Apple unveiled two new MacBook Pro models today at its event in San Francisco, following a steady buildup of leaks pre-event. Not to be outdone, Microsoft also revealed an upgraded Surface Book earlier on Wednesday, and naturally, tech enthusiasts would more than be pleased to see the two flagships spar.
Before you Apple and Microsoft loyalists drool on the new piece of technology from both companies, let's try to compare the new MacBook Pro and the Surface Book and determine which gadget packs more punch for its value.
Processor, Graphics And Storage
There are three models available for the MacBook Pro. There's the 13-inch model sans the new Touch Bar, a multi-touch OLED strip that replaces the F keys row on the top of the laptop's keyboard. There's also a 13-inch and 15-inch model that do come with the new Touch Bar.
The base model comes with sixth-generation Intel 2.0 GHz Core i5, 8 GB of RAM and an SSD with 256 GB of internal storage. There's even an option to beef it all the way up to 3.3 GHz Core i7 with 16 GB of RAM and an SSD with 1 TB of storage. There's an integrated Intel Iris for the base 13-inch model, while there's a Radeon Pro for the 15-inch model.
Microsoft's not offering larger screens, instead opting for a single model, the 13-inch Surface Book. It comes with a sixth-generation core i5 processor with 8 GB of RAM and an SSD with 128 GB of storage. The Surface Book with Performance Base can offer both Intel HD and Nvidia GTX 965M graphics.
The Surface Book is available in a host of spec configurations. For an increased price, you can get a model with a separate graphics card, so graphics-intensive games won't hog the processor. A Core i7 model is also available, with options to bump the SSD storage up to 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB.
Display And Touch Inputs
The new MacBook Pro 13-inch model comes with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 and 2,880 x 1,800 for the 15-inch model. These don't hold a candle to the Surface Book's 3,000 x 2,000 resolution even with a small 13-inch screen.
The Surface Book features a 10-point multi-touch touchscreen display that supports the pressure-sensitive Surface Pen. Have we mentioned that the Surface Book can flip its screen around and shift into a tablet mode? Well, it can.
The new MacBook Pro doesn't have a touchscreen or a bendable hinge, but it does have the aforementioned multi-touch OLED strip and a larger trackpad.
In the screen department, the Surface is the clear winner here because of its multi-touch display, tablet mode and better resolution than that of the MacBook's.
The MacBook has four ports, and not one of them is something you'd find on a traditional laptop. Yes, Apple has put two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports in the base 13-inch MacBook Pro and four in the other two models, so good luck fumbling with the right adapters for your old USB devices.
In the long run, maybe this is a good thing since USB-C is a versatile port for data transfers, battery charging and more.
The Surface Book has two USB ports, a mini DisplayPort, an SD card reader and a charging port. While the newer MacBook Pro models are a step forward in innovation, Microsoft gets the point here for vast compatibility with traditional USB-enabled devices.
In terms of juice, the Surface Book appears to be the better opponent. Microsoft claims that you can squeeze 12 to 16 hours of battery life from the Surface Book, while Apple claims a much lesser 10-hour battery life in the newer MacBook Pro models.
The 13-inch base MacBook Pro model starts at $1,499. Those with the Touch Bar will cost you $1,799 for the 13-inch and $2,399 for the 15-inch model. There's a much higher configuration for the 15-inch model, which comes with a 2.7 GHz Processor and 512 GB SSD, retailing for $2,799.
The Surface Book starts at $1,349 and $2,399 for the beefier configuration.
Fans of the traditional USB port may find it hard to find something ultimately versatile about the new MacBook Pro. That said, it does still pack a punch in terms of specs, and the new Touch Bar does spell a tireless array of possibilities once developers start taking advantage of its functionality.
For those of you who want to shell out more for Apple's new MacBook Pro, it still proves to be a nice investment despite the drawbacks because of the specs and the Touch Bar. Same thing with the Surface Book. In fact, these devices are both stellar even with the comparisons listed above, but if you want a touchscreen display and the versatility of a laptop that supports a tablet mode, then the Surface Book is a definite winner.