Bose Continues To Innovate With New Bose Frames

Will Bose Frames finally make wearable audio devices mainstream?

Last year, I reviewed the Bose SoundWear Companion, a Bluetooth speaker that fits around your neck and delivers pumping stereo audio straight to your ears. Some thought the product was a gimmick, but I thought it was anything but one. Even if a niche product, the SoundWear companion was a breakthrough in many ways.

The best part of the SoundWear companion is that you could actually listen to it at a decent volume without bothering others since it delivers the sound right to your ears. The phone quality is quite decent as well. The speaker fits right around your neck, and you wouldn’t notice the weight of the device much unless you are driving; the speaker has a habit of twisting a little bit.

In any case, the SoundWear companion was something that I liked so much that I ended up buying it. And it ended up being stolen. I’ve tried to forget about Bose products for awhile since I was so upset my favorite toy was taken from my backpack. However, last week, Bose reminded me that they are coming out with new wearables — the Bose Frames.

Click to play in YouTube.

The new Frames are sunglasses that house acoustic speakers on each arm that beam music into each ear without bothering people around you. There is also a microphone for phone calls.  The mic is compatible with Siri and Google Assistant. Bose goes as far as to claim the Frames are an “Audio AR” wearable. That may be pushing it a little bit, especially since you can pretty much say the same thing about all wearable speakers. But, we shall soon see how Bose differentiates itself from the other companies with the Frames.

The Bose Frames come in Matte Black and will be released with two universal styles. First, there is the larger (Alto) and the smaller (Rondo). Both will be available beginning in January. So far, there is no price tag. But my gut feeling tells me they’ll run for $299.99 — a price that some will call a ripoff and one that doesn’t bother extreme tech geeks (like your’s truly).

Most importantly, Bose is continuing to innovate the “wearables” category of audio devices — one that was considered an absolute joke just two years ago. I am really excited about these! And next weekend, I am invited to try these out before they hit shelves. I will certainly report on my experience and give my first impressions review afterwards.

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iPad Pro Vs. Surface Go: Which Is The Best Tablet

Microsoft vs. Apple

 For the purposes of this article, the Surface Go with 8GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, an Intel Pentium processor, and an LTE modem is being compared to the 11-inch Wi-Fi and LTE version of the iPad Pro (64GB RAM).

For the past month, this blog has talked a lot about the new iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Go. Microsoft’s tablet came out more than three months ago, but I just got a review unit in a couple weeks back.

To be honest, I didn’t care much about the Go before receiving the review unit but now realize what I missed. As a secondary PC that has an LTE radio on all the time, it feels like computing freedom. The iPad Pro I reviewed had LTE as well, but I didn’t feel all that “free” since it is runs a mobile operating system. Still, the iPad Pro definitely has some strengths.

Let’s compare the most important aspects of both tablets.

Display

Some people are upset because Apple didn’t deliver an OLED display this time around (parts aren’t in great stock and are expensive), but it’s hard to imagine a screen better than the  11.5-inch  2388 x 1668 (264 pixels per inch) pixel True Tone display that’s on the iPad Pro. And interacting with the screen is soothing to the eyes since it has a 120Hz refresh rate.

The iPad Pro has the best display of any tablet.

Compared to the display on the iPad Pro, the Surface Go’s 10-inch screen looks underwhelming. But on its own, Microsoft still includes a good 1,800 x 1,200 pixel resolution display (217 pixels per inch). The colors are sharp, and the contrast ratio is great. The viewing angles aren’t perfect, but you’ll only mind looking at your screen from a very sharp angle.

The Winner: iPad Pro 

Performance

The eight-core A12 processor makes the iPad Pro more powerful than most laptops today. And in the real world, the iPad Pro runs very fast and can handle many programs open at the same time. But what good is all this power if the software can’t utilize it?

The Surface Go appears to lack power — that is if you are thinking of it as a laptop replacement. The Pentium Gold processor is good for office work, web surfing, and streaming movies. It doesn’t run Photoshop well, and it was never supposed to. But even though the Surface Go feels under-powered, it runs a desktop operating system (Windows 10) and is more useful than the iPad Pro when it comes to content creation.

The Winner: Surface Go 

Digital Inking

If you want to draw or take notes with the Apple Pencil, you are going to have to spend an extra $129. However, it’s certainly worth it as the Pencil provides the best digital inking experience compared to any other device.

