Apple and Microsoft are taking their fight to a new level, with both them having just unveiled new computers.
Where Apple has three new MacBook Pro 2016 models, the Windows OS maker has its own new and upgraded Surface Book to show off. These two sets of devices were announced one day apart, which makes the rivalry even more interesting. Without going into further details, here is a head-to-head comparison of Apple’s MacBook Pro 2016 and Microsoft’s Surface Book.
Apple has two 13-inch MacBook Pros and one 15-inch model. The base model of the 13-inch variant comes without the revolutionary OLED touch bar, however, the feature is available on the 15-inch model. On the other hand, Microsoft only came in with a 13-inch Surface Book, but the company offers a variety of specs combinations.
Design and size
Before launch, the MacBook Pro 2016 was tipped to be the thinnest laptop from Apple, yet. Indeed, at 14.9mm thick, it is even thinner than the MacBook Air. While the Apple device has a consistent design, the Surface Book gets is thicker at its widest point thanks to the hinge gap that exists between the keyboard and screen. However, it is the thinnest, beating the MacBook Pro by a whole millimeter. In case you didn’t know, the Surface Book is a hybrid device where the screen can be detached to remain with a tablet.
On weight matters, you get 3.63 pounds for the Surface Book while the MacBook Pro 2016 gets 3 pounds. However, the biggest design change is the inclusion of a touch bar on the latter device. Of course, the entire Surface Book has a touchscreen interface, which is expected of a hybrid laptop. As for the MacBook, it is a pure laptop and as such, the addition of not just a touch interface, but how it has been integrated to the device, is quite an achievement.
The bar is located just above the keyboard and takes the place of the function keys. This feature is only found on two of the three MacBook Pro 2016 models. As for the Surface Book, it spices things up by adding a pressure-sensitive stylus, but Apple’s touch bar could be a real deal breaker for Microsoft.
Be warned that Apple has made the shift from traditional USB ports to USB-C ports, but Microsoft still has the former on the Surface Book. The latter also gets an SD card reader, which you won’t find on Apple’s new laptops.
Specs and price
The base model of the MacBook Pro 2016 has a 13.3-inch screen with a 1600p resolution. Under the hood, the laptop has an Intel Core i5 processor, a dual-core chipset that is clocked at 2.0GHz. This is paired with a RAM of 8GB and onboard storage of 256GB. If you opt for the variant with the touch bar, there is room to upgrade the specs, upping the processor all the way to an Intel Core i7 dual-core processor clocked at 3.3GHz, paired with a 16GB RAM alongside an onboard storage of 1TB.
The 15-inch model gets a screen resolution of 1800p and a pixel density of 200ppi. Under the hood, the laptop comes with a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor clocked at a speed of 2.6GHz. You also get another variant with a similar processor, but it’s clocked at a slightly higher speed of 2.7GHz. The RAM here is 16GB while storage options are between 256GB and 512GB. These are the same configurations available on the high-end 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016.
The MacBook Pro 2016 pricing starts from $1500 and goes all the way to $2,400, however, these are the basic packages. Upgrading to higher specs will attract an extra fee of at least $400.
Microsoft, on the other hand, unveiled the 13-inch Surface Book with a basic price of $1,500. This gives you a Core i5 processor paired with a RAM of 8GB, but you get a smaller 128GB SSD as compared to the 256GB offered on the entry-level MacBook Pro 2016. However, Microsoft’s device sweetens the deal by adding a touchscreen alongside a stylus.
When getting the higher-end Surface Book, the real joys comes in. It is possible to get a Surface Book with a discrete graphics card priced at just $1900. Upgrading this same variant to get a more powerful graphics card (GTX 965M) alongside an even faster Core i7 processor will only cost you $2,400, which is the same amount you need to get a standard 15-inch MacBook Pro 2016.
In short, you can get the same performance of the 15-inch MacBook Pro on a 13-inch Surface Book without compromising the price. But this will depend on your preferences for size.