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Microsoft challenges Apple w/ Surface Pro 4 iPad Pro competitor, Surface Book laptop aimed at MacBook Pro, more


Microsoft comparing its new Surface Book laptop/tablet combo with Apple’s MacBook Pro

At Microsoft’s event today it unveiled a huge array of ambitious and interesting tech which should be enough to make Apple stand up and take notice. The once-giant of the consumer electronics world has had to reinvent itself over the past couple of years, and judging from today’s event, it’s doing enough to get people interested again at the very least. At best, it could transform the way we see technology and computing.

Microsoft Band


Microsoft is going all-out on fitness monitoring tech with its newest Band. Apart from the obvious difference in form factor, the Microsoft Band is in every way a direct competitor to Apple Watch. The Band is redesigned to be a little more svelte than your typical fitness band, with a metallic frame around the display. It’s designed for people who work, but “also like to work out”. In other words, it can turn around your wrist.

Feature-wise, it’s very competitive. It has built-in GPS, UV monitoring, sleep and calorie tracking and smart notifications as well as the usual heart-rate monitor. What’s more, it has a barometer built in so that it can measure elevation and can even track your golf swing. If that wasn’t enough, it supports apps like Uber, RunKeeper, Starbucks, Subway and Twitter and also has Cortana integrated for voice-controlled actions. As fitness trackers go, it’s a true all-rounder, and Microsoft’s built a brand new health app to help you monitor all your activities with precision.

The latest Microsoft Band is cross-platform and compatible with Windows 10, iOS and Android, so you don’t even need to buy a Lumia to make use of it. If there’s a downside, it’s price. The Microsoft Band is available to pre-order from today for $249. Still, when compared to the prices Apple is charging for its own wearable with similar features, it’s pretty cheap.

Lumia 950 and 950 XL


These two new smartphones are Microsoft’s newest flagship phones and — spec wise — they may not be too much of a threat to the traditional champions of the smartphone market like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. But, they do have a secret weapon which has the potential to complete change how some consumers do computing.

The 950 and 950 XL have 5.2-inch and 5.7-inch WQHD resolution OLED displays respectively. The larger of the two is powered by Snapdragons octa-core 810 chip, while the smaller uses the Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor. Both sport 20MP cameras with 4K video recording and OIS paired with a triple-LED RGB natural flash. They also both have 32GB inbuilt storage, and full USB Type-C support which will give the user a 50-percent charge in 30 minutes. They also both happen to be liquid-cooled. You read that right: A liquid-cooled smartphone. It’s not just fancy cooling for fancy cooling’s sake though, both the 950 and 950 XL support Continuum.

While Apple wants to keep OS X and iOS separate — relying instead on Continuity to move from platform to platform — Microsoft is building an OS that works on devices of any size and function. Continuum will essentially let Lumia 950 and 950 XL users turn their phones in to PCs by wirelessly connecting Bluetooth keyboards, mice and monitors. It even adapts the mobile in to one that looks and works like the fully-fledged Windows 10 for PC. To compliment the Conituum feature, Microsoft built a Display Dock which makes it super-easy to get the Lumia phones hooked up to an external monitor. The dock has three USB ports, one HDMI and one DisplayPort and charges the phone while it’s connected.

We’ve seen manufacturers try the mobile-to-PC conversion in the past. Motorola tried it with Android, but ultimately it failed to catch on. It’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft fairs any better. Windows 10 is a much more universal platform than Android was a few years ago when Motorola launched the Atrix 4G with the dock. To make Continuum work as well as Microsoft wants it to though, developers do need to make their apps compatible. What do you think: Is Microsoft’s or Apple’s the better approach here?

The Lumia 950 XL goes on sale next month for $649, while the Lumia 950 will cost $100 less.



While Apple is yet to step in to the world of head-worn virtual reality of any kind, Google launched both Glass and Cardboard. HTC and Samsung have both created VR solutions, and Microsoft is about to release HoloLens. Today, the company showed off its wearable holographic headset and wants to promote it as a business and entertainment tool. What makes it different to most VR solutions, however, is that it doesn’t need to be tethered to anything. It doesn’t require cables or even a remote PC connection to work.

The headset has been shown off by the company in the past, and resembles a very futuristic — albeit bulky — pair of sunglasses. You wouldn’t be surprised to see someone wearing these in a Sci-Fi movie. HoloLens uses its sensors to measure the space any user is in, and uses surfaces like walls and tables and project 3D images, videos and content on to them.

At its event today it showed off a game called ‘Project X-Ray’ which uses the device’s spatial mapping technology to simulate enemies jumping out from the walls of your living room. Apple is betting on the upcoming Apple TV 4 to fill this space. But it can be used for anything, from gaming to conference calling. The possibilities are only limited to what developers can imagine, or create. That is, if they’re willing to pay up the eye-watering amount required to get access to the HoleLens Developer Kit. From today, developers can apply for the privilege to cough up a cool $3,000 to get hold of the development edition.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

With Apple having just unveiled the iPad Pro — with two Surface-inspired accessories: Apple Pen and Keyboard Case — there’s a clear feeling among tech manufacturers that the market needs big tablet/laptop crossovers. Truth is, however, that Microsoft’s been doing this for years with the Surface lineup. Today, Microsoft arguably announced the most compelling solutions so far.

At the very least, it’s released the product that iPad Pro is most directly competing with, although Microsoft used some stage time to take shots at the MacBook Air once again this year.

The Surface Pro 4 has a 12.3-inch “PixelSense” display, with a pixel density of 267ppi (5 million pixels on screen) and is coated by a ludicrously thin 0.4mm sheet of Gorilla Glass. It has a new G5 chipset designed by Microsoft and comes alongside a new Surface Pen which has 1,024 levels of pressure. This newly redesigned stylus also has a tail eraser and a full year of battery life. As a kicker, the pen can be stored magnetically on the Surface Pro 4. The new Surface Pen comes in silver, gold, red, blue, and black and the pen tips are interchangeable. Microsoft also took a swipe at Apple’s Pencil by suggesting that launching a pencil without a tail-end eraser was daft.

Specs include up to 1TB of storage and 16GB RAM, and Microsoft claims it’s 30 percent faster than the Surface Pro 3. Like other tablet-PC crossovers, the Surface Pro 4 comes with the option of a magnetically-attaching slim keyboard (in colors to match the Surface Pen). It has a bigger trackpad than previous versions, and keyboard is backlit. Prices start from $899 when the product goes on sale at the end of this month.

Surface Book

Apple has its MacBook Pro, and now Microsoft has made its very first laptop, the Surface Book which Microsoft says is better than a MacBook Pro. And it’s a little weird. The hinge looks more like links on a watch strap than a traditional notebook hinge. If Apple thought it could take on the Surface Pro with its iPad Pro, Microsoft clearly thinks it can take on the powerhouse laptops built in Cupertino.

Like the Surface Pro 4, the Surface Book has a 267PPI PixelSense touch sensitive display, but over 13.5-inches rather than 12.3-inches. It’s also bonded to the glass to make the content look like it’s on the surface of the display, rather than behind it. It has a backlit keyboard with 1.6mm travel, which Microsoft claims is “perfect” and is almost silent when used. Unlike a MacBook Pro, the screen can be detached from the keyboard. The laptop/tablet is built from machined magnesium, has a 12-hour battery life and a large, precise glass trackpad with support for 5-point multi-touch.

Inside, the Surface Book uses the latest Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, and an NVIDIA GeForce GPU with GDDR5 memory. All these internal components make the Surface Book “the fastest 12-inch laptop ever made anywhere on the planet”, according to the company who made it. It’ll be on sale on October 26 with prices from $1,499.

Does anything Microsoft announced today grab your attention, or should Apple pay attention and learn from anything Microsoft is doing here? Let us know what you think.

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  1. 89p13 - 7 years ago

    Umm, Yeah . . . . But it runs Windows 10 . . .

    Next story!

    • shareef777 - 7 years ago

      Yeah, Win10 tries very hard to try to be both a tablet OS and a desktop OS. I’m glad Tim Cook stated that there are no plans to merge iOS and OS X. They’re for two completely different users. Some can get by with a mobile OS while most will need a full fledged desktop OS to get work done.

      • Joe Cranford (@jodeo) - 7 years ago

        HA HA HA HA HA OH YOU’RE SERIOUS??? “Tim Cook stated that there are no plans to merge iOS and OSX.”
        ; )

        Really? The Mac is becoming more and more iOS-ish. First, they wrecked Mac iWork by porting the stripped-down iOS versions over to the Mac and alienating that base. The Mac versions still lag behind their former selves. Then they constantly port iOS apps of their own to the Mac OS as enhancements. Notes? Photos? Even Mail was “rewritten” to match iOS. The iOS is the lens through which all Mac OS and Apple app enhancements are now viewed, and it’s hitting the user experience negatively at times (and positively at others).

        Ultimately, what’s under the hood is less relevant to the end user. While consistency is important, context is more important for the end user. What I do on my iPhone and tablet and where is quite different than sitting at my Mac desktop or laptop. Apple increasingly doesn’t care, moving us to a One UX Fits All across their apps. Sure, there are still plenty of touch vs. non-touch and screen-size nuances. But at the core, Apple is doing what MS has been doing, only they’re being disingenuous about it.

