8.3/10
Informr score
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 currently has an Informr score of 8.3 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 32 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Sharp, beautiful display with vibrant colors
  • Speedy performance
  • Extremely portable and light
  • Improved Touch Cover for excellent typing experience
  • Responsive touch screen

What's bad

  • Type Cover sold separately
  • Poor battery life
  • Core package comes with lower processor than the Pro 3

When Microsoft released their first Surface, critics and consumers alike were excited by the idea but disappointed with the end result. Now onto the fourth iteration however, the Surface series has seen huge upgrades to the hardware and continued to receive some subtle design updates.

The tablet sports the same all-magnesium unibody as its predecessors and almost the same dimensions at 7.9 x 11.5 inches. It just so happens to be slightly thinner at 0.33 inches and a bit lighter as well at 766 grams. While light, critics add that it does get a bit uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time when used as a tablet.

A closer look revealed to reviewers that Microsoft also managed to trim the bezel around the screen despite the fact the display on the Pro 4 is larger than the Pro 3 at 12.3 inches. But the screen is more than just slightly larger, it packs in more pixels as well. With a resolution of 2736 x 1824 it offers a pixel density of 267ppi, which is higher than its main competitor – the iPad Pro. The high resolution naturally offered testers a very crisp and sharp experience whether they were reading text, viewing images or watching movies.

Reviewers especially loved how little air gap there was between the screen and the Gorilla Glass 4 coating thanks to Microsoft's patented PixelSense technology. Not only did this provide them with a great viewing experience, it also offered responsive touch and, when combined with the Surface Pen, incredibly pressure sensitivity.

Besides this the display also managed to impress with its wide range of colors, deep blacks and brilliant whites. That said, some critics did notice slight color inaccuracies though they add it wasn't too obvious.

The Pro 4 comes in several different models, but the core unit comes with an Intel Core M3 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB hard drive. Most consider this a slight downgrade as the M3's clock speed is lower than that found on the base i3 chip of the Pro 3.

Most reviews we found were of the mid-range option: a 2.4GHz dual-core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB hard drive. This model, when run through their benchmark tests, performed well ahead of many notebooks and almost as good as the MacBook Pro with Retina. Their real world tests backed up the results as well.

Critics describe the performance as snappy and speedy though not noticeably faster than its predecessor.

The biggest letdown was battery life. For the most part experts were only able to get around five to six hours of continuous use even with the brightness set lower. This meant they were not able to go a full day without a charge, something many tablets and laptops are able to do.

The biggest improvement comes from the upgraded Type Cover. Engadget goes so far as to call it a revelation and states, "It finally brings a killer keyboard to the Surface lineup."

It is all around a larger device, but the additional weight and size comes with its benefits. Though thicker, it was found to be much sturdier and more rigid than its predecessor, which allowed for better overall key feedback. As well, the additional width allowed Microsoft to put more space in between the keys. This, suggests reviewers, offers a far easier and more enjoyable typing experience.

Combined with the larger, glass-backed trackpad they describe the new Type Cover as a "joy" to use.
The biggest downside is that the Type Cover does not come bundled with the Pro 4. It needs to purchase it separately.

What the tablet does come with is the Surface Pen. The latest pen now has 1,024 levels of pressure and an eraser on the opposite end. It was designed to feel more like a pencil, something critics appreciated as it was far more comfortable and intuitive to use.

For Microsoft, the fourth time seems to be the charm.

Reviewers were blown away by the Surface Pro 4's improvements and performance. Still, they find it hard to recommend for everyone especially at its price point.

Digital Trends states, "…anyone looking at the Surface still needs to ask themselves if a single do-it-all device is really needed. For some, the Pro's enhanced portability is never going to make sense. But those looking to lighten their load will fall in love…It's the best 2-in-1 PC Yet."

Gizmodo states, "It's a great second device to take anywhere and so some fun half-productivity, half-creative work...If refinements were made to make Windows 10 just a bit more touch-friendly…it would be a…true laptop killer."

 


Operating system
Windows
Processor
900 MHz
Screen Size
12.3"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


TechRadar

So, has Microsoft finally done it? That depends on how considerable of a compromise you consider "somewhat below average" battery life. If that's about the only thing that Redmond's mission rides on, with the typing, tracking and penning experience vastly improved, then I'd consider the fourth go at...

- Joe Osborne, TechRadar
Ausdroid

Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 is the triple-threat of the computing world, tripling as a tablet, laptop and desktop replacement, and doing each rather well.

- Chris Rowland, Ausdroid
What Mobile

A much improved screen with better touch and response are the biggest changes to the Surface Pro 4, with enough clout to sway it for many potential buyers. Factor in all the other little things that Microsoft has adjusted for the better and it becomes clear that this is much more than just a fresh p...

- Thomas Wellburn, What Mobile
Mobile Choice

Fourth iteration of Microsoft's fantastic tablet range doesn't disappoint. The superb display, the comfort of the kickstand, great processor and premium build quality screams understated elegance and the bundled Pen is a great bonus. I also really like the kick-stand which for me negates the need fo...

- Sunetra Chakravarti, Mobile Choice
Fone Arena

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a good upgrade to the Surface Pro 3, but it starts at Rs. 89,990 for the base variant and goes up to Rs. 144,990 for the high-end with Core i7 chip, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. It is priced on the higher side at least in India, and you have to invest separately for the...

- Srivatsan Sridhar, Fone Arena


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Quick view

Screen Size
12.3"

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4's screen size is 12.3 inches with 2736 x 1824 pixels resolution.

Processor
900 MHz

There is a Intel Core m3 900 MHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the Windows 10 Pro operating system (OS).

Camera
8+ MP
You can take photos with the phone's onboard 8+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
128 GB

Internal memory is 128 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
42WHr

The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 42 WHr battery. Microsoft's performance ratings are 6 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

Surface Pro 4 Specs

Overview
Release date October 26, 2015
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
No (Option available)
Networks
No
SIM card size
No
Dual SIM No
Operating System Windows 10 Pro

Compare Windows Tablets

Processor Intel Core m3 900 MHz
Internal Storage 128 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Stylus
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 42 WHr
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time Unknown
Video Playback Time Up to: 9 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 6 hours
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time Unknown
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Material Magnesium alloy
Colors Silver
Dimensions [H x W x D] 20.1 x 29.2 x 0.8 cm (7.9 x 11.5 x 0.3 in)
Weight 766 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 2736 x 1824 pixels
Pixel density 267 pixels
Size 12.3 inches
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC
PC Synchronization No
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
Auto focus, Self-timer
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Variations:

256GB SSD storage model
Processor: Intel Core i5 or i7
RAM: 8GB or 16 GB
Weight: 786 grams

512GB SSD storage model
Processor: Intel Core i7
RAM: 16 GB
Weight: 786 grams
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Reviews
Where to buy Microsoft Surface Pro 4
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