Which Microsoft Surface PC is right for you?
So the the microsoft surface brand has been around since 2012. It’S been almost it’s been roughly eight years. The very first one was the surface rt, which you know they. Microsoft wound up writing off 900 million dollars in losses for that one. They were trying to compete with the ipad and uh and it just didn’t succeed. So then they sort of switched gears and they came out with the surface pro and then the surface pro 2 and those were sort of interesting. But they were sort of clunky and weird also, but then came the surface pro 3 and that’s, where they finally got the form factor right: um, it’s, a it’s, a real pc um, and but it also can act like a tablet, and that was in 2014’s. That was seven years ago and they, finally, they finally got it right there and since that time, they’ve been both iterating on the surface pro so we’re up to the surface pro 7 now, but they’ve also been adding members to the family, and there are now six Different portable pcs, in the microsoft surface, lineup so that’s, where i decided it was really important to help people break down what those different families are and which need you know, depending on what someone’s needs are and what their preferences are uh. You know which one should they choose if they’re interested in a surface pc all right lots of options that i know you have some of them, they’re actually uh with you today to show to us uh, so just take it away.
Well, let’s talk about the um let’s talk about the surface pro first, because that’s, the the granddaddy of the family, it’s um, you know it’s a really distinctive design here, it’s um, as you can tell from the way i’m holding it it’s super light. This is the this is the surface pro 7. it’s um weighs 1100 grams, which is with the type cover which is about 2.4 pounds and the distinctive thing about this there’s two distinctive things about it. First of all, there’s the kickstand right, and so the kickstand comes out like this and it infinitely adjusts. So you can use this on your desktop. You can set it up to lean back on your desktop and you can lean it all the way back like this. If you want to sketch on it, you can lean it all the way like this. If you want it on your knees, while you’re, while you’re uh, you know sitting on the couch or something the second distinctive feature of the surface, pro line is the type cover and it it magnetically attaches, and detaches um it’s got a full sized illuminated keyboard on It not lit up right now because it’s not powered up, but it clicks in you heard that you heard that click sound there and now it’s now it’s attached. So when you use it like this uh it’s a you know: it’s a regular pc, there’s, the keyboard there’s, the screen and kickstand in the back so that’s the surface pro 7.
, like i said, it’s very light. It also supports the use of a surface pen right which, which you can use to sketch. You can use it to draw to annotate on word documents or pdfs or something like that, and it magnetically attaches to the uh to the side of the of the pc. There, if you do the right side there, it magnetically attaches so you’re not going to lose it um that’s the surface pro uh, you know very attractive, but also kind of still kind of quirky. Now recently, i’d say about two years ago, three years ago, microsoft came out with a new model. Uh called the surface, go they had the surface, go and now they’re on the surface. Go too and if you look you’ll see that it’s similar in design it’s also got a kickstand right um and it also has a type cover that clicks in and clicks out. But the difference is let’s. Compare these two side by side, and here i’ll just put one right over the other, and you can really get a sense for the difference between them. Okay, that’s, you know the surface go to is tiny. It’S got a tiny tablet, a tinier type cover and a tiny price tag on it. Uh this one weighs a lot less it’s 791 grams, with the type cover that’s 1.75 pounds, but it uses the same kind of peripherals. The same surface connect uh powering uh charger. As the the bigger ones – and so you can use it with, you could use this with a docking station.
So if you want a super lightweight pc uh, it also has lte options in it. So really mobile really light really inexpensive um. I don’t recommend the uh. The base model uh, which you know only, has four gigs of ram in it and 64 gigs of storage it’s a little underpowered, but you step up from there. You still have an inexpensive pc that can function quite well as a desktop pc and, in fact, because of its smaller size, it’s really great for kids, so it’s a you know. This would be a great family, pc hook it up to a docking station. You could use it as a regular family pc, but you can also give it to the kids and it’s practically indestructible and then finally, the one member of the surface family that i don’t have here is the surface pro x and that one is it’s similar in Design to the surface pro, but it’s a little bit a little bit larger, actually larger in screen size. It uses a slightly different type cover configuration even though it’s still a full size, and it has a different shape of pen that fits inside the type cover. But the big difference with the surface pro x is that it has an arm processor inside and that causes some definite compatibility issues with the with this thing. So it’s, you know i’m surpas uh surface pro x. Right now is an interesting device, but i don’t recommend it for people unless you’re just an absolute fanatic about the surface family, and you want an arm powered device and you’re willing to wait for microsoft, to uh to upgrade windows for arm, so that it supports a Broader array of applications anyway that’s the uh, that those are the kickstand uh equipped surface models and those you know those have a real love hate relationship with people um.
If you, my my colleague, mary jo foley, likes to talk about lapability and when you, when you put that kickstand out some people, find that it’s really awkward to keep this um in your lap and and so they say, nope, i don’t want a surface pro. I don’t want the kickstand to give me something else. Personally, i love the kickstand, but what about those that aren’t such a big fan of those ed? Well, so the other three members of the family have a more traditional keyboard, that’s in a solid base uh. So you flip it open it’s that what they call a clamshell form factor, you flip it open and it’s got a nice solid base and a nice solid uh top. And you can you know the the hinge goes back and forth and you can get it to the right angle and, and you can get it so that it just sits in your lap or sits on the table in front of you and you don’t have to Worry about the kickstand! If you’re on a if you’re on an airplane tray table, you don’t have to worry about the kickstand falling off the back of the tray table and stuff. So let’s start with the uh. The real heavyweight of the family and i’m kind of groaning a little bit because this one this one really is heavy and this isn’t even the heaviest um of the bunch. But this is the surface book: okay and it’s um.