        Still, they’re not as bad as MS. But MS has gotten its third wind, it seems. I’ve never been a fan of their products (aside from Bing — ‘Because It’s Not Googl-evil’). Today was indeed a wake-up call to the world, and as a Windows-At-Work user I’ll be paying attention to see how this plays out…

      • shareef777 - 7 years ago

        @Joe, everything you listed is about apps. I agree, Apps are becoming more iOS like, but the OS is NOT. Their are alternatives to all their apps on OS X. I don’t use iWork except for balancing my home checkbook and budget, Office is where it matters to get actual work done. The menu/dock don’t change, they’re not converting the entire OS to become touch friendly which is what differentiates them from Microsoft. I have a Surface Pro 3 and it’s a nightmare when switching between full desktop OS and tablet mode. It just isn’t a pleasant experience.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        @Joe Apps being designed the same with separate input methods is great. You don’t understand the simple fact that OS X and iOS MUST BE DIFFERENT because one uses touch based input and one uses curser/keyboard based input, and they’re designed with those respective input methods in mind. It’s really embarrassing that people don’t understand that you can’t meld those together and get something great, no, you’d get something awful, something that wasn’t good at either, because it was compromising for the other.

      • Have you even seen Windows 10? for anyone who doesnt know, Windows 10 ships with the same timeless toolbar + start button desktop that they did with windows 7. they`ve added a search button, a search bar and a task switcher and otherwise it functions exactly like Windows 7. the only way it tries “hard” to be a tablet OS is one button in the notifications center that makes all Windows maximised and has you switch between them one by one the same way you would with apps on iOS or Android. you never have to use it and you wouldnt even know its there unless you looked for it.

      • shareef777 - 7 years ago

        The problem isn’t the OS, they can change some items to make it more tablet friendly, but the apps that are designed for windows 10 are still keyboard/cursor based. I have a Surface Pro 3 and am running Office 2016 on it. It just doesn’t work in tablet mode. Pop ups for meeting reminders are too small and come up with a blank background. It’s very disruptive to my work (reminiscent of the old iOS days prior to the top banner when it was just a pop up window that would alert us for meetings/reminders).

    • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

      It very obvious that you never touched windows in years. Windows 10 is great. I for now prefer Microsoft Edge over safari and chrome because its cleaner and faster. Companies change bro. And finally, competition is good.

      • myke2241 - 7 years ago

        i have used window 10 on my surface. not impressed with W10 or the surface. it feels more like a toy. to honest i want to like the surface but my 2010 MBP is more functional for what i do. Additionally it seems like MS is just now catching up, glass trackpad, multi touch, backlit keys etc. nothing too impressing. i am also sure their promo spec of the Surface 4 being twice as powerful as a MBP is pinning the top of line surface against against the low end. great BS marketing.

      • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

        Whatever Bro. Companies change? That’s your argument? Bro.. Apple’s going to refresh their line up with the new SkyLake processors and whatever else they do to their computers, so this Surface Book is just a temporary thing, plus no Thunderbolt ports? WTF? I, like others, use Thunderbolt devices. I happen to only use Thunderbolt external drives., so Microsoft’s product is a fail. Now, go run along and play with Windows 10.

      • does W10 even Alfred app?

      • PMZanetti - 7 years ago

        Oh please, Edge is garbage. Don’t just shit make shit up for something to post.

    • modeyabsolom - 7 years ago

      I’ve been an OS-X user for a couple of years now, but isn’t Windows 10 a big improvement on what went before, according to reviews?

      • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

        Yes it is.

      • shareef777 - 7 years ago

        Yes, IMHO it’s better then XP which will hopefully get people to migrate off that ancient OS.

      • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

        Improving on previous versions of Windows isn’t saying much. If they are just changing mostly the GUI and not the crap underneath, then it’s just the same OS with just different clothing.

      • Thomas Yoon - 7 years ago

        I had Windows 10 on my PC (sold it a few days ago), and I honestly did like it. It’s snappier and quicker than previous installments I’ve used. The design is a little questionable though, especially in the iconography. Cortana is particularly useless and activates whenever we just have casual chats in the room about topics entirely unrelated to Halo.

        But hey, it also seems to boot up a lot faster and I liked that.

      • myke2241 - 7 years ago

        ya it is but its merely kinda just catching up if that. i would have said W10 is a enhanced rollback to what people weren’t scared of.

    • Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

      The i7’s they are using on the Surface Pro 4’s are the slowest, lowest power versions which are 2.2Ghz, dual core.

      Now, running Windows 10? Wow, really? You can install Windows 10 on a Mac, if you really want to use it.

  2. John T. (@xraydelta1) - 7 years ago

    “Once giant…” Ouch!

  3. Josh Lambert - 7 years ago

    I feel it could have been done without having the screen detach… And probably would have been thinner

    • iSRS - 7 years ago

      Very likely you are right, but at this point, since Apple isn’t doing convertibles (yet?), it is their key differentiator. Apple, I feel, always leads the pack, does things only Apple can do. This, much more often than not, causes lots of others to implement what Apple considers “low hanging fruit” and point out that “See? You can’t do X on an {INSERT APPLE PRODUCT HERE}. Then, when Apple has nailed what it does best, it goes out and adds that low hanging fruit, taking the big selling point of its competition away. Perfect example is the iPhone 6/6 Plus and screen size. All the other companies have been in a “race to space” war over screen size for years. Initially it was an answer to a very real problem – battery life. In order to make a batter that competed with iPhone and surpassed it, the Android makers had to go bigger and bigger. So the natural step was bigger screens. Apple didn’t worry about it, it made it’s phones the best it could. Ad after ad really focused on screen size. Then last year, in the span of 90 minutes, all competitive advantage screen size gave anyone was out the window.

      If/when the timing is ripe for a convertible OS X/iOS tablet/book, Apple will release one. But I am not sure that it is in the next couple years. That could change with the work they are doing with IBM and Cisco tells them something.

  4. eklisiarh - 7 years ago

    This is exactly what I would like Apple to create! An iPad that would run IOS while its disconnected and once you connect it would charge and run Os x

    • Scott (@ScooterComputer) - 7 years ago

      Yup. Same here. Sad that Apple has obviously decided to relinquish the innovation crown to Microsoft. This was stuff Apple could have been doing two years ago, instead we got an underpowered MacBook with ONE port. Other than that the Apple Mac hardware matrix hasn’t materially changed in over 5 years. FIVE YEARS. Oh, did get a fancy watch. Big whoop.

      • samuelsnay - 7 years ago

        Lol two half-assed versions of Windows built into a bulky tablet/laptop hybrid is “innovation”?

      • Thomas Yoon - 7 years ago

        The only innovation I see Microsoft doing is the Hololens, and the liquid cooling in the phones. The breakaway tablet/laptop has been around for several years, and it has faded into obscurity until now because of how useless it is. I think it’ll fade once again with the Surface Book.

        The Apple hardware doesn’t change because they’re insanely solid. They’re built to last for many years and Apple knows that their updating customer base is for professionals and tech-savvy folk who consistently want the newest products. I’m actually curious as to your ideas of what Apple should be releasing. Give us an idea, because you seem to know better.

      • Thomas Yoon - 7 years ago

        That just sounds like blind hatred. They demo’d it playing Minecraft on a standard table in real time at E3 this year, and as much as I have no interest in Minecraft and the fact that it was painfully obvious for Microsoft to go there first, there’s potential. Calling it vapourware in its development kit stage is not fair.

        And sure, liquid cooling in a current smartphone is pretty useless. But down the road, we’ll be able to start pushing more heavy work onto smartphones (and even tablets) and keep overheating to a minimum. Gotta start somewhere.

    • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

      Since iOS is based of OS X it doesn’t have to have 2 separate os’s. It just needs 2 have 2 separate UI’s one whe docked with a keyboard and one when being used as a tablet.

      • thejuanald - 7 years ago

        iOS and OS X are not the same thing, at all. You’re thinking of Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile.

    • eklisiarh - 7 years ago

      I use Mac for the past 15 years and iPad since the day one but this is actually first time I feel like converting. iPad is not for serious work! Its good for reading but its not a full computer and anyone saying it is, is just not doing a serious work,msorry! Macbook on the other side is horrible for reading. I read all my books on the iPad. Bringing two worlds together is the only option and I am sorry that Apple can’t understand this. Or maybe they won’t understand because they hope we will continue buying both of their products. Well I for one don’t want to have both laptop and a tablet! I want one seemless device, and I don’t care what Steve said… Steve was great but he was not a God and he was not right about everything and he probably also changed his mind whats good and what’s not. I hope Apple will stop holding on some of his ideas (stylus that they will launch could be a sign they start to realize this). Steve himself wouldn’t like to stand on the way of progress!

      • Matt Swart - 7 years ago

        All I can say is go for it. Spent $1500+ of your own money on it, it is the only way to know.

        I did it last year, bought the surface pro 3, second best model on the market, with the fancy keyboard. Worst buy ever! Went back to my MacBook pro and bought an ipad air 2 two months later. The surface pro 3 has been collecting dust 10 months out of the 12 owning it.

