Microsoft Surface Pro 4 hands-on


Hey guys, we just got some hands-on time with the new Surface Pro 4 and we're going to share our impressions! On the, err, surface, the Surface Pro 4 doesn't look drastically different from its predecessor, but that's only upon some initial impressions. Like they say, the devil's in the details!

Design


Although it feels familiar, the Surface Pro 4 is further refined and is, obviously, an impressive device that looks and feels premium with its metal build and thinned-out screen bezels. The tablet is a bit thinner and lighter than the Surface Pro 3, so if you ever held one and were left with positive impressions, the Pro 4 will be even nicer to you. The tablet is made of an aluminum alloy and feels sturdy and solid, but not heavy or bulky. Overall, the Surface Pro 4 is a classy bit of design work and one of the nicest looking tablets out there, period.

Display


The Surface Pro 4's 12.3-inch screen is just 0.3 inches bigger than its predecessor's, which is a difference that's more felt than seen. You simply have a little bit of extra screen real estate to appreciate, which is always nice! The 3000 x 2000 resolution screen (3:2 ratio) is big and beautiful, with its pixel density of 267 pixels per inch making it appear very crisp at the typical work distance. Indeed, Microsoft packed a ton of pixels in this thing, and we can already tell that doing work or enjoying multimedia will be a blast on it!

Hardware


As typical for the Surface Pro series, the fourth-generation tablet uses Intel's latest Core M processors (Skylake) and their integrated Iris Pro graphics. According to Intel, the improvements in the latest generation Core chips could contribute to a 50% increase in 3D graphics performance, although one still shouldn't expect to play the latest hi-end games at maximum detail. Still, the Surface Pro 4 has no trouble handling 4K video at 60 frames per second, and it's actually able to output it to 3 separate 4K displays simultaneously, should you need to do that. The Intel Skylake CPUs is kept company by up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage! Microsoft promises a 9 hour battery life out of this thing, but we'll have to see how this pans out.

Stylus


The Surface Pro 4 sports a new and improved Surface Pen. The display an sense 1024 levels of pressure applied from its tip, and the Pen itself has improved precision while boasting a record 1-year battery life. Rather than housing it in a silo, MS simply let the Pen attach itself to the tablet via magnets, which is a simple and clever solution that we genuinely like. The pen itself is just fine to use, feeling almost as natural and response as writing with an actual pen or pencil on paper.

Camera


The Pro 4 has a reasonably competent camera setup, with an 8-megapixel autofocus cam on the back and a 5MP unit on the front. These will suffice for more than basic photography and video, as they have the fidelity and fast operation to cover that and all camera usage scenarios we could think of. Then again, shooting photos and videos with a huge 12.3-inch tablet isn't exactly an idea we're keen on, but it's gracious of Microsoft to put in these cameras, rather than a pair of afterthought units. It makes sense, as the typical Surface Pro user will be probably interested in taking photos of documents and presentations instead of sunsets and beaches, and making video calls rather than selfies.

Expectations


Starting at $900 for the base model, the Surface Pro 4 is a "power user" tablet that will receive a warmer greeting from enterprise types rather than casual consumers. However, the price tag is justified by the functionality and premium hardware offered in the device.

We can easily imagine business users that are after a reliable tablet which integrates seamlessly with the Windows ecosystem deployed at work going after the Surface Pro 4, but Microsoft is yet to put out a tablet targeted towards the typical consumer.



Related phones

Surface Pro 4
  • Display 12.3" 2736 x 1824 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Intel Core-i7
  • Storage 1000 GB

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27 Comments

1. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

So is it a 512 GB SSD or a 1 TB hardrive im confused..

2. jove39

Posts: 2147; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

It's SSD

10. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

50% of the price is because of the SSD. lol jk

25. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

It's probably true xD

9. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

It has BOTH 512GB and 1TB PCIE SSD options...

3. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

$900 For The Base Model, Sucks That They Ditched The Lower Priced Model.

4. Konsento

Posts: 139; Member since: Apr 10, 2015

"...but Microsoft is yet to put out a tablet targeted towards the typical consumer." *cough cough* surface 3

14. mixedfish

Posts: 1560; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Not sure why PA thinks a ~$1000 tablet isn't for the 'typical consumer'. Simply bizarre.

20. FrenchGuy

Posts: 134; Member since: Dec 12, 2014

Because it's not from Apple. What did you expect from iphonearena ?

26. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

That's odd, the iPhone 6s Plus tops 1k and it is considered by PhoneArena a typical consumer product. Huh.

5. ninawka

Posts: 22; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Only the base model has a core M processor the other models have core i5 and i7 CPUs!

7. vincelongman

Posts: 5720; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Not surprising since all the CPUs are just direct upgrades from the ones used in the Surface Pro 3 Except now Intel markets their Y series as Core m instead of Core i

6. Krjal

Posts: 431; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

I was excited until I found out about the disposable styli. That's not how you impress graphics professionals, Microsoft.

8. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Uhm, where did you read that it's disposable? It uses AAAA battery, just like the Surface 3's pen, this one just happens to last much longer (18 months) on 1 battery...what's wrong with that? Much better than the Crapp|e pencil that demands you charge every 12 hours...

21. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

And is suppose to be a pencil, that doesn't even have an eraser. LOL

11. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

whats wrong with battery and removable pen cap? wacom also use that kind of stylus since long time ago

13. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Still prefer the inductive passive stylus of Wacom. There no need to buy new stylus or battery. Plus Wacom is good enough to give me a bunch of replaceable stylus tips.

15. mixedfish

Posts: 1560; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Inductive stylus on a Surface Pro situation would be horrible, the pen would be thick and you're unable to use the buttons unless you're ~5cm at most away from the screen. A desktop tool, not a mobile tablet tool.

17. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

No complaint on my own wacom board. I keep going back to them after trying out other lesser known brands. They are the Gold Standard for digitizer

19. mixedfish

Posts: 1560; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Not sure what you're trying to say, Wacom is great I use a Wacom Cintriq 13. But at the same time it's clunky and thick, making it terrible outside of desktop usage.

12. manu09090

Posts: 6; Member since: Mar 27, 2015

The Resolution is 2736 x 1824. The Surface Book has the higher Resolution of 3000x2000.

16. mixedfish

Posts: 1560; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

The top end models are pretty expensive, it's really getting into the territory of the Vaio Canvas and in the end of the day the Surface is stuck with a throttled dual core CPU.

22. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

$2099 for the Book with 8GB w/ switchable graphics. Considering that I have a 17" laptops with a 256GB SSD from Samsung, 16GB of RAM, back-lit keyboard, has dual drive capability and weights about 4lbs and I paid $1500, I have to consider if dropping down to 13" and getting a higher resolution is a fair trade-off. My gosh it is a beautiful laptop.

23. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

it isn't made of aluminium alloy, it's Magnesium alloy... hue

24. Af1rPA

Posts: 712; Member since: Jun 12, 2014

AU$4,199.00 for the top of the line model here in Australia. FU MICROSOFT! AU$2,299.00 for the lowest model.

27. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Its a little bit overpriced but even thou its beautiful.

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