Microsoft's 2-in-1, the Surface Pro, has been refined through five generations into what we now have, a capable tablet with beautiful display, performance hardware, and plenty of available accessories. Those in the market for a versatile 2-in-1 device might have the Surface Pro on the short list, and there are more than a few good reasons why it's a worthwhile purchase. There are, however, also a few other things to consider that might make you look elsewhere.
Let's weigh the reasons for and against the Surface Pro.
Reasons to buy Microsoft's Surface Pro
Here are some solid reasons why you should invest in Microsoft's Surface Pro.
1. Surface Pro has plenty of configuration options
Starting at about $800, you can get a Surface Pro with a 7th Gen Intel Core m3-7Y30 processor (CPU), 128GB solid-state drive (SSD), and 4GB of RAM. This is a laptop that can handle light duties, and it will look great doing them.
Into the high-end configurations, you can get a model with a 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7660U CPU, 1TB SSD, and 16GB of RAM. If you choose to checkout with a 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7300U CPU, you can add LTE connectivity to the mix. Yes, configurations get quite expensive, but there's a Surface Pro for everyone.
2. Surface Pro is available with LTE and eSIM
Those constantly on the go will no doubt want to consider a Surface Pro with LTE connectivity. It uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 modem and has a Nano SIM slot as well as embedded SIM (eSIM) technology that allows you to buy data and use it basically no matter where you are.
The rest of the hardware includes a 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and a 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7300U CPU, a well-rounded collection for everyday tasks. Expect to pay about $1,450 for this model.
3. Surface Pro is highly mobile
The Surface Pro, with 12.3-inch display and body that's just 0.33 inches thick, is easily slipped under an arm or into a backpack or laptop bag. The heaviest Core i7 model weighs in at about 1.73 pounds (784 g), which really isn't that heavy at all. Even once you add a Surface Pen and Type Cover, you'll hardly notice the laptop is with you.
Despite its size, you can treat the Surface Pro like you would any other laptop, and the Core i5 and Core i7 models shouldn't have any problems tackling a regular day's work.
4. Surface Pro has a knockout display
The Surface Pro's display has a 3:2 aspect ratio, making it look much boxier than the usual 16:9 aspect ratio many laptops these days ship with. Why use 3:2? It's closer to the middle of the road of all popular aspect ratios, and it allows for more real estate, especially when working with virtual books, magazines, and just about any drawing apps. Once you start using the display with a Surface Pen, you can see it was the right move.
Aside from aspect ratio, you're looking at a 2,736 x 1,824 resolution with 267 pixels per inch (PPI), and you're getting full touch functionality for when you're using the Surface Pro as a standard tablet. If a display is high on your list of laptop priorities, you'll do well here.
5. Surface Pro is compatible with Surface Pen and Dial
There are a lot of worthwhile Surface Pro accessories, but perhaps the two most important — especially if you're looking to get creatively artistic — are the Surface Pen and Surface Dial.
The Pen, which costs about $100, has 4,096 levels of pressure, supports tilt shading, and is available in four different colors.
When used in tandem with the Surface Dial, which costs about $100, you open up a drawer of tools that are easily accessible and customizable. Place the Dial directly on the display, or use it next to you on the desk.
Reasons not to buy Microsoft's Surface Pro
There are likewise a couple of good reasons you might want to pass on the Surface Pro in lieu of a different device.
1. There are cheaper options if you just want a tablet
Surface devices are generally not particularly affordable. Yes, there's a configuration that starts at about $800, but that's still quite pricey and it's mostly designed for light duties only, thanks to the Core m3 CPU and low amount of RAM.
If you're looking for a tablet only, there are far cheaper options available that will serve you well in the long run. Have a look at our roundups of best overall tablets and best cheap tablets for a better idea of what you're in the market for.
2. You'll likely have to invest in port adapters
If there's one thing the Surface Pro is lacking, it's port selection. You're getting a single USB-A 3.0, a microSD card reader, Mini DisplayPort, a 3.5mm audio jack, and the proprietary Surface Connect port. Considering the trend toward USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 and the lack of more than one USB-A port, you'll likely be investing in some adapters or a hub.
We've experienced firsthand the lack of Surface Pro ports, and we've put together a few roundups of the best hubs and adapters you can buy.
Can't get enough Surface Pro? Be sure to check out these other links for more information.
- Surface Book 2 vs. Surface Pro: Which one should you buy?
- Best Surface Pro alternatives
- Surface Pro keyboards that cost less than Microsoft's Type Covers
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