        Maybe for you the story will be different, you need answers so go and buy it.

      • Viktor Vasilev - 7 years ago

        I think they did improve OS X by adding full screen. And that is the direction they are going, as I see it. Having both sides, full screen mode as in a iOS like experience and ‘normal’ mode as in the familiar desktop feeling.

        For the stylus – no stylus debate…when Steve Jobs talked about the stylus being a bad idea, he meant the iPhone!
        Because for a screen of that size it is truly a stupid idea. Even for the new iPhone 6 plus size it is iffy to use a pen like device.

        But for a big screen as the iPad Pro I think it is smart to use such a device. There it makes sense. And personally I was glad that they addressed the problem with latency…which nobody really talks about. Once they have solved that, then a pen with a big screen is for drawing and precise work the only way to have paper removed of the modern work place!

    • Ryan White - 7 years ago

      I’m with you. I would prefer to use Mac if they would make a laptop replacement with a pen and OS X because I love the OS, but I need the pen and I also need to do serious work, and the “benefits” of iOS (I can’t find any) are by no means worth me carrying 2 devices.

  5. crichton007 - 7 years ago

    It’s all interesting but Windows 10 is more like a Google competitor in an Apple body with all of the ad supported services and apps. I’ll pass because for it’s faults I do prefer the privacy that comes with Apple over the competition.

  6. Grayson Mixon - 7 years ago

    Any potential for a 9to5Windows? I see an expansion coming.

  7. Adam-1D - 7 years ago

    Microsoft is comparing the Surface Boo with 2012 MacBook Pro (non-Retina), of course it can be 2x powerful)

    • are you sure it’s the 2012 MBP and not the current rMBP?

    • thejuanald - 7 years ago

      No, they are not doing that at all.

    • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

      Go and read some articles about the new Skylake cpu pleeeeeease!

    • csnyderii - 7 years ago

      Go to both websites and compare specs yourself, don’t believe the info being spoon fed to you. Please find me a 13″ MBP (apples to apples) with an i7 CPU and 16GB DDR5 RAM.

      • There’s no such a thing as DDR5 RAM.. Yet :)

        Here you go..

        13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
        3.1GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz
        16GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
        128GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
        Intel Iris Graphics 6100
        Force Touch trackpad
        Backlit Keyboard (English) & User’s Guide

  8. Can they show the data that is sent back to Microsoft about you and how you use the device you purchased and how that can’t be turned off?

  9. no matter how you slice it, this is a great looking device. Kudos to MS.

    • rogifan - 7 years ago

      It’s about more than how something looks.

      • True that. But you’re getting a device that’s potentially as powerful as a MBP & iPad Pro. In one device.

    • r00fus1 - 7 years ago

      You know what else looks really good? A Chromebook pixel – if you want a laptop that can’t run Word or, iTunes, a Chromebook is sexy light and beautiful.
      Functionality matters.

      • Not in this case, give me 10/10 a gorgeous looking CGI MS Win based infographic computer picture over a normal Windows PC. Because I ain’t not buying none of thems anyways.

    • paulywalnuts23 - 7 years ago

      Completely disagree.

  10. rogifan - 7 years ago

    SurfaceBook? They really couldn’t come up with anything better than that?

    • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

      I think it looks like a nice device, but the name could used a little work.

      • trudnai - 7 years ago

        Looks like nice because they deliberately copied how MBP looks like. Look at the touchpad and that slit in front of it… And look at that magnetic power connector… Looks like the old MBP :-)

    • Yet I bet you literally creamed your pants when Apple added “Pro” onto the end of iPad.

      Yup, course you did.

  11. - 7 years ago

    Haven’t seen any battery life numbers…

  12. Kim Ginnerup (@kgi111) - 7 years ago

    It seems like Microsoft is producing some nice hardware. But all of it runs Windows. I have used Microsoft since the DOS days but pulled the plug in 2009 and went to Mac and have never looked back. At work I still use Windows and it just tells me there are no compelling reasons to go back. I have office on iPad and even on an IOS device Microsoft software irritates me. I fell my life is too short for Microsoft.

  13. Matthew Judy - 7 years ago

    “…Microsoft clearly thinks it can take on the powerhouse laptops built in Cupertino.”

    Designed in Cupertino. Built in China.

  14. suchkunt - 7 years ago

    So to make their product look good, they have to take shots at Apple. Not that I care about such things, but it’s basically an acknowledgement that their are NOT the dominant player and that their products don’t have what it takes to sell themselves.

    Couple this with copy-paste industrial design and the windows 10 privacy nightmare botnet and you have a non-starter of a product.

    Microsoft is exactly as shitty as Google with half-baked products that die on the vine, and the same horrendous cavalier attitude toward user privacy.

    • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

      Nope. Companies change and just because Microsoft used to sucks doesn’t mean that they will always sucks. Kudos for them and this new surface book looks great. We all wished that ipad pro would come with osx to be a real pro device. Microsoft done it and not apple. Surface book is more powerful than macbook pro and It can work as an iPad pro and all that comes with a 12 hours of battery life. Cmon people respect innovation a little bit.

      • mpriestly - 7 years ago

        “We all wished that iPad pro would come with OS X…”

        Right…. The iPad wasn’t meant for OS X. And it’s not innovation just because Apple hasn’t done it.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        Sad that you think OS X should be on an iPad. No explaining can convince you how bad that would be.

      • trudnai - 7 years ago

        Why do not you buy a MacBook or MacBook Air then? Similar price range to iPad Pro and comes with OSX…

      • Ryan White - 7 years ago

        @trudnai because there’s no pen

    • Gee, Apple never had to bash their competitors to get anywhere

  15. thejuanald - 7 years ago

    I knew I would come here and people would be losing their minds trying to discredit this. Both the SP4 and SB are fantastic pieces of technology, but they aren’t made by Apple so they are complete trash! Am I doing it right, guys?

    • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

      Its the same here and the same at
      Fans are blind and never change. I love my macbook pro but I think Microsoft now is more innovative than Apple. Take for example the comment above that thinks of comparing macbook non retina to surface pro4. Its obvious that he needs some lessons about the skylake cpu that comes in sp4.

      • paulywalnuts23 - 7 years ago

        What is so innovative about this at all? Nothing that this Hybrid does hasn’t been done before.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        Microsoft more innovative than Apple? Haha that’s funny. With what? These garbage hybrids? You know what makes a product bad? Loss of focus. A misunderstanding of what a product should do.

        Microsoft doesn’t understand, where Apple does, that an operating system for a tablet, and an operating system for a desktop/laptop must be different. Any intelligent person knows the insanely simple fact that a tablet is designed for touch asked input, whereas a laptop is designed for curser/keyboard based input. Making a hybrid is only accepting an inferior tablet, and an inferior laptop, because neither of them function optimally based on their input. It’s a real disaster honestly.

      • Ryan White - 7 years ago


        What other devices (1) have a pen, (2) have a 12+ inch screen, (3) run a desktop OS, and (4) are detachable?

        I only know of a discontinued VAIO (with a lot of poor design elements — I’ve been using it for a couple years), and the Thinkpad Yoga Pro with the first 3 criteria. I don’t know any satisfying all 4.

        The best I could do with Apple (actually my preference) is to carry an iPad pro plus a Macbook, which isn’t feasible (and really expensive).

        I’m really interested because this is what I want to buy in the near future, but I can’t find such devices.

  16. is this Apple MacBook Pro non-retina display shown ?
    if it is, sure the surface book will have better performance due to aged cpu of Pro

  17. It’s too bad the Microsoft App Store is so sparse and it appears to be the company/ecosystem’s Achilles heel. I like their products, just wish they had more.

  18. Thomas Yoon - 7 years ago

    Soooooo…what’s the point of the Surface Pro 4 then? I assume by going for a Surface Pro, you want to run desktop-class applications, which is what the Surface Book will do. The price difference is noticeable, but you probably won’t be running big editing or photomanipulation tools on it. God knows I tried with a Surface Pro 2 to run Photoshop, and the icons were so tiny it was virtually unusable. From what I’ve read on Adobe forums, Microsoft has not improved scaling in Windows at all.

    So that brings us to the Surface Book itself then. First off, why is it detachable? This technology baffled me when I first saw it on cheap third-party companies, and it still baffles me. I don’t want all of my expensive components sitting in what should be the lighter half of the laptop, the screen. This essentially means only basic functions like the keyboard backlighting is housed in the actual casing. Oh, and touch screens on laptops? Big no for me. I may be going out on a limb here, but I don’t think anyone wants to be smothering their oily fingers all over their laptop screens for actual interfacing. We saw it tried with Windows 8 and it was a huge pain. This Surface Book is nothing more than a glorified tablet that is housed like a laptop.

