Microsoft has claimed the Surface Pro as the “tablet that can replace your laptop.” In today’s consumer device centric market, this is a bold statement. However, since the release of the original Windows RT model in 2012, The Surface with its built-in kickstand and a detachable keyboard, has proven to be a powerful and very portable productivity tool.
The Surface Pro’s are impeccably designed and engineered tablets, but I’ve always wanted and hoped that Microsoft would apply the same design to a ‘proper’ notebook. There are still end users who need or prefer to use a more traditional machine to work on, no matter how good a tablet is at replacing one. Well, it seems Microsoft has listened and along with the new Surface Pro 4 has released the Surface Book, one of the slickest looking Windows notebooks ever made.
For our customers, both the Surface Pro and Book are excellent choices to equip their mobile workforce with. Unfortunately, the big challenge for us up until now is that Microsoft hasn’t made its Surface products available to Lanworks to sell to our customers. Thankfully Microsoft has now opened up its Reseller Program, and Lanworks can finally offer Microsoft’s vision of the perfect tablet and notebook.
The Laptop Replacement
The Surface Pro 4 is a Windows 10 powered tablet with a 12.3-inch 2736 x 1824 display. Unlike most other tablets and notebooks, the Pro 4’s screen is an odd 3:2 aspect ratio, but is, a benefit as it’s the same aspect as a sheet of paper. When you hold the Surface in portrait mode to view a business document it fits perfectly in the display, and web pages are displayed wider, making them easier to read. Along with the touch screen input, the Pro 4 also comes with a stylus for pen input.
The Pro 4 is a premium device, precisely engineered from magnesium alloy, so it is both incredibly thin and light, but still very durable. It is also a very attractive device, much more so than many of the other staid and bland business machines. Despite its light weight and thin design, the Pro 4 can still be equipped with up to an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage.
Of course, the tablet aspect of the Pro 4 is only half the story. When you attach the removable type cover keyboard and flip-out the metal kickstand on the back, the Surface transforms into a laptop. The type cover has proper mechanical keys with a large trackpad below and offers a typing experience as good as any notebook. Then when closed it acts as a cover and protects the Surface.
Even though it is a tablet, the Pro 4 doesn’t make any compromises on the software side. With a full version of Windows 10 Pro, you can run any business application you can throw at it from Office 2016 to more demanding apps like AutoCAD (if you have the i7 model).
The Ultimate Business Laptop
It’s typical for many IT managers – a VP comes into your office clamoring for the newest Apple MacBook Pro. She wants a ‘wow’ factor machine (who doesn’t these days) but you’re a Windows shop. Now is the time to show them the Surface Book. Microsoft’s first attempt at making a full notebook has resulted in an incredibly attractive machine that certainly stands out.
Like the Surface Pro, it is made from magnesium alloy and has the same clean, elegant, super thin design. At first glance, it looks like a traditional notebook with a proper keyboard, but it wouldn’t be a Surface if it didn’t have a few tricks up its sleeve.
The Surface Book transforms with a detachable screen. It can be used in normal laptop mode, and the 13.5-inch super high resolution 3000 x 2000 screen can be used alone as a large tablet. Like the Pro 4 it is 3:2, works with the stylus pen, and lastly it can be attached facing backward for presentations.
The Surface Book can be configured with up to an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD drive and runs Windows 10 Pro. One big difference between it and the Pro 4 (other than its form factor of course) is that the Surface Book can be configured with discrete Nvidia graphics, giving it extra graphical horsepower to run the most demanding of business applications. It also has an amazing battery life of up to 12 hours of use thanks to the two batteries, one in the tablet part and one in the keyboard base.
Business Ready Warranties and Sales Program
The quality and capabilities of the hardware isn’t all that determine if a product is suitable for business use. Another important factor is the service and support offered, and Microsoft has support plan options for the Surface Pro and Book to give you peace of mind if you deploy them at your company.
Out of the box, the Surface only have a 1 year warranty with 90 days of tech support, but there are two optional extended offerings. The first increases the period to 3 years but has the same 90 days of support. The second, called Microsoft Complete for Business, adds 3 or 4 years of accidental damage protection and tech support for the duration of the term.
Another important consideration when looking at rolling out new hardware to your organization is if the vendor offers any special pricing programs for larger opportunities – and Microsoft does.
If you are looking to deploy more than five Surfaces, there are some savings available. We at Lanworks can help you get the biggest and deepest discounts from Microsoft to support a larger roll-out.
Ready to Introduce the Surface Pro or Book into Your Business?
If you think either the Surface Pro 4 of Surface Book would be the right fit for your company, contact one of our sales team members for more information as to how we can help you get your hands on two of the slickest business machines currently available.