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Microsoft Surface Pro 4 lands as iPad Pro rival


Microsoft Surface Pro 4

To the delight of productivity nuts – and the chagrin of Apple and its iPad Pro – Microsoft has announced a new workhorse hybrid. Enter, the Surface Pro 4.

Microsoft's new tablet-cum-laptop was officially unveiled following months of rumours, outed on stage at the company's big product launch event today.

The device is the first hybrid designed by Microsoft with Windows 10 in mind and, as such, is also the first to tout the new OS at launch.

The new Surface Pro has a 12.3-inch PixelSense display – up from 12-inches – with 5 million pixels and a 267ppi pixel density.

In terms of performance, Microsoft expicitly claims the Surface Pro 4 is '50% faster than the MacBook Air', thanks to the i7 CPU on board.

"The MacBook Air is a great, great product, but let's just compare it to give you a sense," explained Panos Panay, Surface and Lumia VP, announcing the product.

Panay also revealed that the Surface Pro 4 is 30% faster than last year's Surface Pro 3.

Customers can spec out their device up to a maximum of 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM.

It's more svelte than the last version at 8.4mm. Microsoft also says the Surface Pro 4 has the thinnest Type C cover yet.

A new addition to the series is a fingerprint sensor, which should boost security on the platform.

The trackpad is 40% larger this time around, and offers 5-point multi-touch. The keyboard, meanwhile, is backlit.

The device also ships with an 8-megapixel camera for video calling, or just taking selfies.

There's also a new magnetically-stored Surface Pen, which has a one-year battery life, 1024 levels of pressure, and an eraser on the back.

There are five colours of Surface Pen on offer, and Microsoft has confirmed that there will be interchangable pen tips to suit varying use-cases.

Related: Windows 10 features guide

Before today, the latest Surface device was the Microsoft Surface 3, which landed back on May 5, 2015.

However, the Surface Pro 4's is technically the successor to the Surface Pro 3, which first released in June last year.

Do you think the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 can take on the iPad Pro and Google's Pixel C? Let us know in the comments.

Check out our Microsoft Surface Pro 3 video review below:

Related: Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review


October 6, 2015, 3:57 pm

It is not a rival for any Pad, unless the iPad Pro runs Mac OS.

Alex Mason

October 6, 2015, 4:01 pm

MS are nailing this IMO. Two great looking devices, properly engineered with great hardware. Its making apples iPad XL launch look half baked.

Mohammed Al-ogaily

October 6, 2015, 4:41 pm

i thought that microsoft release the surface 1,2, and 3 before the iPad pro, so why now the surface 4 is the rival to the iPad Pro, shouldn't be the other way around


October 6, 2015, 5:28 pm

Typical TR bias. LOL iPad Pro is just a toy compared to the Suface!

Prem Desai

October 6, 2015, 5:44 pm

Ridiculous comparison. The ipad runs ios so it's not for real work. Like comparing a child's trike against a real car!
A better bet would be a comparison with the macbook air in which case the surface trumps it at everything.


October 6, 2015, 6:51 pm

i find it funny that you're so dismissive of ios 9, when I bet you haven't tried running ios 9 on an ipad air 2 and seeing the new functionality which the platform provides.


October 6, 2015, 6:51 pm

did you see the Apple keynote where the iPad pro was shown off? Look at the product demos and tell me it's only a toy.


October 6, 2015, 9:17 pm

I find it funny that you're so dismissive of his comment based on your own unsubstantiated supposition.

The iPad is still nowhere near being a productivity device and a bit of split screen really doesn't address that.

For all their faults MS has actually done a good job of creating a productivity device that's also a pretty damned good consumption device. Apple's still a long way from that and playing catch-up.

Dead Words

October 6, 2015, 9:51 pm

Because Apple...reasons.

Dead Words

October 6, 2015, 9:52 pm

It looks amazing! Makes the Pixel C and iPad Pro look silly. Of course, the Pixel C is being pushed as a high-end tablet that CAN do some productive work while the iPad Pro is being pushed as a true productivity device (it can't even stand up to the Surface Pro 3 let alone the Pro 4).


October 6, 2015, 11:52 pm

Simple, it can't properly multi task.


October 7, 2015, 9:14 am

Mike, have you seen the demo of the iPad Pro using Adobe software?


October 7, 2015, 12:26 pm

I'd say the iPad pro is rivaling the surface 3.


October 7, 2015, 4:09 pm

jbingham, is that software every bit as powerful and functional as the one I can get in an x86 Windows machine?


October 7, 2015, 4:10 pm

There are so many things wrong with the headline SMDH.

Chris Bordeman

October 8, 2015, 1:57 am

Except even that is too generous. iPad Pro still just runs iOS, not a desktop OS, and its processor doesn't compare to the desktop class processors in Surface Pro. It doesn't even have any ports. All this at a higher price than the Surface Pro.

Chris Bordeman

October 8, 2015, 2:01 am

Yup. Split screen isn't a decent replacement for real multi-tasking, much less mutilple desktops that a real OS provides. On top of that, apps are typically nowhere near as functional as desktop applications.

Chris Bordeman

October 8, 2015, 2:02 am

Seriously, you think a keynote is real world use case of any sort?

Chris Bordeman

October 8, 2015, 2:03 am

I have. It's of course carefully limited to a few pre-setup tasks. It is in now way a real world comparison on features or capabilities.


October 8, 2015, 2:07 am

I agree, I should have written "trying to rival."

Prem Desai

October 8, 2015, 5:58 am

I have. I own an ipad air and air 2. Used for different things. Rightly or wrongly, I believe the ipad is the best in class (for my use anyway) tablet and I have been exposed to ios 9.

Anyway,this is about the ipad pro, not the ipad air.

There is no way that ios 9, or any ios before it, is a full fledged work environment. Running 2 apps (from a selected range) side by side is hardly cutting it. Fred Flinstone could do better.

Kern Yih Bong

October 22, 2015, 9:01 am

My iPad Air 2 is mainly for media consumption and entertainment purposes. iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 is not even in the same league. Heck, iPad Pro can't even compare to Surface Pro 3. The latter is just too good when it comes to overall productivity. However, if you talk about an entertainment device, not many, if any, can rival the iPad Air 2.

Kern Yih Bong

October 22, 2015, 9:03 am

All keynotes are meant to paint a rosy picture of the product. Real world use tends to differ depending on the intensity of the work etc.

Kern Yih Bong

October 22, 2015, 9:04 am

I second that. A more appropriate rival would be the MacBook Air. However, the MacBook Air can hardly stand against Surface Pro 4. In this scenario, it might be easier to just compare it to the MacBook Pro, which has a beefed up processor and more well known for productivity.

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