The new Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a success. this review will focus what makes it a good laptop replacement or not. After three generations of offering, the question has been can “a tablet that can replace your laptop”. The 2015 version of Microsoft tablet has the most advanced Intel processors core i5 and i7, a slightly larger screen size of 12.3-inch and a ratio of 3:2, does not make a different from its predecessor, the Surface Pro 3 released in 2014. This is a smart move from Microsoft because at this point the Surface Pro line is less about trying to sell the concept of a PC tablet with detachable keyboard to consumers, but to see how well to create a refined product.
Looking at the Surface Pro 4 polished, it is worth remembering the humble beginnings of the Surface line. When it debuted in 2012, the line of tablets Microsoft, although it was not the subject of open ridicule, received little praise. Some described it as an exaggerated effort of a software company and services to enter the dynamic world of hardware. Others said it was a desperate attempt to respond to the enormous success of Apple iPad last year. And an improved design, removable keyboard, foldable base that connect to the tablet with a strong magnet, makes it a laptop replacement since it runs full Windows applications. One of the main improvement is the Windows 10 operating system that runs smoothly on the machine. Recall in early day, the Windows RT and Windows 8 were criticized
The Surface Pro 3, 2014 became what Microsoft had always expected it to be: the device touch Windows flag, the alternative for those who want a tablet and a PC in a single device with none of them had serious shortcomings . The Microsoft tablet further refines the formula hardware and now Windows 10, Windows 8 instead, the only significant disadvantage which platform has evaporated. The Surface line is also now the leader in the design: the new Apple iPad Pro and Google Pixel C are those that mimic Microsoft design with removable keyboards and new multitasking capabilities in their operating systems.
But although it is a very refined product, the Pro 4 Microsoft laptop replacement is not economical. The wide variety of configuration options and accessories means that the basic price of $899 is not very realistic. For that price you can share a Surface Pro with an Intel Core M3 processor, 128GB solid state drive and 4GB of RAM, plus a touch screen style that magnetically attaches to the side of the screen.
The handful of systems we have tested above M Core processors, is certainly not what you want in a computer for everyday use. The latest versions are probably better, but we have not yet tested on a tablet or laptop to consumers. A more convenient option would be the Intel Core i5 processor. Microsoft has updated the processors across the Surface Pro 4 line to the still new sixth generation of Intel, known as Skylake, and a configuration with a Core i5 jumps to $999. If the storage capacity is doubled to 256GB and RAM to 8GB, the price soars to $1.299. You can also spend more than $2,000 for an even faster processor, like the Core i7, and a hard drive with a greater capacity.
But no matter how much you spend on a Surface Pro 4, when you open the box and configure, you will notice that it lacks something very important. The Type Cover, keyboard and screen saver in one, which is still sold separately, regardless of the version of the device that you buy. From the earliest days of the Surface, this keyboard has been considered, rightly, an impressive feat of engineering, and the latest version is better. Now has more spaced keys, like those of almost any laptop) and a touchpad with a better surface.
Like the previous cover Type Covers keyboards are connected via a magnetic hinge at the bottom of the tablet, and folds for easy transport. Also, as in previous models, extra it costs US $129. Rarely we see a Surface in Microsoft advertising materials without the keyboard, but for some reason the company is not included in the box the most important part of the ecosystem Surface. To be a flagship product, is an omission that continues to cause concerns.
At least the style for the touch screen – improved on last year’s version and that magnetically adheres to the edge of the tablet – is included. Similarly, the screen is slightly larger (12.3-inch measured diagonally, compared with 12 the previous model), without enlarging the overall dimensions of the device.
The only design flaw that Microsoft has not changed is that when the keyboard is connected, the rear support works well on a table, but when you enter the set on legs in a full plane is a big challenge. Microsoft has addressed this problem with another product, the Surface Book.
MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 4 SPECS
Unit price of US $1.299 outlined
Size / Resolution 12.3-inch screen, 2,736×1,824 pixels, touch
CPU 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U
Memory (RAM) 8GB
128MB Graphics Intel HD Graphics 520
802.11ac wireless networking, Bluetooth 4.0
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit) operating system
Design and features
The line of Surface tablet has always followed certain rules of design that have been maintained and improved in the new model, both on the screen in the chassis. The first models of Surface Pro were thick 13mm, the Surface Pro 3 was 9.1 mm thick, while this model comes to 8.4 mm despite the greater size of the screen. The weight has been reduced: Both Surface Pro 3 and the Surface Pro 4 weigh 1.7 pounds and 2.5 pounds with the type cover keyboard attached. The direct competitors such as Apple and the iPad Pro Pixel C Google are actually adapting to these changes, which seem to be very popular.