You know, as you can see, it’s uh, you know, it’s a beautiful device. Platinum finish: it’s got a solid uh, a solid keyboard base. Here this is the 13 and a half inch model. This is the surface book 2. The surface book three is out now, but the form factor really hasn’t changed at all uh same deal with the pen over here that magnetically attaches to the side. You just uh clip it on there and it and it stays there. I’Ll get it out of the way for now the thing that’s interesting about this one, though, is that um it does have a detachable display. So i press this little button here and it eliminates and in just a second here it’ll tell me that i can take this off and there so now. I’Ve got i’ve, got a tablet and i can take that pen and i can write on it or i can click and the um and then the keyboard base here i can just set it aside, but the interesting thing is here: there’s a battery in each one Of these pieces, so you get a small battery in the tablet part and a bigger battery in the base part. So between the two of them they give you pretty good battery life um. You know much better than the surface pro 7.. So this is the the surface to choose. If you like, the the surface brand you’re not bothered by the weight of it, and in fact you want that extra battery life and you want the extra power because you can really configure uh this one to go.
All the way up to 32 gig gigabytes of ram and a two terabyte ssd and that’s, going to cost you around 3 400, but um. You know for the us model, but you’re going to have a full power pc uh. It also has, in the 15 inch models the option for an nvidia, discrete graphics, processing unit, a gpu in it um and so for people who are doing things like processing, videos or editing photos. This is a you know, a full, no compromises pc that can still turn into a tablet when you want it to. All. You have to do is press that button and detach the screen if that’s, if you don’t, want to pay that much or you don’t want to carry that much weight. Then then there’s two sort of traditional laptop models in the in the surface line. One is the surface laptop now microsoft just came out with the surface laptop for yesterday and, as you can see here, i’ve got this is the this is the surface laptop too um, but it’s a and ding gon na ding at me here it doesn’t the display. Does not detach on it. This is a traditional laptop form. Factor. Um and it’s got uh this. This one has the alcantara uh it’s a nice smooth sort of fabric cover for the for the keyboard here, but um very nice, very nice feel to it very well balanced. This is a 13 inch display, not too heavy.
You can configure this one all the way up to 32 gigs of of ram and one terabyte of solid state storage and it’s 2400, which is a thousand dollars less than the surface book uh. This also comes in uh 15 inch models with amd processors, and those are good for people who, like gaming uh – and you know you have a discrete graphics processor. If you want to do gaming things but that’s, you know sort of the traditional surface laptop there and then then there’s the one that microsoft came out with last year. That i think is uh sort of most intriguing of all. This is called the surface laptop. Go now it you might have noticed there was the surface go before, which is the downsized version of the surface. Pro the surface laptop go is the downsized version of the surface laptop, so it’s a it’s a little smaller it’s, a lot less expensive, it’s a bit thicker Music, but it’s, not it’s, not too small that’s a 10 and a half inch display there. Doesn’T have the fancy fabric cover there? It’S it’s metal does not have an illuminated. Keyboard does not have the windows, hello, facial recognition that um all of the other models have there. Instead, it has a on the um on all, but the base model. It has a fingerprint reader, that’s integrated into the the power button there. So you get there, you get your biometric id there, but this is one.
This is the surface for people who say i want a traditional laptop. I don’t want to pay too much and i want it to be smaller, but not too small, so this is sort of the the goldilocks version of things and you can really get this at a fairly fairly reasonable price. But again, this is one where uh, i recommend against the base configuration because again it’s only four gigs of ram uh 128 gigabytes of storage, which might be adequate, but these days just bump it up to eight gigabytes and it will last longer it will not strain Under any workloads and you’ll just be happier with it in the long run, but that’s it that’s, the those are the members of the surface family that are the portable pcs. Of course, there are still other members of the surface family. There are keyboards and mice there’s. The surface studio, which is a desktop pc, there’s the surface hub, which goes in um corporate conference rooms and is a pc that’s, got a giant screen attached to it. For you know, big conference call meetings and such and then there’s the surface duo, which is the dual screen phone that that microsoft did. So you know this is a two billion dollar per quarter: uh business for microsoft, it’s it’s; definitely not small change um. So you know they’re going to be around for a while and they’re building some pretty cool products, and i hope, if someone’s interested in them um, you know, go and take a look and see which one’s right for you lots of great options there and for people.
You know that can address their the quirky little things that bother them about some uh, pcs and things they like about others yeah exactly and they keep coming out with it. You know they they keep coming out with some new variation every year, so the family just keeps growing, um larger, but there’s a you know, there’s a logic to it. All certainly is all right, ed mod. As always. We appreciate you being here with us today and for much more on ed’s lists and everything you need to know about the different surface.