Amazon Review by Joshua Oh
1415 people found the following review helpful
I love it, but you might not.
It seems like the big question right now is, "Do I get the Surface Pro 4 or the Surface Book?"
I’ll explain why I chose the Surface Pro 4, but first, a quick about me. I am a college student majoring in EECS and I commute 4 hours a day by bus so having a light backpack is important to me.
The S.Book is almost two times heavier than the SP4. It packs much more computing power than the SP4, but as an EECS major, I don’t need the extra power that the S.Book has. I don’t plan to play any intensive games or render/animate things so the SP4 fits my needs better. The S.Book also has a $400 higher price tag ($270 if you get the Type Cover for the SP4) that I’m not willing to pay for unneeded performance. I haven’t tried the S.Book’s keyboard, but the SP4’s keyboard feels great to type on and other reviewers have said both keyboards are amazing. Reading textbooks or other PDF’s feels much more natural with the SP4’s tablet form. The S.Book without the keyboard only has a battery life of 3 hours, and although it can be used with the keyboard ‘wrapped’ around the back, I think that it’ll only be a hassle for me to deal with. I’d rather not deal with having to detach the S.Book every time I want to use it in tablet mode. If you plan to render/animate things you should probably consider going with the Surface Book. Otherwise, I highly recommend the Surface Pro 4 for doing everyday/light to medium tasks.
Now onto the actual Surface Pro 4 Review.
I love the SP4. In the past year, I’ve owned an iPad Air, MacBook Pro, and the Razer Blade 2015. The SP4 fits my needs the best by far.
The SP4 replaces both my textbooks and notebooks. For me, this is a big deal because I no longer have to carry around my notebooks, textbooks, and supplemental writing materials (highlighters, etc). The Surface Pen tips can be replaced with other pen tips to change the writing “feedback” feeling but the stock pen tip feels great. OneNote keeps all my notes organized and being able to access them from any device is incredibly convenient. Using the Surface Pen for writing on textbooks and PDF’s is also very useful.
I’ve been getting ~7-9 hours of battery life on the SP4 which is more than enough to get me through a school day. The screen is not too small like the iPad, neither is it bulky like a laptop. The screen resolution is high and text/videos are crisp and easy to read/watch. The magnet on the left side of the SP4 is surprising strong and holds the Surface Pen well. The magnet on the right side is significantly weaker (maybe because all the I/O ports are on this side) but it can hold the pen well. The kickstand works perfectly and stays in the position I set it to. The SP4 Type Cover feels great and protects your screen when you aren’t using it.
Gaming shouldn’t be the main reason you buy the SP4, but it could run some games if you decide to do so. I did try running StarCraft II and Heroes of the Storm and the SP4 handled it pretty well. I wouldn’t even bother trying to run more demanding games such as GTAV on the SP4. That being said, the gaming experience was rather unpleasant. You should consider the Surface Book if you plan to game on-the-go frequently.
Software-wise, I don’t have much to comment on. It looks and performs exactly like Windows 10 should on a normal desktop or laptop. I’ve never used the Microsoft Store and don’t intend to so I don’t know much about the apps that are available on the SP4.
The only con I found with this device is the fact that it only has a single USB port. It’s inconvenient when I’m using the SP4 with a mouse and I need to use my flash drive. I haven’t had any overheating issues and I can’t find any issues with the build quality.
In closing, I don’t think anyone else offers the performance and quality that the Surface Pro 4 has in the same lightweight and thin chassis. It is incredibly versatile and it has replaced many heavy and cumbersome objects in my bag.
I’ll update this review as I continue to use the SP4. Feel free to leave questions/comments and I will try my best to answer them.