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Microsoft Surface Pro review

Katharine Byrne
5 Jun 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

The best Windows 8 tablet, but battery life isn't great and you have to factor in the cost of a keyboard



10.6 in 1,920x1,080 display, 916g, 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U, 4.00GB RAM, 128GB disk, Windows 8 Pro

When Microsoft released the Surface RT at the end of last year, there were several complaints about the limitations of the Windows RT operating system, such as the limited range of apps. The Surface Pro rectifies this by coming with the full version of Windows 8 Pro, giving you much more flexibility when it comes to installing your own programs and apps. It’s available with 64GB or 128GB of storage, and it might just be the best Windows tablet ever made.

Microsoft Surface Pro side
Microsoft Surface Pro keyboard connector

The Surface Pro is a little chunkier than the RT, but it runs full Windows 8

On the outside, very little has changed from the Surface RT. It’s a little chunkier than its predecessor, at 13.5mm thick instead of 9.5mm and weighing 916g rather than 682g, but it still has a beautiful edge-to-edge glass display and a gunmetal-grey magnesium chassis. The integrated kickstand is back, which flips out from the back panel, so you can stand the tablet on a desk. It’s still not height-adjustable, sadly, but we think it’s angled slightly better on the Surface Pro, making it much more comfortable to work on.

Microsoft Surface Pro kickstand

The integrated kickstand is neat and the 10.1in screen is excellent

Its 10.1in touchscreen is gorgeous and its Full HD resolution makes everything look razor sharp. At first we were concerned that such a high resolution on a screen this small would make using the touchscreen quite fiddly, but it was a joy to use and we had hardly any trouble tapping and opening individual files and web pages using the Start screen apps. On the Desktop it's not quite as good, as menus and the Taskbar are quite small and a bit tricky to read; fortunately, you can increase the size of icons to make these easier to see and use. We found that the display has excellent viewing angles and we could still see what was onscreen from a variety of different positions.

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