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Macbook Pro vs Surface Book i7

Sarah K. White | Dec. 7, 2016
The latest versions of the Surface Book and Macbook Pro both offer top-notch performance at the same price, but which device offers better features and more value?

Meanwhile, one of the biggest design elements of the Surface Book i7 is the fact it's designed to work seamlessly with touch input, whether it's with your finger or the Surface Pen. It quickly feels natural to reach up to the display to select prompts or to swipe around to access different applications. Not to mention, at the very least, a touch display will allow you to sign or annotate documents without printing them first.

Apple's answer to its lack of a touch screen display on the Macbook Pro comes from the iPad Pro, a premium tablet that promises notebook-worthy performance. It works with a keyboard, but there are certainly limitations to the device, such as the mobile OS and lack of a mouse or touchpad. You'll have to choose between having a touch-screen tablet display or a premium, high-end notebook, but with the Surface Book, you aren't forced to make these concessions. You get all the functionality of a notebook with a touch-screen display that can act as a tablet.

If you go the Apple route, you'll also be forced to purchase two expensive devices if you want a high-end notebook and a touch-screen tablet that can also handle basic computing. The Surface Book doesn't force you to make any concessions to enjoy the benefits of a touch display. You can have all the functionality of a notebook with an interactive, tablet-display.

In terms of resolution, the Surface Book boasts a 267 ppi compared to the Macbook Pro's 227 ppi, but that's splitting hairs. Both displays are top-notch, offering a crisp viewing experience whether you're streaming, designing or just browsing the web. The reason the Surface Book takes this category boils down to the touch display. It doesn't take anything away from your notebook, but it does add valuable features to the device.

Macbook Pro and Surface Book graphics & performance

Both 13-inch devices can be configured with a 6th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM, and at those specs, you certainly don't have to worry about everyday performance. But the Surface Book i7 has one clear advantage in its corner with an optional NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M graphics chip -- a big step up from the integrated Intel HD GPU included in the base model.

With the upgraded graphics card, you'll have no problem running high powered 3D editing software or playing intensive games on the Surface Book. The 13-inch Macbook Pro, on the other hand, comes with an Integrated Intel Iris Graphics 540 card; to even get close to the Surface Book's graphics performance, you would need to compromise on the 13-inch size and go a step up to the 15-inch model, which can be configured with an optional Radeon Pro chip.


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