Thursday, April 2, 2020

Can the Surface Pro 4 replace your laptop?

With the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft’s surprising hybrid tablet journey finally makes sense.

It’s as if Microsoft was laser-focused on fixing the issues we had with the Surface Pro 3.

We liked that device quite a bit, but its Type Cover was endlessly frustrating, with a sloppy keyboard and wonky trackpad. The new keyboard, on the other hand, is far sturdier and more laptop-like, and its trackpad is no longer a thing of nightmares.

It’s taken awhile, but the Surface Pro 4 shows Microsoft has finally accomplished everything it set out to do when it unveiled its crazy hybrid tablet concept three years ago (which makes the announcement of the Surface Book even more curious).

Aside from improving the battery life and bundling in the Type Cover (just do it, already), it’s hard to imagine how much better the Surface Pro line can get.

The Surface Pro 4 builds on the best parts of the Surface Pro 3, and it finally delivers a solid typing experience with the revamped Type Cover (which is unfortunately sold separately). It’s the ideal hybrid tablet in practically every way — it’s as light as a tablet, but as productive as any laptop. The only problem is you’re stuck with so-so battery life.

The Surface Pro 4 has a new 5-megapixel front-facing shooter that’s also compatible with Windows Hello, the company’s biometric authentication technology. From demonstrations, it typically logs you in within a few seconds. Windows Hello has the potential to completely change the way we interact with our computers. On the rear, there’s an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video support.

As a tablet, the Surface feels heftier than most, but it’s still easy enough to hold in one hand while browsing the web or hopping through Windows apps. The magnesium case gives it a premium feel and the kickstand is as sturdy as ever. It requires a bit of work to open up, but at least you don’t have to worry about it losing its position easily.

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