Microsoft Surface Pro review

The full-fat Windows 8 tablet - now at a lower price

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Our Verdict

The Surface Pro is a lightweight Windows 8 PC that runs all your applications and any browser you want, that you can use as a tablet with touchscreen controls and a fantastic pen, or as a notebook, by snapping on a keyboard. It's a great machine at a reasonable price.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1920 x 1080

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  • Windows 8 in a tablet
  • Fantastic pen
  • Bright touchscreen
  • Up to 2TB expandable storage
  • Touch and Type Cover keyboards


  • Heavy
  • Shorter battery life than RT
  • No home for the pen
  • Kickstand can be awkward

NOTE: This is a review of the 2012 Surface Pro - the Surface Pro 2 succeeded the device in 2013. If you want to be really modern and hip, you could even take a detour to find out about the latest (and perhaps greatest) Surface yet - the Surface Pro 3 - which landed in 2014.

You can also read what we think about Windows 8.1 as well as everything about the Windows 8.1 RT-powered, Nvidia Tegra 4-based Surface 2.

The Surface Pro is now on sale in two versions, a somewhat lean 64GB version and a more usable 128GB variant.

We've been waiting quite a while for a tablet like this - and not just since it was announced in 2012. If you ever saw a Windows tablet PC and wanted one that was done properly, you've been waiting years for Surface Pro with full Windows 8.

What's more, it's now a steal - discounted prices that went into effect in early August are here for good, at least in the U.S., with the Surface Pro, Touch Cover and Surface RT all seeing some slices. What's more, there appear to be price cuts going into effect globally, with the Microsoft UK and Australia websites showing discounted pricing for Surface and accessories.

Microsoft Surface Pro review

In the US, for example, a $100 Surface Pro price drop is in effect, meaning a 64GB Windows 8 machine starts at $799. Touch Covers are now $40 off, giving them a new starting point of $79, and a Limited Edition Touch Cover will cost $89.

Microsoft Surface Pro review

Surface Pro looks like Surface RT, with the same distinctive look and the same full-size USB port - but it tweaks the iconic kickstand and the clever magnetic connectors for power and the two tear-off keyboards (Type Cover and Touch Cover both work interchangeably with Surface Pro and RT).

It improves on the 10.6-inch touchscreen of the Surface RT with higher resolution and a digital pen you can use to scribble notes on the screen (and snap into the power port for carrying around), but it still has some of the darkest blacks you'll find on any screen.

Microsoft Surface Pro review

It's a PC, but it's still a tablet. Do you want it? Depends on what you really want.

If you've seen the Surface RT in the flesh, the Surface Pro looks utterly familiar. The same VaporMg coating over the same sturdy but sleek metal body, the same gently curved corners and wide black bezel, the same subtle Windows logo on the front.

But pick it up and you'll notice the difference straight away. The Surface Pro is thicker - although 13.5mm (0.53 inches) rather than 9.3mm (0.37 inches) isn't exactly bulky - and it's heavier, at 907g (2lbs) rather than 680g (1.5lbs). But the weight is evenly distributed and well balanced so it doesn't feel a lot heavier unless you pick them up side by side.

Microsoft Surface Pro review

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet PC
Flash Memory Capacity64 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4000
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilySurface Pro
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
Operating SystemWindows 8 Pro
Brand NameMicrosoft
Form FactorSlate
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size26.9 cm (10.6")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)907.2 g
Memory Card ReaderYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyClearType
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Country of OriginChina
Height13.5 mm
Width274.6 mm
Depth173 mm
Screen ModeFull HD
ManufacturerMicrosoft Corporation
Product NameSurface Pro Tablet PC
Product LineSurface Pro
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number9SR00001
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Powerful. PC.

A laptop in tablet form, Surface Pro brings together the best of Microsoft in one awesome new PC.

Managed. Safety.

The security and manageability that you expect from Microsoft. BitLocker encrypts your hard drive's data, helping to keep your stuff safe. Install apps and connect with accessories and printers, just like you always have. Join a corporate domain for full access to your work network.

Package Contents
  • Surface Pro Tablet PC
  • AC Adapter