Surface Pro 4 in the test: Closer to Perfection

Meanwhile, is the fourth-generation Surface Pro for sale. Microsoft has successfully established 2-in-1 tablet a class of devices with the so consistently noted here that even other well-known manufacturers such as HP or Lenovo familiar with it when their new products. Already with the Surface Pro 3 Microsoft made the biggest leap in terms of innovation, the Surface Pro 4, the improvements seem minimal - but as our test of the new Surface Pro 4, these turn out to be much larger than one would think at first on closer inspection.

140588Surface Pro 4 Test

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Hardware: For confusingly similar

seems to have even if not done too much in terms of design at first glance, the sufrace Pro 4 provides technical point of view much more - all in a compact housing.

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As before, the Surface Pro comes with four high-quality magnesium case and a top-quality workmanship. While it has become lighter and thinner with 786 grams and a thickness of 8.45 mm, length and width remain the same as compared to its predecessor. The big difference, however, is that the Surface Pro 4 now a 12.3-inch display has been installed, while the Surface Pro 3 still had to make do with a 12.0 inch display. Microsoft has just saved at the edges and this reduced accordingly. The speakers are not left in place and are still on the front. Their sound quality is still good and her acoustic volume sufficient.

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At the lower overall height is now also gone to the physical limits, which mainly becomes clear when looking at the connections: Still a USB can be found on the right side of the mini-display port, 3.0 connection and the magnetic Surface Connector - alone remains to the mini-display and USB ports around no ounce of excess space, even thinner, the Surface Pro 4 could therefore can not be. Here should in future provide scope for further streamlining only a USB Type C port. While continuing to find the microSD slot under the kickstand, you're looking for a slot for a SIM card in vain: A similar version with LTE is not offered, wireless networks are supported with the standards a / b / g / n and ac , In the test, no weaknesses were found in this regard.

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To praise is Microsoft for the upgrade of the integrated cameras: While the Surface Pro 3, two 5 megapixel cameras ensured with fixed autofocus not always satisfactory results can be found in the Surface Pro 4 three cameras: On the back of Microsoft installed now an 8 megapixel autofocus camera on the front two lenses are positioned - while the 5 megapixel camera with fixed focus is used for video conferencing or selfies, now shows there also an infrared camera that the new "Windows Hello" feature for used.

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With Windows Hello the computer within a few milliseconds can unlock without making even a handle. As was mentioned in the Book Surface test, this is one of my favorite features of the new Surface series. Since the face recognition is so precise and really night and day working, fingerprint scanners work against almost like yesterday's technology. Pro-Tip: I wear glasses should be teach with and without glasses face.

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Type Cover: The biggest improvement

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Compared with the standard design of the Surface Pro 4, a difference is the new Type Cover immediately: The keys have a greater distance and the trackpad is now much grown. Changes that we very much welcome.

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When basic design of the Type Cover, nothing has done. So there is still a magnetic fold, which can attach to the bottom of the Surface Pro. Overall, the writing feeling on the new keyboard is remarkably stable and solid. Microsoft seems to have touched up here in the materials, so that no longer so easy to flex the new Type Cover. Above it all Surface Pro 3 users can rejoice, for the new Type Cover is compatible with the Surface Pro. 3 For the price of 149.99 (the Microsoft Store) now also new colors can be selected: black, red and blue-green.

The new Surface Pen

Microsoft has released the design of the Surface Pen minimal change, but technically neat topped him: the new Surface Pen is now flat on one side and provided with a magnetic stripe. With this, the stylus can be easily attached to the casing of the Surface Pro 4 and holds it there so rock solid that you can transport the tablet and the stylus together in your pocket, have to have, you could lose him without fear.

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New is, among other things, that only one key is installed on the flat side of the surface. The other button at the top can be used shortcut of course. Sun can be created, for example, via a button screenshots and opened directly in OneNote. In addition, the print button on the top can also be used as an eraser now, which is quite useful in many situations.

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Who, incidentally, before edit PDFs, can rejoice, because Microsoft has installed the tool "Drawboard PDF", which is one of the best PDF tools in Windows 10th

Display in the special format

While the Surface Pro 3 with its three already: 2 aspect ratio is especially noticed it once more oblique the Surface Pro 4: Although Microsoft remains the 3: true 2 format but changes the resolution of the larger 12.3 inch displays on unusual 2,736 x 1,824 pixels. the best pixel density to Windows 10 and programs, according to Microsoft best represent - This results in a pixel density of 267ppi. In the test, confirmed this. In addition, also working with the tablet in portrait showed as enjoyment. In comparison to conventional 16: 9 or 16: 10 displays, is e.g. a full A4 page of a PDF shown without restriction.