    The cost then. $1499 actually doesn’t sound that bad for a high-class laptop. I don’t deny this thing probably can power through a busy work environment, especially with the promise of NVIDIA GeForce chips (provided they’re actually worth it), and GDDR5 RAM. Then it concerns me that it says “prices FROM $1499”. With what we’ve seen with the Surface Pro, my guess is that the cheap base model will probably hold about 8 GB of RAM (Windows OS eats this up so fast), a lower end 2 GB GeForce card, and about a 2.2 GHz i5 processor. Even if my components are off the mark, I don’t think the base model will work for heavy use, especially using Windows as the operating system. My guess is you’ll be dishing out just over $2000 for something with enough quality for users like gamers, designers and producers, a step above a usable Surface Pro in the same considerations.

    And you know what? That’s a fair price if it works. MacBook Pros offer similar things and are equally pricey. Where the difference really lies is that OS X doesn’t eat up your components with needless background crap. It’s also possible to buy a respectable quality product through refurbishing at a highly discounted price. You’ll also actually get support once you buy it, what a shock. I don’t think I have to mention the quality of Microsoft’s support team.

    In the end, I’m being overly cautious of how this one plays out. I’m still confused as to why you’d want to dish out for a Surface Pro 4 when the Surface Book is offering the same thing, minus the pen. I’m sure third-party companies will start making pens for it soon. Hell, I’m sure Microsoft will release one. On one side, I hope it does well so Microsoft stops its line of continuous failures, but a part of me also wants it to fail so they rethink a lot of these things. Seriously, why is it detachable?

    • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

      “I’m still confused as to why you’d want to dish out for a Surface Pro 4 when the Surface Book is offering the same thing, minus the pen.”
      What do you mean by minus the pen?!

      • Thomas Yoon - 7 years ago

        Pretty sure the Surface Book won’t come with a stylus. The Surface Pro always does.

      • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

        It does come with the pen too bro. GO to their website and check. The pen is included with both devices.

      • Thomas Yoon - 7 years ago

        @Ali: Well, how about that. You are correct on that matter.

        That brings me back to my original question. Why make a Surface Pro 4?

      • mahmudf2014 - 7 years ago

        @Thomas Have you seen this. This is from today:

      • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

        Because it is thin and has a smaller screen size. Same question could be asked about why do we have macbook, macbook pro, and macbook air!

      • Thomas Yoon - 7 years ago

        @mahmudf2014: Thanks for the link. I like the prospect of Adobe adapting (because they are so bound to their own ways), but I honestly have to take this with a grain of salt at the moment. Adobe was jumping up and down to get their OS X apps using Lion’s Full Screen option when it was announced, but even on El Capitan years later, they’ve never even mentioned it again. I’m still hopeful with this article because Adobe does adopt new stuff like Metal here and there.

        @Ali: No, those aren’t even remotely comparable. Now you’re just being ridiculous. A Surface Pro 4 at its highest specs can rival both the cost and the strength of a lower end Surface Book. Macbook Air cannot come even close to the minimal MacBook Pro; they are intentionally made for different consumers. The Surface Book should have been a standalone laptop without a focus on the tablet market; a true powerhouse that can grind out things that the Surface Pro could not dream of doing. That would give Surface Pro users a real reason to pick it over the Surface Book, and vice versa. I’m not trying to blow smoke out of my ass or anything, Microsoft themselves created a comparison chart on their Surface Book. Look at the Surface Book, and look at the Surface Pro 4. The only difference is a couple hundred pixels in the display, screen size, and the fact that i5 Surface Pro models can’t do 3D AutoCad stuff (once again, this is remedied by buying a stronger Surface Pro 4, essentially making it a Surface Book).

        And hey, I don’t agree with the new MacBook either, I think although the argument of saying it’s a first-gen test product is fair, it should have stayed in development longer until they could have really redefined it. Their acquisition of Beats and their naming of iPad PRO I don’t agree with either. But comparing the MacBook Air/MacBook Pro difference with this is not right. It just isn’t.

    • eklisiarh - 7 years ago

      Because I want to have one device on which I do all my things and not having to switch from one to another device all the time?

      • Thomas Yoon - 7 years ago

        But the Surface Book can do that too, and be a little bit stronger and probably scaled better too. It just wouldn’t have the pen, and trust me, unless Adobe and Microsoft worked out something dealing with the scaling and lag issues they had with their desktop applications, the stylus isn’t worth it.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      The surface pro 4 can run editing apps on it; 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD with i7 skylake CPU isn’t good enough??

      • Thomas Yoon - 7 years ago

        This is the same tired misstep people seem to make when judging these things. You don’t look at just the specs of a unit to determine how well it’ll work. Shove 32GB of RAM into a machine with an octa-core i7 chip and it’ll still run at normal to marginally better speeds for individual software, depending on how they’re optimized. Adobe is always miles behind in what operating system are offering. They still don’t have OS X’s full screen app capability, and scaling is still super poor for Windows.

        I found the problem was always that Windows sucks up so many needless resources running pointless garbage in the background. For a seasoned veteran of computers, it was a basic inconvenience to go into the Task Manager and close down assets that are not doing anything useful. For anyone else, it was and still is a nightmare. The only way I can see it being practical is if these work on the speed and level of quality the large Cintiq HD units do, but they probably won’t hit that because they have to run a chunky OS in the background. That’s what separates iPads from Surface for me. Apple developed a separate OS that is entirely dedicated for tablets to play to their strengths. They don’t cram everything into one product, you buy an iPad if you want to watch HD videos, play some games, get everyday tasking done on the go, and everything else a tablet should bring in terms of convenience. Then, you can take it home and it’s all automatically synced to a proper computer, where your heavy work should be done.

        Now that said, I think Microsoft is starting to really push some good parts with that Surface Book. The 3GB folder transfer in the demo was fantastic, given that it was not gimmicked in any way. I recall them promising amazing battery life with the Surface Pro 2 when I bought it, and it was about…5 hours max on power use. So I got the Power Cover to extend it, and maybe…an extra 2 hours? It was very disappointing, so I’m taking that ludicrous transfer rate demo with a grain of salt.

        Just remember, specs are one thing, optimization and execution is everything.

  19. More powerful doesn’t mean better. Have you seen those Android phones? Yet, iPhone 6s beats them in everything. Plus, this runs Windows. No, thank you.

  20. triankar - 7 years ago


    Microsoft just released at least one product that we should have seen this year from Cupertino: the Surface Pro. And then topped it off with the Surface Book. Their only downside is the OS they’re running, as far as I’m concerned… but now I’m more tempted than ever to switch back :/ (haven’t used Windows at all for about 5 years now).

    Yes, I’m an Apple fan, have been since the 90s, but this year I was TOTALLY DISAPPOINTED with the hardware APPLE released (and was waiting to upgrade my ageing laptop + tablet).

    With either the Surface Pro or the Book, you get both a tablet and a fully-equipped+functional laptop (needless to say at a smaller price). With Apple’s oh-so-thin-and-shiny MacBook and iPad Pro this year, you get a half-baked ultra-light yet-expensive laptop, and a big tablet with limitations in the OS (iOS) and port expansion. Argh!

    Microsoft seems to be well on the way of winning back its ground, with the right hardware decisions being made. The Band also looks like it’s on target, with a more-than-decent feature set and hopefully its design issues resolved. Needless to mention it IS a lot cheaper than the Apple Watch.

    Flame-bait: I hope Tim takes notice of Microsoft’s move and kicks Ive out the door before the conceited Brit does the company any more harm (I assume Ive gave the directions on how to split the two products – MacBook and iPad Pro) :/ (sorry, but I’m pissed at seeing the right products being released from the wrong company – yes, it’s my opinion, right or wrong, but I had to have it out :( )

    • This is all junk. Go back to Microsoft, troll.

      • eklisiarh - 7 years ago

        And the earth is flat! Go back to your narrow minded hole troll!

    • paulywalnuts23 - 7 years ago

      Just wait and see how these things sell and then you will see why Apple hasn’t put them out..

      • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

        Are you sure? Because As far as I remember the iPad business has been suffering for over 3 years.

      • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

        @Ali Hamodi Anyone intelligent knows why the iPad sales have been declining. Since you don’t understand why, I’ll tell you. The iPad was bought in great numbers initially, surpassing greatly, the speed at which the iPhone was sold, for a long time. The iPad though, is a very inherently different device. It is largely used at home, by several family members, and not updated for years, as people don’t find it necessary to update like they do an iPhone for example. Once it saw great penetration into tens of millions of homes, naturally, it’s sales started to decline steadily, as far fewer people are buying it and updating it (reasons I mentioned above).

        Smartphones are updated by people far more frequently because not only do they typically get the newest features first, they also get updates to features people care about on a phone as opposed to a tablet, like, for example, the camera. Another thing is that people don’t get to show off their iPad which is sitting at home, they get to show off the fact that they own the latest and greatest smartphone because it goes everywhere with them. Many people buy the latest version simply to have the latest one that everyone else has.

        these are numerous reasons, but there are of course others.

      • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

        Where in my comment you did see me questioning about the reasons!!!
        iPad pro won’t sell good and this is obvious for a clear reason.
        Apple fans already own an ipad and they just don’t justify spending around a thousand dollars on something big and they don’t need.
        Now go to the enterprise, They don’t act like fans and they don’t buy anything unless there are tons of reasons to do so. Since ios is limited, they are most likely uninterested in the ipad pro.

