WHAT IS MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 4?
The Surface Pro 4 is Microsoft’s latest high-end tablet / laptop hybrid. Its incredible desirable design and powerful hardware still, months on, cause it to be probably the most desirable devices in the marketplace today.
MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 4 – DISPLAY
The Surface Pro 4 comes loaded having a 12. 3-inch PixelSense display. For general consumers, the display is excellent. The screen’s 2, 736 x 1, 824 resolution and 267 pixel-per-inch density ensures text and icons consistently look sharp.
Towards the naked eye, colours and brightness levels will also be excellent. Blacks are deep, whites look clean, and I didn’t notice any backlight bleed upon the Surface Pro 4. Testing the screen having a colorimeter, my opening impressions rang true.
Microsoft quotes the Surface Pro 4 screen as covering 100% from the sRGB colour spectrum – the colour space most displays are calibrated to. In reality, my review unit’s screen covered 96. 2% from the sRGB spectrum – still pretty impressive. The screen ran in having a decent, but slightly warm 6, 946K colour temperature – 6, 500K is that the ideal.
The Surface Pro 4’s screen also features a stellar 0. 67 Delta E average. For non techies, Delta E measures the distance between colours ; any score floating around or below 1. 0 is excellent.
Designers, once again, will certainly be disappointed. The Surface Pro 4’s screen covers only 68. 3% from the Adobe RGB colour space. The Adobe RGB is that the colour standard utilized by many creative professionals for digital photography and design work. By common laptop and tablet standards 68. 3% is pretty standard, but I’d expect any serious design tool to cover a minimum of 90% from the spectrum.
MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 4 – SOFTWARE
Microsoft’s use of a totally untouched version of Windows to its Surface tablet Is really a constant draw to the series. Competing products from Asus, Acer, Dell and HP almost always come loaded with some sort of bloatware. Software included using the Surface range, by comparison, is completely untouched and comes from the box exactly as Microsoft intended.
The tendancy continues upon the Surface Pro 4, which comes running Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 Pro operating system.
MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 4 – PERFORMANCE
Microsoft is offering the Surface Pro 4 in sixth-generation Intel Core M, Core i5 and Core i7 options. The M version has Intel HD graphics 515, as the i5 has slightly more powerful Intel HD graphics 520. The highest i7 variant has Intel HD graphics 540. Adding further complexity towards the mix, you may also load the Pro 4 with 4GB, 8GB or 16GB of RAM. I tested the Core i5 model with 8GB of RAM.
The model benchmarked fairly well. The Surface Pro 4 ran in having a 6, 727 multi-core Geekbench score. Upon the graphics intensive 3DMark : Cloud Gate, it scored a solid 6, 019. Neither scores are groundbreaking, however they place the Pro 4 on the par with most top-end 2015 convertible tablets and well above its 2014 predecessor. By comparison, the Surface Pro 3 scored 3, 491 in Geekbench.
The benchmarks proved accurate with real-world use, and also the Surface Pro 4 delivers solidly impressive performance. By using the unit as my primary tablet and laptop, I didn’t notice any serious performance jitters. The Surface loaded webpages instantly, ran applications smoothly, and proved proficient at playing Steam games, for example Deathwatch : Tyranid Invasion and Divinity Original Sin, chug free – when the graphics settings weren’t maxed.
MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 4 – CAMERA
I’ve never been a fan of taking photos on tablets for a number of reasons. The plus-sized dimensions of many a device make capturing images a cumbersome, awkward affair. Most tablets also feature woefully poor sensors that at best can capture usable, not great photos.
The Surface Pro 4’s 8-megapixel rear camera hasn’t done anything to alter my estimation, but by tablet standards it is fairly good. Shooting in regular light, images taken upon the Pro 4 are sharp sufficient to share on social networks. Colours aren’t overtly vibrant or rich, but aren’t the worst I’ve seen either. Low-light performance is really a write-off, but this is actually the case on all of the laptop and tablet cameras I’ve tested.
It won’t match most smartphones, however the Pro 4’s camera is pretty good for any tablet
The Surface’s 5-megapixel front camera is a bit more interesting. It is available loaded with Microsoft’s Windows Hello feature, which pairs the most camera having a separate sensor which will read spatial information. The Surface uses the tech to scan and record registered users’ faces. Once scanned, the Surface in theory will automatically unlock when it detects a registered user’s face – removing the need that you can enter your password every time you transform it on.
The feature is a superb addition that will make it quicker and simpler to secure the Surface Pro 4 and generally works alright. However, on a couple of occasions WIndows Hello would act up and refuse to recognise my face. During these instances I had to wait patiently a very good two minutes to the Pro 4 to provide up on Windows Hello and let me manually enter my password.
The 5-megapixel camera can be utilized to bring selfies, although photo quality is sub-par when compared with most smartphones. However, it is greater than good enough for video calling on Skype and Google Hangouts.
MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 4 – BATTERY
Microsoft quotes the Surface Pro 4 as having a similar nine-hour mixed-use battery life like the Surface Pro 3.
With average use, and also the screen brightness inside the recommended setting, Microsoft’s quoted life rang true. Regular use entailed by using the Surface Pro 4 as my primary home and work machine, checking emails and social media feeds during the day, sporadically browsing the online, watching a couple of episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix and half an hour or so of casual gaming.
With increased demanding tasks, the battery life dropped. When streaming videos on Netflix, the Surface Pro 4 discharged between 13-17% each hour. This isn’t great by iPad and Android tablet standards, but is pretty impressive for any Windows device. Other Windows tablets I’ve tested generally discharge between 15-25% each hour when video streaming.
Gaming was similarly draining upon the Surface Pro 4. Playing moderately demanding titles for example Deathwatch and Divinity, the Pro discharged between 18-25% of their battery. This really is solid by laptop standards, but slightly substandard for any tablet.