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Microsoft Surface Devices: Which is the best one for you?

Debating the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, Surface Book 2 and Surface Studio Devices

Over the years, Microsoft has confused its fans and customers alike with the naming of their Surface line of devices. Now that era is gone, and Microsoft has streamlined its Surface Device family.

The Microsoft Surface family now comprises 4 devices: The Surface Pro, The Surface Laptop, The Surface Book and The Surface Studio.

The latest to launch in this family is The Surface Book 2, which is the updated version of The Surface Book. Because of the upgrade, the Surface Book 2 now comes in a 13- or 15-inch version.

Microsoft Surface Devices: A Quick Summary

Although this guide will be an in-depth look at each of the devices, it is best to get the confusion out of the way from the start. All the Surface devices have a touchscreen and come in different configurations. All of them are eye-catching, but only three of the devices are truly “mobile.”

The Surface Pro is the tablet in this lineup. It is also the cheapest Microsoft Surface device you can buy. It is neither a workhorse or a conventional laptop and works best for those looking for a portable but capable device.

The Surface Laptop has undergone a few changes since it launched. Because it is a laptop, it does not fold into a tablet. It runs Windows 10 s although there are reports that it is possible to run a full version of Windows 10 on the Surface Laptop.

The Surface Book 2 is a professional laptop. Although it also has a great touchscreen display, it is known for its solid discrete GPU options. The Surface Book 2 is bigger and a bit more expensive than the Surface Laptop although it makes up for all this with its superior performance.

The Surface Studio is the top-tier Microsoft Surface Device. It is primarily marketed to creatives, with its massive 28-inch display, zero gravity hinge and tight integration with both the Surface Pen and the Surface Dial all pointing towards this type of creative productivity. It is the only Surface device that is not mobile, obviously.

Microsoft Surface Pro(The Tablet)

Microsoft Surface Pro

  • Dimensions: 292 x 201 x 8.5mm, from 768g
  • Display: 12.3-inch PixelSense display; 2736 x 1824 resolution (267ppi)
  • Connections: One USB 3.0, microSD card reader, Mini DisplayPort, Cover port, Surface Connect, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery: Up to 13.5 hours
  • Accessories: Surface Pen, Signature Type Cover, Surface Dock (all sold separately)
The latest Microsoft Surface Pro has the same dimensions and features as its predecessor, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 released in 2015. That said, the latest Microsoft Surface Pro has some upgraded specs.

It still has the kickstand and works with the Surface Pen as well as the detachable Type Cover. You can use the Surface Pro with the Surface Dock if you would like to turn it into a full desktop PC. In this mode, it can be used with two external monitors, a mouse and even a printer.

When it comes to the specs, you get a 7th Gen Intel® Core™ m3, i5, or i7 CPU. For the graphics, you get either an Intel® HD Graphics 615 (m3), Intel® HD Graphics 620 (i5) or Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics 640 (i7) graphics. The Surface Pro comes with a 12.3-inch screen(2736 x 1824), 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB storage plus 4, 8 or 16GB of RAM.

Fully specced out, it is correct to say that this is a full Microsoft PC that can function as a tablet. Although not a workhorse, it is convenient for those in need of a fully mobile device.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop (The Laptop)

Microsoft Surface Laptop

  • Dimensions: 308.1 x 223.27 x 14.48mm, from 1.25kg weight
  • Display: 13.5-inch PixelSense display; 2256 x 1504 resolution (201ppi)
  • Connections: One USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connect, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery: Up to 14.5 hours
  • Accessories: Surface Arc Mouse, Surface Dock, Surface Dial, Surface Pen (all sold separately)

The Microsoft Surface Laptop has a bit of a swagger to it, with an exceptional design, Alcantara fabric keyboard and lots of colour choices to choose from.

If you are looking to get the Surface Laptop, you have a choice between the 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 and the i7 CPU. For the graphics, you either get the Intel® HD Graphics 620 (i5) or Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics 640 (i7). The Microsoft Surface Laptop has a 13.5-inch display(2256×1504). Storage options include 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage. As for RAM, you can go as high as 8GB.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop is not a business laptop although it does pack quite some computing power. It does not convert into a tablet, but you still get that glorious full touchscreen and excellent battery life.

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Microsoft Surface Book 2 (The 2-in-1)

Microsoft Surface Book 2

  • Dimensions: 312 x 232 x 13mm to 23 mm, from 1.53kg weight
  • Display: 13.5-inch PixelSense display; 3000 x 2000 resolution (267ppi), 15-inch PixelSense Display;3240 x 2160
  • Connections: Two USB 3.0, One USB Type-C, Full-size SD card reader (SDXC), Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connect, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery: Up to 17 hours
  • Accessories: Surface Pen, Surface Dial, Surface Dock (all sold separately)

The Surface Book 2 is an upgrade of the original Surface book. It is a convertible 2-in-1 professional laptop thanks to its discrete GPU options. It is bigger than the Microsoft Surface Laptop and offers much more performance when compared side to side.

The Surface Book 2 comes in two sizes, 13- and 15-inch options, with each option offering different specs and configurations.

When it comes to the CPU, you get either the 8th Gen Intel® Core™ quad-core i7 or the 7th Gen dual-core i5. The 13.5-inch model has Intel® HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU for the i5-7300U model and NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 discrete GPU w/2GB GDDR5 graphics memory for the i7-8650U model. On the 15 inch model, you get an NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 discrete GPU with 6GB GDDR5 graphics memory.

The 13.5-inch model has a 3000×2000 display while the 15-inch model has a 3240 by 2160 display. Storage options for both of the Microsoft Surface Book models include 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage with the 13.5-inch model getting a choice between 8 or 16GB of RAM and the 15 inch getting only one choice of 16GB of RAM.

The Surface Book 2 is sufficiently powered for productivity with its touchscreen making it one of the best laptops for graphic designers. The Surface Book 2 is the right laptop for a power professional who needs a device that will last all day. Be warned though, it is not cheap!

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Microsoft Surface Studio(The all-in-one desktop)

Microsoft Surface Studio

  • Dimensions: 312 x 232 x 13mm to 23 mm, from 1.53kg weight
  • Display: 13.5-inch PixelSense display; 3000 x 2000 resolution (267ppi)
  • Connections: Two USB 3.0, One USB Type-C, Full-size SD card reader (SDXC), Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connect, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery: Up to 17 hours
  • Accessories: Surface Pen, Surface Dial, Surface Dock (all sold separately)

The Microsoft surface is a desktop pc, created specially for creatives who have a sufficiently big budget. For what it costs, it does not hold anything back when it comes to its performance.

One of its most exciting features is the zero gravity hinge. This hinge allows creatives to turn this desktop pc into a tablet-like device effortlessly. In this position, it can be used with the Surface Pen or the Surface Dial to colour, sketch and mark-up the screen.

There is only one model, the 28-inch model. For the CPU, you get a 6th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 or i7. There are three different graphics options depending on your CPU and RAM: the Core i5 version with 8GB RAM gets an NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 965M with 2GB GDDR5 memory, the Core i7 with 16GB RAM gets an NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 965M with 2GB GDDR5 memory while the Core i7 version with 32GB gets an NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 980M with 4GB GDDR5 memory.

The 28-inch screen is a 4500 x 3000 display with 192 DPI. For storage, The Microsoft Surface Studio offers 1TB or 2TB storage with 8, 16 or 32GB of RAM.

The Surface Studio looks to rival other devices such as the MacBook Pro series but on the Windows side. It has the power creatives need for their work, but its price tag might put it out of the range of most people.

Get the Microsoft Surface Studio

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