The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 was released six weeks ago, but has proven to be the most critically acclaimed laptop/tablet hybrid of the year. Most of the reviews have been near perfect. TechRadar gave the device four-and-a-half stars.
“Has Microsoft at last crafted a tablet that can reasonably, without considerable compromise, replace your laptop? Short of going back to the drawing board on the battery, this looks as close as it’s going to get,” claims the review.
TechRadar goes on to add that the 3:2 aspect ratio is ideal for those who want the middle ground between a work device and a multimedia device. They also praise the new Type Cover, which has better keys and a much better trackpad. Digital Trends also gave the Pro 4 a near-perfect rating.
“The Surface Pro 4 is a microcosm of the change Microsoft is trying to spur inside its own walls. Time and time again, it missed the opportunity to leap on a new trend in consumer technology. But not with Surface. This time, Microsoft is a leader. It’s setting the trend. And unlike its new competitors, it’s had a few years to work out the kinks.”
The review also notes that the Surface Pro 4 is slightly overpriced, and that the battery life can drain quickly in everyday use. Digital Trends also thinks the Surface Pro 4 is quite bulky when used as a tablet.
The best thing about the Surface Pro 4 is that, according to most users and critics, it is a tablet that can completely replace your laptop. The same can’t be said about Apple’s new iPad Pro, which has received mixed reviews. Walt Mossberg of the Verge says he’s sticking with his iPad Air.
“You’d think an iPad guy like me would be over the moon about the iPad Pro, despite its hefty base price of $799 for a Wi-Fi-only model with 32GB of memory, which stretches to $949 with 128GB of memory, and soars past $1,000 with cellular capability. But I’m not.”
Mossberg adds that not only is the device too bulky, but that he only found a few apps that took advantage of the iPad Pro’s extra screen space. Mossberg didn’t like Apple’s Smart Keyboard accessory for the Pro. David Pierce, of Wired, also wasn’t impressed by the Smart Keyboard. He also thinks the iPad Pro is not a laptop replacement.
“For those of us who still cling to laptops and desktops, the iPad Pro just doesn’t feel like a serious machine for serious work. We need our keyboard shortcuts and our mice, our apps that work just how we like them. We need our accessories. A touch-first interface just doesn’t feel right, and the iPad Pro can’t overthrow our existing workflows and tools,” Pierce claims.
However, the review praises the iPad Pro for it’s beautiful screen, its powerhouse speed, and excellent battery life. Many other reviewers have praised the iPad Pro for having excellent battery life. Perhaps, someday, Apple will offer a tablet that actually runs OS X instead of the mobile iOS — this would be something that truly replaces a laptop.
For now, at least judging by reviews and consumer response, it appears that Microsoft has beaten Apple at the tablet game. Microsoft understands that people don’t want their tablets to be able to do everything. They understand that people don’t want to lug around both a tablet and a laptop to ensure maximum productivity. The Surface Pro 4 certainly represents Microsoft’s comeback. Let’s hope the iPad Pro doesn’t represent Apple’s decline.
[Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]