The Microsoft Surface RT released back at the end of October last year, garnered some fairly negative reviews, creating a slight worry that the more powerful version, Windows Surface Pro, would also be a machine to pass over. Now the Windows Surface Pro has been released many business owners are wondering if it will meet their needs.
Here's a brief overview of the main technical specifications of the Windows Surface Pro that small to medium business owners most often ask about.
Physical size The physical size of the Pro is 10.81 x 6.81 inches. By comparison, the iPad is 9.50 x 7.31 inches. The thickness of the machine is just .53 inches, and it weighs 2 lbs. On size alone, this makes the Pro a highly portable device, though it is a bit too big to comfortably hold in one hand.
Processor, memory and battery The Pro has a third generation Intel i5 processor with 4GB of RAM which is more than enough to run nearly every program currently available for Windows. This means that you should be able to access and run all of your work based programs. The battery life on the other hand is around 4 to 5 hours, which falls fall short of other tablets, and even some laptops.
Storage space The Pro comes with two different storage options: 64GB and 128GB. On paper, this sounds like a solid amount of storage space. These numbers don't take into account the size of the OS however - which will take up 41GB. With the OS installed the 64GB version will have 23GB of free storage, while the 128GB version will have 83GB free.
While this is a bit of a let-down, the Pro does have a USB port which means you can attach an external hard-drive for extra space. Beyond that, there is also a MicroSD port which will allow you to extend storage space even further.
Display One of the main reasons users pick tablets is because of the display. The Pro doesn't disappoint, offering a 10.6-Inch HD display with 1920 x 1080 pixels. This means the display is a widescreen, and will likely be better sitting on a desk. From reviews that we've seen, the display quality rivals that of the iPads.
This high resolution also means that all of your windows programs will be sharp, and you will be able to view them just fine.
Software The Pro runs a full version of Windows 8, which means that any software that desktops and laptops can run, it can also run. This is the main feature that sets the Pro apart from other tablets. You don't have to buy mobile versions of your favorite software, just install it on the machine and away you go.
Cost The cost of the Pro starts at USD$899, this is for the 64GB model, without the Touch Pad cover. For businesses to get the most out of this tablet, you'll need to spring for the cover which costs another USD$119, putting the price up to USD$1,018.
This seemingly high price will have many small business owners cringing. The thing is, the Surface Pro is more of a laptop with a touch screen than it is a tablet. Looking at it another way: It's the most powerful tablet on the market, and gives many laptops and desktops a run for their money.
Should you run buy one? To be honest: If you're looking for an ultraportable device to replace an existing one and that can run all of your business software, then yes, you should consider the Surface Pro. But, if you're looking for a tablet to accompany an already inplace system, then it's better to look at something a bit cheaper.
If you are interested in learning more about the Surface Pro, please let us know, we'd be happy to sit down with you.