Surface Pro review roundup: Hands on at CES 2013

The first Surface Pro reviews are in. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) let a few bloggers and journos use the new, 'full fat' Windows 8 tablets for around 30-60 minutes each. Although the Redmondistas weren't officially exhibiting at CES 2013, they were present in Las Vegas, showing off their new baby.

Surface Pro review

Time to round up their first look, hands-on impressions, IT Blogwatch style.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Live! From Las Vegas! It's Jon Phillips (waiting for his pudding):

Surface Pro [has] a promised release date...in the neighborhood of January 26. [It's] a slightly thicker, much more powerful version...0.53-inch thick instead of 0.37-inch thick. And...2 pounds to Surface RT’s 1.5 pounds.

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[It] bids adieu to the nonsense of Windows RT, and delivers Windows 8 Pro instead. ... [With] a true HD resolution of 1920x1080...every time I held it, I noticed and re-noticed its improved pixel density. ... [It has] an Intel Core i5...and 4GB of RAM.

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The 64GB version...will cost $900. ... Microsoft will shortly find itself in a pricing war with its hardware partners. ...The PC landscape is more interesting than it’s been in more than 10 years.  MORE

Looks like Simon "call me buffalo or" Bisson was allowed into the country:

...you can run desktop software — and with a Mini-DisplayPort adapter, you can also add a second monitor. ... Because it will draw more power, the Surface Pro has a higher-capacity battery (42Wh). ... Unlike Surface RT, Surface Pro comes with a pen. [It's] comfortable and easy to use. ... The screen's active digitizer is pressure sensitive, and so should work well with art software. ... .

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One intriguing use case for Surface Pro is...with an attached monitor...it becomes an editing tool much like a Wacom Cintiq. ...you can use desktop Windows software such as Adobe's Photoshop. ...using the Surface to control the image on a full-size monitor [it] can also be a fully-fledged design workstation.  MORE

And Dana Wollman also likes the screen/pen combo:

...everything looked a little sharper, a little less pixelated. ... It's a difference anyone can appreciate, even people who [are] not display snobs.

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it's optically bonded, meaning the LCD and touch panel comprise a single layer. ...it helps make for a more natural pen experience. ...you can flip the pen over and use it as an eraser.  MORE

Trust MG Siegler to mock, natch:

So remind me again by this will be a success where the regular Surface wasn’t? ... Because it has a stylus?

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This isn’t a tablet. It’s much more of a notebook...that you can’t actually use in your lap.  MORE

And Jim Taylor fancies sticking with RT:

I couldn't be any less interested.

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after a few minutes with a friends Windows 8 RT tablet...it does work much better as a tablet OS...swipe gestures, etc all actually seem to make sense when you're using your finger, not a mouse!  MORE

Meanwhile, Sam Biddle sums up his review thuswise:

What are you left with? The same lovely design...without the most glaring shortcomings. ...where RT offered heartbreak, Pro offers hope. I just wish it'd been like this from the start.  MORE

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