February 07, 2013, 4:35 PM — The Surface Windows 8 Pro arrives on store shelves Saturday starting at $900, and the verdict is in for Microsoft's marquee PC-meets-tablet device.
Unlike the ARM-based Surface RT, which is primarily for running touch-based apps, the Surface Pro has an Intel chip and can run almost any traditional Windows desktop program. The Pro also has the Windows 8 modern UI interface for those times when you want a touch tablet.
So how did the Surface Pro do as both a tablet and a Windows desktop PC?
Five reviews of the Surface Pro by The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, Engadget's Tim Stevens, The Chicago Sun-Times' Andy Ihnatko, Time's Harry McCracken, and PCWorld's own Jon Phillips say the device falls short in both usage scenarios, but it has its high points and may be a good choice for some people.
Before we get into the specifics of what the critics thought was great and what wasn't about the Surface Pro, here are the basic specs: a 10.6-inch multitouch display with 1920-by-1080 resolution at 208 pixels per inch, 4GB RAM, and a 1.7GHz Core i5 processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000.
Microsoft's tablet comes with 64GB or 128GB of storage, a stylus, one USB 3.0 port, an SD card reader, mini DisplayPort, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and front- and rear-facing 720p cameras.
Great build quality, but...
The consensus is that the Surface Pro looks great and has a solid build quality thanks to its vapor magnesium housing and the handy kickstand built into the rear of the device.