The Surface Pen costs $99, and even though it offers an excellent inking experience on the Surface Pro 6, Microsoft’s stylus writes somewhat poorly (jittery, latency) on the Surface Go. Those who take notes won’t mind that much, but those who are using the Go as an accurate drawing device will be disappointed.

The Winner: iPad Pro

Typing

The Surface Go has a fantastic Type Cover.

The Smart Keyboard Folio for the iPad costs $179, and even though it’s overpriced, the keys have a comfortable click to them. Still, it’s not a match for the Surface Go’s $100 Type Cover ($129 for Alcantara), which not only provides an almost perfect (if a little cramped) typing experience, but has a near-perfect touchpad as well.

The Winner: Surface Go

Battery Life

Continually Streaming Netflix at 60 percent brightness will get you at least nine hours of battery life on the iPad Pro. Continually doing the same with the Surface Go will get you about five hours of battery life. Unfortunately, the Surface Go is not the type of device you can carry without a charger all day.

The Winner: iPad Pro

Conclusion

The iPad Pro is a beautiful multimedia device, but the Surface Go is a better productivity device. Microsoft’s tablet also is a lot more reasonably priced. Unless you are absolutely stuck in Apple’s ecosystem, the Surface Go will give you a lot more bang for your buck.

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Has Google Hit The Wrong Notes With The New Pixel Slate?

Google Pixel Slate

Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Go have been making waves recently. The former is a multimedia consumption beauty, and the latter is for people who want to get some serious office work done on the go. Both serve a major purpose.

But what purpose does Google’s just-released Pixel Slate serve? Google’s new tablet runs Chrome OS and costs $1000 for a mid-level configuration — and that’s without the optional Pixel Slate keyboard ($200) or Google Pixel Pen ($100). One would hope that with the high price, there would be some type of magic trick to the Pixel Slate.

The reviews for Google’s new tablet have been mixed.

Laptop Mag has some positive things to say about the Slate, but says there are some issues that need to be fixed. They note that Android emulation is buggy and that there are some issues using the Google Chrome browser.

Scott Stein from CNET also finds that the new Slate is missing some important things.

“And now the Google Pixel Slate claims to offer the exact things the iPad Pro lacks most, but at an equally high price. But it brings with it a host of weaknesses — oddly, the stuff that the iPad Pro does really well.”

Stein adds that the price is just too high for a device that doesn’t have a desktop operating system. He also notes that although the screen is crisp, it appears washed out when looking at it from an angle.

Dieter Bohn from The Verge thinks that the hardware is way more advanced than the software. (This is a criticism that was common with the new iPad Pro.)

“But even for them, the Slate just doesn’t feel ready yet. Last year’s Pixelbook is still around and getting discounted all the time.”

“The Pixel Slate has a lot going for it, but it’s just too experimental. The bummer is that I actually like what Google is trying to do here. I just wish it was less trying and more doing,” Bohn continues

Click to play in YouTube.

This isn’t to say that Google has made a clunker. But in order to succeed, the Pixel Slate needed to be close to a masterpiece. It appears that there aren’t any compelling reasons to buy the Pixel Slate over the iPad Pro, Surface Pro, or even the Surface Go.

Stay tuned for a hands-on review of the Slate in the next week or so. But unlike other items recently reviewed here, it’s hard to muster much excitement for Google’s new tablet.

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The Surface Go Is Another Groundbreaking Device For Microsoft

The Surface Go that is reviewed for this article is the one that has 8GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, an Intel Pentium processor, and an LTE modem. It’s sold for $679, but you can find deals for at least $50 less. The entry-level model, with Wi-Fi and 4GB of RAM, starts at $399.

When I gave my first impressions review of Microsoft’s Surface Go LTE, I said that despite some of its flaws, I have a difficult time letting it out of my hands. After a couple more days of use, I’ve grown even fonder of Microsoft’s tablet, even though I have been an avid Surface Pro user for years. Let’s take a look.

Build and Design

The Surface Go looks just like many would expect it to be – a miniature Surface Pro. Except, it’s more like an older version. The biggest flaw of the design is that the bezel space around the 10-inch screen looks like something straight out of the year 2015 (and three years in the tech world is like 30).  However — looking at it from another point of view – the bezel space allows one to hold the tablet without worrying that their fingers will accidentally hit the screen.

The Surface Go, weighing 1.15 pounds without the Type Cover, not only has a hinge that can bend 180 degrees, but also has rounded corners to make it feel more comfortable to handle. There is a USB-C port (not Thunderbolt 3 but still helpful) and a microSD card slot. One wonders how Microsoft was able to fit in all these things in such a small device.

