Gaming with the Surface Pro

Surface Pro running Company of Heroes

When Microsoft released the Surface line of tablet computers on February 9th, 2013, I’m quite convinced the effect on computer gaming was quite substantial. The Surface was released in two different variants, namely the Surface RT and the Surface Pro and the differences are quite robust. The Surface RT uses Microsoft’s Windows RT Operating System while the Pro version has Windows 8 at its disposal. The internal hardware also has differences as well. The Surface RT features 2 GB of memory with a quad core CPU while the Pro version comes with 4 GB of memory and an Intel made Core i5 CPU. Due to the exceptional features of the Surface Pro, it can be used not only as a business laptop, but also quite the gaming machine.


While the Surface Pro can be used as a gaming computer, it should be noted that there are limitations with the device. Many of the newer computer games demand high end graphics cards and this is the ultimate downfall of the Surface Pro when it comes to gaming. Using Intel HD 4000 Graphics, the Surface Pro can’t quite handle the latest visual requirements set forth in newer computer games. However, plenty of the older games can easily be played at very high settings using the Surface Pro.


Playing games with Surface Pro is not easily accomplished without a few additional accessories. While the Surface Pro does include a 3.0 USB port, a few extra come in handy for plugging in a mouse, keyboard, and even a headset. A great accessory to accomplish this task is the Addlogix 3-port USB Hub with Ethernet. iconIt provides several more USB ports for all your gaming accessories. Feel free to attach your favorite mouse, keyboard and gaming speakers or headset. As an added bonus, the adapter features an ethernet cable adapter as well. This is a great way to achieve high internet speeds using an ethernet cable as opposed to playing games over a Wifi connection.

Battery Issues

Another limitation of the Surface Pro is the short battery life. On average, you can expect to get about 4-5 hours before having to reach for your charger. If you are going to be playing a game that lasts quite a while, be sure to have the charger ready at a moment’s notice. The last thing you want is to enjoy a game for a few hours only to find yourself on the verge of your Surface Pro running out of battery forcing you to quit the game.

Little Powerhouse

Hardware specifications of the Microsoft Surface Pro

Even with the limitations mentioned above, the Surface Pro tablet is a powerhouse in a small package. It features full 1080p resolution, an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of DDR3 memory and Intel HD 4000 graphics. You’d be hard pressed to find another tablet that offers quite so much at a $1000 price tag. The Surface Pro can be the ideal solution for the gamer who likes to play many of the older games including World of Warcraft or even some of the Call of Duty games.

The most important reason for using the Surface Pro as a gaming machine is the portability factor. It is the ideal solution for a gamer on the go. Just comparing the Surface Pro to a much larger Alienware gaming laptop and you quickly find the Alienware hardware already in the 1,500 to 2,000 dollar price range. The Surface Pro is also much easier to travel with. It fits very easily into a small laptop bag and still leaves room for a mouse, headset, and other accessories.


While the Microsoft Surface is primarily marketed as a tablet computer, it packs impressive hardware that is capable of running many computer games. Although it won’t handle the latest games on the market at high frame rates, it is more than capable of running games that have been on the market for a few years very well. The biggest advantage with using the Surface Pro for gaming is the portability. It can be packed up and taken anywhere with ease. While the $1,000 price tag may seem expensive, when compared to other gaming laptops, the Surface Pro is a bargain.