      • triankar - 7 years ago

        Tim and his team are too proud to make the right hardware decisions at this point. We didn’t need a half-baked laptop. Neither did we need a business-sized tablet that is limited by its OS for any real work.

        Two things need to happen before iOS is (more) business ready:
        1. Apple has to create a centralised storage registry in iOS, where apps can register themselves as storage providers (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox etc). The iCloud Drive then becomes merely an entry in that registry.
        2. Apps request permission to access this registry (at whatever granularity) and are allowed to read/write files through there, rather than copy them to their own file-space for opening. We can’t have, for example, Pages copying a file from our Google Drive to its own space for editing and then exporting the damn thing back to GD when we’re done. Essentially, the registry becomes a “File -> Open …” dialog.

        For work I have a 2013 rMBP (and an iPad mini 2). I wanted to upgrade it to something retina and physically lighter. Being able to pen-draw on it would also be great (diagrams and stuff). Neither the MB or the iPad Pro will fit my needs. A retina MBA would – almost perfectly (sans the touchscreen). BUT NO, Jony had to make things EVEN thinner and lighter, give it a processor with about the same performance as my old 2011 MBA, and drop any usable usb ports along the way. What a TOTAL IDIOT!

        I don’t actually expect the MacBook’s sales to be going brilliantly, except among hipster bloggers, literature students and similar audiences.

    • applewatch20152015 - 7 years ago

      I’m a true Apple fanboy. Converted to Apple back in 2011 and never looked back. Retina MacBook Pro, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6S Plus, Apple TV (and will soon have the new version), Apple Watch, etc. Love Apple products. They look great and simply work. My days of fidgeting with the computer are over and I get to enjoy technology now.

      With that being said, I was forced into a Surface Pro 3 at my work this year (which moved me away from using my rMBP on a virtual machine). Didn’t want to do it AT ALL. However, the experience hasn’t been that bad (and it pains me to admit that). The OS itself is tolerable. Office apps take a little longer to open but the system boots up quickly. The unit itself is portable and battery life is good enough for me to leave my charger at home.

      Microsoft didn’t nail everything for me on the Surface but they’ve made great strides in the past few years. The knocks I’ve found on the Surface are the following: font scaling is horrible when switching between a monitor and Surface screen (too damn small!), trackpad BLOWS compared to the rMBP (not even close), keyboard tactile feel is a 5 out of 10 (which the keyboard angled up, there’s lots of bounce…lay it flat and it’s hard to type), kickstand in the back is ok for hard surfaces but horrible on your lap, the unit won’t boot up usually 1-2 times per week, docking station is junk…priced at $199, I’ve had mine replaced 3 times in 4 months (come on guys, it doesn’t move…it shouldn’t be shitting the bed this fast).

      So a lot of the knocks against the Surface are about the user experience…and that’s where Apple excels. Again, Microsoft came a loooooong way with the Surface…enough to impress this fanboy. But they aren’t there yet. I have the use the Surface Pro 3 for work but at this point, I wouldn’t recommend it to my friends.

  21. I doubt anything Microsoft released today made Apple “Stand up and notice”. Perhaps the author should blog for a Microsoft site, since he’s obviosly so enthralled with these products. The Microsoft Band is “not” competitive with the Apple Watch. Please, enough shit. Can we report on Apple related news? This is 9to5Mac, correct?

    • Ali Hamodi - 7 years ago

      It was very easy to skip the article and scroll down and read what’s next. Cmon man, its a tech website and reporting what competitors are doing is part of the job.

  22. sardonick - 7 years ago

    I like MS for most things but I think it’s time they give up trying to match iPad on any front. Surface Pro 500 “might” come close, but these 4 iterations are just an embarrassment.

  23. modeyabsolom - 7 years ago

    Overall quite an impressive lineup of hardware from MS…some interesting tech here. Even though the Surface Pro and Surface Book (basically a larger Surface Pro that comes as standard with a keyboard dock of sorts) both look quite chunky in these videos. The latest Surface Pro stylus seems to be a better design than the Apple Pen and the keyboard accessory is also slimmer than Apple’s equivalent. I think MS might actually have the upper hand on Apple in some aspects of design here. And I never thought I would ever say that! Apple might have some real competition here from design and tech point of view…certainly more impressive than Google’s recent announcements. MS seem to be getting their act together lately and I’m a little worried…Apple need to introduce a completely redesigned Mac lineup – from laptop to desktop (and turbo boost the performance and ports of the otherwise impressive new MacBook) the current designs while still great need some refreshing and pizzazz! As for the Surface Pro 4 vs the iPad Pro situ, when it comes to appealing to business professionals, artists and photographers, the former currently has the upper hand. I hope some great iPad Pro apps are introduced soon to level the playing field a bit…full power i7s, Windows and 1TB drives on a similar sized tablet (actually a little smaller!) to an iPad Pro is quite compelling. MS also now have their own unique design language just like Apple products do. Very modern and fresh.

  24. appl3w0rm - 7 years ago

    I, personally, have never liked that stupid integrated stand in MS Surface.
    It just looks like a photo frame, not a “pro” tech

  25. “All these internal components make the Surface Book “the fastest 12-inch laptop ever made anywhere on the planet”, according to the company who made it.”

    I thought it was a 13.5 inch rather than a 12 inch… but I don’t think the affirmation would hold true for this type of comparison anyways

  26. jpatel330 - 7 years ago

    This is good stuff, although the price points suggest it will be in the same price range as the iPad Pro and the Macbook 15 Retina. So I guess it just comes down to preference between iOS/OS X and Windows 10. Also, finally the Apple haters will realize its not cheap to build quality stuff.

  27. jaydenirwin - 7 years ago

    It looks disgusting! From the color scheme, to the thickness, to that horribly ugly hinge!!! No match for the MacBook or the iPad Pro!

  28. philips9179 - 7 years ago

    good to see everybody’s opinions on here, even if some are trolling. I think that it’s good to see Microsoft (as big as they are, and war chest) pulling out all the stops playing catchup to Apple, which will hopefully push apple more.

    I’ve never been convinced by the Microsoft band, and can’t see how you would use it without snapping off your wrist, because of the orientation of the thing. I think we’ll have to wait until Apple bring out the Apple Watch the apple execs wanted prior to launching Apple Watch to see the true potential for it.

    I think the screen size debate has been sorted with the nice ability to use usb-c and plug your mobile into a larger size monitor, turning it into a fully fledged computer, and I’m looking forward to the day Apple replaces lightning with usb c, just not yet though!!!.

    Those hollolens looks good and was surprised Apple didn’t launch something similar with the launch of the new Apple TV 4 recently, especially since Sony are doing something similar with their PlayStation. This would’ve got around the whole ‘should they’ ‘shouldn’t they’ issue for an actual Apple TV set.

    As with most people who (have to) use Windows 10 at work, I think they have listened and improved Windows 10. The surface pro 3, which was acknowledged to be a good machine, and now surface 4, will push Apple and the iPad pro, as its compatible with everything! BUT is Windows 10 as friendly for touch as iOS (which is now on version 9) I don’t think so! And as long as Windows continues with reliability issues (as opposed to iOS) I can’t see it surviving in the workplace! I think that’s why Apple just went with iOS for the iPad pro, because of the App Store, and why it didn’t build OS X into the iPad pro.

    My first thought on the surface book was how big a screen do you really want as a tablet before it all starts to get stupid. So can’t understand the product as it is.

  29. patthecarnut - 7 years ago

    Surface Book…how original….

    • timcrook - 7 years ago

      iPad Pro…how original….

      • bellevueboy - 7 years ago

        iPad pro contrary to your thinking is based on MacBook Air and Mac book pro line up. When apple launched iPad Air it had made space for it. So I would say it’s still original though it may have lagged surface pro in timing.

        Also for all those complaining about iPhone 6s features and iPad features bring already available on other platforms, most comparisons today from softie were with these devices, designs look awfully close and other than hollow lens most devices overlap something existing.

  30. hal9kmx - 7 years ago

    The question here is: MS is comparing his not-yet-released notebook vs what year’s Macbook Pro? 2012? 2013? 2014? Which MBP is comparing the surface to? Besides, even if the hardware seems to be fine, the problem is Windows and since Windows is MS’s flagship product it will be ALWAYS the problem. Unless the create another OS from scratch.

  31. butskristof - 7 years ago

    “two times more powerful”. Peasants, still comparing their devices to OS X with specs..

  32. alexandereiden - 7 years ago

    Okay, the hell? The laptop is ugly, the new surface doesn’t do anything new, and comparing the Microsoft Book (MacBook anyone?) to the MacBook Pro is a joke. The Pro is being phased out. Few use it, and Apple is just trying to get rid of their stock of it. It does not get upgraded. They should at least compare to the retina, and ALSO use the new OS, El Capitan, not Mavericks or before. Gosh Microsoft.. Okay and also, who else thinks that the hinge is ugly?

