NY Times’ Apple fanboy David Pogue heaps praise on Microsoft’s Surface Pro

by David Needle

January 10 2013

The Surface Pro's stylus and optional keyboard got high marks from New York Times review David Pogue.
The Surface Pro's stylus and optional keyboard got high marks from New York Times review David Pogue.

Influential tech reviewer David Pogue has written many columns praising Apple products from the latest Macs to the iPad line. There have been some criticisms along the way, but for the most part, Pogue is best-known for liking Apple’s product line.

But his latest column lauds Apple rival Microsoft for its new Surface Pro tablet which he calls “a home run.”

Specifically, he likes the fact you can run the full line of Windows software, including Office, in a powerful portable that, with its optional keyboard, offers the advantages of a notebook PC as well.

“Microsoft has pulled out all the stops to make sure that you’re not disappointed in either of the two functions, tablet or PC,” say Pogue. “The screen is dazzling: bright, crisp and responsive. It has 1,080 by 1,920 pixels, also known as 1080p high definition. But when you connect it to a TV or external computer monitor, it manages to output an even bigger desktop — 2,550 by 1,440.”

Later adding:

“Big apps like the Office apps open in just over one second. Programs switch fast and run fast.”

Pogue also calls the drawing experience using the Surface Pro’s pressure-sensitive stylus “fantastic” and the keyboard a game changer.

“What really makes the tablet/PC concept sing, of course, is the famous Surface keyboard cover,” says Pogue. “It attaches and detaches briskly and simply to a magnetic bar on the bottom of the tablet, making the Pro’s conversion from tablet to PC instantaneous.”

Surface Pro yes, RT no

Pogue dings the Surface Pro on a few points (such as the likelihood the stylus will get lost since there’s no dedicated storage for it on the tablet), and he makes clear he’s not a fan of the earlier Surface RT and other Windows RT tablets that include Office but won’t run the bulk of other Windows software.

And while Pogue isn’t saying he’s ready to switch to the Surface Pro (due out the end of this month), he thinks it could prove to be just the right companion for many users who can stop asking the daily question: “Hmm, should I take my laptop or my iPad?”

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  • Comedian
    1 year 9 months ago

    Oh dear, you've been pwned by Pogue!!!

    But seriously, David Pogue is awesome, and I pretty much take anything he says on faith – I have bought many gadgets, Apple and non-Apple, based on his recommendations, and he has never steered me wrong. He seems completely unbiased to me, and he tells you the bad with the good.

    I'm a bit of an Apple fan boy myself, in fact, I've been in one of their "Get a Mac" commercials, but hey, I just ordered a Surface Pro largely due to David's recommendation.


  • David Needle
    1 year 10 months ago
    David, thanks for your comments. I realize "fanboy" is a loaded term, but I feel it's fair to say -- as I did -- you are best known in the NYT for your enthusiastic coverage of Apple products, which I noted, right in the lead, has included criticism along the way.

    For whatever reason, you are not as well known for your coverage of Microsoft and other tech products & platforms. You're clearly a knowledgable, smart guy who has a unique knack for making tech coverage both engaging and entertaining (including the excellent presentations I've heard you give at Macworld Expo).

    I will say this ... clearly I'm not the only one who's tagged you as you an Apple fanboy as you felt compelled to address the issue earlier in your "Is Pogue an Fanboy?" blog post, which I will concede contains many more comments critical of Apple than I expected to find.

    You also state:

    "I do generally like Apple’s products — not because it comes from Apple, but because Apple’s products often exhibit an enormous attention to elegance, simplicity, and beauty."

    Perfectly reasonable statement. On the other hand we all know folks who can explain eloquently (and not so eloquently) why they can't get past the "closed" nature of Apple products and wouldn't praise an Apple product at knifepoint. Perhaps they should be called Apple Hateboys?

    BTW, I did a little digging and found a piece I wrote after the iPad was first previewed in 2010 highlighting the criticism coming from virtually every corner (e.g. Gizmodo: 8 things that suck about the iPad)


    The one exception was David Pogue who criticized the critics: "... hyperventilating is not yet the appropriate reaction," said Pogue.

    "At the same time, the bashers should be careful, too. As we enter Phase 2, remember how silly you all looked when you all predicted the iPhone's demise in that period before it went on sale."

    You could be called a "fanboy" for those comments, but the larger point is you were willing to swim against the tide of criticism and, as it turned out, clearly you were right.

    I'll just wrap up to again say thanks for reading, I really appreciate the comments and I respect your views and skills as a reviewer. What really caught my eye with your review (again my prejudice) is the irony that at a time when Windows 8 was getting kind of beat up in the press, a tech columnist "best known" (I'm sticking with that :-) for praising Apple products had great things to say about Surface Pro.

    Having said all this, I realized something; perhaps your NYT article itself is proof of what you're saying, because really, would any self-respecting Apple fanboy have come, in a matter of speaking, to Microsoft's rescue? ^DN

  • Wicked1
    1 year 10 months ago

    The only question I have regarding the Surface Pro is would I be able to surf the net without having to install a gazillion apps for every different web site? If so, I would seriously consider this.

    I've had two different tablets in the past (Xoom and Asus Transformer Prime) and ended up returning both largely because I got tired of having to install an app every time I went to a different web site.

    If the Surface Pro obviates that requirement, I think MS would have a real winner.

    The other major issue I had with both the Xoom and Transformer Prime was their limited ability to handle large graphics files.

    In particular, I had downloaded a number of new USGS quad sheets for a house hunting trip to central Oregon. At that time I had the Transformer Prime, which was one of the most powerful tablets on the market and which is why I bought it.

    Unfortunately, when I tried to load the USGS quad sheets, the tablet was essentially useless (the new USGS quad sheets have an aerial layer, which is awesome but which also requires significant graphics power).

    When I got back from that trip I returned the Transformer Prime as I was never able to really use it as I had intended.

  • poguenyt
    1 year 10 months ago

    Thanks for your coverage of my Surface Pro preview post. A better journalist, however, might have double-checked this "Apple fanboy" epithet.

    I don't give Apple, or anyone for that matter, a free ride. I'm perfectly capable of criticizing Apple's less successful efforts, and I do so routinely. Here are 40 recent examples:


    At the same time, I don't believe there's been a single Microsoft product I haven't reviewed positively until Windows 8 came along. You might want to read my reviews of Outlook.com (http://j.mp/TUAF4k), Windows Phone (http://j.mp/TUAOVv), Windows 7 (http://j.mp/TUAVQJ), SkyDrive (http://j.mp/TUB070), and Ultrabooks (http://j.mp/TUB6eU).

    You write: "David Pogue has written many columns praising Apple products." That's a half-true statement. The complete truth would be that I've also written many columns praising Microsoft products.

    The bottom line: I praise whatever products are excellent. It doesn't make any difference who makes them.

    --David Pogue

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