Friday, May 10, 2013

Microsoft Surface Pro for Chess

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Last night I had the chance to bump into someone trying out Microsoft Surface Pro.

It is not available yet for sale officially in Malaysia but it’s only  a month away ie. June 2013.

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The previous incarnation of this device really attracted me when I saw it being used in many recent TV programs. The way the magnetic keyboard hooked on to the screen looked really cool. However it had a serious flaw. It could only run Windows RT which looks like Windows 8 but  is really only a tablet OS and cannot run essential chess programs like Chessbase, Fritz, Houdini etc. That immediately made the “Surface” unattractive to me.

However the new Surface Pro seems to address this weakness now that it runs a full blown Window 8. That unfortunately comes at a price in terms of USD 899 or RM 2735 (for the 64Gb edition) and RM 3099 for the 128 Gb version. Still at an iPad size and with a relatively fast i5 CPU with 4Gb RAM this is indeed an attractive gadget for chess players. It can run every chess application they can think of and packed into the size of a tablet. It weighs only 0.9 Kg. Expandability is sacrificed a bit because it only comes with one USB 3.0 port.

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