The Microsoft Surface type of tablets has been fairly divisive; for each and every evangelist there are a lot of skeptics who doubt these devices can truly replace a laptop. Microsoft is forging on with the fourth iteration regardless, building the top Pro 4 ($1,299 as tested) on the strongest points of its predecessors. It’s a substantial improvement over the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 ($643.49 at Amazon Canada) in only about every way. And for the same price. Upgrades just like a bigger, better display, a better Type Cover and Surface Pen, and strong battery life inside our tests make the top Pro 4 our Editors’ Choice for high-end slate tablets.
We tested among the midrange configurations of the top Pro 4, having a sixth-generation 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics 520, 8GB of memory, and a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) for $1,299. There are five other models, the lowest priced which is $899 with an Intel Core M3 processor, 4GB of memory, and 128GB of storage, as the top-end model features an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of storage for $2,199.
Design and Features
THE TOP Pro 4 measures 7.93 by 11.5 by 0.33 inches (HWD) and weighs 1.73 pounds, just slightly smaller and lighter compared to the Surface Pro 3 (which measures 8 by 11.5 by 0.36 inches and weighs 1.75 pounds). THE TOP Pro 4 actually packs a more substantial display into its slightly smaller frame-12.3 inches weighed against 12 inches-by decreasing the bezel size to create more screen property. The Ipad Air 2 ($445.00 at eBay), a 9.7-inch tablet that will not run a complete PC OS, is slimmer at 9.4 by 6.6 by 0.24 inches, as the Apple MacBook Air 13-inch, a complete laptop, is 0.68 by 12.8 by 8.94 inches and 2.96 pounds. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 ($470.00 at Amazon Canada), an Android tablet, can be bigger and thinner, at 9.34 by 6.65 by 0.22 inches (HWD). Just like the Microsoft Surface Book ($495.00 at Amazon) , the top Pro 4’s body is constructed of high-quality silver-magnesium alloy, and the trunk is adorned with a shiny, mirror-like Windows logo.
The adjustable kickstand is mainly the same as it had been on the top Pro 3 (not really a bad thing), nonetheless it can be adjusted a bit more easily and feels sturdier. It’s useful for propping the machine through to your lap or at a table, though it can’t replicate a normal typing experience without the sort Cover, that may run you a supplementary $129.99. I wish it were included, since you will need it for the top Pro 4 to seriously serve as a notebook computer replacement.
The stand could be easily adjusted to obtain the preferred position, especially useful if you are using the system on your own lap. Personally, i never found balancing a Surface device on my lap for typing any longer awkward than with a normal laptop, and the kickstand’s edge has been rounded out to greatly help prevent it from digging into your legs, a concern with previous Surface Pro models. If it is flat against the machine in Tablet mode, the stand could be a little difficult to obtain a your hands on and extend naturally, despite having the indents in the sides.
The display includes a 2,736-by-1,824 resolution and includes Microsoft’s new PixelSense technology, which gives high contrast and significantly reduces glare. The display looks brilliant on the top Pro 4, and is incredibly bright, with rich colors. Text is sharp, and video is crisp and clear on the screen. The adjustable stand is effective with the display, enabling you to find a very good angle according to how you’re seated with out a loss in display quality.
Using the top Pro 4 as a tablet is a comfortable experience, though your mileage can vary greatly about how you are feeling holding it in the crook of 1 arm. In testing, I missed my arm tiring especially quickly, and the included Surface Pen goes quite a distance to make the tablet more viable to use while holding in a single hand. As with the top Pro 3, clicking the eraser button on the top Pen introduces OneNote instantly, which still works wonders. You may also double-click the top Pen to have a screenshot, that you can crop and draw on instantly in OneNote. Holding down the eraser button now also introduces Cortana, an electronic assistant which can help you with searches, set reminders, manage your calendar, and more.
Typing on a virtual keyboard is never ideal, and the top Pen may take your real handwriting and transform it into text. In testing, this feature was a lttle bit hit and miss (and greatly will depend on the neatness of your penmanship), nonetheless it gets the work done once you understand the shortcuts. THE TOP Pen feels great to use on the touchscreen, with a genuine sense of pressure (line thickness changes depending how hard you press) and an operating eraser. The somewhat silly loop for storing the pen on the top Pro 3’s Type Cover is fully gone; instead you can attach the pen magnetically left or right side of the top Pro 4.