Screen

The Surface Go has a great screen.

The 1,800 x 1,200 pixel resolution 10-inch screen isn’t as sharp as the Surface Pro’s, but it’s very good nonetheless, especially for a device that (in most configurations) runs $500 or below. The contrast ratio is very good, and the colors are well-saturated and accurate. However, the Surface Go’s screen can get slightly washed out when looking at it from extreme angles.

Performance

If you were expecting the Surface Go to have the same power as the Surface Pro, you are in for a major disappointment. The Surface Go runs an Intel Pentium Gold processor that can handle web browsing, movie viewing, and office tasks very well. But once you get into things like Photoshop (which does work, by the way), prepared to be slowed down…a lot.

The Surface Go has been very good for my blogging activities, until I try and use graphics-intensive programs. Many compare the Go to the new iPad Pro. Even though Apple’s latest tablet is more powerful that the Surface Go, its mobile operating system cripples the device. The Go is shipped with Windows 10 S, but it can easily and instantly be upgraded to Windows 10 at no cost.

The fact that it runs Windows 10 may be deceptive to those who are used to programs in this operating system running fast and smooth. But if you understand what you are getting into when purchasing the Surface Go, you won’t be disappointed with its performance.

Battery Life

Oh, but you will be disappointed with the Surface Go’s battery life — even though it’s not a deal breaker. Just don’t expect to leave home without the charger! Microsoft promises “up to nine hours of battery life” on the Go, but don’t expect to get more than six. On average, expect to get about five hours of battery life per complete charge.

This may sound disappointing, but the only way to get more battery life out of the Go would be to make a bigger device — thus, defeating the purpose of the Go in the first place. Perhaps Microsoft will find a way to optimize battery life when they release the follow-up to the Go. And they will, since the Surface Go is destined to become a hit.

Type Cover

A regular Type Cover will run you $100, while an Alcantara cover will cost you $130. Anybody coming from the Surface Pro may have a hard time at first with the keys more cramped. However, once you get used to it, the Surface Go Type Cover is more comfortable, in some ways, than even the Surface Pro’s keyboard cover. The keys have a plush feeling and the glass trackpad is fantastic.

Surface Pen and Inking

The Surface Pen, which costs $100, is certainly worth the price for the Surface Pro 6. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Surface Go, you get the same slight lag and pen jitter than you got on the Surface Pro 5 and earlier units. It’s good for taking notes, but don’t plan on using it for accurate drawings. Hopefully, a firmware update from Microsoft can improve things soon.

Conclusion

Microsoft has finally delivered the “Surface Mini” that was always promised. Although the performance isn’t great, it’s perfectly fine for a $400-$600 device that you can easily fit in a purse or a small bag.

The Surface Go isn’t a laptop replacement, and Microsoft doesn’t market it as one like Apple wrongly does with the iPad Pro. However, it is a great laptop companion and is the perfect device for those who feel that they have to go though too many hoops in order to do professional work and run professional programs on the iPad. Yes, Microsoft has delivered another groundbreaking product — even if it isn’t perfect.

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The Nintendo Switch Is Perfect For Classic Gaming

The Nintendo Switch is the perfect classic gaming machine.

It’s been 18 months since the release of the Nintendo Switch, and it must still be a hot item given that it still costs $300. Only this time, you get the Neon Red and Neon Blue controllers. You also get a free download of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which is almost too much fun and has a score of 100 when it comes to video game addiction.

Anyhow, I’ve purchased the Nintendo Switch once and have returned it. I thought I would give the Switch another try, and I like it a lot better now that there’s a lot more content. What I was really looking forward to was playing classic video games such as Super Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong, and Pac-Man. Needless to say, I haven’t been able to put this thing down.

The first thing I did after setting up the Switch was download the arcade version of Donkey Kong, which looks dated (of course), but nearly perfect. Here is a video I took:

Click to play in YouTube.

Then, I went to Nintendo Switch Online and started downloading some classic Nintendo Entertainment System games from the late 1980s and was brought back in a time machine when I started playing Super Mario Brothers. For those not old enough, this game, more than any other, was responsible for college kids getting kicked out of school for having a low GPA in the late 1980s.

Can you play classic games on a PC or Mac? Sure, but game play always feels clunky since whatever controllers (or keyboard) you use aren’t completely compatible. This isn’t the case with the Switch; the controllers work perfectly. And speaking of the iPad, you won’t find many classic games, including Donkey Kong.

