Microsoft’s Surface Pro is a perfect example of why one needs to give a device a chance to evolve before calling it a flop (hello, Apple Watch). When Microsoft announced its first Surface Pro for release in February of 2013, there was a lot of excitement. However, once the product was released, it received mixed reviews.
Engadget said the Surface Pro didn’t live up to the hype.
“We’re still completely enraptured by the idea of a full-featured device that can properly straddle the disparate domains of lean-forward productivity and lean-back idleness. Sadly, we’re still searching for the perfect device and OS combo that not only manages both tasks, but excels at them”
The review adds that although the Surface Pro comes close, it’s still a major compromise. There were many reviews that complained about the Surface Pro’s dismal battery life.
The Surface Pro 2 helped make the battery life tolerable, but it was still a cause of concern. Even though the Surface Pro 2 righted some of the wrongs of the original Surface Pro, many still considered the optional Type Cover mediocre. CNET said that the device felt more like the Surface Pro 1.5 than a complete upgrade. Still, they did like the improved Intel Haswell processor, the improved battery life, and the fact that the keys on the Type Cover lit up.
In June of 2014, Microsoft finally hit the sweet spot. The Surface Pro 3 had a larger screen, but was actually lighter. The Type Cover was a huge improvement. As TechRadar noted in their review, Microsoft’s vision of a laptop/tablet hybrid had finally paid off.
“The Surface Pro 3 is, without question, the most attractive and capable device that Microsoft has ever produced. As a result, it’s not only the closest to realizing the company’s vision for replacing the laptop, but closer than any hybrid device to date. This thing can honestly serve as both your tablet and laptop in nearly equal measure.”
CNET gave the Pro 3 four stars, praising the device’s weight, its slimness, and beautiful display. However, they still believe the much-improved Type Cover should have been shipped with the device instead of costing $140 extra. In any case, the Surface Pro 3 is considered the device that really made Microsoft break through again. Sales for the Surface Pro 3 were fantastic and proved that consumers wanted a tablet that they can also use as their everyday laptop.
After the success of the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft turned things up even more on the Surface Pro 4 with a vastly improved Type Cover, a larger screen (cased within the same dimensions as the Surface Pro 3), and an even better Surface Pen. TechRadar gave the device a near-perfect review.
“Has Microsoft at last crafted a tablet that can reasonably, without considerable compromise, replace your laptop? Short of going back to the drawing board on the battery, this looks as close as it’s going to get,” claimed reviewer Joe Osborne.
However, as Inquisitr reported last October, there were some early bugs with the Surface Pro 4. There were problems with the display drivers, the touchpad, and, especially, problems with putting the device into “Sleep” mode. Microsoft has fixed all these issues with firmware updates. Now, many believe the Surface Pro 4 is the most useful tablet/laptop hybrid on the market. It will be interesting to see what Microsoft has in store for the Surface Pro 5, which may not be released until 2017.
[Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images]