When Microsoft announced both the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book, I immediately thought I was going to get the Surface Book; it fixes all the annoying things that I don’t like about the Surface Pro 3 (a device I love, for the most part).
The Surface Book is a laptop. It’s not a tablet that can be used as a laptop. You can sit in a reclining chair and type with it on your lap. The hinge where the screen separates from the keyboard is said to be wobbly, but the experience is certainly better than trying to balance the Surface Pro 3 with the kickstand on your lap while using the flimsy keyboard.
I also like the idea of a larger screen. This is a MacBook Pro contender, not competition for the MacBook Air, although it is actually lighter. I don’t like the fact that you have to pay over $20000 for a high-end unit. Yes, the price starts off at $1499 for the 128GB, Intel Core i5 8GB RAM version, but I have realized that a 128GB solid state drive just doesn’t cut it anymore. Also, if I’m going to spend over $1000 on a device, I want the i7 processor. The i5 is good, but I want to be able to do intense video editing.
I admit that I haven’t seen the Surface Book yet in person, but have talked to those who have. I did, however, see the Surface Pro 4 in person earlier this week and I was more impressed than I thought I would be. The version of the Surface Pro 4 that I want is about $700 less than the version of the Surface Book I want (and that includes the price of the Surface Pro 4 and the Type Cover). And you know what: The Surface Pro 4 Type Cover is greatly improved and I even tried using the Surface Pro 4 on my lap. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked.
The most important thing I got from my experience with the Surface Pro 4 was that the trackpad is actually usable. I always use the Microsoft Wedge Mouse with the Surface Pro 3, but it feels like corporal punishment when I forget it. When I was in Chicago a couple weeks back, I stopped using the device all together when the battery ran out on the mouse. The trackpad on the Surface Pro 3 is simply awful.
In the end, I pre-ordered both devices. I’m obviously only going to buy one of the two on release day (Monday, October 26) and I will soon let you know what I chose and why I chose it. Choosing between the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book is very tough and once you see both devices, you’ll understand why.