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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?

After configuring the 15-inch model to the same specifications as the Surface Book pro, but with the Radeon Pro chip, you'll end up spending the same as you would on the Surface at around $3,300. For the same price, the Surface Book not only comes with a far superior graphics card, but you'll also get the perks of a touch-display and the Surface Pen without compromising on the size of the device. If you plan to run intensive games or work with 3D graphics, editing software and design applications, you will want to go with the Surface Book i7 model, hands down.

Macbook Pro and Surface Book ports & connectivity

From a business user's perspective, the Surface Book i7 and 2016 Macbook Pro offer two very different workstation experiences. The Surface Book comes equipped with 2 full USB 3.0 ports, a full size SD card reader, a Mini DisplayPort port and Microsoft's proprietary charging port, the Surface Connect. There's even an extra USB port included directly on the power brick of the cord, giving you one more place to charge your phone or tablet while you work. Microsoft didn't jump on the USB-Type C bandwagon, but for most users, that won't be a huge issue unless you recently upgraded every peripheral and device you own to the newest standard; chances are, for the next few years, you'll still be relying on your classic USB devices.

The Surface Book is essentially a business user's dream. You get just enough ports to keep you connected to a desktop station without needing any dongles, adapters or converters. You can also purchase the Microsoft Dock, which gives you even more flexibility by expanding the device to include four more USB 3.0 ports, two extra mini DisplayPorts, so you can connect to more than one external display, an Ethernet port and an audio out port. It's lightweight enough to tote around, at 1.21 pounds, but it's meant to just sit on your desk, keeping cords tucked away and waiting for you to connect.

The Macbook Pro isn't as limited in ports as the Macbook, which made a statement at its release by only including one USB-Type C port on the entire device, but the Pro still doesn't offer the same flexibility as the Surface Book for business users. On the 2016 Macbook Pro, you'll find four Thunderbolt 3 ports that also act as a USB-Type C port -- they use different connection standards but the port is the same shape and size.

That's great if all your devices are USB-Type C, but that's not the case for most people, which means you'll likely be hunting for a dongle. And unlike the Surface Dock, if you need to connect to multiple displays, wireless peripherals or USB drives, you're going to need quite a few adapters, which typically average around $40 each.


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