Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Review

Verdict

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is the tablet that will replace your laptop and this iteration of it does it fantastically. This is a beautifully crafted tablet which can be specced to rival even the top of the line laptops. As far as tablets go it could be considered expensive but when you compare it to a laptop then it’s actually quite good value, especially considering the versatility it offers.

There are a couple of minor downsides. such as a little less battery life when compared to a comparable laptop, however, if you like the idea of something that can double up as a full-blown productivity laptop then this is probably the best option out there.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4: Specs

CPU: Intel Core M3, I5 and I7 are available
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
RAM: 4-16GB LPDDR3
Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display (Contrast ratio: 1,300:1, 100% sRGB color, 10-point multi-touch, 3:2 aspect ratio)
Storage: 128GB-1TB SSD
Ports: 1x USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, microSD card reader (UHS-I), headphone/mic jack
Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi (2 x 2 MIMO), Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy)
Cameras: 8MP rear-facing, auto-focus camera (1080p HD); 5MP front-facing, 1080p HD camera
Weight: 1.73 pounds (786g)
Size: 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.36 inches (292.10 x 201.42 x 8.4mm; W x D x H)

Microsoft Surface Pro 4: Review

Whether you’re a graphic designer, a college student or just someone who wants to sit on facebook all day, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 will work well for you. This tablet/laptop really does appeal to a wide range of people due to its versatility.

There is a huge list of small and large improvements over the last model which put’s the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 not only ahead of it’s previous iterations, but ahead of its direct competition.

The Surface Pro 4 comes with Windows 10 pre-installed. It’s predecessor the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 came with windows 8 installed, which was given a lukewarm reception so the upgrade to Windows 10 on the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a welcome addition.

Battery Life

So because the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 doesn’t have a battery under the keyboard its battery life does suffer slightly. The battery life is stated at around 8 hours, which we would say is accurate. This is less than an average laptop or even some tablets, however, it will be sufficient for most.

Surface Pen

So one of the key selling points of the Microsoft Surface tablets has always been the Surface Pen. The updated Surface Pen has been designed to fell more like a real pencil with flattened edges. Combine that with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and you have a serious option for artists.

The pen also has a functional eraser at the rear of the Surface Pen which can do more than only erase things. It can interact with other applications such as OneNote to perform other tasks.

Palm rejection has also improved and makes drawing more comfortable.

Type Cover

The real improvements though have come with the new Type Cover. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4’s keyboard is now thicker and far more rigid with better key travel and overall feel. These improvements mean it can now rival some of the best laptop keyboards. There is even a version with a fingerprint scanner.

However, the kicker is that this generation of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 still does not come with the typecover for free unlike some of the earlier iterations. This is really quite disappointing as it’s not a cheap accessory and it is something that almost everyone will want.

Screen

Microsoft managed to up the device’s screen size from a straight 12 inches to 12.3 inches, without affecting its footprint at all. In fact, the firm shaved more than half a millimeter off of its thickness, from 9.1mm to 8.4mm – all while fitting full-fat mobile processors.

They achieved this by removing the capacitive button and reducing bezel size.

Microsoft also brought the LCD even closer to the top layer of glass now, a key point of Microsoft’s trademarked PixelSense screen technology. This improves responsiveness and makes it feel more robust too. This is even more noticeable when using the awesome Surface Pen.

Now for resolution. Even though it didn’t really have to, Microsoft increased the Surface Pro 4’s resolution from 2,160 x 1,440 (216 PPI, or pixels per inch) to 2,736 x 1,824. That makes for a huge 267 PPI for the Surface Pro 4, which blows the MacBook Air (128 PPI for the 13-inch), out of the water and even beats the Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro at 264 PPI.

It’s safe to say that the screen on the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is absolutely stunning and certainly won’t disappoint.

Stand

This is one of the things that has made the Microsoft Surface Pro tablets so popular. The fantastic stand means you can use the tablet like a laptop. The stand is stiff enough to hold its position and works surprisingly well while sitting on your lap. It also works well for sitting on a desk and can go to an almost flat position.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4: Which One?

There is a spec to suit every user, so no one will be left hanging. If you are just a casual user then you should only really need the base model Of the Surface Pro with the Intel Core M3 and 4gb of Ram.

However, if you are doing any productive work at all then we would recommend the mid-range model with the Intel Core I5 and 8gb of ram. This model hits the sweet spot for performance, battery life and price.

The top end model with the I7 and 16gb of ram will appeal to power users, however, most will likely want to go with the mid-range model and use a desktop if they need to do any heavy processing or video editing.

Conclusion

This iteration of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is everything we have been asking for and is a welcome addition to the line up. If you are in the market for a convertible 2 in 1 style laptop/tablet then this is the one to go for.

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