Microsoft’s has a new tablet ready and waiting for the ninth, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro is just about here. Since full disclosure is a given when a product is so close to release, we have free reign over the information and what to do with it. While the shiny specs and gimmicks that come along with a new release are nice, how does it hold up against the rest of the market? What puts the “pro” in the Surface with Windows 8 Pro?
First off, what sets the Windows 8 Pro apart from its predecessor, the Surface with Windows RT? There really should be some very meaningful difference between the two to warrant the price tag of $899, a substantial increase from the comparatively paltry price of $499. This isn’t even an accurate statement considering the Windows 8 Pro doesn’t come packaged with Microsoft Office and needs to be purchased separately, which tacks on another $99. Then the Surface with Windows 8 Pro is larger and heavier. Clocking in at about a half a pound heavier than and a half an inch thick when put alongside the Windows RT, things are not looking to support the massive price hike.
Getting past the cosmetic parts and into the inner workings does a lot to alleviate some disgruntlement at the price. The premium storage of 64 GBs on the Windows RT is the baseline available for Surface with Windows 8, which boasts premium storage of 128 GBs. The new tablet will also be sporting a much sharper picture than the Windows RT with a higher on screen pixel count of 1920 x 1080. The battery has been doubled, but that doesn’t translate to 2 times the battery life. It needs all the extra battery for the most equalizing feature.
As you probably already know, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro will come with exactly that, proper windows desktop OS. Let’s tick off what this improves, shall we? We get the access, customization, third party support, and compatibility that comes with a proper Windows desktop OS. While it isn’t anywhere near a proper desktop, it definitely is a step in the right direction. It is even compatible with all applications for windows 7 to add to it. This is by far the biggest justification, and really, the ONLY reason, for the gigantic price shift.
Not only is it the defining factor between the Windows RT, but also exactly what the Surface with Windows 8 Pro sets against the market to carve out a name for itself. Without the full desktop OS, it’s just another tablet to be stomped on by the Samsung Galaxy Note, the Google Nexus, and the iPad. Each of the aforementioned tablets has their own niche to fill. None, however, have the exactly needed OS to be THE walking desktop. While I will say that the Surface is a longshot from what it wants to be, it definitely gets the big part right. Custom OS for tablets and other devices are great and all, but it cannot compare to the options and customization that comes with a full desktop OS.
Is it worth it? The Surface with Windows 8 Pro is a decently powerful device by tablet standards and is packaged with a system that has defined desktops and laptops for year. $900 is still a lot to ask for it though, considering a decent laptop or a good tablet runs for half that. When some of the specs are subpar to what was released before, there are going to be more than a few problems with how it will compete in a market that is advancing quickly. Lacking Microsoft Office is just kicking it while it’s down to; seriously it’s just an easy way to make a quick buck. In all, the worth of the Surface with Windows 8 Pro is not greater than the sum of its parts.