comscore Microsoft Surface Pro 4 hands-on and first impressions
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Microsoft Surface Pro 4 hands-on and first impressions

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During his recent visit to India, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that the company will be soon launching its latest Surface Pro 4 tablet in India. Microsoft fans welcomed the announcement with open arms, who have long yearned for the Surface tablets to launch in India. Weeks after Nadella s announcement, Microsoft today launched the Surface Pro 4 in India. Also Read - Nintendo Direct E3 2021: Metroid Dread, Mario Party Superstars, a new Legend of Zelda and more

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With the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft is targeting a wide range of customers including students, professionals and enterprise users. Touted as the “tablet that can replace laptop,” the Surface Pro 4 appears to be a premium device primarily focused on productivity. Unlike the iPad Pro, which runs on iOS and has limited multi-tasking and OS-level access, the biggest draw of the Surface Pro 4 is it runs Windows 10 and has two full-sized USB ports, making it a real laptop replacement. Also Read - Forza Horizon 5 available for pre-orders: Price in India, editions and more

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In terms of design, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 doesn t look to be a massive upgrade over its predecessor, the Surface Pro 3. Some subtle changes include a slightly bigger display (at 12.3-inches), and slimmer bezels to give more real estate to users. The display has a resolution of 2736×1824, with a pixel density of 267ppi. To put this into perspective, the Surface Pro 3 came with a display resolution of 2160×1440 pixels at a density of 216ppi. The new tablet however maintains the 3:2 ratio. During our brief usage, the display looked quite beautiful indoors.

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Elaborating on the size and design, at 8.4mm, the Surface Pro 4 is still thick, which is perhaps to accommodate the full USB ports. At about 786 grams, the tablet does feel little heavy and it may take awhile for one to get used to the weight. However, at no point do the dimensions and weight affect the portability of the Surface Pro 4. Moreover, the metal body (Magnesium casing) makes the device look sturdy.

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While the Surface Pro 4 has the same design DNA of the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft has included 6th generation Intel processors, ensuring it can handle hefty tasks. With Windows 10 running out-of-the-box, and features such as Cortana and Hello (facial recognition scanner), the Surface Pro 4 looks to deliver a right balance of the hardware and software.

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According to Microsoft, Hello will soon be more deeply integrated into Windows 10. For example, you will be able to purchase/authenticate payments through this facial recognition feature. The company is also working with third party apps to integrate Hello. During our brief usage, the tablet ran smoothly and we didn t come across any kind of glitches. However, we would like to spend more time to gauge the performance.

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While the tablet is definitely the key, perhaps the main highlight is the new and improved detachable keyboard. Like the earlier Type Covers, this new one connects through the magnetic hinge at the bottom of the tablet, and can be folded as the screen cover. The improvement comes in the form of the widely spaced island-style keys and larger (about 40 percent bigger) trackpad. The Surface Pro 3 keyboard had really congested keys with a smaller trackpad, altogether defeating the purpose of being a laptop replacement. We tried out the new keyboard, and were quite satisfied. I, for one, really liked the fact that the Type Cover is quite slim, and can be spread out anywhere. It is easy enough to use even if you keep the tablet and keyboard on your lap while travelling. The kickstand on the rear is really nifty too.

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Another bonus is the new Surface Pen. The latest accessory seems bigger than the previous version and has a flat edge on one side. The flat side allows the pen to be attached to the left or right edge (both magnetic) of the Surface Pro 4. The company claims the new Surface Pen has lesser latency while supporting an impressive 1,024 pressure levels. Apart from taking notes and sketching on Paint, the Pen does a variety of tasks such as launching Cortana. Eraser on the top of the Pen is quite an interesting feature, and does bring nostalgia of using old Natraj pencils with rubber on top.

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The Surface Pen has about one year of battery life so you don t really need to worry about charging all the time. Interchangeable pen tips is another interesting addition, and is likely to attract users who can make most of the stylus. I used the Pen briefly and did draw kindergarten-level sketches with absolutely no problem. What I liked about this accessory is that it still feels like a normal pen rather than a heavy and complex device. We will take a more detailed look at the Surface Pen, when we have the tablet with us for review.

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Even though we briefly used the Surface Pro 4, it does give off vibes of being an exciting and perhaps is a complete Microsoft package. The launch of the Surface Pro 4 comes shortly after the Lumia 950 XL and 950 in India. With new products up its sleeves, 2016 is set to be an important year for Microsoft. Stay tuned for our detailed review where we explore and test more features of the Surface Pro 4.

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  • Published Date: January 7, 2016 1:21 PM IST


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