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Macbook Pro 2016 vs new Surface Book i7: Which is best for me?

We compare Apple’s new 2016 update of the Macbook Pro with Microsoft’s updated Surface Book i7, to see which super-charged laptop is best in terms of specs and features.

Microsoft just updated its Surface Book i7 for 2016, with upgraded specs and the promise of incredible battery life. But Apple has immediately responded with its very own souped-up laptop, the all-new Macbook Pro.

So which of these creative laptops is best for you? Here’s our full Microsoft Surface Book i7 2016 vs Apple Macbook Pro 2016 comparison review, which we’re constantly updating as fresh information comes in.

Read next: Apple Macbook Pro 2016 vs old Macbook Pro, what’s the difference?

Macbook Pro 2016 vs Surface Book i7 2016: Specs at a glance

So far we know only a little about the specs of the new 2016 model of Surface Book i7. However, we’re expecting to receive full specs lists soon, so we’ll update this table when more info comes in.

Laptop Macbook Pro 2016 Surface Book i7
Screen sizes 13.3 or 15.4-inches 13.5-inches
Screen resolution 2560×1600 or 2880×1800 3000×2000
Weight From 1.36kg 1.67kg
Processor Intel Core i5/i7 6th Gen Intel Core i7 6th Gen
Memory 8GB/16GB From 8GB

256GB or 512GB

Up to 1TB
Pricing From £1449 From £1299

Macbook Pro 2016 vs Surface Book i7: What’s the difference?

There are quite a few differences between the Macbook Pro 2016 and the new Surface Book i7 when it comes to design.

For a start, the Surface Book i7 has a detachable screen which can be used independently of the keyboard base, transforming it into a tablet. Alternatively, the reversible hinge means that you can bend the screen backwards and fold the Surface Book i7 so the screen is pointing outwards, again to use it like a tablet.

The Surface Book i7 is aimed at creative professionals with its bundled stylus pen, which can be used to scribble on the laptop’s touch-sensitive screen. Apple’s Macbook Pro doesn’t have a touchscreen, so input is via the keyboard and touchpad only.

However, the new Macbook Pro 2016 edition does have a context-sensitive touch strip at the top of the keyboard which offers ever-changing virtual buttons. These buttons are related to whatever app you’re using at the time, offering convenient shortcuts.

And the Macbook Pro 2016’s touchpad now supports Force Touch and is absolutely massive.

In terms of size and weight there’s little difference between the Macbook Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Book i7. However, the Pro does come in a choice of sizes, with 13.3 and 15.4-inch models up for grabs. The Surface Book only comes in a 13.5-inch model.

Security-wise, the Surface Book i7 supports Windows Hello, which can recognise your facial features using the front-facing camera. Apple uses its Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the Macbook Pro 2016 edition, so you can swipe your digit and skip having to enter a password each time you unlock.

Both laptops are powerful for portable machines, rocking the latest Intel Core i5 and i7 chipsets along with dedicated graphics. You should be able to play the latest games on either device, although you’ll probably have to tone down the graphics on more demanding titles on the Surface Book.

As for battery life, the Macbook Pro should keep you going for a good portion of the day on a single charge. Meanwhile, Microsoft has boasted of ’16 hours of battery life’ from the Surface Book, which we’re expecting to be a little optimistic unless all you’re doing is word processing.

We’ll be testing out both laptops for our full reviews, so stay tuned for more.


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