Trending February 2024 # Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Vs Samsung Galaxy Book S # Suggested March 2024 # Top 3 Popular

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Microsoft Surface Pro 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Book S Samsung Galaxy Book S

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Ultralight

Also Read: Best iPhone Smartwatch of 2023

Powerful Processing

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is powered up with 8th Gen Intel Core processor which makes it more powerful than The Snapdragon 8cx platform. Though the company claims that Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor has equal efficiency to beat Intel 8th generation devices.

Long-Lasting Playback Time

Samsung Galaxy Book S wins the chart with 42Wh battery which could give you playback time of 23 hours on a single charge where on the other hand, Microsoft Windows Surface Pro 6 can only last up to 13.5 hours. You can spend long outdoor hours watching videos, drafting reports or writing lecture notes without thinking about the charger.

Stay in Sync

The same feature is available with Microsoft Surface Pro 6 which can marry with your Android or iOS smartphones and you can sync all your pictures, music, Office documents, favorites, and more.

One-Touch Wake Up

Both the devices allow you to gain access just on a single tap. Now you can put an end to daily rituals of the shutdown and booting up as fast processor and SSD drives allow you to access your device the moment you touch the power button, fingerprint sensor, keyboard or mousepad. It’s similar to the way you access your smartphones.

Elegant, Quiet And Cool

Samsung Galaxy Book S is also claimed to not heat up even while multitasking or continuous 23 Hours of playback. Its Elegant, Quiet and Cool hardware isn’t noisy even in a silent room. The same is witnessed with Microsoft Windows Surface Pro 6 though they didn’t claim such words.

Also Read: Best Android Smartwatch 2023

Portability

Both the devices are lightweight with curved edges makes it easy to carry in hand or throw in a travel bag and kickstart your journey. Weight, dimensions and long-lasting battery life makes both the devices portable enough to carry anywhere and everywhere.

Samsung Galaxy Book S Microsoft Surface Pro 6

DISPLAY

Display size 13.3”, FHD TFT (16:9) 12.3 inches

Resolution 2160 x 1440 pixels 2736 x 1824 pixels

Pixel density 216 ppi 267 ppi

Technology Super AMOLED

Screen-to-body ratio 73.63% 76.86%

Features HDR video support, Ambient light sensor Ambient light sensor

Touchscreen Capacitive, Multi-touch Capacitive, Multi-touch

CAMERA

Rear Camera Single Single

Main camera 13 megapixels 8 megapixels

Hardware Features Autofocus Autofocus

Specifications Aperture size: F1.9

Flash

LED

Video recording 1920×1080 (Full HD) 1920×1080 (Full HD)

Front 5 megapixels 5 megapixels

DESIGN

Dimensions 305.2 x 203.2 x 6.2-11.8mm 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches (292.1 x 200.7 x 8.4 mm)

Weight 960 g 792 g

Materials Back: Metal Back: Metal

Biometrics

2D Face unlock

Features Stylus

Colors Earthy Gold, Mercury Gray Black, Gray

MULTIMEDIA

Headphones 3.5 mm jack 3.5 mm jack

Speakers Multiple speakers Multiple speakers

Features Album art cover, Background playback Album art cover, Background playback

Screen mirroring Wireless screen share Mini Displayport

Additional microphone(s)

Yes

HARDWARE & PERFORMANCE

System chip Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Intel Core i7 8650U

Processor 64-bit Octa-core processor, (Max. 2.84 GHz + 1.8GHz) Quad-core, 1900 MHz, 64-bit, 14 nm

GPU Intel HD Intel UHD Graphics 620

RAM 8 GB 8GB / 16 GB

Internal storage 256 / 512GB 128 GB To 1TB

Storage expansion microSDXC up to 1 TB microSDXC

OS Windows (10) Windows (10)

CONNECTIVITY & FEATURES

Bluetooth 5.0 4.1

Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n, ac, dual-band; Multiple antennas, MIMO, Wi-Fi Direct 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac, dual-band

USB USB 3.1 USB 3.0

Connector USB Type-C (reversible) Full-size USB

Features Mass storage device, USB OTG, USB charging Mass storage device

Location GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Galileo

Sensors Accelerometer Accelerometer, Gyroscope

Other

BATTERY

Capacity 42Wh

Type Not user replaceable

Charging Yes

Video playback 11.00 hours 9.00 hours

DEVICE FEATURES

Other features Voice commands, Voice recording Voice commands, Voice recording

SHOPPING INFORMATION

Warranty period

12 Months

Discover more on Microsoft Surface Pro 6 & Samsung Galaxy Book S

You may also like to discover about previous versions of Microsoft Windows Surface, Microsoft Surface – A Tablet or A Laptop?