  33. What is sad of all this, is that the big three (Apple, Googe, Microsoft) are solving (or trying to) the same problems. It’s not a question of who is doing it best or who did it first, the bottom line is that we, as customers, end up with variations of the same product. It would be awesome if they concentrated more on creating new and different things. I am an Apple fan, but I was a little disappointed with the “me too” iPad Pro. Microsoft and Google are introducing “me too” finger scanners. Now Microsoft introduces a “me too” keyboard keys mechanism. Microsoft tries very hard with their “me too” MacBook Air. There is “me too” music service, “me too” maps, “me too” virtual assistants, “me too” stylus, “me too” cloud service, and so on and so forth. It would be awesome if someone introduced wireless charging (and I mean real wireless charging, not wireless charging bases that need chords so defeating the purpose), hover boards, flying cars, a real autocorrect that does not embarrass the user, etc, etc.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      Those are not possible yet/garbage things that will never be made. A hover board? Please tell me you were kidding.

      You are right about wireless charging, but it’s not miniaturized or feasible in mobile devices yet, which essentially makes it useless. The first devices it will come to will be the Apple wireless keyboard and trackpad/mouse. They will have a constant wireless charge from the always plugged in iMac or Mac mini. It will only come to those because they are large enough to support it. It will likely fill the entirety of the cylindrical tubes on the keyboard and trackpad. It won’t be in mobile devices for years yet, and even when it does come to them, it will be slow charging, and only used as a secondary charging method.

    • How can you have wireless charging without a base that connects to a power source using a cable? I think nokia did something of the sort with a wireless charging base with a built in battery. You used a cable to charge the base and then you can carry the base around and charge your phone wirelessly. But it still needed cables to charge the base.

    • bellevueboy - 7 years ago

      Agree 1000%. Some folks told me that ios9/iPhone 6s features have existed on android and Windows, I am sure they have but by that logic others should have made a personal computer(generic term not Mac vs pc) or smart phone(modern). The fight right now is for that additional mega pixel in camera or the extra gigs of storage. Not even the price is very different(for same segment say premium)

  34. BDKennedy (@BDKennedy) - 7 years ago

    Yeah, the top of the line Surface Book is twice as fast as Apple’s low-end MacBook Pro. Way to twist those words.

    • trudnai - 7 years ago

      Yeah the 13″ MBP still has the dual core Haswell and this Surface Book has the quad core Skylake. I guess when we will compare this to the new model there will be no speed advantage, plus if you look at the high end model, that is for $2400, and for that price you can buy a way better 15″ MBP already…

  35. Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

    No Thunderbolt ports? And Apple’s going to be releasing their newer models soon, which I’m sure will use essentially the same processors.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      I agree about the no thunderbolt ports being a huge downside — if they want to make a pro caliber notebook, which it absolutely could be with those CPUs, GPUs, and RAM / Storage, they need to put TB ports on it. USB3 is not fast enough for pro applications that require PCIe speeds.

  36. SKR Imaging - 7 years ago

    I always thought the rear end of the Apple Pencil was an eraser.. sure looked the part in the keynote… good stuff here from Microsoft.. the band looks interesting.. The lumia phones look compelling…

    the bad stuff for me: the surface Pro is essentially a laptop crammed inside a tablet.. not an iPad Pro competitor… there is actually a Fan inside (see the surface pro 3 dismantled).. Windows 10 will never be as appealing as OSX to me.. tried it and uninstalled it when I could not use my multitouch gestures to switch apps and whatnot.. OSX with trackpad gestures dwarfs the Win 10 interface… I would take a Macbook Pro vs Surface Book anytime..

    • bellevueboy - 7 years ago

      The band looks interesting for sure but it’s still more comparable to fitness trackers. If you see everyone seems to be wearing a band and a watch. Apples approach is different , a personal item(premium) with all the other features. Number 1 for me…Apple Pay…never miss a chance to use it.

  37. Mimus Polyglottos - 7 years ago

    I took the plunge last month and decided to switch to a Surface Pro 3 from Mac (after using Macs since the 1980s). I waited to see the iPad Pro announcement and decided it wasn’t going to meet my wishes, which are for one device instead of many. For me, the downfall of having a desktop (iMac) and tablet (iPad) has been synchronization. When it’s working, life is beautiful. But over time one thing after another stops synching correctly. I can’t get iTunes to sync with my iPad anymore, and Safari passwords have never synced with my iPad despite my triple-checking the settings. I use 1Password instead, but while it works it’s still a bit cumbersome at times. I found myself yearning for just one device that I could keep in a dock as a desktop machine, then pull out and use as a laptop or tablet. The Surface met that description. I bought an i7 Surface Pro 3 with 256 gigs of storage, a dock, an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

    Everything was beautiful for a few weeks — switching was remarkably painless. Windows 10 takes your iCloud settings and brings them seamlessly into the Windows mail and calendar apps, and does an even better job than Apple on the calendar front in terms of notifications and ease of use.

    But then the old Windows problems of instability and weirdness settled in: one day my monitor suddenly shifted to a very low resolution. Rebooting helped for a few hours, then it randomly kicked into low resolution again. I tried all the solutions suggested online (apparently this is a common problem, though I’d never encountered it before), no dice. I connected the monitor directly to the Surface instead of the dock. No dice. And then the mail app wouldn’t recognize my contacts; I couldn’t just type someone’s name in an email message, I had to go look them up in my contacts and copy and paste. I tried switching to Outlook but it hung trying to set up my email address. Then other weird things started happening: software like Adobe Lightroom kept asking me to activate it, even though I activated it when I installed it. Other apps simply wouldn’t open — clicking on them in the Start menu did nothing.

    So I switched back and life is beautfiul again…I’m just $2600 poorer because of all the hardware and software I bought.

  38. srgmac - 7 years ago

    Wow! The band looks pretty amazing, GPS and barometer, can track your sleep…I often wondered why the Apple watch does not have these things, since the main focus of the device from the start seemed to be health related.

    • wdm6502 - 7 years ago

      Hard to say for sure but the band looks a good bit larger than the Apple Watch and probably holds a bigger battery. I’d expect those things to start appearing in the Watch 2 or 3 though.

  39. marlon465 - 7 years ago

    I just know from youtube that this SurfaceBook doesn’t support one-finger-open technology. what a shame Microsoft copied every Apple keyboard design but forgot the most useful one.

  40. Rick Tibbitts - 7 years ago

    Except for the negative comments and criticisms here on an Apple slanted site, the Surface Pro line (particularly starting with the SP3) has by in large received much accolades and praise by professional reviewers. I find a good resource for unbiased, independent reviews are from sites like If you go to Amazon and look up the reviews on the Surface Pro 3, you’ll find that with over 1,700 reviews, the SP3 has 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.

    Comparing the iPad Pro to a Surface device is silly. Aside from adding a keyboard and stylus, there’s nothing pro about the new device. Limited multi-tasking, no USB, no SD slots, no HDMI connectivity, no file system, no ease of printing to any device in any environment, limited drive size, and so on makes the iPad Pro just a big iPad or iPhone. It looks great, I know will do well at what it does. But a pro device it is not.

    As to comparing to the Mac, I won’t say I have a ton of experience with the Mac but I know it’s loved by many. I’m happy for those who are loyal to Apple. But bashing the Surface Pro or bashing Windows 10 just seems to show a great insecurity as Microsoft continues to make significant strides and by a great percentage of its users is a great device with a great OS.

  41. mytawalbeh - 7 years ago

    Oh, guys we have a new product, so how can we market it perfectly?
    Simple: Let’s do a jab on Apple. And come on, are you serious? 2012 Macbook pro ?! LOL
    I would never believe any of lies that are being told on the stages.

    • bellevueboy - 7 years ago

      The folks queuing up for the event are not going to know the difference . As long as it’s “faster than Apple ” …..yeahhhhhh

  42. spencerbrown - 7 years ago

    This really comes down to can Microsoft prove and effective design language for when using as a laptop to uses as a tablet. What most users may be quick to snap at Apple for now providing a solution like this might be this is actually a developer’s hell. Now a lot of us at 9to5Mac may already be well tech inclined though the average audience is not. There is no design language that is best for a consumer from tablet to laptop — and its apparent Microsoft did not think this through which is why they just offer a pen which essentially is a fine input like a mouse.

    Apple unlike competitors puts the consumer and developers first. Unless you are someone like Adobe with a huge team, creating one app that runs well in docked and tablet mode is actually really hard if you want to provide the best user interaction. As mentioned above Microsoft I don’t believe has solved this — which is why they just provide a pen and say use this (notice you never see just a finger being used in the ads). Its comes down to most developers will not want to make anything for this because of the complexities in solving a problem which Microsoft has not answered on the design front.

    Also again — yes a lot of us are pro users here — but for the general consumer Apple’s vision of a future world with sole tablets seems ALOT more realistic than to think keyboard to screen. Most elementary students now touch a smartphone and tablet before ever using a mouse. The next generation of users is what happens. Whether you may like this last comment or not, if you are one of those absolutely mad Apple isn’t “innovating” well you may be too old, I think times are changing again. At least Apple is gambling them too.

