There I was sitting at my brother’s house, with my Surface Pro 3 practically melting in my lap, thinking to myself, “Gah, I need more powaaaaah” Then I had a following thought, “Best Buy is only 20 minutes away…….” The rest is history.
I jumped up, ran down the stairs, “Hey guys, going to Best Buy, be back in a bit!” and got in my Porsche (Just kidding, Subaru Forester, she handles like a Porsche though. Porcheish… Meh, who am I kidding, it’s a Subaru).
As I was driving down highway 5 towards the mall, I kept wondering about why I was doing this? Well, I needed more power for work, basically. My main device at the time, Surface Pro 3, was getting past her prime a bit. She was about 1.5 years old (Yes, tech ages quicker than people, it’s like turtle years, or whatever). She had only 4 gigs of ram, and a 128 GB SSD. Inadequate for the types of work I was starting do to (web design, photo editing, creative stuff, you know).
There it was, the beautiful blue and yellow sign of Best Buy, it snapped me right back into reality. Seeing the sign for the greatest store on earth does that. I rolled over the too-large speedbumps and pulled into my spot, right next to the handicapped place (I’ve got things to do, remember?).
I walked/ran into the doors (Not into them, but inside the building, obviously, I’m not an idoit), waved to the very intimidating security/high school student person, and headed straight for the Microsoft section of the store (For those of you who don’t know, Best Buy now has different sections for the different brands. There are Google sections, Microsoft, and some other ones, but the others don’t really matter). I walked up to the table with the Pro 4, and began to download updates and run scans on it. It’s habit, I can’t help it.
Long story short, I ended up buying the i7-6650u version (top of the line) with 16 gigs of ram and a 256gb NVMe SSD (it’s awesome). This thing is a monster, let me tell you. For being 8 mm thick (it’s thinner than my phone) it packs a wallop when it comes to processing and getting things done.
I settled the bill with the clerk and, waving to the intimidating security guard/student, I took the tablet back to my brother’s house, where I proceeded to put my SP4 through her paces. I don’t fully remember what happened next, it’s sort of a blur. I think I installed Furmark, GPUz, Prime95, and a myriad of other performance testing/monitoring tools, but I’m not sure. I do know it was a glorious time in my life filled with joy and happiness.
Fast forward to now, I’ve had the tablet for about a month and do not regret my purchase whatsoever. This thing is screaming fast. It’s touch screen and pen are responsive, even moreso than my SP3, and it can handle about a billion open browser tabs. What more could you possibly want?
To tell a little bit about the daily performance and what you can expect out of your SP4. The screen is absolutely amazing. At 426 nits of brightness, the screen itself can burn your retinas (Maybe not, but it’s bright). You may be underestimating what I mean when I say bright. You could take this thing to the surface (Eheheh, pun definitely intended) of the sun, and still tweet to your pals and read it all crispy…ly (BOOM, I’m on FIRE, DOUBLE PUN!!!!).
The form factor of the tablet is, well, it’s about 6-9 iPhones laying down (I only use exact measurements). For all these iPhones worth of space, the tablet itself weighs in at a mere 1.73 lbs! All this and I can use it on the sun!? Sign me up!
The biggest flaw, on the surface (I can’t stop), is the battery life. It just isn’t as good as it should be. Actively using the SP4 at full brightness will get you about 3-4 hours of battery life, which is pretty horrendous considering comparable devices are getting 7-10 hrs or more. To be fair, the screen is very bright, so you can easily use it at 75% brightness and that increases your battery life into the 6 hour range. I set my brightness to about 85% on battery and that gives me 4-5 hours and a good experience visually.
The typing experience is an absolute pleasure, and I have very few if any non-registered keystrokes. Microsoft updated the trackpad considerably as well. It’s actually usable. You can get away without having a mouse or even the pen and use the device to its maximum potential. The typing experience and user input methods for the SP4 are truly impressive, given the form factor.
Another really cool feature on the surface is the pen input. You can handwrite on it. Using Onenote, or even Microsoft Word, you are able to handwrite lists, to do’s, or whatever you want. The biggest advantage to this is that you can personalize documents by actually signing them, or fill them out in handwriting, then email them back. It smooths out a lot of those annoying scanning/copying/whatever situations that you need to perform while interacting with organizations or business partners.
Overall, I highly recommend the Surface Pro 4 with the following conditions. You treat it as a do-all device. If you use it to replace the majority of your other devices, including writing utensils, it is a great purchase. If you buy it and expect it to replace your laptop perfectly, or your tablet perfectly, this will not happen. It’s a jack-knife option for computing. The SP4 can handle anything you throw at it, about 90% as good as another device. The advantage is you can handle many different scenarios that other devices simply don’t have the hardware to handle. If you use all it’s strengths in your daily life, it won’t disappoint you at all.
Good luck on your Tech adventures and God Bless.