One of the Apple’s greatest successes and part of the reason for the company's current level of popularity amongst global consumers, is its MacBook Pro laptop range. Apple was one of the first companies to produce a laptop built within a full body of Aluminium, making it stylish and robust. But, now Microsoft have caught on and finally launched their own first ever laptop.
Yes, Microsoft may be the operating system that everyone recognises, but the company has never before released a laptop. The new Microsoft Surface Book is a device which the company itself claims will be a direct challenger to the MacBook Pro. Let's find out what the new Surface Pro has to offer us and whether its better value for you money compared to the Macbook and other rivals.
The company claim the Microsoft Surface Pro to be twice as fast as the MacBook Pro as well as having a screen with higher density of pixels to the tune of 6 million. The company use what they like to call a "dynamic fulcrum hinge" and "muscle wire lock", which allows the screen to be detached from the keyboard. This means the device double as a tablet whilst still maintaining the processing power of a laptop.
“Ounce for ounce, pound for pound, this is the fastest 13-inch laptop ever made, anywhere, on any planet,” explained Surface computing vice-president Panos Panay.
Although masses of processing power is great, without a good battery it all falls by the wayside in my opinion. Yet, Microsoft seems to have solved this problem too, saying it has a 12-hour battery life when the laptop is in sleep mode. This means there is literally no battery drain whilst sleeping. The laptop will go on sale from October 26th 2015.
Together Apple and Samsung have dominated the laptop world in recent years, whilst Microsoft have appeared to be looking over in awe hoping to one day be part of the ‘cool group’. However, they didn't manage to achieve a huge level of success with their Surface Pro tablets, especially with the Surface Pro 3 and 4 being considered market leaders. Could this be a new era for Microsoft? Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, describes how they want people “to move from needing Windows to choosing Windows to loving Windows”.
To give you some perspective on the physical attributes of this laptop, it’s very similar in size and weight to Apple’s version except that it's got a slightly wider screen and is marginally lighter too. Where Microsoft really gets ahead though is with its screen resolution and processing power, the latter of which is two times faster than Apples flagship laptop (supposedly).
Apple have reproduced the aluminium body so many times that we have all become accustomed to the way a quality laptop should look and feel these days. Microsoft on the other hand has gone for a radical new design that is very versatile, although we'll just have to wait and see how that fairs in the market.
The real question boils down to price. A MacBook Pro with 128GB of SSD hard-drive and 8GB of RAM starts at $1,799. Whilst a Microsoft Surface Book starts at $2,299, which is $500 more, does the extra horsepower, better screen and versatility justify the higher price? Lets have a look at the specs in more detail to get a better idea of how it compares to rivals:
|Specifications||Apple MacBook Pro 13”||Samsung ATIV 9 Plus 13”||Microsoft Surface Book 13”|
|Display||13.3 inches||13.3 inches||13.5 inches|
|Resolution||2560 x 1600||3200 x 1800||3000 x 2000|
|Thickness||18mm||20mm||13 – 22.8mm|
|OS||OS X||Windows 10||Windows 10|
|Processor||5th Gen Intel i5||5th Gen Intel i5||6th Gen Intel i5|
|Camera||720p Front||5MP front / 8MP rear|
|Battery||12 hours||10 hours||12 hours|
|Storage||128GB SSD||128GB SSD||128GB SSD|
Overall, many people pick a laptop based on the operating system and ecosystem that they're already invested in, so an Apple consumer is likely to continue purchasing Apple laptops. However, if you are sitting on the fence and are looking to get the newest, most versatile and most powerful laptop on the market, then the Surface Book might just be exactly what you need. My advice though would be to hold of for at least 3-6 months to not only allow prices to drop but also for plenty of firsthand reviews to surface (no pun!). That way you'll be able to make a more informed purchasing decision as well as potentially buying the Surface Book at a price similar to (or even below) what the equivalent Macbook Pro is currently priced at.