Rapid review

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 leaves your MacBook in the dust

By Alex Wood 31 January 2017
The short of it

So long Apple.

The short of it

Your old Macbook Air’s running out of steam. You’re tired of lugging your laptop and your tablet around.

It’s time for something different…

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, does it all, in one neat package.

Why do I care?

The Surface Pro 4 is computing for the touchscreen age.

It’s a high-end workhorse laptop and a tablet, with little compromises.

So how does it work?

Confusingly the fourth-generation Surface tablet is sold as tablet only.

You’ll need a keyboard cover to turn it into a full laptop, costing another £110.

The built in “kickstand” is what sets the Surface Pro apart. It effortlessly adjusts to any angle, taking it from laptop to video player or even an artist’s easel.

Inside the box there’s also a digital pen, perfect for marking up documents or sketching. It’s these party tricks that make your iPad and Macbook setup look dated.

The Surface Pro 4 is a tablet without compromise.

Will it replace both my laptop and tablet?

Laptop yes, tablet no.

You won’t find anywhere near the number of apps you’re used to on iOS or Android on the Windows Store.

So if you like to read your favourite newspaper or watch TV with excellent apps like Sky Q, keep hold of your tablet, for now.

Who’s it for?

Professionals, creatives and students alike. The Surface Pro 4 has the wow-factor at meetings but can also handle day-to-day tasks and even professional video editing with ease.

There’s a range of models depending on your budget, but even the cheapest models offer enough storage space and processing power to satisfy most users.

Downsides?

Long term Mac fans will find Windows 10 dependable, but a lot less polished. Everything works, but there’s very little magic and sparkle.

We found battery life to be underwhelming, getting a maximum of 4 hours web browsing before needing a charge.

The Surface Keyboard Cover is the best keyboard we've ever tried on a tablet.

How much is this going to cost me?

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 starts at £749, plus £109 for the keyboard cover.

We also recommend the Surface Pro 4 Dock, which for pure convenience is £130 well spent.

Our take

Microsoft promises the Surface Pro 4 is “the tablet that can replace your laptop”. It delivers that, but with apps lacking, it fails to replace your tablet.

Overall, it’s bold, brave and we couldn’t be more impressed.