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Best Microsoft Surface 2023: Pro Vs Laptop Vs Go & More

But the range has come a long way since then. The original Surface morphed into the Surface Pro, joined by an affordable alternative in the Surface Go – both of which work with a keyboard cover.

Microsoft also makes regular laptops, with the thin-and-light Surface Laptop and budget alternative in the Surface Laptop Go. While the detachable Surface Book has now been retired, it’s been replaced with the Surface Laptop Studio, a true 3-in-1 device.

However, we shouldn’t forget that Microsoft has started making phones again – sort of. The Surface Duo is more of a mobile productivity device, but it runs Android and can replace your phone.

All the other entries in this chart run Windows 11, but there are plenty of alternatives available in our best laptop chart. We also have separate guides covering 2-in-1s, student laptops, budget laptops and business laptops.

But if you’re set on Microsoft hardware, you’ve come to the right place. This guide runs through the best Surface device for specific use cases, also linking out to our full reviews. While they can be expensive, Microsoft and other retailers have great deals on Surface products throughout the year.

Best Microsoft Surface 2023

1. Surface Pro 9 – Best 2-in-1

Pros

Great design and display

Excellent keyboard and pen

Great webcam

Cons

Poor port selection

Performance and compatibility issues on ARM

Expensive, with accessories still sold separately

Best Prices Today:

Your experience with the Surface Pro 9 will vary hugely depending on the model you choose.

The Intel version is the best Surface device you can buy, combining 12th-gen Intel CPUs with everything that made 2023’s Pro 8 so great. That includes an excellent 120Hz display, premium design, solid performance and impressive battery life.

Swapping out Intel for the SQ3 chip on ARM models takes battery life to the next level and adds 5G to the Surface Pro for the first time. You also get some exciting new features for the already excellent webcam, but the compromises simply aren’t worth it for most people.

When you’re paying so much for just the tablet (the keyboard cover and other accessories are sold separately), you want a device that can be relied on. When it comes to the Surface Pro 9, that can only be said for Intel versions.

Read our full

2. Surface Laptop 5 – Best laptop

Pros

Solid performance

Great keyboard

Thin-and-light build

Cons

Dated design

No option for AMD CPUs

Can get expensive

Best Prices Today:

The Surface Laptop is no longer the groundbreaking laptop it once was, but it remains a great option – provided you’re happy with Intel processors.

Microsoft has ditched the option for AMD on both the 13.5in and 15in models, and it’s expensive once you go beyond the cheapest configurations.

But if you’re willing to spend in excess of $1,000/£1,000, this is a solid option. Microsoft’s trademark thin-and-light build is here, alongside one of the best keyboards in the business and Windows 11 software that’s now very easy to use.

However, you will have to contend with that dated design, which hasn’t been updated since the Surface Laptop made its debut. It’s still the best Microsoft laptop for most people, but other companies offer more in the Windows space.

3. Surface Go 3 – Best budget 2-in-1

Pros

Solid Core i3 performance

Premium build

Great for video calling

Cons

Poor battery life

Dated design

Can get expensive

Best Prices Today:

The Surface Go 3 was one of Microsoft’s more cautious 2023 updates, but it did get a useful performance boost. Despite being a 10th-gen chip, the new Intel Core i3 processor makes everyday use much smoother and more reliable.

Aside from that, this is essentially the Go 2 from 2023. The 10.5in LCD display is still a highlight, despite sticking at a 60Hz refresh rate. The fairly chunky bezels mean it’s starting to look dated, while battery life is underwhelming.

However, it does retain that premium build quality, with an excellent built-in kickstand. The combination of 1080p webcam and dual mics also makes for a great video calling experience.

Combining the i3 model with a Type Cover and mouse makes the full Go 3 experience relatively expensive. Pentium Gold performance is still an unknown, but that’s where you’ll find better value for money.

Either way, it’s still a capable yet ultra-portable Windows tablet, running a full version of Windows 11 out of the box.

Read our full

4. Surface Laptop Studio – Best for power users

Pros

Three distinct modes

Excellent 120Hz display

Impressive battery life

Cons

Expensive

Limited to three positions

Not enough ports

Best Prices Today:

Microsoft took a risk in ditching the popular Surface Book design for a very different form factor, but the Surface Laptop Studio gets plenty of things right.

A gorgeous 120Hz display is housed within some slim bezels, although there’s still room for an excellent webcam and IR sensor for Windows Hello face unlock. The screen’s refresh rate is adaptive, meaning it can dynamically adjust to help prolong the excellent battery life. You also get solid performance from 11th-gen Intel chips and an RTX 3050 Ti GPU on more expensive models. 

