Design & Display: MacBook Pro or Surface Book i7?

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With both Microsoft and Apple having unleashed the best of their compact devices on offer for this year, there’s bound to be a lot of comparisons drawn between their flagship laptops – the MacBook Pro and the Surface Book i7 respectively.

Both devices feature some power-packed specs and provide an experience that’s different on every level. So how do they really compare in areas where it matters? Form factor and display are features that most users will want to hang their hopes on. So here’s how these two laptops make the cut.

Design

The MacBook Pro is the thinnest MacBook out there right now at just 0.6 inches. The weight of the MacBook Pro is just three pounds. It’s got a completely different configuration for input too. It’s got the new Touch Bar with Touch ID, the butterfly mechanism keyboard as well as the ultra-wide touchpad with force-touch. Over all, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything retained from the older MacBooks moving onto this generation. In fact, they’ve even dropped the light that glows behind the screen which illuminates the Apple logo. Perhaps it was to save the thickness, but it will be a missed feature.

The Surface Book i7 is noticeably thicker than the MacBook Pro at 0.9 inches. Mostly because of the bend that supports the screen since it’s got quite the gap. But it’s not without its utility since the screen can be brought back entirely and can also be detached I necessary. So design-wise, it’s not something people will be complaining about. The Surface Book also weighs a little more than the MacBook at 3.6 pounds. The main between this version of the Surface Book from its previous versions is the internal specs. It’s a lot more powerful on the inside, while still retaining the same convenience in practicality and usage – as a tablet and a laptop.

Display

MacBook Pro models come equipped with a Touch Bar and the accompanying Touch ID sensor

MacBook Pro models come equipped with a Touch Bar and the accompanying Touch ID sensor

The MacBook comes in two display sizes – the 13.3-inch 2560×1600 display and the 15.4-inch 2880×1800 display. Pushing those pixels will be an Intel’s Iris Graphics on the lower-end model while the bigger variants get a more capable Radeon Pro 450 or 455 for 3D acceleration and designing.

But no matter how high the resolution on the MacBook extends, it won’t be any match for the Surface Pro’s 3000×2000 resolution display. It comes as standard on a 13.5-inch display, so with that much real-estate, those pixels will pop. The screen is also a lot more versatile, in that it’s a touchscreen, and can be detached and folded over from the device. Overall, it offers more value than the MacBook in this department. The Surface Book Pro will offer both Intel HD graphics and the GTX 965M for 3D and graphical intensive applications. We’re not sure it’s the best that the Surface could have churned out for the display, but it does do well enough.

Conclusion

For their money’s worth, both laptops offer something unique that they bring to the table. The most high-end of each of the models both pack impressive features, but at that price point, the MacBook just offers more screen real-estate, while the Surface Book offers a detachable touchscreen which, even at its base model, provides much higher resolution than any of the MacBook’s variants.

RAM however, is topped at 16GB for the MacBook while it’s only at 8GB for the Surface Book. So there’s still a lot to consider. In the eventual course things however, a more all-round package on offer at any of the price-ranges for which it is available, will be the Surface Book. It’s just got so much value compared to its competitor that even the lack of RAM won’t be an issue.

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