Unless you’ve been living under some sort of rock, you will have heard of the Microsoft Surface range of hybrid computers. With the latest generation, the Book and Pro 4, it seems like Microsoft have finally succeeded in their mission to create the tablet that can replace your laptop. How do they stack up against each other, though? And which one suits your needs best? We’ve taken a look at them so you can find out, whichever one you choose, at Techscheme you can save money and spread the cost thanks to our employee benefits.

Design

On the outside, the devices don’t look too alike. This is mainly because each tries to serve a slightly different purpose. The Surface Book is a laptop first, tablet second, and the Pro 4 does it the other way. So the Pro comes without a keyboard as standard, although you can pick up the excellent Type Cover 4 to go with it, and it’s lighter, thinner and comes with a smaller 12.3-inch screen compared to the Surface Books 13.5.

Outside of that, the Surface Book’s unique design with dynamic fulcrum hinge is something special. It’s trying to fulfil a different function of course, but it looks like a classy, professional device. The Pro 4 on the other hand, with its kickstand and extra-portability, make it geared more towards creatives, likely in need of something to be able to quickly grab and jot down their inspirations.

Winner: We should call this a draw really, but we do love that hinge. The Surface Book – just.

Power & Display

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We’ll start with the display as that’s easiest to sort out, they’ve both got the same 267PPI (pixels per inch) pixel density and unusual 3:2 aspect ratio. In a nutshell, as stylus ready, creative-geared screens they’re both excellent. It’s in the power that things get a little bit more complicated.

Both these machines have a number of different spec options available, the Pro 4 starts off at a lower spec (and lower budget) with a Core M3 Processor, 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD, which is still pretty impressive and good enough for any tablet or work computer. While both do go up to through Intel Core i5 and i7 ranges, the Surface Book reaches up to 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD and an NVIDIA GeForce 940M graphics card at its high end making it a better machine for future-proofing, gaming and, well, pretty much everything.

Winner: It depend on what you need out of a hybrid, in terms of raw power, it’s the Surface Book.

Camera & Battery Life

Getting it out of the way, both set-ups have identical camera set-ups, 5MP at the front and 8MP at the back, you may find that the Pro 4 is easier to move around and take pictures with by weight, though.

Battery life is a tougher metric by which to judge these two against each other, though. With two batteries, one in the base and one in the tablet, the Surface Book can last up to 12 hours, which is much longer than the Surface Pro 4’s single battery, which manages up to 6 hours normal use. However, for use as a tablet, the Pro 4 is better than the Surface Book which manages around 4 hours. These numbers are impressive given the hardware inside, but the ones that will matter will completely depend on how you use it.

Winner: Do you want to use your Surface as a laptop or a tablet? There’s your answer.

Laptop Vs Tablet

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So, every time we’ve had to decide on which one of these is better, it’s ultimately come down to whether you want a laptop or a tablet. Which one is objectively better is impossible to say. Microsoft says the Surface Pro 4 is the tablet that can replace your laptop, and it is and it can. They call the Surface Book the ultimate Window notebook, and it is.

Ultimately the decision will come down to fine margins, if you need something that’s lighter and a bit more flexible or affordable, then it’s probably the Surface Pro 4. If you want something that you can use for gaming, or need longer stints between charging then it’s the Surface Book.

Winner: Search your feelings.

Model (processor) RRP Savings Techscheme Price
Surface Book (i7) £2649.00 £317.88 £2331.12
Surface Pro 4 (m3) £749.00 £89.88 £659.12
Type Cover 4 £109.00 £13.08 £95.92

That’s how we feel about the Surface range of hybrids, of course, there is a range of specifications for both, so you may be able to narrow down just exactly which one suits you best. Otherwise, you can always check out other products at Techscheme, there’s a lot more going on beneath the Surface.