But whether you buy this laptop will come down to the 3-in-1 functionality. The device works well as a traditional laptop and with the display pulled forward or laid flat, but those are your only options here. 

Many people may prefer a convertible laptop or tablet with detachable keyboard, especially given the Laptop Studio’s high asking price and limited port selection. But in some creative industries or work scenarios, this design really can’t be beaten.

Read our full

5. Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 – Best budget laptop

Pros

Impressive performance

Excellent keyboard

Decent battery life

Compact design

Cons

Can get hot

Slow charging

No backlit keys

Best Prices Today:

The second-gen Surface Laptop Go 2 is a modest upgrade over the original, but that has a big effect on the overall experience.

Performance is much improved thanks to 11th-gen Intel CPUs, which also helps significantly improve battery life. A 12.4in screen will be too small for most people, but it means the Laptop Go 2 a compelling, compact computer that weighs just 1.16kg. The keyboard is great aside from missing backlighting, especially when combined with a reliable fingerprint sensor built into the power button.

However, the Laptop Go 2 is prone to overheating, and charging is slower than many rivals. If you can look beyond these things, it’s certainly worth considering.

6. Surface Pro 8 – Best value for money

Pros

Excellent 120Hz display

Impressive battery life

Plenty of discounts

Cons

Expensive

Very limited ports

Still not great as a tablet

Best Prices Today:

The Surface Pro 8 isn’t the latest model anymore, but it remains a great 2-in-1 that’s regularly discounted.

Microsoft finally updated the design here, with a 13in display within almost the same footprint as previous 12.3in devices. The screen itself is now 120Hz, meaning the great viewing experience has a super-smooth refresh rate. 

Performance from 11th-gen Intel chips is impressive, while both cameras are solid and speakers are excellent. However, a lack of ports means you’ll probably need to connect adapter or hub.

It’s also worth highlighting the accessories, which transform the Pro 8 into a laptop replacement for many. The Signature Keyboard and Slim Pen 2 stylus are the best they’ve ever been, but also quite expensive. 

Given Windows 11’s continued limitations as a pure tablet, you’ll want to pay extra for the accessories. But with the Pro 8 itself already significantly more expensive than it’s predecessor, this isn’t something everyone will be able to justify.

Read our full

7. Surface Laptop 4 – Still a great laptop

Pros

Impressive display

Solid performance

Great battery life

Cons

Outdated design

Loud fans

Quickly gets expensive

Best Prices Today:

The Surface Laptop 4 is a minor upgrade over its predecessor, but there are still a few reasons to buy it over the Surface Laptop 3.

The big one here is processor – you can now choose between Intel’s latest and powerful AMD Ryzen chips across both 13.5in and 15in models. These chips deliver a significant improvement to power efficiency, and it shows – battery life is very solid, even when playing 4K videos.

Many of the reasons why the Laptop 3 was so good still apply. The displays offer a compelling viewing experience, continuing to support touch and pen input. There’s also a solid keyboard and lightweight, premium design. 

However, it’s not perfect. This tried and tested design could do with a refresh, while noisy fans regularly kick in during everyday use. It can also get expensive, particularly if you need. 

But if you’re set on Microsoft hardware, the Laptop 4 offers the best pure laptop experience right now. That may change soon, though, with the Surface Laptop 5 expected soon.

Read our full

8. Surface Duo 2 – Best phone

Pros

Impressive performance

Stunning displays

Decent cameras

Cons

Buggy software

Most apps not optimised

Expensive

The original Surface Duo was a bit of a disaster, but its successor is a huge improvement.

Microsoft has almost nailed the hardware here, with a premium build and two gorgeous 90Hz OLED displays connected via a tough hinge. A new triple rear camera system delivers impressive results in good lighting, while battery life has also been upgraded. Performance and stereo speakers are among the other highlights.

At this price, it’s a dealbreaker for most people. It’s the best smartphone Microsoft makes right now by far, but that’s not saying much.

However, there are signs Microsoft has made significant progress following software updates. That should make the Surface Duo 3 a significantly better buy once it arrives.

Read our full

9. Surface Book 3 – Most versatile

Pros

Gorgeous display

Excellent keyboard

Great port selection

Cons

Hit-and-miss performance

Expensive

Best Prices Today:

Despite sporting only minimal upgrades over its predecessor, the Book 3 is a solid final iteration of this unique form factor – the Surface Laptop Studio has now replaced it in Microsoft’s lineup.

A gorgeous display, excellent keyboard and solid port selection provide the foundation for a great laptop experience.

That’s far from the only drawback, with chunky bezels, mediocre speakers and lack of fingerprint scanner among the most prominent.

