it needed a solid tablet as a vehicle for showing off its next-gen OS.
What followed were hundreds of iterations: some large, some small, some light, some quite heavy. Though the company ultimately settled on a 10.6-inch screen, it experimented with both 10.1- and 11.1-inch form factors. An 11-inch tablet, they decided, would have been too unwieldy. A 10.1-inch panel, at least, would have been easy to procure -- the netbook boom had seen to that. The problem was, if Windows 8 was to make room for a narrow multitasking pane on the side of the screen, 10.1 inches would have been too cramped. A 16:9, 10.6-inch display, however, would have enough room real estate for a 4:3 window and a second app running alongside it. What's more, that extra half-inch over a 10.1-inch screen would allow for a more spacious keyboard, along with a trackpad. One hitch: 10.6 inches isn't a standard size, so Microsoft couldn't have ordered these screens in bulk from suppliers. So, it made the display itself.
Because the SP is so small, we are forced to set zoom at 150% if we want to work on our legacy Office apps without going blind.
MY THEORY ON MICROSOFT'S INNER WORKINGS:
Right in he middle of Microsoft Headquarters they have a door. On that door is a sign. It is the door for the most important department at Microsoft. The sign says, "Department of Breaking What Works".