One of the great improvements of the Surface Pro last year maintained their presence: the support that can be adjusted to almost any angle between 22 degrees and 150 degrees. The support, which occupies the entire width of the device is rigid and hardly moving, even when you use your fingers or the like on the screen.
In the new model, which lack the black border around the screen is the touch button with the Windows logo. Surface previous models, which was not always in the same place, the button had the same purpose: to take you back to the tile interface as Windows 8. But now the Windows 10 operating system, to have a primary button it is not necessary although the “tablet mode” in Windows 10 is very similar to Window 8.
Pencil, almost perfect
This year’s model also brings the plastic loop where the stylus is placed (Microsoft calls pencil) to adhere it to the keyboard cover. The new pen accessory is larger than the previous model and has a flat edge throughout. This allows the right place safely left edge of the tablet or through a strong magnetic connection. Although it seems that is not a safe option if you are going to walk around with the device throughout the day, placing and removing it from a backpack, pencil remains in place.
Activate the button style, similar to a pencil eraser, OneNote automatically activated, the preferred application of Microsoft for use with the style. If you have all your services properly configured Microsoft in the cloud, your OneNote files can be synchronized with other devices such as your phone or tablet (with cross-platform support on Android devices and iOS devices) or laptops (Windows or Mac).
Microsoft says the new pencil reduces latency and has 1,024 levels of pressure. Overall, this is excellent, and is an improvement over last year’s version. The third interchangeable points for the pen should appeal to artists looking for a specific size and feel.
The keyboard cover is essential Type Cover
If we look at the Surface Pro 4 next previous models, the biggest difference may be the keyboard cover. Although sold separately, it is still an integral part of the ecosystem and Surface is hard to imagine anyone buying a Surface Pro and pay an extra $129 for the type cover keyboard.
The button that looks like an eraser on top of the pen, when clicked, opens the Microsoft OneNote app, inserted at zero cost. If you have set the latest cloud service Microsoft correctly, your OneNote can automatically synchronize files on other devices such as the telephone, the tablet (a multi-platform support on Android and iOS devices) or laptop (Windows or Mac).
The touchpad in most hybrids are not anything special, and while it is positive in the front covers of the Surface were built, have hardly been adequate. The new version is a little larger, but more importantly, responsive and material that is coated makes it feel more upscale. Not respond as well as a MacBook, but is another step in the right direction.
The new keyboard cover retains great addition last year, a secondary hinge near the top that can be folded over the keyboard cover. This makes the rear rises to rest against the body through the magnetic connection and provides a better angle for writing.
Bigger and better screen
So I never had problems in the past Surface tablets was the screen. During the past three years, the size and screen resolution have evolved from 12 inches to 12.3 inches, with a small increase in resolution of 2,736×1,824 pixels to 2,160×1,440. The ratio is 3: 2, the same standard letter paper, making the Surface Pro 4 can be used either for reading electronic books and documents in PDF, or working on designs that ultimately will be printed on paper.
The screen is excellent, even from extreme angles, and ensures the highest resolution you can not see the individual pixels, even when reading regular text black on white. Apple calls “retina” to such high resolution, and implemented in most of its product line. Microsoft says “PixelSense” but is essentially the same concept.
PORTS AND CONNECTIONS
Video: 1 Mini DisplayPort
Audio: 1 combined headphone jack / microphone
Data: 1 USB 3.0 port, 1 slot for microSD cards
802.11ac Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth
Connections and performance
When you have a hybrid that is essentially a laptop, but with removable screen, like the Surface Book, typically has enough ports and connections. But when it is a hybrid that does essentially the tablet times, options are minor. The Surface Pro 4 has a single USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort for video, a microSD card slot and an audio jack, essentially the same as the Surface Pro 3 last year. By way of comparison, the Surface Book has a second USB 3.0 port and a slot for SD cards.
