The Microsoft Surface Pro is a Study in Compromises


How to Set Up Your New Windows Computer

A brand-new Windows PC, fully updated and unsullied by crapware, is a wonderful thing. Sadly, very few people ever get to experience it—but you can!

At Daring Fireball, John Gruber runs a list of quotations from reviews of the just-released Microsoft Surface Pro, all of which contain “the C word”: compromise. It’s no surprise, really. The promise of the Surface Pro — an ultrabook and a tablet, wrapped into one — was too good to be true.

As Richard Georges puts it at Futurelawyer, “it doesn’t do an adequate job of either, and is too expensive.” I’m not too worried about the expense. Things cost what they cost. But for all its promise, the Surface Pro doesn’t sound any better than the Dell XPS 12 I reviewed a couple of weeks ago.

Someday soon, technology will allow us to have a PC the size and weight of an iPad, with a great hardware keyboard into place when we want to get real work done, and UI designers will make it transition smoothly between both use cases. Right now, we’ve got a compromised operation system in Windows 8, and a lot of compromised laptop-tablet hybrids. For all its promise, the Surface Pro is no different.


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