First look: Microsoft Surface Pro 4 comes across as a productive device, but steeply priced at Rs 89,990

Finally, Microsoft has launched the Surface Pro 4 in India. It is available in three variants starting at a hefty Rs 89,990. The Surface Pro 4 powered by Core i5 coupled with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD is priced at Rs 89,990, Surface Pro 4 with Core i5, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD at Rs 1,20,990 and the higher-end variant with Core i7, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD at Rs 1,44,990.

We got to spend some time with the device and here's what we think.

The first thing that strikes you when you hold the Surface Pro 4 is the lightness. At just 786 grams with the Type Cover attached, the Surface Pro 4 is easily one of the lightest hybrid devices out there which pack in some solid high-end specifications.

 First look: Microsoft Surface Pro 4 comes across as a productive device, but steeply priced at Rs 89,990

The Type Cover has been updated with a suede finish on the flap side and a chiclet keyboard on the business side. The keys have a good amount of travel and they are well spaced, unlike the previous generation Type Cover which had keys placed quite close to one another with comparatively less travel. Microsoft has also employed a wider trackpad with the Pro 4’s Type Cover. And since the length of the Surface Pro 4 is identical to the Surface Pro 3, you can attach the new Type Cover to the Surface Pro 3 as well.

Surface Pro 4 (3)

Typing on the keyboard felt quite natural. But the Type Cover is a bit awkward to use while having the Surface Pro 4 on your lap, it is well suited to be used when the Pro 4 is placed on a flat surface. This is because there is a slight air gap created between the keyboard and the lap thanks to the magnetic hinge. The Pro 4 is attached to the Type Cover via magnetic connect points and it can be easily detached and reattached to the display. The keyboard can be backlit as well in case you are using the Surface Pro 4 in the darkness.

Surface Pro 4 (2)

The Surface Pro 4’s kickstand is held in place by a sturdy hinge mechanism which lets the kickstand go all the way back, keeping the Pro 4 in an almost horizontal orientation. It measures just 8.45mm thick and it uses metal in the construction. It sports a 12.3-inch 2736 x 1824 pixel touchscreen display, which looks sharp thanks to the 267ppi pixel density and it also offers really good viewing angles. It can playback 4K videos comfortably, but the glossy surface is quite reflective.

There are multiple variants of the Surface Pro 4 depending on what processor, RAM and storage combination you opt for. We got to try out the Surface Pro 4 housing a Skylake Intel Core i5-6300U processor along with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. Surface Pro 4 lets you expand the storage by adding in a microSD card on the rear side of the Pro 4.

Surface Pro 4 (6)

Along the top edge you have the power/standby button followed by the volume rocker button, on the left hand side you have the 3.5mm audio jack and the place to magnetically stick on the Surface Pen, whereas on the right hand side there is a mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0 port and a charging port.

Surface Pen

The Surface Pen on the Surface Pro 4 attaches nicely along the left hand edge and boasts of a pressure sensitive tip. Althuogh we did not use the Surface Pen extensively, it did manage to impress with its fluidity. There was barely any lag between what we were writing and what was appearing on the display. Applying pressure does vary the thickness of the lines. On the opposite end of the Surface Pen, you have a button like implementation that also works as an eraser. Double clicking on the button takes a screenshot which you can directly start annotating on One Note after clipping the correct portion. You need to be connected to the net, in order to work on screenshots taken with the Surface Pen. A long press on the Pen’s button brings up Cortana.

While hardware is one side, the software on the Surface Pro 4 is what completes the equation. It runs on Windows 10 OS which can work in both the desktop and tablet modes when you make the necessary changes in the Action Centre. Windows Hello lets you sign in via iris recognition on the Surface Pro 4. An infrared sensor present just beside the front-facing camera glows red as you look at the display and once the iris scan is complete, unlocks the Pro 4. Even with Cortana, you can set it to be activated only to your voice if you so prefer. But getting Cortana to respond at the show floor was turning out to be quite a task due to the background noise. It makes us wonder if Cortana on the Surface Pro 4 will usable outside your office cubicle or home? But we can only answer that after we test it for ourselves.

Microsoft is certainly targeting the high end consumers including professional and business users with the Surface Pro 4. So will this be the hybrid to beat? Only time will tell.

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