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Microsoft Surface Pro review

7.5/10 AVG.

Informr score
The Microsoft Surface Pro currently has an Informr score of 7.5 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 26 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

Microsoft Windows-based tablets have been tried dozens of times before. Tried and failed, as a matter of fact. Now, with Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to “reimagine” the whole concept of the desktop operating system, and in doing so has come up with a new generation of tablets that can do more in ultra-thin, and ultra-light form factors. The clearest representation of this effort: the Microsoft Surface 8 Pro. It’s the future. Or is it?

Unlike today’s most popular tablet computer models, this one doesn’t run on a low-power mobile computing chip to try and reduce heat or prolong battery life. Instead, it comes with an Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000 for maximum performance. It’s essentially a full-blown mobile computer that uses the tablet form factor. It looks every bit as good as the first-generation Windows 8 RT tablets but offers far more power and functionality.

Speaking of functionality, the Surface 8 Pro will let users run all of their favorite legacy apps a.k.a. Windows desktop programs natively. This makes it functionally better than all of its ARM-based counterparts, though whether or not users will actually care for such a feature still remains to be seen.

Windows 8 is shaping up to be either Microsoft’s latest fault or its saving grace. Either way, the Surface 8 Pro tablet is a sight to behold. It has all the right hardware features, including a built-in kickstand and support for an external keyboard dock. Plus, the software allows running both modern and classic Windows programs. It’s a great way to experience the future of the desktop, but only if you’re willing to pay the price.

Need to Know: Microsoft Surface 8 Pro

1. Boasts a 1920x1080 Full HD 10.6-inch touchscreen display with pen input. (The Good)

2. Default software allows the use of “legacy apps” or native Windows 7 programs. (The Good)

3. Costs over double the price of the Microsoft Surface RT tablet. (The Bad)

4. Some features require the use of an external keyboard dock. (The Bad)

Operating system
1.7 GHz
Screen Size
1+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...


Expectations are the real issue with the Microsoft Surface Pro. If you were hoping for something with the power of a Core i5 laptop but the weight and battery life of Surface RT then you need to take another look at the laws of physics and the current capabilities of Intel processors. It's a li...

- Mary Branscombe and Dan Grabham, TechRadar

The Surface Pro won’t make sense for everyone. Starting at £719 without a keyboard, it’s a powerful little mover, offering a lightning fast tablet experience and super portable laptop option. If you’re looking for a hybrid device, the Surface Pro could be just your thing.

- ShortList, ShortList
Expert Reviews

The Microsoft Surface Pro is the best Windows 8 tablet, but its battery life is slightly disappointing and it's annoying that there's no cover included for this price, which will set you back at least another £100. If you want the convenience of a tablet and the power of Windows, this is the m...

- Katharine Byrne, Expert Reviews

The Surface Pro hints at genius but implodes under the weight of its own ambition. But the potential is plain to see. It’s a welcome and compelling alternative to an Apple and Google dominated future. Make it lighter and last longer, however, and Microsoft could have a winner on its hands in f...

- Andy Vandervell, TrustedReviews
The Inquirer

As a tablet, Microsoft's Surface Pro exceeded our expections, as its full Windows 8 OS will not only install any Windows PC application but is powerful enough to run everything you'd find on an ultrabook. However, its high price tag means that it's not only much more expensive compared to Apple's iP...

- Lee Bell, The Inquirer

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Screen Size

The Microsoft Surface Pro's screen size is 10.6 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

1.7 GHz

There is a Core i5 1.7 GHz processor (CPU).


The tablet runs on the Windows 8 Pro operating system (OS).

1+ MP
You can take photos with the phone's onboard 1+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.
64/128 GB

Internal memory is 64/128 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The tablet is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 42 WHr battery. Microsoft's performance ratings are 6 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

Surface Pro Specs

Release date February 9, 2013
Regions available USA, Canada
Mobile / Cellular Data
No (Option available)
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System Windows 8 Pro

Compare Windows Tablets

Processor Core i5 1.7 GHz
Internal Storage 64/128 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 42 WHr
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Video Playback Time Up to: 5 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 6 hours
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time No
Standby Time Up to: 2.4 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Magnesium alloy
Colors Dark Titanium
Dimensions [H x W x D] 27.5 x 17.3 x 1.3 cm (10.8 x 6.8 x 0.5 in)
Weight 907 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 208 pixels
Size 10.6 inches
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Unknown
Multiple Numbers Per Contact No
Contact Groups No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
Main Camera
1+ megapixels
Dual lens
Additional Main Camera Info
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Front Camera
1+ megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack Yes
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm No
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps No
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Microsoft Surface 8 Pro

Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
Microsoft Surface Pro Reviews
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