But with some big discounts, these shortcomings are easier to excuse. If a fully detachable laptop screen appeals to you, this is the device to go for. It’ll work with Windows 11 just fine, and remains relatively well future-proofed.

Read our full

10. Surface Laptop Go – Still a great PC

Pros

Impressive display

Solid keyboard

Excellent audio

Cons

Power comes at a price

Poor battery life

Best Prices Today:

The strength of its successor means the original Surface Laptop Go isn’t what we’d recommend for most people, although there are some big discounts around.

However, you’ll need to pay significantly more than the starting price for a model that’s worth buying. Battery life is also a concern, with the device struggling to make it through a full working day on a single charge.

Nonetheless, there’s still plenty to like about the Surface Laptop Go. Performance on the top-spec model is solid, while including a great keyboard and display in such a slimline body is really impressive. The Dolby Audio speakers and dual studio mics also make for a great audio experience.

There are plenty of laptops that also excel in these areas, though, many of which are more affordable or offer a better all-round experience.

Read our full

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Which Should You Buy?

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Google Pixel 6 Pro has enjoyed a few months as one of the best big Android phones around. Now, there’s new competition in the form of Samsung’s latest phablet, the Galaxy S22 Ultra. While it may not feel like a proper Galaxy S device, the latest Ultra is gunning for the top slot all the same. We’re here to help you decide which beast of a device is right for you in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Pixel 6 Pro showdown.

In this comparison, we’re sticking with the two most premium devices. We’ve compared the Google Pixel 6, Samsung Galaxy S22, and Galaxy S22 Plus in a battle of their own.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Hardware and cameras

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Contour Cut camera system on the Galaxy S21 Ultra was one of our favorites of the whole year, and Samsung fans will be pleased to know that not much has changed. All four lenses are back with identical measurements, which means the 108MP primary sensor is back for another year. It’s flanked by 10MP periscope telephoto, 10MP telephoto, and 12MP ultrawide options, with a sharp 40MP shooter mounted to the display.

All told, you should be able to achieve 10x optical zoom with Samsung’s periscope telephoto and 3x optical zoom with the traditional telephoto. Fans of Samsung’s cameras should be pretty happy for another year.

Both the Pixel 6 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra support USB PD PPS, but Samsung pushes for much faster charging speeds.

Samsung is no stranger to the 5,000mAh battery, which is back for another year on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It relies on the USB PD PPS standard, but you can push it to 45W instead of the 25W limit on the Galaxy S21 series. As for wireless charging, the Galaxy S22 Ultra stops at 15W speeds.

Neither the Pixel 6 Pro nor the Galaxy S22 Ultra offers a charger in the box, so you might have to buy a new one to reach the top speeds.

See also: The best phone charging accessories

When it comes to performance, Samsung’s flagship offers the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor in the US compared to Google’s Tensor chip. On paper, the Gen 1 offers a huge performance boost over Tensor, though Google’s machine learning smarts provide the brains for Pixel-specific features. Other markets will receive Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 chipset instead. You can read more about how the Snapdragon and Tensor processors compare in our deep dive.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Price and colors

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (8/128GB): $1,199

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (8/128GB): $1,199

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (8/128GB): $1,199

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (8/128GB): $1,199

Google Pixel 6 Pro (12/128GB): $899

Google Pixel 6 Pro (12/256GB): $999

Google Pixel 6 Pro (12/512GB): $1,099

While Samsung didn’t find a way to lower prices from the Galaxy S21 series, it hasn’t raised them, either. We’ll count it as a small victory that the Galaxy S22 Ultra still starts at $1,199, though it comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Jumping to 12GB and 256GB will cost you $1,299, or 12GB and 512GB will set you back $1,399. Samsung now offers a 1TB version of its massive phablet with a price tag to match at $1,599.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro: Which one will you be buying?

1264 votes

Samsung Galaxy Tabpro S Review

Our Verdict

The TabPro S is undeniably a beautiful and capable piece of hardware and it can be a joy to use. The problem is, it’s not a joy to use all the time. The 2-in-1 form factor can work, and we still think that the Surface Pro 4 is the best example of this, thanks to its build quality and integrated kickstand. The TabPro S is an excellent computer, but it remains frustrating that it doesn’t always excel in being one. Hopefully Samsung will consider improving simple things like the stand on the inevitable sequel if it is to continue to charge this much money for it.

We live with an abundance of technology. From the computers on our desks and on our coffee tables to the phones we are glued to throughout the waking day, there are just so many devices clamouring for our attention. The Samsung Galaxy TabPro S is one of them and a bad name for what is actually a great Windows tablet – it’s the Korean firm’s Surface Pro 4 rival. Here’s our full and in-depth Samsung Galaxy TabPro S review. See also: Best convertible laptops and tablets 2024.