  43. trudnai - 7 years ago

    So how is this “twice as fast” thing calculated or measured? Sure, it is the quad core Skylake vs dual core Haswell in the MBP 13″ that is for sure. But if you go for a bit higher end, the price goes way up in the Surface Book that you can buy 15″ MBP with the 4 core hyperthreading i7 and the AMD Radeon cheaper…

    The only cool thing is the detachable screen – which may or may not useful, but maybe you can save some bucks to buy a separate tablet…

  44. Nowfal X-Tase Mouktani - 7 years ago


  45. davidt4n - 7 years ago

    Since Apple doesn’t want to make its iPad obsolete if MacBook gets touch feature, I hope iPad Pro would shine some day.

  46. Tim Kretschmann - 7 years ago

    It’s gonna be the year of the copycats *facepalm*

  47. Matt P. (@mateus109) - 7 years ago

    The Surface Book looks like a fantastic piece of kit and exactly what we need from Microsoft to help keep pushing tech manufacturers to invent/innovate new ideas (Apple seems to be the only company making nice tech at the moment). But the Surface Book runs Windows 10 (I use it daily at work and I’m not impressed) and you just know the trackpad wont be up to MacBook Pro standards!

    • applewatch20152015 - 7 years ago

      I’m (reluctantly) using the Surface Pro 3 for work. The trackpad BLOWS on this thing compared to my rMBP. Not. Even. Close.

  48. Robert Dupuy - 7 years ago

    When I installed Windows 10 onto my Dell Venue Pro 11 tablet, it was the usual Microsoft experience, failed to install, had to change some registry settings, had to boot into safe mode. Compare that to installing iOS 9 on my iPad, download, install, done.

    Every time Microsoft comes out with a new version the fan boys announce things have changed Windows 8 – changed. Oh but Windows 8.1 – they’ve changed. Oh but Windows 10 – they’ve changed.

    No they haven’t.

    Windows 10 is marginally better but is mostly the same, it still has a weird confusion as to whether its designed for touch or not, many many areas are not designed for touch well at all.

    And btw, the Dell Venue Pro 11 was billed as “they finally did a tablet right” – and it’s complete and utter garbage, I wish I had never bought the thing, it’s that bad.

    I’m tired of the fake reviews and fake arguments. It is true I’ll keep W10 and not downgrade back to Windows 8. And it is true, there are some legacy programs for which I will keep a Windows PC around. But those legacy programs run best on keyboard and mouse, and a regular laptop with 15″ screen is the solution.

    By buying a Dell Venue Pro 11, I get a tiny cramped screen that makes most programs a miserable experience….the keyboard is permanently attached because this is no tablet, and I’ve basically got a confused solution – a semi-powerful laptop paired with a netbook screen.

  49. First they made ipod.. lol then they turned into iphone.. then they started making in different sizes sold under different names like ipad, ipad mini.. then they upgraded their version just by changing size. Zero innovation since they released iphone first time which was nothing but ipod. Windows surface pro 4 will mop floor with anything Apple can put. Windows 10 acts as a platform for embedded devices like Raspberry, arduino many more. They have gone a long way leaving them behind. All i see is the same talking points of “safety stability” blah blah. Coming from an iphone/ipad owner. I would gladly trade my ipad air for surface pro 4. I am not bound to any brand. If someone gives me better i will jump. No mercy for companies. No need to be loyal to anyone. First i moved from iphone 4 to Lumia 1020. This cult behavior is what led Apple to go complacent . They are not willing to come out of the comfort zone. They don’t come up with meaningful upgrade. Not to mention it takes 220$ to make an iphone but selling almost 4 times the value. It takes 274$ to make their phone. They sell at slightly lesser price. Every single phone out there is damn good. Somehow this trend of using iphone as a fashion gadget has turned them into a successful company. Otherwise they are no better than any company. MS showed what they can do. Mindblowing presentation. Possibly the best ever.

    • Didn’t proof read my writing. 274$ – samsung phone.

    • trudnai - 7 years ago

      “First they made ipod” — Oh dude, do not start with the bible lol :-)

      I see things differently: There were mp3 players before iPad, still, Apple made something no one before: Made digital music profitable. Before that mp3 was the synonym of illegal music copies… Then there were smartphones before iPhone too. Nokia, Compaq, Blackberry and Psyon made decent devices that time. Yet, Apple made something no one before: Created AppStore, so no more mess with downloaded junks from all over the internet… Guess what, there were tablets before iPad too. But Apple made something that has never been done before that: Created the iPad that was actually easy to use and battery lasted for very long and backed up by AppStore.

      The way I see: When Apple is creating something, they just do it right. And they do that consistently. Of course they did not invent computers. But Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs created a pretty damn good personal computer that time. Of course they did not invent graphical user interface. They just made an operating system from it and made mouse commercially useful. It is the same as Edison: He did not invent light bulb. He just made it possible to use for everyone. He did not invent how to record music either, he just improved it a lot to make it available to everyone… Do Apple gets ideas from Andorid? Sure! Do they get ideas from Windows? Sure they do! Do they take ideas from Samsung, LG and Motorola and even from Google? Of course they do! Just as much as everyone else on this planet… Did Microsoft steal ideas from various vendors and product to create Surface Book? Oh man, is that even a question? Just look at the touch pad and that slit in front of it and compare to MacBook Pro…

      Dude, invention is not only that someone creates something that was never ever been done or even thought before. Invention is a constant improvement that brings us, humans forward. Cars were not invented by Mercedes out of thin air. It was evolved from horse carriages through steam engine powered vehicles and hydrogen powered combustion engines till Mr Benz came out the idea of using gasoline… You do something that makes things better or easier or more useful than before then you have invented something….

      As I said before: I wanna see that performance claims as it seems Microsoft deliberately compared their products to old ones (they did not compare Surface 4 to iPad Pro, and only basic model of Surface Book compared to the basic model of MBP 13″ — The upper-end Surface Book with 512G SSD and i7 CPU with the graphics chip if $200 more expensive than the similar performance 15″ MBP…). Also they do not talk about lack of ports, no Thunderbolt (not two not even one), no HDMI, and that Apple gives you free Office (called iWorks) whereas for Microsoft you still need to buy or subscribe one… And I could not get satisfactory answer but it seems to me that with that Windows 10 you only can run 2 apps at the very same time — at least that was the case with Surface Pro… If you want to buy a MacBook Pro AND an iPad Pro with Pencil and keyboard, then that Surface Book is a pretty good damn deal, I agree. Otherwise…

    • applewatch20152015 - 7 years ago

      Oh whatEVER, dude. Apple has a cult behavior because their products WORK and they work WELL. It’s like people who say you should never go to the chiropractor because “you just have to keep going back.” You wanna know why people go back to the chiropractor??? Because the treatments work and they feel better! Same thing with Apple…people spend their hard earned dollars and want a good product in return for that…and they GET that with Apple. And with Apple, it’s not just about one component in their phone or computer. It’s about everything that works together and creates efficiency in your life. My photos sync across my iPhone, iPad, and Mac and I can view those photos across all of those devices plus the Apple TV. My contacts, reminders, etc….all accessible. All backed up automatically. And your comment about how it costs $220 to make the iPhone but it’s selling at 4 times the value? They are a for profit company, you idiot. Let’s talk about the BILLIONS that Bill Gates made licensing Windows for YEARS. Every time there was an OS upgrade, you had to shell out $140 or more. And for enterprise customers? Wow. They got raped. Why aren’t you complaining about that? Then Apple started delivering OS upgrades for free. Oh wait…who’s doing that now? I guess you could call that “innovation” by Apple, right?

      Any simpleton can be wowed by some “fast specs”. Can you explain why the dual core iPhone 6S and its dual core processor SMOKES the octacore processors in Android phones? Apple has mastered the art of marrying software and hardware in the most efficient way. It’ll be a looooong time before anyone else will come close to that kind of user experience.

      • Don’t tell i have not used apple phones. Owner of an iphone, owner of an ipad air too. How many times both of the device froze that i had to reset completely. The safari browser would be stuck 50% of the time while browsing. iphone 4 charging wow for each upgrade charging got worse and worse to the point i had to charge every hour. Not to mention a boring screen every single time. And there is this lightning connector that would break every 3 months. Don’t say “it works works well”.. Pretty much all the devices work work well. Never had an issue with my windows 7. All the powerful graphics worked flawlelssly Same with windows 10. Also have linux installed on every PC alongwith windows . For the last 16 years i have worked every single company used windows.. None of them had any issue. You are merely repeating the rhetorics that were beaten to death.

      • applewatch20152015 - 7 years ago

        So you’re this “master user of electronics” and yet you’re breaking your Lightning cable every 3 months? I think the problem is YOU. Go hang out on the Android message boards with your crap. Troll.

      • Rick Tibbitts - 7 years ago

        Though I’m mostly a PC guy, I have purchased a Mac for my high school/college daughter an iPad for my wife and we all have owned iPhones for the last half a dozen years or so. My wife likes her iPad, my daughter likes her Mac and we all like our iPhones. But as Venkat points out, any of these devices have their share of bugs and software short comings. And though admittedly Macs and iPhones currently have less issues with virus’s and malware they are not immune. Apple’s “Why You’ll Love a Mac” webpage used to claim “It doesn’t get PC viruses”. Now the site says “Gatekeeper makes it _safer_ to download and install apps from the web”, And it seems every few months we’ll hear of a new exploit on the iPhone that exposes users to problems they had not had in the past.