The iPad Pro may be great for a lot of things, but it's not a classic gaming device.

After I get my fix with all my current games, I am going to buy (downloading costs way more than the physical copy) the Namco Museum Arcade Pac, which includes such classic Namco games such as as Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Galaga, and Rolling Thunder. Of course, Pac-Man is available on everything.

I would love for a company to release such arcade classics as Donkey Kong Jr., Zaxxon, Turbo, and even Mr. Do!, a game I loved that wasn’t a blockbuster. There is a huge market for classing gaming, and most video game companies haven’t really tapped into it. That will hopefully change soon.

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Microsoft Surface Go LTE: First Impressions

The Surface Go that is reviewed for this article is the one that has 8GB RAM, a 128GB SSD, an Intel Pentium processor, and an LTE modem. It’s sold for $679, but you can find deals for at least $50 less. 

Microsoft has made quite a name for themselves with their Surface Line. The Surface Pro has, perhaps, become the most innovative computing device of the past decade. Microsoft failed with the basic Surface line, which was just too slow and underpowered to be used for anything.

This time, Microsoft is challenging the tablet world instead of the laptop market. They are especially challenging the latest iPad Pro, though both are very different devices — something I’ll elaborate more on when I do my full review. For now, here are my first impressions:

The new Surface Go, unlike the Surface Pro 6, has a USB-C connector.

  • The screen is actually quite decent. It doesn’t have the same pixel-per-inch density as the Surface Pro (267 PPI vs 217 PPI), but it’s not a cheap screen. It is bright, viewable from sharp angles, displays accurate colors, and has a very good contrast ratio.
  • The battery life doesn’t seem great. From minor use, I predict I can get, at most, 5 or 6 hours without having to recharge. More specific tests need to be performed.
  • At least the Go has a USB-C connector. This means I don’t have to lug around Microsoft’s own charger wherever I go.
  • The Surface Go is slow compared to the Surface Pro 6, but it’s supposed to be. Don’t think of the Surface Go as a laptop replacement; it’s more like a laptop companion.
  • The Surface Go is fine for 75 percent of the tasks I usually do. I can even use Photoshop, but it’s really slow.
  • The bezels take up too much space around the 10-inch screen. But this is actually good for being able to hold the tablet and not worry about touching the screen.
  • Despite the bezels, one can tell that Microsoft put a lot of thought into designing this.
  • The Type Cover, with smaller keys, is hard to get used to at first. But after a few hours, I really like it. The cover works just as well as the one on the regular Surface Pro works.
  • Surface Pen input is okay, but not great. Unlike the Surface Pro 6, there is pen jitter and a little latency. It’s great for taking notes.
  • The speakers produce wide sound for such a small device, but nowhere in the league of the speakers on Apple’s tablets.
Honestly, even though the Surface Go has its faults, it’s hard to put down. I’ll let you know if that’s the case after a couple of days when I post my full review.
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The Apple Pencil 2 Is The Best Stylus Ever Made

2015′s Apple Pencil was a huge breakthrough for stylus devices. However, it was too big, required a crazy way to be recharged, and sold for a whopping $99. The Apple Pencil 2, which is not compatible with iPads other than the new iPad Pro models, costs $129. It’s quite a lot, but it does justify the extra $30.

You’ll first notice that it’s slightly smaller and has a more industrial design. The Apple Pencil 2 also has a flat side to it that magnetically connects to your iPad Pro for charging. The new Pencil automatically pairs with your iPad, unlike the first Apple Pencil that was supposed to pair with your iPad but often didn’t. It also allows you to double tap on the tip of the lower sides to change the Pencil’s function, including adding an eraser function. (Unfortunately, there isn’t an update to OneNote yet that allows these functions.)

The most important aspect of the new Pencil is how it draws and writes. And it does both very well — even better than the first Pencil did. There is certainly more of a rough feeling when the pencil slides against the glass. It almost makes me afraid to use a screen protector. A tempered glass protector, for example, could make the writing feel really slippery.

The Apple Pencil 2 is the ultimate digital writing device.

The problem with stylus devices is that there is always lag when it comes to writing. Even if the loop you draw on the cursive “y” appears 1/20th of a second after you draw it, the latency is still annoying. The Pencil 2 produces no lag whatsoever, and the 120Hz rate makes things even more realistic. Who would have ever thought, at least five years ago, that writing on a tablet could be just as comfortable as writing on a pad of paper?

