Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Nerd Gear: Anandtech Review Surface Pro

Anandtech's Microsoft Surface Pro Review

I have been waiting for this, I am really interested in Microsoft's Surface Pro, looking at eventually getting either a Surface Pro or iPad, though I believe the Surface Pro compares more directly with the 11" Macbook Air, see Anandtech's iPad 4 review  and Macbook Air review for comparisons.

If you read the comments of the Surface Pro review, Anand says he will try and run the 11" MBA through their new laptop power tests to give comparable numbers for people to compare Surface Pro directly with 11" MBA for battery life.

But it looks like they are roughly comparable for battery life about 4-5 hours with light use.

The Surface Pro & base model 11" MBA both use the 1.7 GHz i5-3317U CPU and the integrated GPU.

Weight wise, if you count the weight of either keyboard cover option for the Surface Pro, it falls between the 11" & 13" Macbook Airs.

Respective Weights:

Total weight of Surface Pro + Touch Cover is ~2.46 lbs, total weight of Surface Pro + Type Cover is ~2.55 lbs, vs Macbook Air 11" at 2.38 lbs or Macbook Air 13" at 2.96 lbs.

I had been debating getting a iPad 5/6 next spring (Spring 2014) or a Surface Pro to replace my 13" ASUS Laptop running Windows 7.

My laptop is one of the UL30V series, has weak discrete G 210M GPU in it,, no where near real gaming laptop.

When I bought it just wanted something that would run SC2 in addition to other less demanding games, which it does fine.  SC2 runs fine at low to medium settings which was all I needed when I bought it.

I have a more powerful machine now, and girlfriend wants to build a gaming rig, so we will eventually have a couple of powerful gaming machines.

But I want something that is easily portable for use away from home, after reading these reviews, think I will wait for a Haswell upgrade to get a Surface Pro.

Or a Haswell Macbook Air with Retina?  But that would probably be twice the cost of a Surface Pro :/

A lot depends on your use case & budget.

Can't say I *need* more than I have right now, my laptop still runs plenty of games from Steam no problem, and I only use it for gaming anymore when I am out of town for more than a day.

Edited to add:  I have been reading a lot of comments from various people on Surface Pro, the most interesting was about a device demoed at CES, that I liked, but totally forgot about.

The Razer Edge

Razer's site

Anandtech's comments from CES on it

If your looking to get something before Haswell, this probably makes a lot more sense, since it has a GT 640M LE,

Now I am really confused, I am not a fan of Razer's stuff, IMO they are over priced on many of their products.

Not bad stuff, but your paying for the name vs the performance frequently IMO.  I do have a couple of friends that have one of their keyboards or gaming mouse. I use a Das Silent (Cherry MX Brown) keyboard myself, IMO Cherry or Alps keys are the way to go, see for more on keys, but which exact brand/layout (backlit or not, "quiet" or not) is just matter of personal preference.

The Razer Edge does look very slick, both the keyboard & gamepad docks support external battery that about doubles battery capacity.

So for light to moderate usage, using extended battery, you could probably come close to equaling iPad or Nexus.

Though gaming with it will burn the battery quickly.

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