With my Dell notebook on the verge of giving out, I recently found myself searching for a replacement. Initially, I thought that it wouldn’t be too difficult to find one, but I have to say that I found myself singularly uninspired by the devices on offer, particularly from the major OEM brand names.
I wasn’t that excited by the idea of getting a MacBook, either, even though I knew I could install Windows on it. Perhaps because the line has been around so many years with very few modifications or upgrades, it looks rather jaded and tired.
After wasting far too much time agonizing over my decision, I ended up surprising myself by getting a Microsoft Surface Pro 4. With my back now beginning to complain about the decades I’ve spent lugging around heavy machinery, the size and the weight of the device was one of its main attractions. So too was its two-in-one or convertible form factor that means it can be used as a tablet as well as a notebook.
After a month of using the device, including a one-week business trip, I am reasonably pleased with my choice. As a laptop, I would probably give it a grade of nine out of ten, because of its wonderful screen, excellent performance, decent battery life (at least up to now), and surprisingly tactile keyboard. Having to remember to carry around an HDMI connector and Bluetooth mouse is a bit of a pain, but you have to do that with a lot of smaller notebooks these days in any case.
As a tablet, however, the device is a bit of disappointment. At best, I would give it four out of ten if I were asked to grade it. The device is too heavy to hold for long periods of time even on my lap, and the touch screen is not as responsive as on a smart phone or an iPad. The pen that comes with the device is certainly a lot more precise than my fingertips, but I seem to spend far more time worrying about losing it than actually using it.
Last but no means certainly least, it doesn’t function very well as an eBook reader at all – again because of its weight. As a result, although I am happy with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 as a replacement for my old notebook, I’m not yet ready to give up on my iPad yet.