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S: Price and competitors

The first and most obvious barrier to well-specced machines like the TabPro S actually selling is the price. It costs £849, which is an awful lot for something that doesn’t act fully as a laptop or fully as a tablet.

The upside, in comparison to rivals like the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and the iPad Pro, is that that price includes the keyboard cover attachment. The least you can spend on a Surface Pro 4 with the keyboard cover is £858.99, while the cheapest iPad Pro with the keyboard costs £628.

Remember though that the iPad runs iOS, a mobile operating system whereas the Microsoft and Samsung both ship with the full desktop version of Windows 10.  Also see: Best Samsung phones 2024: What is the difference between Galaxy Note, Galaxy S, Galaxy A and Galaxy J?

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S: Design and build quality

There’s no denying that £849 gets you a stunning piece of hardware. The TabPro S is acceptably thin and light for a 12-inch tablet measuring 11.43″ x 7.83″ x 0.25″ without the keyboard attached, and it gives away its laptop aspirations by the logos and camera favouring landscape use. This is somewhat hard to get used to if you’ve done all your tablet use on an iPad, say, which are all first and foremost portrait orientated devices. 

Using the TabPro in portrait feels slightly odd, the screen is slightly too stretched and it feels a bit too monolithic. The bottom edge of the device has magnetic connections and contacts to attach it to the keyboard. When attached, the TabPro becomes much more usable. We’ve barely used it like a traditional tablet. 

That’s a real shame, because when you plonk it on a desk and get typing, the TabPro S keyboard is truly excellent. The keys have no spaces between them in order to fit a full Windows keyboard and surprisingly good little trackpad. We found it easy to adjust from Apple and Windows PC keyboards despite the differences.

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S: Hardware and specs

At 12in the screen is larger than most tablets but this make sense for the Galaxy TabPro S since it’s taking on devices like the Surface, which are designed with productivity in mind. The screen uses Samsung’s favoured Super AMOLED technology and has a crispy 2160 x 1440 resolution. There are two 5Mp cameras, one being the forward facing camera for video calling and gratuitous selfies, and the back to never be used by anybody except tourists at Traflagar Square. 

Inside is an Intel Core M3 processor (6th generation Skylake) which is 2.2GHz and dual-core, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. If you’re buying this as a consumer then you get Windows 10 Home, but the sample we have been using is actually Windows 10 Pro – most likely the option that ships to businesses if and when they buy a fleet of them. Here’s our write up of the differences between the two. 

Other internal specs include NFC, 11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS and there’s also LTE Cat 6 listed although you can choose a Wi-Fi only model if you don’t need a cellular data connection – the base model is Wi-Fi only. 

Samsung has chosen a USB Type-C port, much like the MacBook, HTC 10 and a few other gadgets released in 2024. It’s a shame that there’s no full-size USB port so can’t easily use a memory stick or a wired mouse etc but Samsung has an answer – sort of. An optional accessory, along with a stylus (which we unfortunately couldn’t test), is a multi-port adapter that provides HDMI, USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports. It’s £64. Which sucks. 

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S: Software, performance and battery life

Out the box we were up and running in no time, installing various programmes such as Google Drive, WhatsApp, Spotify and Office (though it’s a shame that for nearly £1,000, subscription to Office isn’t included). We still prefer this approach rather than installing Windows 10 apps, because Windows 10 apps are largely unrefined. It’s simply easier with the TabPro to use desktop programmes and browser tabs like you would on a desktop machine. 

Performance is pleasingly zippy and akin to how we find other Core M devices like the Surface Pro 4 or the MacBook. The only time it really slows up is when you have too many Chrome tabs running, which is then more of a memory problem, but with 4GB you won’t really come into much trouble with day-to-day use. It’s certainly excellent for word processing, web surfing and emailing. When things were up and running, we found the TabPro a genuinely pleasing device to work on.

Samsung promises 10.5 hours of power from the bundled fast charger after a 2-hour or so full charge. This was disappointingly far from what we got out of the TabPro. When using it as our main work laptop over Wi-Fi with push notifications for several programmes, writing and several browser tabs open with brightness on just 25%, we watched the battery bar deplete with alarm.

We were not confident to go anywhere without the charger, which is not the case on most tablets we’d ever used. Then again, you have to consider that this is a smaller tablet battery straining to run a full computer operating system. Something has to give, and disappointingly for the sleek, capable, portable TabPro S it’s battery life. This is a familiar failing in modern technology.

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S: Can it really be used as a laptop?

