Surface PC Review:
The 8.4 mm thick Surface Pro 4 tablet features a 12.3-inch PixelSense 2736x1824 screen with 60 percent more pixels than the previous model, and is powered by 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core m, Core i5, and Core i7 processors. Prices start at $899.00. The Surface Pro 4 is claimed to be not only 30 percent more powerful than Surface Pro 3, but also quieter, cooler running, and more efficient with up to nine hours of battery life. Its redesigned Surface Pen stylus supports 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity on one end and an eraser on the other.
One of the biggest reasons why Microsoft's Surface machines are selling well is that they run the full Windows 10 desktop operating system, support external pointing devices, and have standard expansion and connectivity ports -- all stuff busy and productive pro users require in a laptop computer.
Since 2010, rather than fading away, PCs -- especially laptops, have been adopting more of the characteristics offered by tablets -- notably thinness, lightness, and instant-on spontaneity -- while shedding little of their productivity-friendly power and versatility.
For example, the new Microsoft Surface Book convertible hybrid laptop features pen and touch support, 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core m, Core i5, and Core i7 processors up to 12 hours of battery life, a 13.5-inch optically bonded PixelSense 267 dpi detachable screen, and an optional discrete GPU that allows Surface Book to harness the full power of hardware-accelerated graphics, starting at $1,499.00 -- competitive with Apple's current marquee laptop -- the 12-inch MacBook with Retina display.
Eric Smith, Senior Analyst for Strategy Analytics' Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies service observes: "[With] release of the Surface Pro 4, we see Microsoft leading the growing pack of professional grade Tablets running Windows 10. The release of Windows 10 in July provided opportunities at the high-end to better position tablets against PCs on productivity needs and compatibility with the office setting. Opportunity abounds at the low-end as well, where White-Box vendors are already selling Ultra-Low price-tier 2-in-1 Tablets to compete against low-end PCs and Tablets for casual use, particularly well-suited in emerging markets for consumers new to the computing segment." The iPad Pro caters to neither of those markets.
Peter King, Research Director, Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies service at Strategy Analytics says: "As replacement cycles have lengthened for both Tablets and PCs in recent years, 2-in-1 Detachable Tablets have become affordable enough that they will compete for consumer spend of both products. A household could settle on a 2-in-1 Tablet for casual use, which can also transform into a dockable mini workstation when needed for more intensive activities.
Note that Smith and King praise Windows 10's catering to power users' productivity needs, while neither references the iOS, and that Apple has no 2-in-1 detachable tablet hardware like the new Surface Book to offer.