Surface RT launched in Malaysia, adoption remains a challenge: Page 2 of 2
By Edwin Yapp May 10, 2013
But as the spotlight began training on the Surface Pro, news broke that the Surface Pro faced delays in being introduced in the US and Canada markets. Even markets such as Britain will not see the Surface Pro arrive until this month, according to Trusted Reviews.
Besides the usual advanced markets in the West, the news portal noted that the “Surface Pro will launch in Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore and Thailand before the end of June.”
Gartner’s Jump pointed out that the delay of the Surface Pro launch globally was to ensure that plenty of retail stock would be available. She added that there was also some confusion between the Surface RT and the Surface Pro because many consumers expected something of a single version of the Windows OS on a tablet.
Quizzed as to why there was delay to the Surface Pro’s launch, Microsoft Malaysia’s Lacerda said, “On the contrary, Surface Pro has not been delayed. Our initial market availability enabled us to do this in a focused way out of the gate, and now we are at the natural place where we can expand further to other markets.”
On the differentiator between the Surface RT and the Surface Pro, he said, "The Surface RT is built to be the best of a tablet with laptop capabilities and is not strictly a PC replacement, while Surface Pro will be especially appealing to corporations and businesses who are looking for a lightweight, durable, powerful device. It is designed with additional enterprise-grade security features as well as optimised to work with in-house applications they may already have.”
As the Surface Pro arrives in the next couple of months in South-East Asia, there are still hopes that it will finally be able to give alternatives to those who would like a full-fledged tablet that is not only able to consume but to also create content.
However, expectant buyers would be wise to take note of the fact that early reviews of the Surface Pro in the United States have been mixed at best, with many pointing to the fact that its greatest weaknesses are its short battery life and heavy weight.
Respected reviewer Walt Mossberg said it ran all the software he threw at it -- both the new type and the old desktop type -- speedily and well.
“But the [Surface] Pro has some significant downsides, especially as a tablet – it's too hefty and costly and power-hungry to best the leading tablet,” he said, adding that the Surface Pro lasted less than four hours on his standard battery test, half the life performance of an iPad.
Similarly Steve Kovach of Business Insider was impressed with the specifications on the new Surface Pro, but not the experience as a whole.
“The Surface Pro has some impressive hardware specs for such a unique form factor. It can go toe-to-toe with any other thin and light laptop," he wrote. "[But] you can't rest the Surface Pro comfortably on your lap without it flopping around. You can't adjust the angle of the screen when it's propped on a table with the built-in kickstand."
"[And] you need to spend at least another US$100 to get the full laptop-like experience with one of the special keyboard covers. At 10-inches, the screen feels a bit small for traditional desktop computing,” Kovach added.
But by far the harshest criticisms came from IDC analyst Tom Mainelli, the firm's research director for tablets, in an interview with CNET’s Brooke Crothers.
“Surface Pro today is an interesting product, but it's just not there yet," Mainelli said. “The battery life's not there [and] it's too heavy. [And] while it performs like a notebook, the Surface Pro is always going to be compared to other tablets, and tablets really need to run eight to 10 hours. [Its] four hours is a nonstarter.”
Still, there are some who have made the transition to the Microsoft’s Surface RT and have found the experience largely positive.
“I have been an Apple fan for many years but wanted to embrace diversity of devices to see if I could truly do my job from ‘any device, over any network and from any location,’ and the good news is that I can,” said a regional vice-president with a multinational software company.
“I find that the Surface RT that I’m using bridges the distance between tablet and desktop, while the functionality is rich and it is a very good device to work from,” he said on condition of anonymity.
“That said, Apple has consumed my every existence for so many years so in using this device, I feel very detached from the world I have lived in for so many years. Working from this device is as productive as using an iPad or others, but my personal life prefers the Apple.”