Microsoft Surface Pro 4: An All-In-One Device
I spent some time using the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and here are my thoughts on its key features:
The Surface Pro 4 comes with a huge price range varying from $999 for the (128 / Intel Core i5 – 4GB RAM) to $2,699 for the (1TB / Intel Core i7 – 16GB RAM)
It’s a bit on the expensive side, when the lower-end model is compared to a tablet and when the higher-end is compared to a notebook.
Desktop and Tablet Modes:
The Surface Pro 4 has two working modes desktop and tablet:
Desktop mode, that’s the traditional PC experience, it is enabled automatically when you attach the external keyboard. Tablet mode on the other hand makes the user interface less cluttered and easier to use when on the move or when using with one hand. Tablet mode is enabled when the external keyboard is detached.
The device can be configured to fit your needs. The lower-end Intel Core i5 or M are perfect for Office work, browsing and a bit of music and photo editing. The higher end Intel Core i7 will work like any powerful PC, supporting video editing, 3D work, design as well as running multiple heavy apps at the same time.
One of the most enjoyable features is actually the external keyboard, it feels and functions just like that of a traditional laptop. Its size is perfect for typing and the trackpad has all the usual functionalities you’re used to. Typing is easy, the elevated buttons gives it a natural keyboard feel, it is actually better than the iPad Pro keyboard.
The onscreen digital keyboard gets activated when the external keyboard is not attached. It’s easy to use and quite comfortable for typing, mainly due to the large physical screen size and high resolution.
I don’t understand why don’t all laptops nowadays support touch screens. It’s extremely practical to use both touch screen and trackpad/mouse to navigate at the same time. I don’t agree with Apple’s policy not to have them on the new MacBooks.
USB is still crucial nowadays. We cannot be fully reliant on wireless sharing as long as we have compatibility issues between platforms. Not to forget that in countries with bad internet, you can’t just share large files via email or web transfer.
Using the Surface as tablet is a bit bulky, you can’t handle it like any other smaller tablet due to its big size and weight. On the other hand the big screen is perfect for reading, browsing and watching movies.
Pen and Drawing Board:
Surface has a native app called fresh paint. If you have artistic skills, you will enjoy drawing and painting using the pen. Of course, you can be using more advanced apps if you are a professional illustrator or designer.
Personally, I was expecting to be impressed a lot more with the pen. You would assume that the pen would have a more natural feel, be less fake and more responsive. In reality it was lagging, if felt as if you are drawing on a distant layer above the canvas. The screen is not solid glass, it slightly bends at the contact point, as it is affected by the pressure exerted from your hand using the pen. Still far from the organic paper feeling.
At around 0.8Kgs (excluding keyboard) the device is a bit heavy for a tablet but rather light compared to a laptop.
You cannot use the Surface Pro 4 as a Lap-top, as in placing it on your lap while using the keyboard. The surface cannot stand properly unless placed on a table top or a solid flat surface.
I just love the all-in-one package: Tablet, laptop and drawing board. Unfortunately, it is still an expensive product, it will cost you a fortune if you are a pro user and you need to upgrade from the basic package.