The excellent performance is what differentiates the Surface Pro from most other Windows tablets. It operates just like a laptop, but in tablet form. The 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U processor really speeds things along. I tried Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Illustrator CS5, and other power-hungry programs and they all ran well. I sometimes wished that the device had more than 4GB RAM, but was convinced I can leave my regular laptop at home if needed.
All the power use made the device warm at times, but not scorching hot. It was expected that the Surface Pro would generate a little heat, so I don't understand why some critics have been ranting about the device actually having the nerve to get a little warm.
I opted for the Type Cover instead of the Touch Cover because I have old fashion fingers that are used to tactile feedback. The Type Cover gives the user an experience that is miles ahead of the keyboards that come with the Sony Duo 11 or Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro. The touchpad is small and annoying, but at least it works. I was able to type as fast as I usually do on a laptop keyboard with the Type Cover.
That said, the Type Cover is very flimsy and attaching the Surface Pro to it and typing on your lap can feel awkward at first. However, it is easy once you get used to it. This is another minor sacrifice one needs to make by having a tablet hybrid device.
Stylus and digitizer
The Surface Pro comes with a pressure-sensitive Surface Pen that magnetically attaches to the power connector to hold it in place when you're on the go. Writing felt natural, but no matter how many times I calibrated the digitizer, the pen didn't always write at the exact point where it hit the screen. This is normal for most Windows 8 tablets, but you would think Microsoft would have tried to fix things for the Surface Pro.