        And the truth is from Windows 7 on I think most users of Windows would tell you that the OS has become extremely stable. Have I had to reboot my PC once every month or two? Of course I have. Had I had to do a hard reset or completely restore my iPhone to factory settings over the years? Yes, numerous times.

        Specifically with regards to the iPhone, I’ve had some of the issues Venkat describes (but certainly not to the extent he mentions). But when you hear an iFan say they “just work”, it’s most always stated as though the platform is without fault. And never mind the bugs, I’m amazed at some of the lack of functionality on the iPhone when compared to what Palm offered nearly a decade ago. How is it I can’t re-arrange the order of the phone numbers in a contact? And to delete a contact it takes a half a dozen taps or strokes each time. If I want to do a major cleaning of my phonebook it can take an hour of non-stop tapping and swiping. Apple just added a little more functionality for delaying tasks but that was just in the last week or so and it’s still pretty lame. And why is it that the iPhone calendar can’t recognize when I’m in a meeting and give me the option to automatically silence the device then? How often have I missed an important call or text because I had silenced the phone but forgot to turn it back on at the end of a meeting? Palm gave me the option to auto-silence the device many, many years ago. And most bothersome to me, why isn’t the address book fully relational? I work with many clients who have different sets of relationships with different service providers. Palm allowed me without any limitations to relate many contacts to one contact so I could easily see and move between the list of related contacts. With the limitations of iOS particularly, it is hard for me to imagine how the iPad Pro can be put forth as a professional device.

      • trudnai - 7 years ago

        I would not say it never breaks out, but two things: Micro USB is bulkier, I guess that gives that necessary extra strength that makes it harder to break. And second, ppl do not care when it breaks because that is dirt cheap and usually everyone has tens of these at home as micro USB is provided by many other devices too. To be honest I wish Apple start using USC C for all of their devices, but that will not happen any time soon.

  50. Diego Broder Desiderio - 7 years ago

    I don’t need it , all my productivity is done in linux.

  51. sar2607 - 7 years ago

    Have to say, the fitness band looks MUCH more appealing than the Apple watch. Have to say I’m a fan of the traditional analog watches, don’t want a screen on my wrist 24/7. But for exercising I’d much rather have a band such as the one Microsoft has shown rather than the apple watch. And it works with all platforms – i like my iPhone 5s, don’t wanna get a windows phone. But still not dishing out 250 bucks for a fitness band. These tech firms need to get the prices down.
    The hololens is simply cool. I’ve watched a few demonstration videos, and if it works as shown in those, well, like i said, its simply cool.
    The laptop is alright – again, too expensive. And its false advertising. It’s NOT faster than the Macbook Pro if you compare the prices – the price/quality ratio of the Macbook pro far supersedes that of the surface book. Plus OS X – i like it better, i guess I’m a bit biased.

  52. ravitandukar - 7 years ago

    what a terrible choice of music..

  53. TonyB (@necronn99) - 7 years ago

    Only an IDIOT would use a surface anything vs Apple anything. hahaah morons .. Hows those viruses working out for you?

    • Rick Tibbitts - 7 years ago

      Really? Well then let’s compare the two similarly priced pro devices and see who the iDiots really are (or will be).

      Drive Space: The iPad pro comes with two options – either 32 or 128 gb drive space. The SP4 _minimum_ drive size is 128 and goes up to 1 terabyte. How functional do you think a 32 gb drive will be for a professional? The answer is, it won’t be functional at all. Offering a “pro” device with this amount of space is laughable. And even at 128 gb, how often do you think you’ll be swapping out files if you do any video editing? And if you are going to swap out files, good luck with that. Without any direct external connectivity you are left with passing large files over WiFi or God forbid if you try and do that over LTE. Sure as hell hope you have an unlimited data plan (not that they exist any more) and you are S.O.L. if you’re on a plane or other location without connectivity. Major fail for the iPad “Pro”.

      External Connectivity: Want to connect anything at all to the iPad Pro? Sorry, can’t do it can you? So no external drives. Okay, well that should be easily solved by throwing in a SD card in the iPad pro to extend its usable space. Ooops, forgot, can’t do that either. And what if the 13″ screen really isn’t big enough for all day work. Want to connect to an external monitor to the iPad “Pro”? Sorry, can’t do that. Wanna connect an external mouse? Nope, can’t do that either. And how about the thousands of other external devices professional need to connect to? Nope, sorry, can’t do it on the iPad “Pro”.

      Keyboard: Well we’re glad to see that Apple has finally joined the party, but what did they bring? A ridiculous, hobbled keyboard. How hobbled is it? Well if you want to use a trackpad with it, sorry Charlie, no option there. Just keep reaching over the keyboard to get at your screen. And if you want to use the iPad “Pro” hands free in anything other than one position? Sorry, can’t do it. But it is a good thing that you have a crappy keyboard because without it you can’t stand the IP “Pro” up at all. But no big deal, fanboys have never minded paying more to get less so this POS keyboard is a perfect fit for you.

      Pen’s and Pencils: Sure hope you’re not in a presentation or working when that “up to” 12 hour pen fails. And when you need to charge it? Stand clear because that pencil sticks out of the iPad “Pro” like a sore thumb and is sure to break sooner than later. And what about the cost? Apple will get you up front for $99 while the SP4 pen (which has battery life of a year) comes free. And sure as hell hope you don’t make any mistakes with the iPad “Pro” pencil as there is no eraser. How odd is that, a pen that comes with an eraser (SP4) and a pencil that doesn’t come with one (iP”P”).

      Operating Systems: Want to organize your files in a coherent way that any professional normally would? Not happening on the iPad “Pro”. No file system exists. Never mind all the other shortcomings of the iPad “Pro”, for most professionals that’s a deal killer by itself.

      Viruses: Well first of all, if you keep off the porn sites, viruses wouldn’t be a problem for you. But secondly if you use any reliable anti-virus software even then you’d be okay. I’d suspect your biggest issue would be keeping the baby lotion off of your screen.

      Look, the list goes on and on and anything that would follow would be beyond the ability of an iDiot to comprehend. So why don’t you do this… present your list of tangible pro’s and con’s of the iPad “Pro” to the SP4 and help us understand why the “Pro” name should be associated with the oversized phone that the IPP is. If you can’t do that then go ahead and hurl some one liner at me and be done with it. Otherwise go back to playing Angry Birds or enjoy your fart apps (bet you have a collection of them) and let the adults continue to discuss…

      • trudnai - 7 years ago

        Ok, so this conversation is getting a bit odd.

        First of all, nobody is idiot just by preferring one device over the other!

        Second, there are external drive capabilities for iPad, if you want that. You also have very nice video editing apps for iPad like iMovie and Replay, and they are fast, very fast! iMovie is coming free (yes Microsoft, free) as well as iWorks, the office app from Apple (yes Microsoft, that is free too).

        But if you are up to serious video editing you can buy MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, or even Mac Mini, iMac or Mac Pro — depends on what you want. I would not do more than what iMovie or Replay offers on a tablet to be honest, does not matter if that is Microsoft or Apple or Google Android or whatever is that, tables is just not for serious work.

        Anyways, I am just saying, that Surface Book and Surface Pro are nice devices, but it would be really difficult to lure Apple users with a “free” Stylus. Microsoft would need something much better than a detachable screen for a higher premium to win MacBook Pro customers. And to be honest a UI that is not for a Laptop nor for a Tablet is not a good idea. There is a very valid reason why iOS and MacOS X are separated…

      • Rick Tibbitts - 7 years ago

        Hi Trudnai, You’re right, I kinda let it fly when I should have been a bit more restrained in spite of TonyB’s attack. In my house we have a MacBook Pro, iPad 2 and numerous iPhones. So I’m not a Mac or Apple hater just for the sake of it.

        Having said that, though with a wireless drive there is a work around for the limited drive space issue, this becomes a bit complicated if the device is intended to be mobile. Sure you can pack the drive (and power cord when longer use is expected) but it’s not in any way desirable.

        And I know there are nice video editing apps for the iPad, however that wasn’t a shortcoming I mentioned (though it is a frequent point made when comparing the iPad iOS apps to full blown applications available to other full OS devices). And as you point out, an app on a tablet isn’t the best approach anyway. But I will say that with a SP4 I can use full video editing applications and simply dock it to my 24″ monitor and now I’m in business. That’s not a choice with the IPP.

        Lastly, I wasn’t suggesting that a “free” SP4 pen would lure Apple users away. I was simply making the point that in some respects the Apple pencil is inferior and it adds to the cost of the device. And while it’s likely Apple people will remain in the Apple camp, and PC people will remain in the PC camp, I would say that if there’s a chance of swaying one over to the other side, for those interested in a 2 in 1 professional device, in my opinion it’s significantly more likely that people would gravitate to the more capable and versatile SP4. I really find it hard to buy into the idea that the iPad Pro is a device serious professionals will really find adequate.

        With that said I have no doubt the IPP will hit huge sales numbers. But let’s be honest, that doesn’t mean it’s a better device. And I will again challenge TonyB to show how it is.