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Microsoft Surface Laptop: Does It Stand A Chance Against The 2016 MacBook Pro?

By Edge Ison , May 05, 2017 05:10 AM EDT
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Microsoft recently unveiled the new Surface Laptop which has been dubbed a "MacBook Killer". The new device fares well and is, in fact, better than the latest MacBook in a number of ways but how does it fare against Apple's more premium laptop, the 13-inch 2016 MacBook Pro?

Apple released the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar late last year and it has been met with mixed reactions. While the Touch Bar was a nice touch, so to say, some believe it is not enough to make up for some of the blunders of the 2016 MacBook. As for the Surface Laptop, it succeeds in the aesthetics factor and looks capable enough to stand its ground against current traditional laptops.

Design and Display

As mentioned, the Surface Laptop is pretty and a combination of metal, plastic, and Alcantara fabric work together to give the laptop that sophisticated look and feel. Microsoft managed to hide the hinges, screws and even the speaker. Apple is known for its avant-garde designs and the latest MacBook Pro is no different. Both laptops are extremely portable with the Surface Laptop weighing 2.76 pounds while the MacBook Pro coming in at 3.02 pounds. The Surface Laptop sports a 13.5-inch PixelSense display with 2256 x 1504 pixel resolution while the MacBook Pro comes with a 13.3-inch Retina display with a 2560 x 1600 resolution along with the OLED Touch Bar.

You can't go wrong with any of the two, design-wise. Choosing one over the other boils down to preference but if you value lightness, the Surface Laptop wins by 0.26 pounds. As for the display, Apple flagship is sharper but the Surface Laptop has touch ability making it more useful to students.

Performance

The Microsoft Surface Laptop is powered by Intel's dual-core 7th-gen Core i5 or i7 while the 13-ich MacBook Pro comes with the earlier 6th-gen version of the Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. Apple's flagship laptop loses that round but wins in the RAM and internal storage category as it comes with 8 to 16GB of RAM and 256GB to 1TB SSD compared to the Surface Laptop's 4 to 16GB of RAM and 128 to 512GB SSD.

It's a battle between Apple's MacOS Sierra and the New Windows 10 S operating system. As Trusted Reviews indicated, Apple has the advantage here as the MacOS provides smoother experience as compared to Windows.

Ports

Apple was criticized for getting rid of all ports except for a couple of Thunderbolt 3 connections in the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The Surface Laptop comes with a Surface power connector, a USB port, and a mini DisplayPort. While Apple's move was unpopular, its Thunderbolt ports are faster and more adaptable than the USB port.

Price

The base model of the Microsoft Surface Laptop (Core i5, 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSD) can be owned for only $999. The price goes up to $1,299 (Core i5, 8GB, 256GB), $1,599 (Core i7, 8GB, 256GB), and to $2,199 (Core i7, 16GB, 512GB). The 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 costs $1,499 while the one with Touch Bar is more expensive at $1,799.

Verdict

The Apple MacBook Pro 2016 is not the most popular of the tech giant's releases even if it comes with premium specifications. The Microsoft Surface Laptop, meanwhile, has been getting good marks based on what's known so far. That said, the real test will come once the Surface Laptop is released and we get to use the device for a prolonged period. As Pocket-lint pointed out, choosing between the two laptops boils down to the buyer's preference and budget. For now, the Microsoft Surface Laptop not only stands a chance against the MacBook Pro but has the potential to be more popular among the target market -- students.

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