2016 Surface Book Pro Review: Stands Out As Top Laptop
Following the success of last year’s Surface Book release, Microsoft has followed up with a 2016 model, offering small updates just in time to compete with the recently released 2016 Macbook Pros.
The original Surface Book Pro made a big splash in the laptop market, offering a full-sized keyboard and detachable tablet display. Microsoft’s first-ever laptop, it claimed the title of “ultimate laptop” for its battery life, performance, and overall ergonomic design. While the latest update looks and performs the same, Microsoft claims that users will experience twice the graphics performance, a larger cooling fan, and a battery with either 12 or 16 hours of battery life. As with the original, a simple button above the delete key detached the screen from the keyboard for use as a tablet. For a stand, simply turn the screen around and re-attach.
Hardware-wise, expect the same magnesium case, backlit keyboard and “fulcrum” hinge, which Engadget argues makes the laptop look too bulky when closed. They also reported a tendency for the screen to wobble when attached, as it is slightly more top-heavy than desired. Overall, the laptop is heavier than before, 3.68 pounds versus 3.34 pounds, largely due to the bigger battery. A thicker, heavier machine does have its pros, however, as the Surface Book pro comes equipped with two full-size USB 3.0 sockets, a Mini DisplayPort, a headphone jack and a full-size SDXC reader. As with most Windows computers, a 5mp front camera work in tandem with Windows Hello facial recognition to log you in, with an extra 8mp rear camera in the rear.
Microsoft designed the Surface to be a strong tablet as well. The 3:2-aspect-ratio, while making the screen a little tall, more successfully simulates the size of an actual piece of paper. Coupled with a pen that not only has 1,024 sensitivity levels, but also a workable “eraser,” writing digitally is natural.
On the graphics end, the Surface Book Pro can get through gaming fairly well, Engadget reports. However, beware of some driver issues when attempting to install NVIDIA hardware. Remarkably, throughout heavy processing, the laptop generally remains cool. For the average multi-tasker, get through your day without ever being interrupted because of hardware issues.