This week saw the launch of two new Windows 10 devices, the much-anticipated Surface Pro 4 and the all new Surface Book. Together, Microsoft argues, the two devices effectively remove the longstanding trade-off between productivity and versatility, so there’s no longer any need to choose between a laptop and a tablet. With the Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book, you’ll be able to run all your apps, perform processor intensive tasks and stay productive wherever you happen to be. The appeal and commercial viability of this type of hybrid device has already been demonstrated this year with Apple’s launch of the iPad Pro and Google’s new Pixel C. So let’s take a look at how the latest addition to the Surface Pro range stacks up against the competition.

Hardware and Specifications

The Surface Pro 4 may look familiar, but a closer look reveals a raft of new features. Microsoft have been able to make improvements across the device, from increased storage and processing power to an upgraded Type Cover, camera and Surface Pen. One feature that has been grabbing the headlines, however, is the way Microsoft has been able to increase the screen size to 12.3” without increasing the device’s overall footprint. Importantly for users with existing Surface devices, the improved Type Cover and Surface Pen are also compatible with earlier models.

The thinner, lighter Surface Pro 4 is available with a powerful 6th-generation Skylake Intel Core M3 processor, as well as Core i5 and i7 models. At the launch Microsoft confidently said that the new Surface Pro 4 is up to 50 percent faster than Apple’s MacBook Air, a claim that could give competitors some serious food for thought. Where the Surface Pro 4 really stands out from the competition, though, is connectivity, with Microsoft finding space for a full-size USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader, Mini DisplayPort and headset jack. Shipped with Windows 10, the new Surface Pro 4 also offers productivity-enhancing features such as Virtual Desktops, the Cortana personal assistant and a consolidated app store designed with the needs of IT managers in mind.

SurfacePro4Event

Image by Microsoft

Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book Accessories

One area where earlier Surface models arguably fell short of Microsoft’s ambitions was the Type Cover and touchpad, which never really offered an experience equivalent to high-end laptops or ultrabooks. Microsoft have made significant improvements with the Surface Pro 4, with increased spacing between the keys, improved travel and a larger glass trackpad. And, for added security, some Type Cover models come with a fingerprint sensor – this is in addition to facial recognition software on the Pro 4 itself. The latest version of the Surface Pen is now magnetized and syncs with Cortana, as well as having 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and a handy eraser.

Microsoft said it made the device as thin as it possibly could do without having to drop the USB 3.0 ports. Business users after productivity will certainly be happy that Microsoft didn’t compromise performance and flexibility. At Kensington, we already offer a range of Windows 10 compatible accessories for the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, such as 4K video adapters, docking stations and Windows 10 input devices. With more and more companies making the move to Windows 10, the new devices look set to become an increasingly common feature of the workplace in 2016. Stay up to date with the latest product offerings from Kensington by signing up for real time alerts and ensure you are fully equipped to make the most out of this new model.

Have you pre-ordered the new Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book? Let us know your thoughts and predictions for 2016 via our LinkedIn page.