Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Surface Pro Dazzles Despite Naysayers

If one of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)‘s goals in entering the consumer electronics space was to emulate Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), there is one area in which it is already succeeding: The polarization between those who are fans and those who are not is palpable. Apple fans have long accused critics of being jealous if not purely ignorant, while non-fans consider any positive comment on Apple to be the drivel of sycophants. Responses to Apple products, both those that are well-reasoned and those that are not, contain intense emotion.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s new release evokes exactly this type of division in opinion. Based on this article’s headline, you know which camp I fall into, but the critics’ complaints are not completely lacking in merit. While so much of what the Surface Pro does is achieved in a way that has never really been attempted before, concerns over battery life and what the device is not are worth consideration. Ultimately, I think the new device has the potential to be a game changer despite its flaws and should be a catalyst for the stock.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

Pros of the Surface Pro
In a first-impression piece on the new device in Forbes, contributor Jason Evangelho explains: “The Surface Pro runs a full desktop OS, has the internals of an ultrabook, and resulting benchmarks put all tablets to shame.” He further sees little merit in making an Apple comparison, stating that “I won’t be comparing the Surface Pro to the iPad, because the Surface Pro defies characterization as a tablet. Anyone slapping the same label on these devices is doing you a disservice.”

While I am more than willing to acknowledge that this may be an overly positive take on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s new device, Evangelho is dead on in characterizing the Surface Pro as more than a tablet. The new device can function as full laptop when the additional keyboard is added, it has stellar graphics that can be utilized to run full Windows versions of top games, and its ability to multitask is everything you could ask for in a device aimed at taking the place of two.

In fact, the Surface Pro has been so well received that the 128 GB version is already sold out online. The fact that the smaller-capacity one is still available might be a sign that heavy business users are opting for the larger capacity for the extra $100, but more likely it is a response to the heavy capacity needs of the OS and basic productivity suite. The larger version allows you to install all of this and still have enough room to operate with some efficiency to meet storage needs.

Cons of the Surface Pro
On the extreme other end of the spectrum, some critics are characterizing the launch as a disappointment. Central to each of the primary complaints about the new device is the argument that it is neither a great tablet, nor a great laptop. Critics claim the device is too heavy to be easy to use for long periods as a tablet, the battery life is painfully brief, and the cost is very high relative to its direct competitors. Many of these issues are mentioned in even the positive reviews, so there should be no doubt that they are accurate accounts of “flaws” in the product.

A matter of perspective
Given the fact that most everyone who has reviewed the new Surface Pro describes the clinical experience in similar terms — meaning it is the response to that experience that is different — reality must be largely a matter of perspective. To start with my suspicions first, I believe many of the naysayers are those same Apple fans than abhor the idea of any legitimate competition. This group is likely to find fault with any device without the familiar Apple logo emblazoned on the side or back.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) die-hards are likely willing to overlook even egregious missteps if they can throw their weight behind a device that does not hail from Cupertino. Many of these arguments may be equally lacking in reason, but after years of name-calling it is hard to blame them. Deciphering the truth requires a healthy bit of skepticism.

Ultimately, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has landed upon a brilliant concept that is well executed, but far from perfect. The company likely was forced to sacrifice on weight and battery life in order to cram a full laptop processor into a tablet form factor. Likewise, in order to stick with the tablet scheme, memory and capabilities could not hope to measure up to a full-blown laptop. At the end of the day, for many users, I think the flexibility to do some tablet work, while still having the option of carrying a 2-pound laptop in their briefcases will have appeal.

Microsoft is blazing a trail into a new space and it should be well rewarded. The hardware itself will only improve from here, and should be a critical driver for Microsoft. I will be honestly shocked if Apple does not respond to this device in some meaningful way, but time will tell. In the meantime, I believe Microsoft is a buy on the release.

The article Microsoft Surface Pro Dazzles Despite Naysayers originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Doug Ehrman.

Fool contributor Doug Ehrman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Microsoft.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

The 8 Best Foods for Gaining Weight

The 10 Most Expensive Colleges in the World

The 7 Most Memorable Ad Campaigns of All Time

The 7 Most Expensive High Schools in the World

The 10 Electric Vehicles with the Longest Range

The 10 Cities with the Worst Drivers in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Dresses Ever Created

10 Islands to Visit Before You Die

10 Famous Celebrities Who Needed Rehab

The 15 Countries with the Largest Oil Reserves

The 10 Most Overused Excuses in the World

The 5 Best iOS Apps You Can’t Get on Android

5 Companies Damaged By Social Media Blunders

The 10 Most Legendary Blues Songs

The 10 Most Lawless Places in the World

4 Reasons China is a Threat to the US

The 17 Most Sugary Drinks in the World

The 10 Most Ruthless Rulers in History

The 10 Greatest Generals in History

Top 8 Travel Destinations for 2015

The 10 Safest Dog Breeds for Children

The 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in the US

The 7 Most Expensive Celebrity Weddings

The 10 Best LoL Teams in the World

Top 10 Worst Marketing Campaigns Ever Produced

Top 5 Diets that Help You Lose Weight

The 10 Best Ways to Stay Awake

7 Artists That Switched Musical Genres

The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in New Jersey

The 10 Best High Schools in New York

The 10 Countries With the Least Gender Inequality

The 6 Biggest Musician-Manager Feuds

The 10 Countries with the Cheapest Gas Prices

The 7 Most Theatrical Bands of All Time

The 8 Worst Band Breakups of All Time

The 10 Most Important South American Leaders

The 7 Most Successful Casting Show Winners

The 10 Most Peaceful Countries in the World

5 Big Reasons Communism Failed

The 15 Most Famous Carl Icahn Quotes

10 Scary Animals that are Actually Harmless

The 8 Most Famous Singer-Actors in Entertainment

The 10 Longest Wars of All Time

The 13 Worst Looking Foods that Taste Great

The 6 Most Gruesome Injuries Suffered During a Sports Match

The 20 Biggest Contracts in MLB History

The 7 Worst Blown Calls in Sports History

7 Free Ways to Advertise Your Business Online

The 18 Best R&B Songs of the 90’s

The 10 Most Dangerous States to be a Cop

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!