In terms of components, you can choose Intel Core M, Core i5 or Core i7 processors, all of the latest generation of processors Skylake starting to debut on all kinds of products. But the test units Surface and Surface Pro 4 Book that had received the same Intel Core i5 processor, and the same 8GB of RAM.
Not surprisingly, in our tests, the two units have almost identical results, and slightly higher than the Surface Pro 3. The Core i5 will become the standard option, and with it the Surface Pro 4 could handle multiple browsers, streaming several HD media, office applications and more, without any delay. The handling of high-resolution images in Photoshop did not present any problems. The basic game also had performance problems but not special processors for graphics, you’re restricted to the most basic games.
As a tablet, one would expect the Surface Pro 4 work all day, but neither models nor in previous years this battery lasts them both. In fact, the tablet this year had lower results in our test that battery life Surface Pro 3, 6 hours and 32 minutes in the case of Pro 4, compared with 7 hours and 46 minutes in the If the Pro 3 last year. This particular test may be hard for some systems and since last year has also been changing Windows 8 to Windows 10.
Connectivity and sensors
Everything you’d expect from a notebook: WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort, headphone jack, dock for the Type Cover, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, and accelerometer.
The only thing missing some may take is a version with mobile connectivity, 4G LTE, but frankly, it seems essential to being able to use your smartphone as a WiFi point anchor.
Nor it has evolved a lot in this regard. Microsoft assures us nine hours of video playback, much like the previous generation. We should note, though, that the screen is bigger and more / pixel density therefore not lose autonomy and is in itself praiseworthy.
We can ensure that we lasted an entire day of work with the team and we have not exhausted the capacity, staying at about 10% with about 7 hours of screen on. This is a very positive thing.
If there is a section that is noted with respect to the Pro 3 is here. While last year’s model camera was performance to poor, the Surface Pro 4 had one of the best camera views to date on a tablet and is on par with the Galaxy Tab S2, until the iPad was launched. You can see below the excellent way in which the light is processed, focusing even in direct sunlight.
Microsoft has always presented as the Surface Pro tablet that can replace the laptop, but it was never really so, except in the case of the last Surface Book, but has his work cut cost. The new Surface Pro is an iPad (or iPad Pro) improved where to run the Windows software that you need, and that gives the best of himself with the app sketch, drawing, reading and watching videos. Weighs little and has excellent portability: the keyboard and folding the stand at the back make it suitable to be used in most places, although, in the opinions and reviews you can see that is still quite uncomfortable to use on your lap.
The most critical right that you can do with the new Microsoft tablet is the one mentioned above, namely that the keyboard is not included and that offer a decent configuration costs a lot. Apart from that, we have to say the Microsoft tablet adds high level features to last year’s model, the already excellent Surface Pro 3, while the only product that can compete with the Pro 4 is the Surface Book
PROS: the Surface Pro 4 fits a larger screen with a higher resolution of a frame thinner than that of last year’s model. Pen and keyboard are also improved and this is one of the first mobile systems equipped with Intel. It appreciates the effort not to increase the price too.
CONS: you have to buy the keyboard, which continues to be an item sold separately. In addition, the battery still fails to cover a full day. This problem Pros Apple iPad and the Pixel C Google them have already solved.
|Resolution||2736 x 1824 pixels (267 ppi)|
|Touch screen||Capacitive Multitouch|
|Weight||From 766 to 786 grams|
|Model||M3 Core / Core i5 / Core i7|
|RAM||4/8 / 16GB|
|Capacity||Up to 9 hours of battery life|
|Wi-Fi||802.11 a / b / g / n / ac|
|Other||USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connect|
|Version||Windows 10 Pro|
|Notes||Light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, Surface Pen (included) with 1024 points of pressure, pen storage and interchangeable tips, Type Cover Optional|
- Intel Core m3 / GPU 515/4 GB RAM / 128 GB SSD for $899
- Intel Core i5 / GPU 520/4 GB RAM / 128 GB SSD for $999
- Intel Core i5 / GPU 520/8 GB RAM / 256 GB SSD for $1,299
- Intel Core i5 / GPU 520/16 GB RAM / 256 GB SSD for $1,599
- Intel Core i7 / Iris GPU / RAM 16 GB / 1 TB SSD for $1,799