Microsoft Surface Pro Review 2017
The original Microsoft Surface Pro has played its role to introduce Microsoft’s entry into a tablet market. And since then, the company has been improving these models over the years.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 was very impressive. Now, the company has introduced Surface Pro which is even more powerful.
Previously, Microsoft added “Microsoft Surface 4” in the surface family. As expected, this one should be named as “Microsoft Surface 5”. But the company changed the naming scheme and named this version as “Microsoft Surface Pro”.
|CPU||Intel Core i7 7660U|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro|
|Hard Drive Size||1 TB|
|Hard Drive Type||SSD|
|Native Resolution||2736 x 1824|
|Optical Drive Speed||n/a|
|Graphics Card||Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640|
|Wi-Fi Model||Wi-Fi: 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n compatible,|
|Touchpad Size||4 x 2.9-inches|
|Ports (excluding USB)||USB 3.0|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Surface Connect|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Mini DisplayPort|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Headset|
|Warranty/Support||1 year standard warranty|
|Size||11.50 x 7.93 x 0.33 inches|
|Weight||1.73 pounds 2.39 pounds with Type Cover|
Pros & Cons
|Brilliant PixelSense display||No USB-C|
|Simple, elegant design||Surface Pen and Type Cover sold separately|
|Improved Type Cover keyboard||Better, but still mediocre battery life|
You may know that excellence is not cheap at all, so the base model will cost you more than $799 and it is $60 more than the Surface Pro 4 when it was launched.
But in actual, it is almost $200.02 more expensive as compared to new Surface Pro, which even does not feature Pen with it. From Microsoft, the updated stylus will cost you almost $133.34 and it comes in various colors.
The previous version of a Surface family was 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity, but this one is having 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Read More: Microsoft Surface Laptop
The Surface Pen performs well on the Surface Studio. Although it is still flimsier and lighter Pencil or Wacom pen of Apple.
Moreover, there is one more thing to argue about it is that the company hesitates from using the phrase “laptop replacement”. Moreover, the company is really calling Surface Pro a laptop.
I haven’t seen any laptop without a keyboard and trackpad yet. Therefore you may not see stylus in the box along with these laptops.
But a version with signature, the one covered in smooth Alcantara, will cost you almost $200. And the standard version is almost $30 cheaper.
Well, if you do not want to buy Surface Pen with it, then the cheapest Core m3 Surface Pro Almog with Keyboard is of $1232.19 and with Surface Pen, it will cost you almost $1333.55.
You can buy Core i7 processor version for almost $2065.67 along with Type Cover. Therefore, a very top-end model with 1TB SSD and 16GB RAM is of $3599.25.
The one I am reviewing is having a 512GB Samsung SSD which is of $2865.80 along with a Cobalt Blue Signature Type Cover.
Well if you want to see the difference between different versions, one thing you need to do is to place these laptops with older versions then you can easily recognize the difference between similar looking devices.
The main thing is that the Surface Pro is much less clumsy having more softer lines and rounded corners in general.
The company made Surface Pro’s hinges so flexible that it can bend at 165 degrees as compared to the last one which can bend at 150 degrees.
Therefore, it seems flat against the desk, hence, it provides good feels and comforts while using these laptops with Surface Pen.
The company redesigns hinges and instead of making black, the company manufactured colorful hinges.
The cooling moldings are not much noticeable as the Core m3 and i5 does not feature a fan so it operates quietly.
But, the build quality of Microsoft Surface Pro is really good and this is the thing you may be looking for at this price. It is a little bit different in dimensions and weight as compared to the previous version.
Ports And Connections
There is no change in Ports, so these machines feature a full-size USB 3, a mini-DP video along with a 3.5mm headphone jack. As expected, the microSD slot has been placed beneath the Kickstand.
Due to the elimination of USB-C, many users may not be happy. USB-C has been used by few peripherals and USB Type A is still very much compatible.
For using USB-C, the company has introduced an adaptor that can be attached directly to these machines.
Keyboard And Trackpad
One thing that needs attention is the upgrades made in Type Cover. There has been an average distance between keys, the distance is almost 1.3 to 1.5mm.
