That’s the thing about high quality metal alloys: they make for super durable and fairly light computers, but if you don’t treat them with the right coating, they can still look as cheap as plastic, and unless you treat the back of the Surface Pro 4 with kid gloves, it may just end up looking like that.
Microsoft should also have changed over one of its ports, and while its Mini DisplayPort gets a viewing here, left over from the last two versions, there should probably have been a changing of the guard.
What to, you ask? Why Type C USB, of course!
And here’s why: Type C USB is already being called the next generation standard port, and while not many laptops support it yet, paired with the right chipset, it can provide faster speeds than USB 3.0, either using the slightly faster USB 3.1 or the ridiculously faster Thunderbolt 3. In truth, Microsoft could have probably found a way to get either of those in the Pro 4, and given how its upcoming Windows Phones both feature USB Type C power and data ports at the bottom in lieu of the current standard of microUSB, it’s surprising to say the least the Microsoft didn’t follow suit here.
Used as Thunderbolt, the Type C USB port could have easily replaced Mini DisplayPort since they kind of do the same thing, and it could have been used for data, too, which the Mini DisplayPort on the Surface Pro 4 cannot.
That’s why the ports bother us a bit on the Pro 4: Microsoft wants the Surface Pro 4 to be a vision of the future, of what a tablet can be like when it is designed to be perfectly matched to its operating system, which it is for the most part.
When you pick up the Surface Pro 4 and start messing around with it, you’ll find it’s the first time Windows 10 really and properly shines. It’s not just an operating system that does what Windows 8 should have done, and not expect us all to live in a touchscreen world. Rather, this focused and fine-tuned, and it’s a vision of both a mouse-dependent and touch-possible Windows for people who love Windows.
This reviewers loves Windows, and is delighted to see hardware finally tweaked to take advantage of everything that is Windows, but the problem with Surface Pro 4 is that it feels like it is the “everything that is Windows” solely for today and not so much for tomorrow.
In a world where computers change every minute, this seems a little short sighted, and while Microsoft could have reduced the thickness of the tablet by ditching the full-size USB port, this isn’t as big a deal to us. It’s thin enough for a laptop, even if it’s not thin enough for a tablet.
But no futuristic USB Type C port for high-speed data, 4K video output, and even the possibility of charging a Type C phone from late this year or next? That gets a sigh.
Finally, there are some catches to the Pro 4 worth noting, however, as these may occur with you, and they’re your typical set of laptop bugs, though some of them seem to push more towards Surface than others.
Like not turning on at all.
This is definitely a Surface-specific bug we’ve come across before in Pro 2, Pro 3, and now Pro 4 — tada, it’s a trio of troubles! — and it basically consists of the screen not powering on when you’re trying to get the laptop up from sleep.