US tech writers have given Microsoft Corp's new Surface tablet-laptop hybrid largely negative reviews.
The latest Surface runs on an Intel chip and features the full Windows 8 Pro operating system, which Microsoft hopes will make the device attractive to people who want to produce as well as consume material.
The "Surface with Windows 8 Pro", as it is officially called, is available from Saturday. It is thicker, heavier and several hundred dollars more expensive than the first Surface RT 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 stranded between a tablet and a PC, with many compromises.
“It ran all the software I threw at it speedily and well,” wrote Walt Mossberg on the All Things D tech blog.
“But the Pro has some significant downsides... It’s too hefty and costly and power-hungry to best the iPad. It is also too difficult to use in your lap. It’s something of a tweener — a compromised tablet and a compromised laptop.”
David Pierce, writing on The Verge tech news site, found that “It’s really tough to use on anything but a desk, and the wide, 16:9 aspect ratio pretty severely limits its usefulness as a tablet.”
“It’s too big, too fat, and too reliant on its power cable to be a competitive tablet, and it’s too immutable to do everything a laptop needs to do. In its quest to be both, the Surface is really neither.”