“U.S. tech writers have given Microsoft Corp’s new Surface tablet-laptop hybrid largely negative reviews, casting a shadow over the software group’s hopes to take a bite out of sales of Apple Inc’s iPad and MacBook Air,” Bill Rigby reports for Reuters. “The ‘Surface with Windows 8 Pro,’ as it is officially called, is available from Saturday. Windows co-chief Tami Reller said earlier this week it is a key part of revving up interest in Windows 8, launched last October but which has not gripped consumers’ imaginations. The Surface Pro is thicker, heavier and several hundred dollars more expensive than the first Surface RT, which runs on an ARM Holdings Plc-designed chip and is not compatible with old Microsoft programs.”

Rigby reports, “Available in 64 and 128 gigabyte versions, both with wifi-only connectivity, the Surface Pro starts at $899, excluding a $120-plus keyboard. That is $200 more expensive than a comparable iPad and closer in price to the 64 GB MacBook Air laptop at $999… Reviewers found the device uncomfortably stranded between a tablet and a PC, with many compromises. ‘It ran all the software I threw at it – both the new type and the old desktop type – speedily and well,’ wrote Walt Mossberg on the All Things D tech blog. ‘But the Pro has some significant downsides, especially as a tablet… It’s too hefty and costly and power-hungry to best the leading tablet, Apple’s full-size iPad. It is also too difficult to use in your lap. It’s something of a tweener – a compromised tablet and a compromised laptop.’ “Mossberg said the Surface lasted less than four hours on his standard battery test, half the performance of an iPad. He also expressed concerns about the usable memory on the 64 GB version.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: GWAK.

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