.rWith Microsoft expected to launch its second Surface tablet in the coming days, it’s time to start thinking about how or if this device changes things. I am still quite excited about Surface with Windows 8 Pro. And if this machine lives up to its advanced billing, it could fulfill Microsoft’s promise to change the PC market for good.
Surface Pro features a more conventional and well understood 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5-3317U processor with integrated graphics and 4 GB of RAM. This combination graces a huge percentage of common Ultrabooks and will represent a huge improvement over the Surface RT’s netbook-like performance.
Where Surface RT only supports capacitive pens, which emulate a fingertip in a smaller form factor (which does provide slight better accuracy), Surface Pro supports true electromagnetic pen/styli. Indeed, it comes with one: The bundled pen supports multiple pressures (for thicker lines), an eraser, and a right-click button. It also features a weird magnetic latch, identical to that on the end of the power adapter, so that it can connect to the exterior of the device when you’re not using it. This seems destined to be lost, but the Surface Pro wasn’t thick enough to provide the otherwise preferable internal bay for the pen. An electromagnetic pen requires a certain kind of digitizer on the screen, and sure enough the version on Surface Pro is indeed superior to that on Surface RT. It’s also better at multi-touch: Where Surface RT supports five touch points, Surface Pro supports 10 touch points.
This makes for some very exciting times today and for the future as the traditional computer transforms into a true hybrid.