Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review: A bargain at £649
Surface Pro 4 review: Screen
The screen has had a lot of attention lavished on it. As with the previous model, the Surface Pro 4 has a ten-point touchscreen, which is fast and accurate. However, the resolution has been upped to 2,736 x 1,824, delivers a pixel density of 267ppi, and this means absolutely everything looks super sharp and clear, even to old eyes like mine.
And there’s more good news. We measured the brightness at 388cd/m², which is, to put it mildly, great, while contrast hit 1,218:1, which is superb.
Likewise, colour accuracy is excellent. The Surface Pro 4 achieved an average Delta E score of 1.61. Delta E is a measurement of how far away a given colour is away from perfect, so the lower, the better here. Moreover, the Surface Pro 4 screen’s sRGB gamut coverage hit 97.5%, another fantastic score.
In short, if you need a laptop to do colour-critical work on, the Surface Pro 4 is excellent. It’s so good you won’t always want to plug it into an external monitor.
Surface Pro 4 review: Performance and battery life
Microsoft talks about the Surface series as being “no compromise” machines, but whenever you’re creating a compact, light device the laws of thermodynamics mean that compromises will inevitably have to be made. You can make a compact computer fast, long-working or cool – but you can’t do all three at the same time.
The compromises Microsoft has made with Surface Pro 4 are reasonable, and similar to those of the Surface Pro 3. It’s a little bit faster than the most recent MacBook Air, but in our battery tests gave out after 7hrs 41mins. Out in the real world, you’ll probably squeeze about eight hours of regular use out of it – not quite a full day, for most people, but close.
In other words, both battery life and all-round performance are best described as good, but not stellar. Not quite what we’d expect from a premium laptop replacement such as this, in other words.
Surface Pro 4 review: Verdict
I’ve long been a fan of the Surface Pro line, and the Surface Pro 4 is a very fine machine indeed. Should you buy this, given the arrival of its replacement? I’d say that unless you need the additional performance and battery life of the new version, you could do yourself a favour and pick up a bargain Pro 4. If money is tight, you’ll be getting a very good machine which will last you a good few years.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 specifications
|Processor||Dual-core 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U|
|Memory slots (free)||N/A|
|Weight||1.37kg inc keyboard and power brick|
|Sound||Realtek HD Audio (3.5mm headset port)|
|Graphics adaptor||Intel HD graphics 520|
|Graphics outputs||Mini DisplayPort|
|Total storage||256GB SSD|
|Optical drive type||None|
|USB ports||1x USB3 (1x USB charging port on power brick)|
|Memory card reader||None|
|Operating system||Windows 10|
|Operating system restore option||Windows 10 restore|
|Parts and labour warranty||One year RTB|
|Price inc VAT||£1,189|
|Part number||Surface Pro 4|