By Adam Z. Lein | March 4, 2013 8:39 AM
It sounds like there are a lot of people out there who think the Surface Pro is not a tablet. How could you possibly think that? Maybe you don’t know what a tablet is, so let’s look it up on the internet.
A tablet is a one piece mobile computer that typically offers a touchscreen with finger or stylus gestures acting as the primary means of control.
There is nothing in the definition of a tablet computer that says anything about what the battery life should be, what type of processor it should use, what kind of operating system it should have, or what apps it should be capable of running. All of those things are irrelevant. Saying that the Surface Pro is not a tablet because it has a Core i5 processor and Windows 8 inside is like looking at the Tesla Model S and saying that it’s not a car because it runs on electricity instead of gasoline. It has 4 wheels, doors, windows, a steering wheel and it drives on the road. That’s a car.
The Surface Pro has a touch screen on a flat panel with some electronics behind the glass and an operating system designed for tablets just like all other tablets out there. You can hold it in one hand while interacting with it with the other. It doesn’t come with a hinged keyboard, and you can’t really stand it up on your lap so that means it’s definitely not a laptop. Yes, it has a built-in stand for the table, but you can get those as accessories for most tablets anyway. And yes you can attach a keyboard, but that’s also true of just about all other tablets. Is it because there is an optional cover available that happens to have a keyboard built in that might cause some confusion? Does an iPad with a keyboard attached suddenly become “not a tablet”?
Yes, you can use it like a personal computer, but again that’s partly true with all tablets. (There are many articles about trying to use an iPad as a laptop replacement.) You can connect keyboards and external pointing devices to many other tablets out there. In fact, Windows based tablets have supported the same use-case scenarios that the Surface Pro currently supports since their introduction in 2002. Yes, they have different sizes, weights, batteries, and internal hardware specifications, but again, that’s true with all tablets. The form factor is what makes it a tablet.
How could a device like the Surface Pro (which works, looks, and acts like a tablet in every possible way) possibly be considered “not a tablet”?