Announcement of Surface Pro 4 in India was an exciting moment for all of us here, and finally, I got a chance to try it out and share my experience with you all. Surface Pro 4 is an iterative update to Surface Pro 3, and under the Panos Panay, it has improved by proper merging, taking off the drawbacks. Here are is what I loved about Surface Pro 4
What good is a laptop or a tablet without an option to be used anywhere, and anyhow? That is where Kickstand of Surface Pro 4 kicks in a punch. I spend more than 70% of my time before a laptop, and just sitting on the table becomes a little tedious. Sometimes I lay down, or sit on the sofa or anywhere else.
The kickstand is like a thin wedge that acts as a stand when you want to keep it on the table. The beauty of the kickstand is that it can rotate around 150 degrees, right from being invisible when it’s closed to Surface Pro 4 Rear to 150 degrees, which is just raised enough & in parallel to your eyes.
Now compare this with any laptop, not just MacBook, but any laptop. Flat base, the moment you tilt the screen when sitting in an odd position, it starts slipping. Now you know where kickstand helps.
Build, Compactness & Display:
Surface Pro 4 outer casing is built using Magnesium, and coated with silver color. If I have to compare this with traditional laptops, it’s almost or little more than them, but when you fold the Type Cover, you get to see the difference. The thickness also makes sure the dents will be a lot lesser.
The screen size is 12.3 inches with much less bezel space compared to Surface Pro 3, still maintaining the same 3:2 aspect ration. The PPI has some serious boost to 267 PPI from 216 PPI. The resolution now is 2736 X 1824. Overall, the display is a treat.
Type Cover :
It’s a keyboard, which is also a cover and tops the Surface Pro 4 screen. It’s thin, very light, and has all ergonomics of a keyboard one would expect. First, let’s talk about the typing experience. I use a Macbook Air, which probably has the best experience of the keyboard I had to date. Surprisingly, I had a very smooth experience with Type Cover.
The keys have enough space between them, so you don’t press the wrong ones, the touchpad is pretty wide, and is very smooth. Though compared to others, it’s still a little smaller. On the keyboard, you have most of the keys you will need, including Print Screen, Home, Insert, Del, Backlit control, Volume control, and so on.
Compare this with the Macbook keyboard; I found it because it was wider; it took me a bit of time to adjust. The second thing you need to get adjusted with is the solid feedback that comes from traditional keyboards and laptops. Since its thin, at the start, you would feel like it may break.
One thing which did not work well for me was the backlit control. It doesn’t turn on and off automatically, depending on the amount of light. The only time it turned off automatically was when it wasn’t in use.
Windows Hello :
Windows Hello is a feature that allows you to login to your Windows device by just looking at it. It creates a graph of your face, and uses to login, by just looking at your monitor. It uses an IR camera to get this done and is precise enough to differentiate between twins.
I have used Windows Hello on Lumia 9590 XL, running Windows 10 Mobile, and Surface Pro 4 as well. You are using it on the Pro 4 being a treat. You just look at the screen, and you are in.
Surface Pro 4 comes pre-loaded with Windows 10 Pro, which works very smoothly on it. Talking about hardware specs, it comes with 6th Generation Intel Core m3, i5, or i7 (Skylake), m3 Intel HD graphics 515, i5 Intel HD graphics 520, i7 Intel Iris 540 graphics, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD options, RAM of 4GB, 8GB or 16GB and Full-size USB 3.0, microSD card reader.
One thing I missed a lot is the SD Card reader. I make videos, and having an SD card reader is a huge advantage.
On the inside, Surface Pro 4 comes with hybrid cooling. It includes heat pipes with liquid, which helps avoid the use of the internal fan when the device is used for non-demanding tasks such as web browsing. The fans only turn on when there is intensive work going on.
I have used the device mostly for apps, writing posts using browsing, video streaming series like Netflix, gaming, and so on. No problems for over a week of experience except that I would like Edge to improve in performance, workflow engine to fix, and extension support.
I am going to very honest here. I am not a Pen person, and I did not use it much either. But here is my experience of using it for some time.
- I like the way it sticks on the left side of the Surface. I won’t lose it for sure.
- When using a paint application, I could use the eraser and a button on the side of the pen, which allowed switching colors. I liked it.
- The ink responds to pressures which could be useful for drawing. Technically it responds to 1024 pressure points.
- It feels very natural, like drawing on paper.
Surface Pro 4 comes with 8 MP rear-facing autofocus 1080p HD camera and 5 MP front-facing 1080p HD camera. This combination is good enough for making video calls using Skype or any other video app you would want to use, but I would have rather loved an 8 MP in the front rather than a 5 MP. After all, this is a considerable device to take a picture.
The speakers on Surface Pro 4 is on front-facing, and they are just fantastic, You would love watching videos, movies, listening to music. It comes with onboard Dolby Audio, and you are going to enjoy the crisp sound.
The claimed battery of Surface Pro 4 is 9 hours, but in practical usage, I got around 6-7 hrs tops. I had used it with the keyboard, and without it on weekends. Mostly for writing, watching movies, video calls (1 or 2), and so on. I did try video editing, but with Camtasia, it was slightly faster compared to my desktop, which runs on i5, but the previous generation.
Few of you wanted to know if Surface Pro 4 with Intel’s 6th gen Skylake processors improved battery life. In theory, it should, but thanks to the impressive display, the battery remains the same as in Surface Pro 3.
Can it Replace Your Laptop?
I am pretty convinced that it can, and if you want to invest in a device that can last for the next 3-5 years, delivers a premium experience, Surface Pro 4 is an excellent option. However, you should be ready to pay a premium price as well. The whole package will cost you One lakh, and the only device competing here is Macbook Pro, the latest generation of which will cost you some.
Buy from Amazon India or Microsoft