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Just last month the long awaited Surface Pro 4 was available to purchase in Australia. While the Surface Pro 4 is thinner, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor the Surface Pro 3, there are some disadvantages of the new model.
Here at Synapse, we’ve compiled a list of good, bad and ugly features of the Surface Pro 4.
The Surface Pro 4 is visually appealing, with a beautifully designed magnesium casing which gives it durability and a sophisticated look.
Weighing in at just 786 grams and 8.4mm thick, the Surface Pro 4 is more portable to carry compared to the average laptop.
Compared to the Pro 3, the kickstand is more robust, enabling users to prop up the tablet on a desk at a range of different angles, giving users the optimal functionality for video watching, general laptop work use or as a sketchpad.
Without the kickstand the Surface Pro 4 acts as a traditional tablet, giving users the best of both worlds.
Other than the Apple Pencil which was introduced this year as an accessory to the iPad pro, there are very few tablets which offer stylus devices.
Having 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and interchangeable tips, the Surface Pro is ideal for everything from writing notes, to professional design programs such as Adobe Illustrator.
Unlike previous editions of the Surface Pro where the Type Cover was flimsy and frustrating to use, the new Type Cover offers an experience comparable to most laptops.
The track pad has also been improved and is now 40 percent larger than the previous model, but most importantly, is smooth and accurate.
One of the best things about the new type cover is that it is also compatible with the Surface Pro 3, allowing those who are not quite ready to upgrade, to enjoy the benefits of the much improved keyboard.
In terms of performance, the Surface Pro 4 is more than a match for any laptop and is strongly leading the way when compared to other tablets on the market.
With the new Windows 10 and the option to choose from three Intel core processors, Windows boasts that the Surface Pro 4 is twice as fast as the MacBook air.
It's a nice combination of the features of a laptop and tablet
The Surface Pro 4 features most of the functionalities you would expect in a laptop and combines it with the portability of a tablet. It's a nice combination of the two, making it great for taking notes in meetings.
Having the same form as the Surface Pro 3 means that the Pro 4 also has the same ports; one full-size USB 3, one mini DisplayPort, a headset jack, and a microSD card slot.
Considering there is room for additional ports, it would have been nice if the Pro 4 had increased the number of ports.
If you do want to plug anything in, you should get the docking station since there is only one USB port. That said, it will set you back an additional $300.
Keyboard/ Type Cover isn’t included
While the new keyboard type cover boasts significant improvements compared to that of the Surface Pro 3, it must be purchased separately.
The type cover will set you back an additional $200
Surface Pen Holder
For previous models, the Surface Pen was attached to the keyboard, secured by a colourful loop. In the new Surface Pro 4 however, the Surface Pen magnetically clips to the left side of the screen. While this is effective for those who are using their Surface Pro keyboard-free, the magnetic clips feel less secure. The pen is much more likely to be knocked off inside of a laptop bag, for example.
Expensive compared to similar products on the market
As you may have gathered by now, the Surface Pro 4 isn't cheap. With the tablet itself starting at $1,349.
For a middle if the range model, you will be looking at around $2000 however, when you include the keyboard ($200), and the docking station ($300), you are looking at around $2,500 altogether.
Even though Microsoft is constantly fixing issues with patches and updates, these problems should be noted before you rush out to purchase the new Surface Pro 4.
Inconsistent Battery Life
According to Microsoft the Surface Pro 4 has a 9 hr battery life. From our personal experiences, the battery life almost never lasts an entire day and will vary significantly depending on what you’re using your device for.
Regardless of what you have planned for the day, I would recommend carrying around a charger- the battery life can last as little as just 4 hours.
Sleep Mode issues
Windows 10 introduced Windows Hello, an easy way to log into your device without having to use a passcode or pin.
While this feature can save time when logging into your device, glitches in camera software has caused Windows Hello to burn through battery- even when the tablet is in sleep mode.
From our own experiences, we've found that sleep mode does not always turn on, resulting in a drained battery. Even worse, sometimes it won't wake up from sleep and needs to be reset- causing all unsaved work to be lost in the process.
External Monitor Issues
Plugging in or unplugging external monitors can cause the size of icons, text and applications to go out of whack.
When this happens, you have to reboot in order to fix it.
The Surface Pro 4 is available to buy starting from $1,349. It should be noted that there are a number of cheaper alternatives set to be released early next year, such as the Lenovo Miix which starts from just $799.