The TabPro uses USB-C to fast charge with the bundled charger, but the cable is maddeningly short at only 1m long. Most laptop charging cables are several metres long and for a device supposedly for all day work use, we found we couldn’t actually plug the TabPro in at desk level, so short is the flex. For a device that also in real world use got nowhere near the promised 10.5 hours of battery life, this was a big issue that actually stopped us using the device whenever we wanted.

Specs Samsung Galaxy TabPro S: Specs

Windows 10

12in Super AMOLED (2160×1440)

6th Gen. Intel Core M processor (Dual Core 2.2GHz)

4GB(RAM)

128GB SSD

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac MIMO

Wi-Fi Direct

NFC

Bluetooth 4.1

5Mp rear camera

5Mp front camera

LTE Cat 6 (optional)

6.3mm

693g

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Review

Our Verdict

The Surface Pro 2 crams a serious amount of power into a compact frame. However, now that Microsoft has launched the bigger, better Surface Pro 3, the Pro 2 makes sense only if you’re on a tight budget. Even then, its value is questionable – many people would be better off with a separate laptop and tablet, and might even save money going down that road. Those less bothered about the tablet side of things should consider a convertible device such as the Lenovo Yoga.

Unlike the Surface 2, the Surface Pro 2 runs the full version of Windows 8.1 so you can install and use all your usual Windows applications. The 10.6in Surface Pro 2 has now been superseded by the 12in Surface Pro 3 , reviewed, but has had a price cut in the light of the new model. Here’s our updated Surface Pro 2 review.

Originally, the Surface Pro 2 started at £719, but you can now buy the base 64GB model for £569. The 128GB version costs £649: £10 more than the base 64GB Surface Pro 3.

If you want 256GB of built-in storage and a double-helping of RAM (8GB rather than the 4GB you get with the lower two capacities), that will cost you £879. The range-topping 512GB version is down from £1,439 to £1,279.

Surface Pro 2: Design and build

 The Surface Pro 2 is a device designed to be a  laptop and tablet in one, just like the original Surface Pro, but the keyboard is a £110 optional extra, so bear that in mind when comparing prices.

Side-by-side you’d be lucky to tell the Surface Pro 2 apart from the original since, outwardly, they look the same. It’s a shame Microsoft couldn’t make it thinner and lighter but internal upgrades (we’ll get to these in a minute) help to justify the bulk. However, the new model is lighter despite its larger screen – see our Surface Pro 2 vs Surface Pro 3 comparison review to see how the two compare.

Even with competition from the Surface Pro 3, the Pro 2 is still a very compact device considering it’s both a powerful Ultrabook as well as a touchscreen tablet. It’s 13.5 mm thick and nearly 1kg in weight meaning once again it’s the kind of device that’s far better suited to use on a desk than on a lap or freehand.

The two-stage kick stand certainly helps with using the Surface Pro 2 on your lap (and any situation), but we can’t help but describe it as clunky compared to other tablets, and it’s not as convenient as the Pro 3’s friction hinge which can be used at any angle.

There’s the same gap around the edge which allows for cooling and sound to come from the speakers within. While some don’t seem to like this gap, I think it looks good.

As well as the new Pro 3, the Pro 2 also has competition from Sony’s Tap 11 which is impressively compact yet still has a full-size USB port like the Surface.

Surface Pro 2: As a laptop

What’s the Surface Pro 2 like to use as a laptop, though? After all, that’s what Microsoft says it is.

It’s perfectly feasible to do ‘real’ work on the Pro since it runs Windows 8.1. This means you can install and run all your usual Windows programs. However, it’s a compromise compared to a regular laptop in several ways.

For starters the screen is quite small at 10.6in in so tasks other than word processing can be difficult, especially if you don’t use a mouse. The trackpad on the Touch- and Type Cover is tiny and awkward. You can of course use the touchscreen but for desktop applications you’ll need a mouse pointer or the included digital pen to avoid getting frustrated with things such as drop-down menus.

If you’re going to do serious amounts of typing then you’ll want to buy the Type Cover which has proper physical keys but again, this is a compromise compared to a proper laptop. The Touch Cover, by contrast, has membrane-type keys and it’s more akin to typing on a touchscreen than a proper keyboard. It’s possible to get used to it, mind, and the Touch Cover supports swiping and other gestures which can can’t do on the Type Cover.

Surface Pro 2: As a tablet

Despite what Microsoft wants you to think, the Surface Pro 2 isn’t really a tablet. Technically, yes it is a tablet: is has a touchscreen, but it’s just simply too big and heavy to be that handy piece of kit you instinctively reach for when you want to check the weather forecast or tweet a photo.

If you’re reading this with a plan to buy the Surface Pro 2 instead of both a laptop and a tablet, this is certainly something to bear in mind. If the tablet side of things is particualrly important, you may well be better off buying two separate devices.