Small and unimportant change often have bigger impacts. The distance is a bit more as compared to regular laptops which provide a good feel while typing.
Just like previous versions, the backlight has also been added to the keys. And trackpad is made up of glass for providing super-smooth cursor action.
The keyboard and trackpad of Microsoft Surface Pro are much easier to use as compared to a standard desktop keyboard.
We could not be able to determine whether the introduction of short-pile Alcantara will be a stain and mark resistant or not. It provides great feel and its color options just add value to these laptops.
The company did not introduce any noticeable changes to the screen. The screen is still a 12.3inch and 3:2 display along with 2736 x 1824 pixels. It is almost equal to 267ppi and I think it is pretty good to see anything nice and sharp.
As like past, there has been an excellent screen quality introduced in Surface devices and similar features has been included. It can easily provide an output of 420cd/m2 if you set brightness at max level.
The most impressive thing is that Microsoft Surface Pro is having an excellent contrast that is quite similar to an OLED screen but this just an IPS channel.
The colorimeter has measured a ratio of 1200:1 which is the excellent ratio for a laptop like Microsoft Surface Pro.
Microsoft Surface Pro is having an excellent combination of colors and its screen is capable of displaying 100% of sRGB standard. If brightness is set to low then it provides nice and wide viewing angles.
On top of the screen, you will observe a Windows Hello camera along with its infrared sensor.
However, the company has done its best in hiding them as they have been very distracting on the Surface Pro 4. It seems like a minor change but it makes a huge difference.
If you never experienced using Windows Hello then you will be amazed after using it. As it is very fast in recognizing you and letting you log in even faster than typing a password.
The optional Surface Dial works well on the Surface Pro’s screen, despite there is having some restriction in use as compared to its use on the Surface Studio.
The Microsoft Surface Pro is featuring a Core i7-7660U, 16GB of RAM along with a 512GB of Samsung KUS040202M SSD. Which shows there will be no performance issues.
The SSD of Microsoft Surface Pro is seemingly more quick with Crystal Disk Mark. Due to which these machines read at 1582 MB/s and writes at 868MB/s.
In PCMark 8, these laptops managed to score 3345 which is even greater than the score of Microsoft Surface Pro 4, having 2682.
The Surface Pro 4 is having sixth generation Skylake chips as compared to the seventh generation CPU being used in Microsoft Surface Pro.
Keeping in view a $2137.47 gaming PC like Yoyotech BlackBox SP. The BlackBox SP has managed to score over 5200 in PCMark 8 with an overclocked Corei5-7600k. This shows that these laptops are not providing quite desktop performance.
But, in the end, it looks like a tablet which is 8.5mm thick. Overall, the Microsoft Surface Pro is extremely fast and responsive in use.
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In Geekbench 4, these laptops scores an average of 4268 in single core and in multicore its score jumps up to 8959 and yes, these are excellent figures.
Moreover, these laptops have the ability to observe the pressure and under huge pressure. Therefore, users will not be hearing any type of fan noise unless until he/she is in a completely silent room.
For general use, these laptops are having very powerful Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics 640 but it is not suggested for gaming purposes.
These laptops managed to score 27.5fps if we run GFXBench and in Manhattan and jumps to 30.7fps in the T-Rex test.
Users can be able to enjoy casual games but demanding games like Forza Horizon will be harmful. In fact, the GPU of these laptops won’t support such games and you cannot be launch these games on Microsoft Surface Pro.
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These laptops score an average of 20fps if we run Civilisation IV at 1920×1080 resolution even without high settings.
Well, for a decent gaming flavor we are not going to suggest you Surface Pro. You might need to look at other gaming laptops or another tablet.
Overall the Microsoft Surface Pro is an excellent laptop. But when it comes to battery life, these laptops may disappoint you.
If we play 720p video on a loop these laptops can last up to 11 hours. Although, this time period reduces to half if we do some hard work on it.
Microsoft has increased the battery capacity from 38Wh to 45Wh for the latest Microsoft Surface Pro.
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Overall, there is a small difference in the battery life of both Core i5 and Core i7. The Core i7 has a battery life of over 10 hours if we play video on a loop at 120cd/m2. Which is less than 13.5 hours as proclaimed by the company.