Is a Microsoft Surface a Good Value?

The latest Microsoft Surface is the latest in a line of exciting alternatives to traditional clamshell folding laptops, delivering the processing power of a desktop PC with its advanced Intel processor while still retaining the easy portability of a tablet.

Touted as the tablet that can replace your laptop, the Microsoft Surface 4 promises to compete with premium conventional models while offering the versatility that a modern lifestyle demands. The base model Surface Pro retails for nearly $1000, placing it firmly in the range of upmarket devices like the MacBook Air, and you can click here to learn more about how this revolutionary new device stacks up against the top laptops on the market.

Portability: Surface Pro 4

Functionality: Laptop

While the improved design of the Microsoft Surface 4 Pro’s kickstand makes the laptop configuration much more usable than in previous generations, the clamshell profile is tried and true as the definitive design for mobile computing as opening a lid is inherently simpler than positioning the kickstand of the Surface for use. Laptops also have a longer average battery life than the Microsoft Surface 4 Pro, with the Macbook Air rated for up to 10 hours of active time.

Portability: Surface Pro 4

The ultra slim profile of the Surface Pro 4 measures under 8.5mm in thickness and weighs in at approximately 800 grams. Compared with the much greater sizes of devices like the HP Spectre 13 Windows Ultrabook and Macbook Air 11 both of which are several times as thick and weigh well over a full kilogram each, the Surface Pro 4 presents a much more portable package.

Keyboard: Laptop


The improved design of the Touch Cover offers more accurate text input with redesigned buttons as well as an all-new trackpad that delivers increased accuracy, addressing the common complaints about the experience of using the previous generation Touch Cover. However, laptops continue to set the standard for input, providing a dedicated keyboard and typically fitted with multiple USB slots to allow use with other input devices.

Versatility: Surface Pro 4

Where traditional laptops provide a reliable resource for standard operations, the Surface Pro 4 shines in its usage options. Along with its laptop configuration and touchscreen functionality, the Surface Pro 4 also supports the next generation Surface Pen, which can be used with a variety of attachments including an eraser tip with realistic function.

The Microsoft Surface 4 Pro tablet PC can deliver good value when compared with similarly priced traditional computers, but its hybrid design means making some trade-offs. For some, these can make the Surface Pro 4 Pro the wrong choice while others will find its advantages perfect for their lifestyle.