Microsoft Surface Pro 4 claims to have the portability of a tablet and the power to match your everyday work PC. While Surface Pro 4 is heavy compared to other tablets, it does allow tablet mode web browsing, entertainment use and even light office work.
When it comes to actually getting some serious work done, Surface Pro 4 can be readily converted into a high-end Ultrabook, using its built-in Kickstand and optional (but recommended) Type Cover (Keyboard).
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Review
Microsoft has finally come up with a device (tablap!) that has the potential to replace both your PC and Tablet. The only “unknown” at this point that can allow Apple, Google and others to get back in this category is the software part of Surface Pro 4.
Initially, Surface Pro 4 struggled from buggy firmware, which had its users reporting WiFi, Bluetooth, Battery life and sleep/wake problems. All these issues have now been addressed by Microsoft and fixed via firmware updates.
From a user point of view, Surface Pro 4 has all the key features like Power, Portability, Security and IT Management features that can strongly appeal to its target buyers – Students, Professionals, Business Owners.
Weight: 1.69 lbs
It is difficult not to be impressed by the design and build quality of this device, which is really commendable for a company that is best known for its software.
The body of Surface Pro 4 is made out of solid magnesium ‘VaporMg’ casing, unlike regular tablets which have a hard plastic body.
Surface Pro 4 weighs 1.69 lbs, which is of course heavy compared to regular 10-inch tablets, but is lighter than 13″ Macbook Air (2.96 lbs) and other Ultra-books.
In general, Surface Pro 4 is a great looking device with an excellent build quality that is comparable to Apple devices.
Surface Pro Features a 2,736 x 1,824 display, which amounts to a huge 267 ppi display on its 12.3 inch screen.
In comparison, its direct rival 13-inch MacBook Air has a 128 ppi resolution and even edges out Apple’s new, 12.9-inch iPad Pro which has 264 ppi resolution.
Overall, the screen looks amazingly bright and produces great contrast with crisp looking images and easy to read text.
Touch Screen & Surface Pen
The Touch Screen and Pen Technology of Surface Pro 4 have been designed with the help of N-trig, a company based in Israel that was acquired by Microsoft for a reported 30 million USD.
The re-designed Touch Screen of Surface Pro 4 has been made more accurate and sensitive to finger touch and the stylus by bringing the touch sensors beneath the glass as close to the screen as possible.
The Surface Pen which is included with Surface Pro has been redesigned to feel more like a pencil, which makes it hand friendly and easy to use. It also includes an eraser that actually works just like you would expect an Eraser to work like.
Compatible With: Microsoft Office, any desktop software
Surface Pro comes Pre-loaded with the Pro version of Windows 10 operating system and a 30 day Free trial version of Microsoft Office 365 software.
This should clear all your doubts in case you (like others) were hoping that Microsoft would be making its most liked Windows Office Software free with Surface Pro 4.
On the positive side, Surface Pro 4 can handle almost all Professional Grade software programs, including the entire Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud, Citrix, AutoCAD, Visual Studio and others.
Processor and RAM
RAM: 4, 8 and 16 GB
Surface Pro 4 is powered by Intel’s 6th generation of Core i5, i7 and M3 processors. These new generation processors have been designed to conserve battery life and reduce heat, while offering top quality performance.
Here is a summary of the SP4 processors based on a comparison offered on Intel’s website.
- 6th Gen Intel Core i7-6650U 64 bit processor, up to 3.4 GHz speed, Intel Iris graphics 540
- 6th Gen Intel Core i5-6300U 64 bit processor, up to 3 GHz speed, Intel HD graphics 520
- 6th Gen Intel Core M3-6Y30 64 bit processor, up to 2.2 GHz speed, Intel HD graphics 515
When it comes to power, any version of Surface Pro is no different than your everyday laptop. It can breeze through videos, music, internet browsing and Microsoft Office programs like Excel, Word and Outlook with ease.
Similar to top of the line ultra-books, Surface Pro 4 comes with SSD storage drives that can retrieve data faster than regular storage drives.
The base version of Surface Pro 4 starts at 128 GB and goes up to 512 GB and 1 TB version of Surface Pro 4 is also available.
Claimed Battery Life: 9 hours
According to Microsoft, the battery of Surface Pro 4 is designed for 9 hours of video playback.
However, based on user reviews and independent battery tests, the battery life of Surface Pro 4 can be anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, depending on your use and the Model.
Rear Camera: 8 MP, 1,080p Camera
Surface Pro 4 comes with a 5 MP front facing camera which is ideal for Skype talk and other webcam applications. It has a rear camera as well which records videos in 1,080p.
You might be tempted to test the front camera right away with Skype. Microsoft is also offering free landline calls to over 60 countries free for a complete year.
Kickstand and Type Cover
Surface Pro 4 comes with a built-in kickstand which has received positive reviews and good feedback from users for being highly adjustable (22 to 150 degrees) and its sturdy build quality that allows the Surface Pro 4 tablet to be treated as a desktop.
However, you will still need to buy Microsoft’s Type Cover (Keyboard) in order to utilize the full potential of this device and use it like a regular desktop computer.
Surface Pro 4 Specifications
|Size (L x W)||11.50 x 7.93 inches|
|Weight||1.69 ~ 1.73 lbs|
|Screen size||12.3 inches|
|Resolution||2,736 x 1,824 (267 ppi)|
|Processor||Intel Core M3, i5, or i7|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 520|
|RAM||4GB, 8GB, or 16GB RAM|
|Storage (SSD)||128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB|
|OS||Windows Pro 10|
|Included Software||Office 30 Day Trail|
|Battery Life||9 hours (Expect 5 to 7 hours)|
|Camera||5 MP Front|
|Rear Camera||8 MP, 1,080p Recording|
|Ports||1x USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, microSD card reader (UHS-I), headphone/mic jack|
|Others||Microphones, Stereo speakers (Dolby), Light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer|
*Current Prices may vary^
Which Surface Pro to Buy
Microsoft’s website and the “customize” button does not really help, in case you are looking for guidance on which version of Surface Pro 4 to buy.
Our general guidance in this regard would be as follows:
- Core M3 version of Surface Pro 4 is for those who are looking to save cost, get good battery life and won’t be using CPU intensive programs like Photoshop.
- Go for Core i5 and Core i7 versions of Surface Pro 4 in case you are looking to use more CPU intensive software programs like Photoshop, AutoCad, Visual Studio and others.