Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) vs full review
If you’re looking for a Windows 10 device that can act as either a tablet or a laptop then there are two new models that deserve your attention - Microsoft’s 2017 Surface Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy Book.
We take a look at how these premium hybrids compare, and help you decide which one is most worthy of your money. For more options you’ll also want to check out our guide to the best hybrid laptop/tablets on the market at the moment.
How do the designs and features compare between the Surface Pro and Galaxy Book?
It seems that this time around Microsoft is electing to retire the numbering system on the Pro line. This isn’t a bad idea in itself but could become a bit confusing if they update the range on a regular basis.
The Surface Pro shares many of the design cues of its predecessor, keeping essentially the same magnesium alloy chassis, a 12.3-inch PixelSense display running at 2736 x 1824 with a density of 273ppi, and selection of USB 3, microSD, 3.5mm headphone jack, and Surface connector ports that omits USB-C.
One slight alteration to the construction is the new kickstand which can now be reclined to an almost flat 165 degrees. The main advantage of this angle is for using the newly improved Surface Pen to write or draw on the screen.
The hinge on the kickstand is still as smooth and stable as always, making it easy for users to find the exact angle they require when working or consuming media.
Samsung’s Galaxy Book comes in two flavours, one with a 10.6-inch TFT LCD HD display running at 1920x1280, and the other offering a higher specced 12-inch AMOLED panel filling its 2160x1440 resolution with improved colours and clarity.
Both Galaxy Books resemble other stablemates in the Samsung tablet range, albeit without the Home button usually found on the front. The Books also have another major difference in that they run Windows 10 rather than Android 7.0.
The smaller device comes with a USB-C port, microSD reader, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, while the larger variant adds a second USB-C port to the mix.
One advantage the Galaxy Books have over the Surface Pro is that both the attachable keyboard and S-Pen are included in the box.
Microsoft is still selling its rather essential keyboard cover separately (for £149.99 no less!) and has now opted to refrain from proving the new Surface Pen either, which is likely to add another £100 to the final total.
In terms of size and weight the Galaxy Books are also smaller and lighter, as you can see from the following dimensions;
Surface Pro: 292mm x 201mm x 8.5mm; 768g/770g/784g (m3/i5/i7)
Galaxy Book 10.6: 261mm x 179mm x 8.9mm; 644g
Galaxy Book 12: 291.3mm ×199.8mm ×7.4mm; 754g
See also: Samsung Galaxy Book vs Surface Pro 4
What processors, storage, and other specifications does each model offer?
The 10.6in Galaxy Book has a 2.6GHz 7th generation Kaby Lake Intel Core m3 processor, which makes it comparable with the entry level Surface Pro which has a 1GHz Intel Core m3-7Y30 Kaby Lake unit inside.
Moving up to the 12in model there’s a more powerful 3.1GHz 7th Gen Intel Core i5 powering the device. The Surface Pro lineup includes two additional models, one that includes a Kaby Lake 2.6GHz Intel Core i5-7300U, and the high-end machine that comes with a Kaby Lake 2.5GHz Core i7-7660U.
Storage options are varied but with all of the devices being equipped with microSD card readers it’s easy to expand the amount of space if necessary.
The 10in Galaxy Book has a 64GB SSD, while its bigger brother beats that with 128GB. The Surface Pro range starts at 128GB for the Core m3 model, moving up to 1TB for the premium i7 machine.
RAM starts at 4GB on the cheaper Galaxy Book and Surface Pros, 8GB for the 12-inch Galaxy Book and mid-range Surfaces, topping out with 16GB for the more expensive i7 Pros.
Here’s a table of the specifications for the 12in Galaxy Book and Surface Pro:
|Samsung Galaxy Book 12||Surface Pro|
|OS||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Pro|
|Display||12in Super AMOLED display, 2160x1440, 216ppi||12.3in PixelSense, 273ppi, 2736x1824|
|Processors||7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 3.1GHz||1GHz Core m3-7Y30; 2.6GHz Core i5-7300U; 2.5GHz Cire i7-7660U|
|RAM||4GB / 8GB||4GB/8GB/16GB|
|Storage||128GB / 256GB||128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB* SSD (*NVMe)|
|GPU||Not specified||Intel HD 615 (Core m3); Intel HD 620 (Core i5); Intel Iris Plus 640 (Core i7)|
|Ports||2x USB-C, MicroSD reader, 3.5mm Headphone jack||USB 3, microSD, 3.5mm headset, Surface connector|
|WiFi & BT||802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1||802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1|
|LTE||LTE model available||LTE model available|
|Cameras||13Mp rear camera, 5Mp front camera||8Mp rear camera, 5Mp front camera|
|Accessories||Pogo Keyboard case & S-Pen included||Surface Cover Keyboard & Surface Pen sold separately|
How do they compare on price?
At the moment Samsung is yet to announce any official pricing for the UK. In America the Galaxy Books are currently available and priced at US$629.99 for the 4GB RAM/64GB storage 10.6-inch model, and US$729.99 if you prefer 4GB RAM/128GB.
The 12in version starts at US$1129 for 4G RAM/128GB SSD, and moves up to US$1329.99 for the 8GB/256GB option.
What price they’ll be in the UK is uncertain, but at the moment the Samsung S8 is US$824.99 in the US and £689 in Britain. If this pattern holds them we wouldn’t be surprised to see the 10.6-inch model to start at around £519, and the 12-inch device to be in the region of £950.
Microsoft has already announced Surface Pro pricing, so there’s no need for guesswork on this side. The three different bands of Surface Pro models breakdown as follows;
- Intel Core M, 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM: £799
- Intel Core i5, 128GB SSD, 4GB RAM: £979
- Intel Core i5, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM: £1249
- Intel Core i7, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM: £1549
- Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM: £2149
- Intel Core i7, 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM: £2699
When will they be released?
The Microsoft Surface Pro is available for pre-order on the Microsoft UK site, with a projected shipping date of 15 June.
Samsung is keeping quiet about any release dates for the Galaxy Book. Once there's firmer news we’ll post it here.
So be sure to keep checking back to see when the Samsung hybrid will make it to these shores.
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017): Specs
- Windows 10 Pro
- 12.3in PixelSense display, 2736x1824, 267ppi
- Up to Intel Kaby Lake Core i7
- Up to 16GB RAM
- Up to 1TB storage
- USB 3.0
- Micro-SD card reader
- 11ac Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 5Mp front camera
- 8Mp rear camera