By Stephen Pate – The PC Mag review Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) review: More power for more money more or less confirmed my opinion that a Surface Pro 4 i5 4 GB discounted to $700 is a better value.
The June refresh of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 with the Surface Pro (2017) didn’t impress me much. Your first clue should be that Microsoft didn’t even give the update a product name refresh.
Whichever Surface Pro you want, I’d recommend the next model up Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (256 GB, 8 GB RAM, Intel Core i5). Windows 10 really needs 8 GB to function smoothly.
In the review, the Kaby Lake powered Surface Pro impressed the reviewer with faster graphics performance but he was comparing a new i7 Surface Pro to the older i5 Pro 4. “From a performance standpoint, then, upgrading from the Surface Pro 4 to the Surface Pro makes sense only if you plan to use the Surface Pro for games, image rendering, or similar tasks.”
Tech Radar liked the new Surface Pro (2017). “If you’re willing to pay a bit more for the latest accessories than even before, the new Surface Pro remains the ultimate 2-in-1 laptop and productivity tablet. So much so that, despite Microsoft’s decision to pull the Surface Pen from the box, it remains worthy of our Recommended award.” Microsoft Surface Pro review The most massively improved Surface yet
Any real life performance improvement depends on the jobs you will use the Surface Pro for. On normal MS Office tasks, email, social media and web surfing the Surface Pro 4 is more than enough.
A new Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (256 GB, 8 GB RAM, Intel Core i5) costs about $970, plus $130 for the Type Cover. PC Mag tested the Surface Pro (2017) with a 2.5 GHz Core i7-7660, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, costing a whopping $2,199 plus $160 for the Type Cover.
For more than double your money, you get essentially the same device with a 10% speed improvement overall and maybe 40% faster on graphic intensive work. Other small improvements are Windows Hello iris recognition, lower kickstand angles, and support for Surface Dial.
The PC Mag review did not find any improvement in battery life: in fact, the Surface Pro (2017) ran the battery down faster than the Pro 4. Again, the i7 to i5 processor logically had something to so with that.
How much those improvements are worth is your decision. Of course, getting the latest and greatest computer can be an emotional kick and but it makes little economic sense. Apple relies on the same desire to own the latest and greatest to push its devotees to shell out money each year for the latest iPhone or MacBook.
I imagine Microsoft will be happy when the existing stock of Surface Pro 4 is gone and we can’t make these comparisons.