Questions about the Surface Pro: battery life, pen, and storage woes explained

Surface Pro

In a Reddit "ask me almost anything" post, Microsoft's Surface team answered numerous questions regarding the company's upcoming Surface Pro release. Many consumers are holding back on their purchase of the Surface Pro due to some concerns, but Microsoft has offered up some answers that may change your mind.

Microsoft began its work on the Surface Pro three weeks after beginning work on the Surface RT. When asked about storage space, Microsoft mentioned that the internal solid state drive built into the Surface Pro is not able to be upgraded. Microsoft reiterated that you can have unlimited memory expandability by adding a micro SD card.

In regards to the Surface Pro pen: "We designed the Surface Pro pen like a normal pen. We wanted the user experience to be close to a regular note book. It has a clip and it can be carried clipped to the cover or carried with your other pens. We also made the button of the pen magnetic so you can clip it onto the side of your Surface, into the power dock. This way it stores easily without making the device bigger."

A recent report suggested that you could exchange or return the Surface RT, which was debunked. Here is Microsoft's official answer to that: "No, there is no hardware trade-in or upgrade program at this time. We are confident people will love the devices they purchase but if there are any issues that arise we have a 14 day in-store return policy and a 30 day online store return policy."

Surface

In regards to the storage space woes many consumers are concerned about regarding the Surface Pro: "We designed Surface Pro (and the allocation of disk space on our systems) to have the power of full Windows 8, the ability to have a simplified and fast upgrade to full Office and the confidence of a recovery image already available on your device. Beyond the flexibility and confidence this provides, we also include an ability to extend your storage via microSD, USB 3.0 and SkyDrive (including 7GB of free storage). Windows does provide tools that allow you to free space by easily removing applications you are not using as well as move the recovery image to a USB thumbdrive."

In regards to the battery life: "The product was designed to take full advantage of Windows 8 coupled with the Ivy Bridge core processor from Intel. We created a product that did not compromise speed, performance in any way. With that, we wanted to be the best notebook/laptop product in its class, but still deliver you the tablet form factor. This product is optimized in every way to take advantage of the full third generation core i5 it runs, yet give the best battery life. If you compare it to say a MacBook Air, you will quickly see that pound for pound in battery size vs battery life, you will find optimizations that puts Surface best in its class. That said we picked a smaller battery to be sure we were able to give you the same performance and to keep it thin. This kept the weight under 2lbs, and still kept it thin enough to take advantage of our great Windows work for inking and give you a great inking experience (like pressure sensitive inking, ability to do kanji, great sketching). While these tradeoffs are challenges as much as they are opportunities, we think given the performance and experience you will be getting, it is an exciting product." Microsoft reiterated that they have built a product that gives you the best of laptop performance in the tablet form factor. Microsoft understands that there is a tradeoff between device thickness and battery life. "Being able to give you a great experience as a tablet form factor, but maintain enough battery life to have a awesome productivity experience is tricky," Microsoft explained.

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