Why I’m Sticking with Surface RT over Surface Pro

We now know when the common folk can get their hands on the Surface Pro. So now the great debate of Surface RT vs. Surface Pro begins. So here’s why I am sticking with my Surface RT over getting the Pro version.

I currently have a Surface RT, and it has been the best tablet I have owned, and I have had several. It is a tablet that I can get work done on and play with. It does everything that I need and want a tablet to do out of the box. At its core it’s still the Windows 8 operating system, it just can’t run any apps or programs from older iterations of Windows due to the drastically different processor architecture.

So let’s start with the benefits of the Surface RT. It comes with Microsoft Office (the most important productivity software that I need, and for most people too) at no extra charge. The battery life is significant. I usually clock two days and that is with heavy use throughout the day. It is very light and portable. It has good processing power when compared with other arm-based tablets. It has the same awesome hardware design of the Surface Pro.

The Pro version has the added hardware benefit of the stylus digitizer, which makes taking notes and drawing on the screen a fluid breeze. It also comes with a powerful Intel i5 Ivy Bridge chip, which makes it an incredibly powerful machine, at a great sacrifice to battery life. The most defining feature of the Pro version is that because of that Intel chipset, it can run old programs from the XP and 7 eras. This is where it truly trumps the RT, and makes it a true laptop replacement.

So why RT over Pro? The RT has all the functionality and power that is needed to do all normal productivity tasks. I can browse the internet like a desktop computer. I have Office out of the box. I can manage my phone and other tablets from it. I can edit photos, make movies, and Skype with Windows 8 apps. Watch YouTube, Hulu, Netflix from apps or the browser. I can do every basic function that I need out of a computer with the RT.

When it comes down to it the things that I need that my Surface cannot do, they do not work as well on the Surface Pro as they do on my laptop. And this is because even though the processing power behind the Surface Pro is substantial, it does not compare with my i7 and GeForce equipped laptop for processing power. I use that for gaming and other heavy duty tasks like cad, stuff that the Surface Pro will no excel for. The Surface RT then comes in as the tablet that I need. It’s my portable computer, where I don’t need all that processing power. There are no desktop programs that I use on a regular basis that the Surface RT does not provide me with. I only need my power laptop when I need to do those tasks that even the Pro would not excel at. So I will stick with my awesome Surface RT device. Hit up the source for Mary Jo Foley’s insight over on ZDNet.


[via ZDNet]

  • Interesting comparison. I’m trying to figure out what programs I from Windows 7 that I can’t live without to see if RT will be good enough.

  • Rallicat

    I’m very definitely in the RT camp. Some people don’t seem to ‘get it’ – just because Windows 8 is a superset of Windows RT, doesn’t mean it’s better – having desktop software compatibility can be a real chain around the ankle in a tablet scenario. Do you /really/ want the temptation to install software that’s going to be slowing down the machine, running agents in the background consuming CPU cycles and draining the battery? Not me!
    My Surface RT is a fantastic secondary device, and wonderful choice for a primary device for those who aren’t power users. Business users may appreciate the ability to install line-of-business applications, but for everyone else, Windows RT tablets are just a superior choice.

  • The only real benefit I see to RT is the battery life. I think I really want the Pro version, because it would give me all the tablet options, plus a bit more. I can install Office onto it, run some of my work apps that need a PC, really do everything I need.. plus have Steam on it for a few games. But not being able to get through an 8 hour work day, or just being fearful of not doing that, brings it down for me. I think I’ll wait for Round 2, or a Samsung variant hoping for better battery life.