Of course, it all depends on the program you use as well. Writing in the “Notes” app produces a slightly more realistic writing experience than OneNote (and it allows you to tap the Pencil to bring up the eraser), but an upcoming update will probably take care of OneNote’s disadvantages soon.

So, how can Apple improve the next Apple Pencil? It’s difficult coming up with ways, but perhaps Apple could make the Pencil 3 even smaller. Perhaps they can add an actual “eraser” to the other side of the pen, which Microsoft does with their excellent Surface Pen (the latest version).

Still, the Pencil 2 is a technological wonder. And it fully justifies the expensive price tag. If you are considering getting one of the new iPad Pros without the Pencil, you are definitely missing out on the full iPad experience.

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Full Review: iPad Pro 11 Is A Tablet Like No Other

 For the purposes of this article, the 11-inch Wi-Fi and LTE version of the iPad Pro, with 64GB RAM, is being reviewed. 

I gave my first impressions review of the new iPad Pro last week and was mostly impressed, even if I felt the hardware was more advanced than the software. I still feel the same, but believe that it’s only an issue if you are using your iPad Pro as a laptop replacement.

After all, Apple keeps touting the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement. And many who use a laptop on a regular basis can tell you that, no, the Pro cannot replace your laptop. But what if you just want an outstanding tablet? This is where the iPad Pro excels.

First of all, the display is something to look at…over and over. The reduced bezels (which can be a problem when holding the tablet) give space to an 11-inch screen that is crisp, beautiful, and doesn’t strain your eyes too much (especially if you put it on Night Mode). Then, there is the 120Hz refresh rate, which makes scrolling web pages and switching apps as smooth as butter. You can’t appreciate how great a 120Hz display is until you interact with it.

The most fascinating aspect of the iPad Pro is the A12 Bionic chip processor, which is just as powerful as many of the processors in laptops. This makes the iPad Pro perfect for photo and video editing. It also makes the iPad a great gaming machine. This is why it’s unfortunate that the software doesn’t match the hardware.

Plenty of articles have already been written about how Apple’s mobile operating system is too weak for the new iPad Pro hardware. And I agree with most of the complaints. Can you just imagine how amazing it would be if the iPad ran macOS instead of iOS? But that doesn’t mean the iPad Pro is just an enlarged iPhone.

The latest iPad Pro is far more than just an enlarged iPhone.

If you are purchasing the iPad Pro as your laptop replacement, you’ll be disappointed. However, if you are purchasing your iPad Pro to use as a drawing pad (and it’s the best device there is for that), a multimedia viewer (with the best speakers ever put on a portable device), an e-reader, an internet browsing machine, or even an instant photo editor, you will be more than pleased. Yes, the price tag is too high, but welcome to the world of Apple.

Perhaps the iPad will become the ultimate tablet/laptop hybrid in its next iteration. Perhaps, in 2019, it will be able to replace your laptop. However, for now, the iPad remains the ultimate tablet and media consumption machine.

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Hands On: 2018 iPad Pro 11 (2018)

I was able to get my hands on the new iPad Pro (11-inch) and will have my full review after I test it out for the next couple of days. For now, here are my first impressions:

  • This thing is really small. It’s amazing how the size of Apple’s main iPad has decreased through the years.
  • This isn’t really the “all-screen-no-bezel” iPad I thought it would be. There is still some bezel space, which is a good thing since one needs space to handle the iPad.
  • The 11-inch iPad has a wider aspect ratio. This is a good thing, but most apps aren’t made for the new aspect ratio. For now, you’ll have to deal with extended black bars on many apps.
  • I like the industrial design. This thing feels solid.

The new iPad Pro 11 has a sturdy industrial design.

  • The audio is downright impressive — even better than it is on the 2017 10.5-inch version of the iPad Pro. Apple added a little more spacial separation and a little more bass.
  • The new iPad isn’t as much as a fingerprint magnet as previous iPads.
  • The contrast ratio and color saturation are amazing.
  • The new iPad gets blindingly bright.
  • The battery life is good, but not fantastic.
  • I’m glad that the new Pro has a USB-C port. But what good is it when you can’t connect an external hard drive?
  • The new Apple Pencil is overpriced. But it’s also very good. It feels better in the hand than the previous Apple Pencil. Even the writing feels smoother — you can feel friction like you do with a pen and a piece of paper.
  • Even though the Pro feels sturdy, it’s still best to get a sleeve for it. Getting a screen protector would also be advisable, but you need one that will not hurt the Apple Pencil experience.
  • I don’t have the keyboard cover, but the new iPad Pro begs to be used with your fingers — even if you’re just typing on the screen.

