Microsoft Tribe


Surface Pro as an Ultrabook


I'm planning to buy a new computer. I've been waiting for a long time now. I even posted here regarding my quest for good hybrid.

Now, The Verge, and a few other sites, have been relatively negative regarding the Surface Pro. And I've been thinking about it, and most complains are completely irrelevant for a device that can replace an Ultrabook, is not heavy or thick or lacks battery life compared to other Ultrabooks in its range.

So the Macbook Air 11.6" is almost never reviewed, which is a shame, because I find devices over 11.6" not portable at all. But I think is safe to assume at The Verge it would've gotten a similar score.

And this is the part I find weird. The Surface Pro has a much better screen, it's smaller and lighter, it has a Micro-SD slot, a touchscreen and a pressure sensitive stylus. The Macbook Air, on the other hand, has a one more USB port and integrated keyboard.

So, when you compare these two devices, the Macbook Air doesn't seem that attractive, its only relevant advantage is that you can use it in your lap. When I say you can use it in your lap, what I mean is that you can't type with the physical keyboard comfortably with Surface Pro, as you can obviously use the on-screen keyboard or Microsoft's frankly scarily accurate handwriting recognition.

So the matter pretty much boils down to how much you type using your computer in your lap, because aside from that the Macbook Air has no advantages. And turns out that I don't think I, or most people actually, value it that much. Because if you seriously need to type... you will rest your laptop in a desk, if you're sending a quick email or browsing the web, yes you type in your lap, but I'm sure the on-screen keyboard or the stylus are more than enough.

Anyway, the Surface Pro does compromise in that front... but it doesn't just compromise with no benefit, you get something in return, a touchscreen, a better screen, a smaller form factor and a stylus that works. So as an ultrabook it seems like a pretty good package. As a tablet, well, it doesn't really compete with the iPad or the Nexus 10, the Surface RT does (and, in my opinion, the iPad is a better option).

In a way what many members of the media did, including The Verge, is ignoring all advantages the Surface Pro has over an Ultrabook, while mentioning its flaw, while also mentioning all its flaws compared to a regular tablet (again, without mentioning any of the advantages). And by doing so they seem to imply that there's a device that does everything the Surface Pro does, but better. And that's just no true. Yes, perhaps (and I'm not entirely sure) a Macbook Air plus an iPad is a better combo, but it's a more expensive combo, it's a heavier combo, a thicker combo, and it still lacks some things, like a working Stylus.

What I intent to say is that 7.5 (or 7.2, according to Josh) seems like an unjustifiable score when devices like the Air get close to 9.

All said and done, I think I will get a Surface Pro, because it's a damn good ultrabook with features imported from the tablet world. What do you think? Specially those of you who already own one.

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