In Microsoft’s relatively young hardware division, the Surface Pro has always stood for what the company believes is the future of personal computing. Originally billed as “the tablet that can replace your laptop,” it straddles the line between a traditional computer and something different.
Times have changed in the five years since the Surface debuted. Every company that makes PCs has its own take on the “productive tablet,” many of which copy Microsoft’s designs wholesale. Even Apple is pitching its iPad Pro line as something that can be your primary computer. Within Microsoft’s own lineup, the Surface Pro has been joined by the more powerful Surface Book, the more stationary Surface Studio, and most recently, the more traditional Surface Laptop.
Microsoft’s corporate vice president of devices and head of the Surface team, Panos Panay, says the company now thinks of the Pro as a laptop, not as a tablet or some other device. “This really is the laptop. This is how people want to use it; it’s how they are using it,” he recently said on The Vergecast podcast. And the new tagline for the Surface Pro is “the most versatile laptop.” So the Surface Pro is a laptop now, I guess. What exactly does that mean?