The biggest thing that hits me is that the hardware is far more advanced than the software. The new iPad Pro is so powerful. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the new iPad Pro ran macOS instead of iOS? Perhaps more companies will follow Adobe (they are releasing a full version of Photoshop next year for the iPad Pro) and release more desktop-like applications for the Pro in the near future. 
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Full Review: ‘Outdated’ Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Has More Improvements Than Previously Noted

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The version of the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 that has an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 256 SSD is used for this particular article. 

I gave my first impressions review of the Surface Pro 6 two weeks ago, and it was mostly positive. Now, that I’ve had a couple days to fully test out the new Surface Pro, I still think it’s a great device. But the more I use it, the more angry I get that it feels like a one-year old device. And in the tech world, one year can feel like 5. Let’s take a closer look

Build and Design

Besides the black matte finish (and it definitely looks sexy), there doesn’t appear to be any difference between 2018′s Surface Pro 6 and 2017′s Surface Pro. In other words, the laptop/tablet measures just 0.33 inches thin and weighs a mere 1.7 pounds. If Microsoft made it any thinner or lighter, the amazing battery life wouldn’t be possible.

I wish that Microsoft could have reduced the bezel space and added more screen real estate. Some may argue that the half-inch bezels around the screen is good for handling a tablet. I understand that a tablet can’t be all screen, but I hope Microsoft shortens the bezels in the 2018 edition.

The Surface Pro 6 now comes in an all-black finish.

Screen

Barely anybody has noticed this, but there is a noticeable difference in the contrast ratio on the new Surface Pro 6. Microsoft has finally matched Apple when it comes to the blacks being as black as possible for an LCD screen. The colors pop out beautifully and images look sharp.

Some people wanted Microsoft to make a 4K screen for the Pro 6, but it would serve no purpose except to make the battery life shorter. Overall, the Pro 6 screen matches Apple’s new MacBook Pros and iPad Pros when it comes to the best screens on computer devices.

Performance

This is where the Surface Pro 6 differs the most from previous versions. The quad-core i5 processor in the Pro 6 makes things operate very smoothly, even when using apps such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere. The latter app actually works well on the Surface Pro 6, although one who constantly edits HD or 4K videos would probably want to go with the Pro that has the i7 processor or — even better — a laptop that has a discreet GPU.

The best part about this is that the Intel Core i5 processor is fanless, so you don’t hear the dreaded coil wine sound that Surface Pro units before 2017 had. The unit can get pretty hot when one performs processor-heavy tasks, but not overwhelmingly so.

Ports

This is where Microsoft really misjudged their consumers, even though it’s perhaps not a deal killer. There is still no USB-C port, which was questionable not to have in 2017 and not controversial to leave out in 2015. However, a USB-C port is pretty much a given now on just about every PC device.

The Surface Pro 6 does have a single USB-A port, a mini-DisplayPort, a microSD slot hidden under the kickstand, a Surface Connect dock, and a headphone jack. Most will be satisfied, but many, especially those who love cutting-edge technology, will be disappointed.

Surface Pen and Inking

The Surface Pro 6 provides an excellent inking experience.

Here is another area where the Pro 6 has greatly improved. With the latest Surface Pen, inking is almost perfect. You no longer need to worry about making squiggly lines when drawing; pen jitter is finally a thing of the past!

The iPad Pro still wins the award for providing the best inking experience (with the Apple Pencil). However, Microsoft comes very close this time around. The Pro 6 is perfect for students who want to take handwritten notes and organize them.

Battery Life

How does Microsoft do it? They put a battery in a Surface Pro (that runs a full desktop operating system) that lasts almost as long as the battery on 2017′s iPad Pro (12.9-inch version with mobile operating system). Microsoft claims 13.5 hours of life, but in a heavy video rundown test, I got 8.5 hours. Still, that’s the most I’ve ever received on a device with a desktop operating system.

Conclusion

The Surface Pro 6 appears outdated at first (and maybe second and third) glance. But once you use it, there are important improvements compared to 2017′s model, with noticeable improvements in performance and battery life. If you are thinking of getting a 2018 iPad Pro, it would be advisable to take a look at the Surface Pro 6 first.

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