Surface Pro reviews are in and the results are sobering

A survey of more than a dozen reviews of Microsoft's tablet reveals a surprisingly critical, sometimes bitter tone about the Surface Pro

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  • Windows Supersite chief Paul Thurrot -- who's been using a Surface Pro as his only computer for the past two weeks -- sounded smitten. "I intend to continue using this as my only PC for the foreseeable future. And as I've noted in the past, that isn't just the ultimate compliment I can bestow on a product. It's also the ultimate endorsement."
  • Wired's Alexandra Chang nailed another dichotomy: "The Surface Pro looks like a tablet, but it's not a mobile device. It's a portable device."
  • Over at ZDNet, Windows sage Ed Bott called Surface Pro "brilliant, quirky, flawed ... a real PC with all the strengths and weaknesses that go with it." He continued with a Q&A analysis designed to show that one size doesn't fit all -- and the Surface Pro may or may not be a good match for specific situations. "This device is filled with brilliant design touches, but it also has enough flaws that many potential buyers will either say no outright or play wait-and-see." Also on ZDNet, Mary Jo Foley voiced a familiar refrain: "Whatever Microsoft calls the Surface Pro, it is, for all intents and purposes, a PC/Ultrabook. ... Microsoft may consider itself among those attempting to reinvent a computing device category by delivery a PC/tablet hybrid. But the Surface Pro isn't the best on either front."

That's the gist of the major online reviews I read today: a supremely well-choreographed Surface Pro gabfest organized most adroitly by Microsoft's marketing and PR folks, a worthy line item in its billion-dollar Windows 8 budget.

Let's see how the reviews tally.

In the "enthusiastically two thumbs-up" column, I'd put AnandTech and the Windows Supersite. Score 2.

In the "cautiously positive" tent, we have BGR, Mashable, Slashgear, and ZDNet's Ed Bott. Score 4.

In the "somewhat negative" category, I'd list Cnet, Forbes, Gizmodo, PC World, and Wired. Score 5.

And I'd put All Things D, Business Insider, Engadget, Time, The Verge, and ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley in the all-important "What in the world are they doing, merging a toaster with a refrigerator?" bucket. Score 6.

Will the Surface Pro sell any better than the Surface RT? For Microsoft's sake, and the future of the "devices and services" vision, I certainly hope so.

This story, "Surface Pro reviews are in and the results are sobering," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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