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Pros: Runs full fledged software vice "apps". Fully compatible with Windows 7 based programs, you can easily install a full version of MS Office without needing a special 'app'. Size is great for travel, and when combined with a good case (Manvex for example), you can put this tablet at any angle.
Cons: Keyboard is not included. That is the ONLY issue I have with the Surface Pro series.
Battery life is fairly short, but by adding the power cover you can compensate.
Other Thoughts: I bought the original Surface Pro for travel, and it served me well. The one USB 3.0 slot (more than other tablets) was very convenient. I picked up a small USB 3.0 hub and was able to turn that one USB slot into 4. The microSD slot is great for extra storage. Couple the microSD slot with a 128GB card and you can double the storage of this ultra portable PC.
I used the original Surface Pro in the place of my actual laptop (quad core 17/16GB/512GB SSD), and honestly barely noticed the difference. Portability easily made up for the hits I took on video performance as I went from a 7lb laptop to a tablet under 2lbs.
Battery life is shorter than you may like, but add the power cover and life will increase.
I loaded a copy of Office 2010 I had, and I was off and running. Great machine, more powerful than many laptops out there.
The update of Windows 8 to 8.1 brought back the start menu and made the OS much easier/user friendly.
I recently upgraded to a Surface Pro 3 (i7/8GB/256GB), and I have to say I like the SP3 better, but the original Surface Pro was a great machine that was very useful for school and work, and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a portable work machine.
Pros: Polaris Office, S-pen & note utility, microSD slot, 2GB system memory VS 1GB on other Tablets, fast processor, responsive
Cons: Lack of micro HDMI
Other Thoughts: I upgraded from a Xoom FE running android 4 to the Galaxy Note 8.0 after much research.
I travel frequently, so the ability to keep up with Office documents on the go (airport, plane, hotel) is a must. This tablet truly delivers. Polaris Office suite allows you to use & create word, excel and powerpoint documents. The S Pen was very well done. When you pull the S Pen from it's internal 'nook', the app/utility for it's use opens automatically. You can take notes, doodle, drag and drop images and drawings...Samsung really did implement the pen well.
Running two apps side by side is also a truly nice feature, and can come in handy (run an app and take notes on it using the S Pen in the window right next to it for example).
The ability to playback video files is also a big factor for me. The Xoom would act sluggish at times while running some videos. The Samsung has not hiccuped once. Video playback is smooth, audio is crisp. Couple that with the microSD which allows for up to 64GB of removable storage (and the fact I have multiple cards laying around makes it even more attractive).
I am actually looking forward to the next long flight for a change.
My only 'sore spot' with this, and MANY other tablets out there is the lack of ports. As a frequent traveler, I LOVED my Xoom FE for it's micro HDMI output. Yes, I did travel with that cable in my luggage, and on many occasions hooked up to the TV in my hotel room to stream Netflix.
As a 'work around' for the Note 8.0, you can pick up the MHL adapter to go to full HDMI. I already have one, and it works flawlessly.
There has not been a hiccup or an issue yet.
I also tether via bluetooth to my smartphone (Motorola Droid RAZR using PDANet). My 'carrier' attempts to charge a fee for any tethering, this app allows me to connect a PC or Tablet without incurring any additional fees. This app took awhile to get fully up and running on my Xoom FE, but worked immediately on the Note 8.0.
Yes, this tablet is pricey at $400, but it's usability immediately out of the box is great if you need something that can allow you to be productive and mobile is as good if not better than ANY of the tablets that come in at higher prices. The 8 inch screen is the perfect size for me and my normal use. This tablet has blown away it's competitors in my eyes and Samsung has a new fan.