THE SORT Cover is more advanced than the last iteration atlanta divorce attorneys regard. The backlit keys are more disseminate, and also have better travel. The touchpad specifically is hugely improved-it’s bigger, a lot more sensitive, and feels a whole lot smoother to scroll across. The magnetic latch that secures the keyboard to the display (introduced on the Pro 3 Type Cover) for use on your own lap is a lot more secure than in the last iteration, and the sort Cover can be lighter at only 0.64 pounds. The brand new Type Cover works together with the top Pro 3, and vice versa. Microsoft could have a genuine homerun on its hands if it offers Type Cover with the top Pro 4 (I cannot see why you’ll bother with the machine without one), but also for now they must be purchased separately.
The tablet features Windows Hello, facial-recognition software that’s included in Windows 10 and saves you the difficulty of typing in a password each and every time you reach for these devices, and can protect it from falling in to the wrong hands. There is also an 8-megapixel, rear-facing camera that may record in 1080p. The image quality of test photographs was good, not great, but videos recorded with the trunk camera were particularly sharp in testing.
The system includes a USB 3.0 port, a Surface Connect port for the brand new Surface Dock, and a microSD card reader on the proper side and a headphone jack on the left. THE ENERGY button and the quantity rocker are together with the tablet, and the port for the keyboard is on underneath. Yet another USB port could have gone an extended way-it’s disappointing Microsoft thought we would stick with just one single, which can be an issue we’d with the Pro 3.
THE TOP Pro 4 features stereo Dolby speakers, which don’t possess obvious grilles and instead produce sound from the inside of the tablet and through the ventilation. They are able to get pretty loud, and do not lose an excessive amount of quality at high volumes. Addititionally there is an accelerometer and a gyroscope. For wireless connectivity, you get 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Microsoft backs the merchandise with a one-year warranty.
Using its 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U processor and 8GB of memory, the top Pro 4 is normally very snappy, booting up rapidly and running well. Its productivity performance is solid, at 2,612 points on the PCMark 8 Work Conventional test. It matches similarly priced systems, just like the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi ($599.00 at eBay) (2,615) and the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14 ( at Amazon Canada) (2,410). THE TOP Pro 3 scored very slightly higher (2,699) compared to the Pro 4 upon this test, which is probable because of its lower-resolution display.
On our Handbrake video encoding test, the top Pro 4 finish in 2 minutes 20 seconds, which beats out the top Pro 3 (2:59) and the MacBook Air 13-inch (2:49). Its time of 3:10 on the Adobe Photoshop CS6 test can be much quicker compared to the Surface Pro 3’s 4:48, and the MacBook Air 13-inch’s ($999.00 at Amazon) 5:13. THE TOP Pro 4 scored 307 on the Cinebench test, besting the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (255), along with the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi (254). These improved scores could be related to the brand-new processor, providing a standard bump in performance weighed against the top Pro 3 and your competition.
As the Surface Pro 4 won’t be the device for an enthusiast gamer, it really is competent enough to perform some games at Medium-quality settings. In the Heaven and Valley 3D tests, it returned 21 fps (fps) and 23fps, respectively, at Medium-quality settings and 1,366-by-768 resolution, which are somewhat below what we consider playable numbers. Still, you need to be in a position to play some slower-paced games like Civilization or Football Manager-just don’t be prepared to run the latest action games at top quality, because the system didn’t break 3fps on our gaming tests at Ultra-quality settings.
Battery life is where in fact the Surface Pro 4 really shines, lasting 10 hours 19 minutes on our rundown test. That is a major jump up from the already great 8:55 battery life of the top Pro 3, and drastically longer compared to the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi (5:54) and the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14 (6:13).
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a refined, versatile system that may accomplish nearly every task in day-to-day use. The tablet runs full Windows 10 smoothly, and the kickstand and the top Pen are much better than they’ve ever been for focusing on the go. The only clear aspect of a normal notebook missing from the top Pro 4 is a keyboard, which is solved with the sort Cover. It can add $130 to the tablet’s price, nonetheless it provides Surface Pro 4 the entire functionality of a laptop. As the price of the tablet and Type Cover together is $300 a lot more than the list price of the 13-inch Apple MacBook Air, the top Pro 4 does offer you tablet functionality and an impression screen with an increased resolution.