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    Surface Book vs MacBook Pro: The Battle of the Laptops

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    Amit Srivatsa
    Amit Srivatsa Jun 3, 2017

    The PC/laptop rivalry between Apple and Microsoft was out of steam for a bit when Apple dominated the market hands-down. Once Microsoft decided to start manufacturing their own devices, however, a new era of competition has begun. Today we pitch together the stars from each company to see how they stack-up against each other. This is: Surface Book vs MacBook Pro!

    We are going to compare the two devices on four most important criteria — Connectivity, Hardware (display, keyboard, etc), Performace (speed, RAM allocation, etc), and finally Battery Life.


    When it comes to connectivity, the Surface Book hits it straight out of the park! It comes equipped with USB 3.0, SD card reader, Surface Connect, headphone jack, and mini DisplayPort, as compared to the MacBook Pro, that comes with just Thunderbolt 3 ports. So you end up needing a converter even to connect your iPhone to it!


    Let’s start with the build quality. Both the Surface Book and the MacBook Pro have exceptional build quality, giving a fine, premium look and feel to the product overall. The MacBook continues the Apple tradition of an aluminium unibody, while the Surface Book has clear, well-defined edges and bold lines. Both are equals in this department.

    The screen is where the MacBook edges ahead, though.

    “The MacBook Pro is brighter and more vivid, measuring 458 nits and covering 128 percent of the sRGB colour gamut. The Surface Book’s 376 nits and 112.6 percent are nothing to scoff at (in fact, they’re really impressive), but they don’t match what Apple offers,” reports LaptopMag.

    Surface Book, however, gains back a few points with the keyboard.

    The light travel and more tactile keyboard from Microsoft offers better typing experience than the bit-more-cramped keyboard of the MacBook Pro. It is like trying to skin the hair, though, to declare one definitely better than the other. Some users might find the compact keyboard of MacBook Pro much easier to use.


    This is where things get interesting.

    Although the Surface is a better-stocked machine on paper, the MacBook outperformed it in real life testing. The report from LaptopMag continued:
    “[MacBook Pro] earned a score of 9,213 on the Geekbench 4 overall performance test and copied 4.97GB of data at 727 MBps. [Surface Book] notched a score of 7,559 on the Geekbench 4 test, and it transferred data at 363.6 MBps”

    Clearly, Apple’s software-hardware integration is much better than Microsoft’s. Which is to be expected, really. After all, Apple has been doing it for much longer!


    Just when you thought Apple will run away with the match, Surface Book comes back strongly with its superior battery life. Clocking at 9 hours and 10 minutes, the Surface lasted a good half-an-hour more than MacBook’s 8 hours 40 minutes. While you can argue that that’s not much of a difference, remember that the test unit had integrated graphics card, which is not standard. So if you take that away, the laptop from Microsoft lasted more than 12 hours on one charge!!


    After four rounds, the two systems were evenly matched, however, when you stop to consider that the Surface Book is compatible with the Surface Pen, and comes with a detachable screen, you suddenly understand that the Microsoft has emerged a clear winner here.

    The new MacBook Pro wasn’t a great machine to begin with (we have said this explicitly), and in comparison with the Surface Book, it barely impresses! Apple has got a task in its hand, and we hope that the next iteration of MacBooks will put up a better fight, if not win the competition outright.

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