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Apart from the special format and the appropriate resolution, the display of the Surface Pro 4 scores in other disciplines: Colors are tired of contrasts intense and the brightness is sufficiently high to be able to work with the tablet outdoors. Noise factor is as usual the reflective surface. However, so far no manufacturer a miracle remedy invented and built.

Better fans and even more performance

one thinks of the Surface Pro 3, immediately notice the keyword "throttling" one - when the predecessor of the Pro 4 processor contacts after some time under load down so as not to be too hot. According to Microsoft, you get the throttling problem under control the Surface Pro. 4 In our test, we can confirm that fortunately: After more than 30 minutes under extreme load - simulated with the "Intel Extreme Tuning Utility" - remained the temperature constant at about 60 degrees, while a maximum temperature of 45.8 degrees measured on the outside has been. Of course, the temperature can vary on different versions. Our test model, the Core i5 version is in conjunction with the 8 GB of memory in any case fast and thanks to new Intel Skylake-generation and energy-efficient.

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As confirmed by the lower benchmarks, the performance level is far above that of the Surface Pro 3. Not only with the processor performance but also in terms of graphics, much has happened. Certain games such as Diablo 3 can also play on the Surface Pro. 4 Those who want more should look at the Surface Book, which has integrated an additional GPU, or equal access to a gaming notebook - for example, the Acer V Nitro VN7 (Test). Positive is also worth mentioning that Microsoft relies on the new NVMe protocol when SSD and thus read speeds of over 1500 MB / s and write values ​​s can be achieved 300 MB / s. With special drivers, it goes even faster. In general, Windows has always shown very quickly 10 surface. Calling larger files or programs such as Adobe Premiere Pro went very quickly. Overall, Microsoft could but in the software anyway rework a bit because there were a few hangers in the test here and there.

Benchmark results

benchmarkSurface Pro 4 (i5, 8GB, 256GB)Surface Book (Core i5, dGPU, 8GB, 256GB)
Basic Valley763 (18.2 FPS)1163 (27.8 FPS)
Valley Extreme HD175 (4.2 FPS)339 (8.1 FPS)
Cinebench R15 (CPU / Open GL)306 / 37.43300 / 30.22
PCMark 08 (Home)28282353
3D Mark (Skydiver)36026104
3D Mark (Firestrike)851840

Was able to convince the Surface Pro 4 in the battery test, in spite of the thinner housing, we were able to measure very good terms: In the Mix use we reached a value of almost 8 hours, which is slightly below the manufacturer's specifications, yet still very good , This was mainly due to the new Skylake processor and better power management is noticeable.

The Surface Pro 4 as a laptop replacement?

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The test of the Surface Pro 4 has shown that there is to complain about very little in terms of hardware. With the new Type Cover also the writing feeling improved for longer texts. If you use the Surface Pro 4 on the road, to show the natural strengths and weaknesses of a tablet: So you can for example also work better in a smaller space with the tablet. but it uses the Surface Pro 4 on the lap and want to write longer texts, it does not work still quite as stable as a convertible or Ultrabook.

However, one works in the office with an external keyboard and mouse, no restrictions are to be exercised. Here you can also use the optional Surface dock. In order for the Surface Pro 4 will be extended by countless connections - you go home at night, you just pull a plug. The price of this Surface Dock, however, also set very high with 230 €.

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If one looks, create notes a compact and powerful companion for surfing the web, read PDFs, and edit, write emails, watch movies and maybe even to work now and then to short films or photos, you will with the Surface Pro 4 very much Have fun. If you want to go write longer texts, but you should look for a ultrabook or convertible fixed keyboard.

Conclusion to test the Surface Pro 4

The Surface Pro 4 is a worthy successor to the Surface Pro 3. It brings many necessary improvements and convinces with a good performance, a good display, the stylus and the touch. It becomes critical when the price. This is very high applied with a starting price of 999 € for the model with Core M3 processor, especially since the Type Cover for 149 € must be purchased separately. If you need more power or memory, can at least access to new configurations. Students can also save 10 percent.

Surface Pro 4 with 10% discount for students*

Can we do without a good stylus, you can get for the same or lower price convertibles that offer more, such as HP Specter X360.

Our test rating for Microsoft Surface Pro 4

  • Processing, feel and design: 5/5
  • Display: 5.5
  • Software: 4.5
  • Performance: 4/5
  • Keyboard / trackpad: 4/5
  • Connectivity: 4.5
  • Battery and everyday life: 4/5

Total: 86%


  • great fabrication
  • good display
  • Battery life
  • Windows Hello
  • Keyboard, trackpad and Stylus


  • Software or faulty
  • Expensive

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Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Wallner Christof

December 2.20154.3 / 5 stars

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Posted In: Microsoft Surface Pro 4