Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review: Best of the breed

Everything's the same on the surface

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Look! At what? Everything looks the same, at least to the untrained eye. Once you compare the two side by side, you’ll notice that the Pro 4 is thinner, lighter and features a larger 12.3-inch screen. How does it maintain the same screen footprint without being bigger? They reduced the bezels.

You’re getting the same magnesium and if you haven’t felt it before, it’s definitely worthy enough to be considered “premium”. Many have felt that the weight has been more evenly distributed, making it feel a lot lighter, even after only shaving off 12 grams from its predecessor. Personally, it feels more like a dense piece of computing and that isn’t a bad thing by any means.

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It finally loses the Microsoft capacitive button, a fickle thing that would have you accidentally pressing it when in tablet mode. And the kickstand, that glorious kickstand, it’s the exact same thing and will allow the Surface Pro 4 to stand in whatever degree you choose (150-degree angle to 22-degree).

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Making your way around the device, on the top edge you’ll notice a power button and volume rockers on the left; easy to find, yet not jutting out or being too recessed. Topside you’ll also find an exhaust grill that goes along the whole device, allowing any hot air to be dispersed. There are cameras too, the front for Windows Hello/video calls and the rear for any (horrible) reason that might have you needing to take photos with a tablet/2-in-1 convertible.

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Meanwhile, on the left is where you’ll locate the 3.5mm audio jack, opposingly the other side gets you the mini DisplayPort, a single 3.0 USB port, the proprietary charging port and hiding under the hinge a microSD slot.

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The second thing that we’ll have to talk about is the Surface Pen, since it’s included. Bigger than the pen it replaces, you’ll now be able to erase anything you put on the screen with its opposite end – a pen with an eraser? An obvious jibe at Apple. There’s also a right click button, something that you won’t notice unless you really look.

Included out of the box, the Surface Pen previously didn’t attach comfortably to the actual Surface but now they’ve strengthened the magnets on the left side of the “computer”, allowing it to latch on; strongly we might add, to the point that you can pull the Surface (keyboard too) across a table.

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Speaking of that keyboard, we’re not sure if we should be talking about it since Microsoft doesn’t include it with the Surface but it would be really sad if you didn’t pick up a keyboard at the same time – yes, we know it’s super expensive but having it is really a necessity.

Regardless of how sour we are over having to add-on the (expensive) keyboard, it’s a much better Type Cover. Sizing in the same footprint, the keys have been made smaller to allow better spacing between each key, making typing a lot easier and more comfortable. Improvements also have been made on the (now) glass trackpad, making it a lot wider than before and easier to navigate.

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