Microsoft Surface Pro: The movie

Microsoft's Surface Pro promo has arrived. The message: it's a PC and can do everything a PC can do.

Microsoft pitches the Surface Pro as a real PC.
Microsoft pitches the Surface Pro as a real PC. Microsoft

Microsoft is heralding the Surface Pro tablet's February 9 arrival with a teaser about its PCness.

"Sleek, light, and durable meets powerful PC," is how Microsoft begins the video. The latter part of that ad copy is probably the most relevant for prospective buyers.

That's alluding of course to Windows 8 Pro running on a real PC processor -- Intel's Ivy Bridge: That combination should allow Surface Pro to run applications more like a laptop than a tablet.

And as it would in regard to any respectable PC, Microsoft points out that the Surface Pro includes a USB 3.0 port (the Surface RT has only the slower USB 2.0 port) and the Mini DisplayPort connector (which RT doesn't have).

The Mini DisplayPort -- a common feature on the MacBook (via the Thunderbolt connector) and Windows laptops -- should allow the Pro to drive large, high-resolution displays. Like an Apple LED Cinema display, for instance.

The video touches briefly on the 1,080-pixel display but doesn't zero in on this. It should, though. The Pro's 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution is one of its best features (that's a pixel-per-inch density of 209 for those keeping track).

Though it's not the intention of the video, the promo does amply demonstrate the thickness of the device. While 13.5mm (0.53 inches) is hardly thick by laptop standards, it is a bit on the thick side for a tablet. The iPad 4 -- often criticized for its portliness -- is, by comparison, a mere 9.4mm (0.37 inches) thick.

And that of course translates to weight too. It's 2 pounds -- light for a laptop, heavy for a tablet. It will be interesting to see how extended use of a 2-pound tablet sits with reviewers.

That said, the relative thickness and weight may be a small price to pay for many users looking for a Windows 8 tablet that packs the performance punch of a laptop.


About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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