Is Surface Book i7 a perfect Pro Laptop?

Last month Microsoft revealed the new Surface Book 2016, its successor to the last year’s Surface Book laptop. Surface Book was the first laptop entirely developed by Microsoft which made it a direct competitor of the Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup. Microsoft launched the updated Surface Book with better hardware and a slightly thicker and heavier body. Even though the thick design on the updated model may sound like a no-brainer but this allows the Microsoft to close the gap between the folding hinge, the extra weight is the result of the new big battery. Everything the Surface Book 2016 has to offer makes it  one of the best laptops currently available in the market, but is the Surface Book a perfect machine for a pro user?

It is always easy for the people who prefer the Apple ecosystem, they have one maxed out Pro laptop every year but, when it comes to the Windows users they have many options in the high-end laptop market and they usually get confused between wich one to buy. Microsoft is trying to change this by developing a perfect hardware machine to run its software the result is the new Surface Book 2016. Let’s crack this questions by starting with what’s the high-end Surface Book laptop has to offer,

Surface Book i7 Specifications

Dimensions 12.30” x 9.14” x 0.59 – 0.90” (312.3mm x 232.1mm x 14.9 – 22.8mm)
Display Screen: 13.5” PixelSense™ Display Resolution: 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI)Aspect ratio: 3:2Contrast ratio: 1700:1Surface Pen enabled Touch: 10 point multi-touch
Memory 16GB RAM
Processor 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i7
Security TPM chip for enterprise security Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello4 face sign-in
Software Windows 10 Pro Office 30-day trial
Sensors Ambient light sensor Accelerometer Gyroscope Magnetometer Hall effect
Storage1 1TB Solid state drive (SSD)
Battery life Up to 16 hours of video playback3
Graphics i7: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 965M 2GB GPU
Connections and expansions Two full-size USB 3.0Full-size SD™ card reader (SDXC compatible)Two Surface Connect ports Headset jack Mini Display Port Compatible with Surface Dial Off-Screen Interaction*
Cameras, video, and audio Windows Hello4 face sign-in camera (front-facing)5.0MP camera with 1080p HD video (front-facing)8.0MP autofocus camera with 1080p HD video (rear-facing)Dual microphones Stereo speakers with Dolby® Audio™ Premium3.5mm headphone jack
Wireless 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible Bluetooth 4.0 LE wireless technology
Exterior Casing: Magnesium Color: Silver Physical buttons: Volume, Power
Warranty 1-year limited hardware warranty
Weight 3.68 lbs (1,647 g) including keyboard


On paper, the Surface Book looks like a total beast but the real question is how does it perform in real life? You may have heard it thousand times, it is not about the hardware configuration what really matters is the software and hardware integration. This is what makes the Apple devices so superior because Apple usually nails the integration part. Microsoft did a great job in making the Surface Book 2016, the machine flies in handling the day to day tasks at some points it is also faster than the maxed out MacBook Pro 2016. It handles all the professional creator Softwares like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects and Illustrator with ease. The switching between Photoshop and Illustrator is also very smooth with no hiccups at all. More importantly, you don’t feel like the Surface Book is holding you back when you are totally immersed and working on your creation and that is a very big plus point for any Windows machine. Some people have tried and found out the Surface Book export timings for Adobe Premiere Pro are way too faster than that of MacBook Pro running the Adobe Premiere Pro. So yes, for now, it looks like Surface Book 2016  is a perfect portable Windows machine for the professional creators and Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10 Creators update will only make things better for the creators.

The I/O Facilities

Almost every MacBook Pro 2016 user is bashing Apple for not providing enough input and output connection facilities in the so-called Pro machine. The Surface Book 2016 features Two full-size USB 3.0 connectors, Full-size SD™ card reader (SDXC compatible), Two Surface Connect ports, Headset jack, Mini Display Port and is Compatible with Surface Dial Off-Screen Interaction. So clearly the Surface Book provides more flexibility when it comes to the input and output connection ports. MacBook Pro does provide four USB C ports but it is not the standard yet and  to take a full use of it, one has to use the adapters. There is no point in making the machine thin for the sake of portability and then providing dongles (Adapters) to take a full advantage of it.

The Verdict

If you are from a Windows background and want to stay in this ecosystem then the Surface Book is a perfect Pro machine for you. It is fast, it is portable and flexible and handles every task you throw at it. The Surface Book provides many I/O options but there is one thing missing, The Surface Book doesn’t have a single USB C port. We know it is not that important but that could have made the Surface Book more future proof. The Surface Book is fast but you are truly paying for the speed, the maxed out Surface Book will cost you $3,299. Which is a lot of money for a laptop machine and it is almost impossible to upgrade its hardware in coming future. Final Cut Pro X on the MacBook is way too faster than the Adobe Premiere Pro on any machine that’s the reason may video creators are shifting towards Apple, so if you are a  video creator you might wanna think twice before spending your hard earn money. But if you are from Premier Pro background and Windows is your thing then Surface Book i7 is without any doubt the best Pro laptop available for you.

Stay tuned for the updates.

Source: Microsoft



Contributor at techhgeeks
Swapnil is a Die Hard PC Gamer. He started playing PC games at the age of 15 and since then, he never looked back.


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