At a glittering event in New York last night, Microsoft took a step further when it launched Surface Pro 4, building on the success of Surface Pro 3 which finally seemed like a tablet that was in fact better than the iPad Air- a claim which very few could make despite investing millions.
To know more about Surface Pro 4, it's better to talk about both generations of tablets and measure the difference in 'real time usage.' We deem it more apt than clinging to mere fine tuning of specs. It's all about your hard earned money after all!
Microsoft claims that Surface Pro 4 is 'The tablet that can replace your laptop,' which suggests it is both powerful and long lasting enough to replace your good old laptop. Size wise, we agree. Performance wise? Why not take a look at one of Microsoft's similarly priced laptop at the same time and see for ourselves.
Pricing of Surface Pro 4 starts at £749 all inclusive. This is much higher than Surface Pro 3 which now costs £549, down from £639 a week earlier, Lenovo Yoga 2 laptop (8GB/500GB) which costs £649 and a bit lower than HP Spectre (£899) which features a 13.3 inch Full HD touchscreen, i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage.
Dimensions and weight
Microsoft has made Surface Pro 4 lighter than its predecessor by 36g. Whether your arm can feel the difference between an 800g tablet and a 766g tablet is for you to decide.
In terms of size, Surface Pro 4 is the same as Surface Pro 3 down to the last millimetre, be it length, width or height.
In spite of the similarity in overall size, Surface Pro 4's display is 12.3 inches compared to 12-inches of Surface Pro 3. There is a marked improvement in resolution as well. Surface Pro 4 features a resolution of 2736 x 1824p compared to 2160 x 1440p of its predecessor.
This would translate to a larger screen to body ratio and a clearer display.
Look and feel
Just like the Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4 features a Magnesium casing and a Silver hue. The tablet is thin and its polished surface is easy to hold and it won't hurt your arm much.
The Surface Pro 4 family consists of 6th Gen Intel m3, i5 and i7 processors. This is a two generation jump in processor quality over the Surface Pro 3. As per PC World, this means 'improved overclocking features, better integrated graphics performance, and a new chipset.' The new processors also perform better in terms of web conferencing, browsing and gaming.
While Surface Pro 4 contains a USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader, a headset jack, a mini DisplayPort and a Cover Port like Surface Pro 3, it also contains an extra SurfaceConnect port which helps connect it with other Windows devices and external docks.
In terms of RAM and storage variants, Surface Pro 4 is no different to its predecessor, except that Microsoft has now done away with a 64GB option. 128GB is now the minimum storage version that you can buy.
The premium 512GB storage variant will also be available with a 16GB RAM which used to be just 8GB in Surface Pro 3. If you've got the money, you've got the power.
Surface Pen is now a product of creative vision. It comes in several colour options like red, blue, black and silver. Once you click on the tablet's Surface with the Pen, a blank OneNote opens up automatically and all these notes get saved automatically as well.
The new Pen also features 1024 levels of sensitivity as against 256 in the Pen that was launched along with Surface Pro 3 and can be stored by magnetic attachments rather than in a storage bay.
The primary rear facing camera has been upgraded from 5MP to 8MP while the front camera, along with retaining 5MP resolution, can now be used for HD-quality selfies or HD quality video calls.
The rear camera in Surface Pro 4 is capable of recording 1080p HD videos as well.
While Microsoft has not stated the exact mAh power in Surface Pro 4's battery, it claims that the new battery can support up to 9 hours of video playback as against the Surface Pro 3 battery which supported 9 hours of web browsing.
We believe this points towards a more powerful power pack down there.
While you may find it hard to differentiate between both old and new tablets at first look, Surface Pro 4 definitely brings in upgrades in terms of processor power, battery life, camera technology, display resolution and an all new operating system. We wouldn't be averse to getting hold of one.