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Surface Pro (128GB) First Impressions / Review


New Member
Picked up my 128gb Surface Pro yesterday from Best Buy as a replacement for an older Core 2 Duo Asus laptop and had a chance to play with it for sizeable chunk of time. Here's some impressions:

First thing that stood out was the build quality. This thing is built like a tank and the buttons and ports are all top notch -- this seems a device that will last. To me, at 2 pounds, it seems light. Admittedly I was in the market for a laptop first, but I had no issue watching an episode Game of Thrones with the device propped up on my chest, or writing a few pages in OneNote holding it like a notebook. This isn't an e-reader by any means; I have a Kindle for that.

The type keyboard is somehow more satisfying to use than the full-size one on the Asus. Plenty of travel and a wonderfully pleasant click-clack sound. I'm a bit worried about its durability, as I find myself consistently flipping from laptop mode to tablet mode, but so far so good. The built in trackpad is also surprisingly useful and responsive, though I'm reaching out touch the screen more often than I thought, even to position the cursor in word documents.

This is the device Windows 8 was made for. The touch gestures, while not exactly intuitive at first, are fast, responsive, and have already become second nature. Swiping to menus, other programs, etc, is already making the old desktop seem archaic. I find myself thinking of the desktop as an application more than anything else, something I can see disappearing in a generation or two as the new Windows App store gains traction. Anyway, having used various iPads and Android Tablets (quite extensively), Microsoft seems a step ahead here.

Oh, and how can I forget the pen! For years I've carried around multiple moleskin notebooks along with my laptop and for the first time, I lost myself in the device as if I were writing on paper. OneNote is nothing short of game changing product, and baring any significant, unforeseen bugs, I see it replacing my personal and business journals. I also installed sketchbook pro, and there were times where I was amazed at what was flowing out of my digital pencil -- the levels of sensitivity are far beyond what I personally need (simple sketches, some doodles), but I can see visual artists flocking to this device.

Sorry if it seem that I'm gushing. I'm certainly not a Microsoft fanboy. In fact, earlier in the year, I had dismissed this device as simply an unnecessary gadget and was planning on going with the 11" MacBook Air. Instead, I now have a machine that is equally as comfortable to type on (yes, even on the couch -- I'm not sure how anyone couldn't find a comfortable position), supports the same range of software, and also has the benefit of a touch screen and a pen (oh that pen!). I haven't been immediately sure that I'm using a device that will be mimicked ruthlessly by the competition since I bought my first generation iPhone (yes, I'm one of those incessant early adopters).

I can understand if someone wants to wait for the second generation Surface. Undoubtedly it will be lighter and have better battery life (I'm not the type who's ever too far from an outlet), but for me, this is the new pinnacle of computing, here and now, worth a couple minor drawbacks. In fact, I'm so impressed, I'm upping my stake in Microsoft as they've clearly shown they have what it takes to compete in the hardware and software arenas. I'm also now intrigued by Windows phones, and will definitely take a look once my Nexus is on its last leg.

Obviously I've left a lot out, but I'd be happy to answer any questions.

Cheers and such!


New Member
Awesome! Glad you love it!
I actually came to the Surface and Windows 8 via my love for Windows Phone. I was an early adopter for the iPhone as well, and after 4.5 generations, I took the leap into Windows Phone 7; it was unique and beautiful and simple. Now that I've used Windows Phone for a couple years (and Windows Phone 8 has rounded all of the rough edges that WP7 had) I just had to look at Windows 8 and surface. And boy am I happy I did. I sold my Macbook Air to get the Surface Pro, and haven't touched my iPad in ages.