The novelty of laptops has largely worn off these days. A couple of decades ago, personal, portable computers that could be taken on business trips, used on campus, and otherwise carted around as virtual data storage devices were relatively rare. Certainly the concept was not new, and consumer models actually began appearing in the ’80s, but most people didn’t see the need for them, nor could they afford them in the beginning. But with the advent of the internet, and more specifically, WiFi, the demand for these portable computing machines grew, as did production. And so the prices dropped significantly. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find a relatively speedy laptop with adequate memory in the $500 dollar range (or less, in some cases). So why would anyone shell out twice as much? Perhaps the Surface Windows 8 Pro can offer an explanation.
The latest model in the Surface Pro series is set to launch on February 9th and consumers will pay $899 for the 64GB version or $999 for the 128GB version. So what makes this laptop so special? The appeal may be largely based on the amenities it provides, and you’ll notice some as soon as you get a gander at the machine. The 10.6-inch display panel is closer to a tablet than a standard laptop, and while it features the flip-top construction users are used to, the diminutive size and slim casing could fool some consumers into mistaking it for a lightweight tablet connected to a keypad.
Despite this, however, it retains all the power and functionality that users expect from a laptop. It features an Intel processor from offshoot company Ivy Bridge (the Core i5) along with their brand new HD 4000 graphics. Coupled with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1920×1080 resolution, images are going to look super crisp and fluid. The monitor also features 10-point multi-touch programing for precise touch-screen interaction, as well as a Surface pen that allows for writing directly on the screen. In addition, there are two 720p cameras for high-res pics and video chats. But this is all pretty standard; Microsoft has more in store.
Like many tablets, the Surface Windows 8 Pro comes with amenities like a gyroscope, accelerometer, and ambient light sensor – all of which enhance the usefulness of a portable device. But unlike some tablets, the Surface Windows 8 Pro also offers a USB 3.0 port, microSDXC, and even Bluetooth to expand user options for communications and transfer of data. Plus, the battery is expected to provide approximately 4.5 hours of life when unplugged, which is better than most laptops. So you can see why this device is not only getting a lot of hype, but also why consumers may be willing to rush out to their local Staples or Best Buy (or head to Microsoft’s website) and pay a pretty penny for this product.
Of course, the company is already warning that shortages are a possibility – what a surprise. While the US and Canada are slated to get plenty of product, other countries are likely to get put on the waiting list as a result. But even if you have to download Windows 8 drivers by the time you manage to get your hands on this hot device, it seems it may be worth the wait. This tablet/laptop hybrid may just end up relegating both of its progenitors to the annals of history if it’s all it’s cracked up to be.