You won’t even need to spend more money, as a combination of a Nexus 7, reviewed, and a modest Ultrabook can give you change from £750. You will of course end up carrying around more weight with two devices so it’s a case of your priorities.

If using it as a tablet is less important than as a laptop then you should also check out other convertibles such as the Lenovo Yoga.

Surface Pro 2: As a desktop PC

Another way to look at the Surface Pro 2 is as a desktop PC replacement.

Or at least you could if it were possible to buy the optional docking station in the UK. You might have to import one from the US for around £170 including customs fees. With the dock, the Surface Pro 2 is arguably a better desktop replacement than a laptop replacement. If you don’t want to shell out for the docking station, though, you could still use the full-size USB port and Mini DisplayPort output.

The device is perfectly cable of driving a second screen and you could connect multiple USB or Bluetooth peripherals. This way, the Surface Pro 2 can power a full-size monitor, mouse and keyboard when you’re at your desk, reverting to the much smaller 10.6in screen and Type Cover on the move.

Surface Pro 2: Hardware and performance

The main upgrade inside is the fourth-generation Intel Haswell processor. It’s a 1.6GHz Core i5-4200U which is supposed to offer better performance and longer battery life. In PCMark 7 the Surface Pro 2 managed a score of 4,886 which is a very decent effort for something this small. However, the original Surface Pro scored 4,751 showing that neither machine is a slouch.

The scores are both up there with the latest Haswell Ultrabooks on this front, with the Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus scoring 4648 (it shares the same CPU as the Surface Pro 2).

With integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400, the Surface Pro 2 can play the odd game. In Stalker: Call of Pripyat at our lowest test settings (720p and Medium detail), the Surface Pro 2 managed a playable 33 fps. At native 1080p, the framerate drops to 18fps.

Battery life

Microsoft boldly touts that the Haswell chip provides 75 percent more battery life than the original Surface Pro (which lasted five hours and eight minutes in our video-looping test). So we were expecting close to nine hours from the Surface Pro 2. 

Unfortunately, it didn’t even come close. Instead, its battery gave up streaming video just before six hours. That’s a resonable result when compared with other Haswell devices we’ve seen, but the MacBook Air shows how it should be done, lasting roughly 12 hours in the same test.

The Power Cover is essentially the Type Cover with a built-in battery. This promises up to 50 percent more battery life but this accessory still hasn’t launched in the UK so we can’t verify these claims. It will no doubt help to some extent though, if you can afford the $199 price tag (it will likely cost around £150 in the UK).

Storage

Our tests are based on the 64GB model which comes with 4GB of RAM. The 128GB model has the same amount of memory but when you jump to a 256- or 512GB Surface Pro 2 you get 8GB of RAM.

However, if you do opt for the 64GB model bear in mind that our sample had only 27GB available for our files. The good news is that there’s a microSDXC card slot for adding more.

Screen

The Haswell chip, higher storage capacity and 8GB of RAM are where the hardware upgrades end. The Surface Pro 2 has the same 10.6 in ClearType Full HD (1920 x 1080) screen, although this is no bad thing since the screen remains excellent.

The IPS panel looks gorgeous in terms viewing angles, colour saturation and contrast. It’s also nice and responsive to touch input which supports 10-point multi-touch. The main downside is the glossy finish which makes the Surface Pro 2 difficult to use in bright lighting and outdoors.

As you would expect, there’s built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, plus front and rear 720p cameras. A neat little quirk is that the power adapter has a 5W USB port for charging other devices such as a smartphone.

Specs Microsoft Surface Pro 2: Specs

OS: Windows 8.1 Pro

Screen: 10.6 in ClearType Full HD (1920 x 1080)

Processor: Intel Core i5-4200U (Haswell)

Storage: 64/128/256/512 GB

Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11, USB 3.0, micro-SD expansion (up to 64GB), Mini DisplayPort

Stylus: Digital Pro Pen.

Battery: 42Wh

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini Vs Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Our Verdict

Overall, the Galaxy S5 mini and Galaxy Alpha are reasonably evenly matched smartphones from Samsung. With just 0.2in difference between the screen size, your decision between the two will come down to metal vs plastic when it comes to design. Of course, there’s also the matter of processor and camera, both of which the Alpha wins at, but a lower price and better storage options are where the S5 mini manages to fight back. It’s a tough call, and will really depend on what you need from your device, so make sure you take a close look at our comparison review to help you determine which is best for you.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 mini is a smaller version of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S5, while the Samsung Galaxy Alpha is a sort of metal version of the S5 smartphone. Here, we compare the two S5 spinoffs in our Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Samsung Galaxy Alpha comparison review, which looks at specs, price and features to determine which is best. Also see:  Samsung Galaxy Alpha review.

