Like many tech-minded consumers on the weekend of Feb. 9, 2013, I found myself frustrated that my local Best Buy was woefully understocked on Microsoft’s new productivity powerhouse, the Surface Pro hybrid tablet/PC. I had preordered the device the previous week and had been told that I was high on the list. A visit to the store on launch day revealed that only one unit of the most desired version—the 128GB Surface Pro—had been received, and of course that went to the lucky individual (damn him or her!) who preordered it just before I did. I encountered several people wandering the area, inquiring about the Surface, but they were all turned away.
Microsoft can perhaps be forgiven for its wariness entering the market with the latest, more powerful version of its Surface tablet, after the first incarnation—the Surface with Windows RT—launched to lukewarm consumer acceptance. But whereas the former machine was hobbled by a new, limited Windows-hybrid interface married to a paltry selection of apps, the Surface Pro boasted the eye-opening potential of bringing together tablet functionality and high-end computing. That’s why I was eager, and fortunately, I finally ended up with my own Surface Pro a few days later (in fact, I’m writing this column on the fabled Touch Cover). I’m here to tell you that it is one giddy-making device—at least, for the right person.
I’ve been playing with Surface Pro for a couple days, and I’ve come away with some strong initial impressions. Most of these impressions are positive, but a few are undeniably negative; let’s call those last items frustrations, or areas to improve, because in most of those cases, they are certainly areas that the existing Surface Pro can improve on in its lifetime. I’ll start with my top five features and wrap up with my bottom three.
(Read the rest at Residential AV Presents: Connected Home Media.)