Don’t Buy This.

I’m thinking of making “Don’t Buy This” a regular series for those tech products that simply make no sense and are just another way of collecting your money into a pile and burning it.

The first device you shouldn’t buy is the Microsoft Windows Surface Pro. It’s supposed to be a dual use tablet/ultrabook hybrid. Attach the optional keyboard cover, and it’s “like” a laptop. Take it off, and it’s “like” a tablet.

First problem: It’s too heavy. It’s over half a pound heavier than the iPad 4. Now, 8.65 ounces may not sound that heavy, but you will feel the burn if you try to hold this for long periods of time like the iPad. Consider that people complained that the iPad 3 was heavier than the iPad 2, and that difference was a mere 2 ounces. The Surface Pro is almost 50% heavier than the iPad 2. Apologists suggest you use the fold out kickstand to relieve the stress on your arms. The problem is, what’s the point of having a tablet if you have to stand it up on a flat surface? If you have to rest it on a flat surface, why don’t you just get a laptop?

Second problem: Your arms won’t get too fatigued since the tablet only has a 4 hour battery life. In an age where 9 hours is about the average for a tablet, Surface Pro rocks a laptop like 4 hours. The reason is because unlike your typical iPad or Android tablet, which runs a low power chip designed for portable devices, the Surface Pro uses a full fledged Intel laptop processor that devours electricity at twice the rate. And by the way, that 4 hours is for “typical” use. If you are in fact running a program that requires a lot of processing, you will get even less than 4 hours. On the bright side, it’ll run out of juice by the time you start to lose the feeling in your arms!

The worst problem: It’s way too expensive. The base tablet (with 64GB storage) is $899. The hard keyboard cover adds another $129 to the price (the membrane one isn’t worth buying). That means the base price for this tablet/laptop functionality is $1,028. If laptops were $700-$1,000 and tablets were $700-$1,000, this might be a worth a look. But you could buy a laptop and a tablet for less than $1,000 total, and that’s a laptop with a fully functional keyboard and a tablet you can actually hold for more than 4 hours. If you had an extreme use case like you travel all the time and you’d rather carry a single device instead of a laptop and a keyboard it’s still a dubious purchase. The reason tablets exist is because of the long battery life and the ultra-light, ultra-portable form factor. The Surface Pro has neither.

Don’t buy this.

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2 comments on “Don’t Buy This.

  1. I would agree for the average consumer, but your take is myopic at best and very disingenuous. People looking at a Surface Pro should also be looking at Ultra-books. The Pro and Ultras are not in the same class of products as iPad. The Surface RT IS in the same general echelon, thus making it a much better comparison. The closest Apple product is the Mac-book air. Regardless you still miss the point of the Pro as it is geared towards businesses and other power users that want all the power of a laptop, but even more portability and more compatibility. This is something iPad cannot offer as it is an inferior computing device and cannot offer what Windows is able to give users. Again a Mac-book or something like that would be comparable, but then most of your argument is moot.

    • cobravision says:

      There is no point to the Surface Pro, because it fails as a tablet due to its weight and paltry battery life. As a power user, I can’t have a tablet running down so quickly. As a power user, I don’t want to compromise productivity by having to use a half baked keyboard input like the Cover Type.

      That’s why this “solution” is a half baked waste of money. It’s half a tablet and half an ultrabook that does not add up to anything.

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