Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are now on sale in the US and Canada. It’s been three years since the company launched the first Surface, and in that time the Surface family has evolved beyond belief. “We’ve seen people embrace the idea of a tablet that can replace your laptop and Surface Pro has become a hit with consumers and business,” said Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Surface Computing, Panos Panay, in a news release.
“In fact, Surface Pro 4 amassed the fastest adoption rate by businesses of any Surface device to date. As a team, we took everything we learned from Surface Pro and used it to help us think about the laptop in a fundamentally new way,” he said.
Surface Pro 4 is the thinnest and most powerful version of the tablet that can replace your laptop. Powered by the new 6th generation Intel Core M, i5, or i7 processors, it’s 30% faster than Surface Pro 3, which was already the standard for a fully capable thin and light Windows PC. Even with the increased performance, the new product is thinner (8.4 mm compared to 9.1mm for Pro 3), quieter, and will run cooler. Like every Surface Pro before it, it runs Windows 10 Pro and a huge array of powerful desktop software, so you’re not limited to a simplified or ‘mobile’ version of the software you depend on. This is a tablet that is designed to do serious work.
Surface Pro 4 has the same footprint that Surface Pro 3 had. While the height and width are the same, the screen size has increased from 12 inches to 12.3 inches. The screen itself has made a huge leap forward – using PixelSense technology to light up every one of your senses. With five million pixels (a 60% increase over Surface Pro 3) and contrast ratio of 1300:1, it delivers as much content as a 13” laptop, and with 267 PPI images and text both look amazing.
Both touch and pen performance are upgraded with an even thinner display stack and the addition of our new Microsoft Pen and Touch sensor, our G5 chip. There are now 1024 levels of pen pressure and we’ve reduced the lag between your physical pen tip and the ink being rendered by 25%.
“More than half of our customers use the Surface Pen – it’s one of the things people really love about Surface,” Panay explained. “The Surface Pen frees you to work in ways that go far beyond what a traditional keyboard and mouse allow and we made sure that it continues to be an amazing experience with a redesigned Surface Pen that will be included with every Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.
“We’ve moved the eraser back to the tail of the pen and added magnetic storage – meaning you can easily carry your pen on the side of your device. We’ll also offer a range of changeable pen tips so you can customise your writing or drawing experience. With Surface Pro 3 we introduced click-to-OneNote functionality and that’s still here. Now you can also click and hold the button on the tail of the pen to launch Cortana in Windows 10, making it easy to launch your own personal assistant to set a quick reminder or ask a question.”
The ability to use your Surface as a laptop has always been essential, and the factors that make that experience great – the kickstand and the Type Cover – have both been upgraded for Surface Pro 4. The friction hinge that lets you set the product to whatever angle works best in a given situation is even better having been reengineered for tolerance.
“We’ve also done a ton of work on the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover to further improve the typing experience and lapability,” Panay added. “The new keyboard is quieter, more natural to use, and boasts a 40% larger glass touchpad that supports 5-finger touch for a range of gestures that will help you fly around Windows 10.
“There is a redesigned mechanical keyboard with optimal key spacing for fast and fluid typing. There is 20% more key travel in the new design. The cover still magnetically locks against the bezel of the screen, so not only will you type faster and quieter, your device will feel more stable on your lap.”
Microsoft is also offering a version of the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with a fingerprint reader so that users can take advantage of Windows Hello for near-instant authentication.
Meanwhile, the Surface Book will deliver up to 12 hours of battery life. It’s powerful enough for the most demanding work and is built from the same Magnesium as Surface Pro 4 with the same meticulous build quality.
“Surface Book’s 13.5” PixelSense Display delivers six million pixels, beating the 13.3” MacBook Pro by almost two million pixels, and the depth of this screen and contrast is remarkable,” Panay said. “You’ll love the way photos, movies, and text look on this product. Like every other Surface screen, it is individually colour calibrated for accuracy and the layers of the display stack are optically bonded. And because this is a Surface it includes 10-point multi-touch and full pen support with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity so the ways you work are limited only by your imagination. Like Surface Pro 4, the pen also magnetically attaches to the side of the screen for easy access.
“We drew on more than 25 years of designing keyboards to deliver a typing experience where the feel and even the sound of the keys is perfect. When you start typing on Surface Book you’ll notice that the keys just fit your fingers as you work. The large glass touchpad is another element of the experience and we spent a lot of energy making sure it’s right – it will allow for seamless and precise pointing, features palm-rejection and supports five points of touch for maximum convenience.”
What really sets Surface Book apart is the fact that the screen detaches to be used as a clipboard, making it the thinnest Core i7 tablet on the market at just 7.7mm. “With full pen and touch support this makes the clipboard a very powerful device in its own right and an amazing fit for anyone who wants to work untethered – from the architect or designer who wants to walk a job site to the doctor making rounds to their patients,” Panay said.
“In designing these products, our team really does consider every detail so that your experience of using them is truly great. As a team, we are so proud to bring these devices to people to use and love every day. These products are all about the people that use them. Hopefully that is you! We want you both to use them and love them every day. We can’t wait to hear your feedback, hear your stories, and watch you using the devices every day. Both Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book bring the very best of Windows 10 to life and we know you’ll be inspired by the possibilities they’ll open for you.”
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