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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

There's no bundled physical keyboard, so the official Surface keyboard cover is another potential expense. The Surface Pro uses the same covers as the Surface RT, with a choice of the touch (£100) and type (£110) covers. The type cover is a proper keyboard that clips magnetically to the underside of the tablet, while the touch cover simply has lightly embossed touch-sensitive pads on a soft textured base.

Microsoft Surface Pro Type cover

The Type cover is our preference, but the Touch cover's good and a little bit thinner

We definitely preferred using the type cover, particularly if we had to work on long documents, but the touch cover was surprisingly responsive and easy to use. Admittedly, it does feels like you’re typing on cardboard, but once we’d got used to it we were able to type at full speed within a matter of minutes. It’s much better than trying to use the onscreen keyboard, but we’d recommend spending the extra £10 on the type cover if you’re planning on using it the Surface Pro for a lot of word processing.

Microsoft Surface Pro with Touch cover and Pen

With a choice of keyboard, touchscreen and Pen, there are plenty of ways of controlling the Surface Pro

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 model for you, but a fully-fledged Ultrabook is likely to be a better bet for most people.

Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5-3317U
Processor clock speed1.7GHz
Memory slots1
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchscreen


Viewable size10.6 in
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Graphics ProcessorIntel HD Graphics 4000
Graphics/video portsHDMI via adaptor, mini-DisplayPort
Graphics Memory128MB


Total storage capacity128GB
Optical drive typenone

Ports and Expansion

USB ports1
Wired network portsnone
Wireless networking support802.11n (dual-band)
PC Card slotsN/A
Supported memory cardsmicro SDXC
Other portsheadphone out


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 8 Pro
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedN/A
Optional extras£80)

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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