See also: Best smartphones

The Samsung Galaxy S5 mini is part of Samsung’s flagship S5 line-up, designed for those who want a premium product in a compact body, though Samsung has slimmed-down the specs as well as the size. The Galaxy Alpha seems to be the start of yet another new range from Samsung, which is known for its tactic of launching smartphones in almost every size, shape, spec, price and colour it can think of. See also: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy Alpha comparison

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Price UK

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha will set you back £499, while the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini is cheaper at £389, though as we wrote in our full review, we think the latter is still too pricey for what you get. See: Samsung Galaxy S5 mini review

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Design and build

As the name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini is a compact version of the Galaxy S5. It’s available in the same white, black, gold or blue options as the S5, with the same dimpled plastic rear cover. See also: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S5 mini comparison

The Galaxy Alpha, on the other hand, seems to be Samsung’s stab at the iPhone 5s (or maybe the upcoming iPhone 6), with a metal frame around the edge. The rear cover of the Alpha is still plastic, though.

Of course, there’s also the matter of size, which could become the deciding factor between these two phones. The S5 mini has a 4.5in display, which isn’t actually very ‘mini’ when you consider the iPhone 5S has a 4in display. It’s 9.1mm thick, weighing 120g.

That’s compared with the 4.7in display found on the Alpha (interestingly, that’s the screen size expected for the upcoming iPhone 6). The alpha is thinner than the S5 mini at just 6.7m, and is also lighter, despite its slightly bigger display, weighing 115g.

The Galaxy S5 mini has a removable cover, giving access to the also-removable battery, plus SIM and microSD slots. As far as we’re aware, the Galaxy Alpha’s back is not removable, which means no access to the battery. The Alpha also misses out on the IP67-rated dust and waterproof protection boasted by the Galaxy S5 mini.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Screen

As mentioned above, the Galaxy S5 mini has a 4.5in display while the Alpha has a slightly bigger 4.7in display.

The Alpha’s Super AMOLED display is 720p HD resolution, at 1280 x 720 pixels, making 320 pixels per inch. Similarly, the S5 mini has a Super AMOLED 720p HD display, but with 326ppi pixel density in part due to its smaller display. You’ll hardly notice a difference in quality between the displays on these two devices, making them very closely matched when it comes to the screen.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Hardware and performance

We’ve yet to get our hands on the Galaxy Alpha to run our full benchmark tests, but looking at the hardware specs alone, we can begin to see how it compares with the Galaxy S5 mini.

The S5 mini has a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM and Mali 400 graphics. We found it to be fairly snappy, though there was some lag when opening certain apps, particularly S Health.

The Galaxy Alpha has more impressive hardware, so we’re expecting it to offer smoother and quicker performance. It boasts an Exynos 5 octa-core processor, with four 1.8GHz Cortex-A15 cores and four 1.3GHz Cortex-A7 cores. That’s paired with 2GB of RAM.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Storage  

The Alpha is only available as a 32GB model, though, and doesn’t have a microSD slot for expandable storage, which is a bit of a surprise for a Samsung smartphone.

The S5 mini comes with 16GB of onboard storage, but offers the ability to add a further 64GB through the microSD slot.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Connectivity  

Both the Galaxy S5 mini and Galaxy Alpha offer 4G connectivity, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. The Alpha is compatible with the faster 802.11ac WiFi, unlike the Mini which sticks to dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Extra features

Both the S5 mini and Alpha boast the new fingerprint scanner and heart-rate monitor that the company debuted with the Galaxy S5 in February.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Camera

When it comes to cameras, you’ll find an 8Mp camera on the rear of the Galaxy S5 mini. It can shoot at 1080p video, and features auto focus, an LED flash and HDR.

The Galaxy Alpha boasts a more impressive camera than the S5 mini, with a 12Mp shooter on the rear. It has Dual Camera, an LED flash HDR and the ability to record video in 4K quality.

On the front, the Galaxy S5 mini and Galaxy Alpha both have a 2.1Mp camera that can record full HD video.

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Battery

The Galaxy Alpha sports a 1860mAh battery, but it appears to be non-removable. The Galaxy S5 mini a slightly 2100mAh battery, which is removable thanks to the removable back of the phone itself.

We’ll update this article when we’ve been able to spend some time with the Galaxy Alpha, to bring you information about how long you can expect the battery to last. 

Samsung Galaxy S5 mini vs Galaxy Alpha: Software

Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini an Galaxy Alpha offer Android 4.4 KitKat, and both are expected to be upgraded to Android L later this year. Samsung overlays its TouchWiz UI on both phones.

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