Surface Book vs. Macbook Pro – The Ultimate Comparison

There are a few premium laptops that can match the standards Apple’s Macbook Pro has set. On the other hand, there are some models that hold all the necessary functionalities and features to outperform Macbook Pro laptops. One such laptop is Microsoft’s Surface Book. The Surface Book is as luxurious as Macbook Pro but reasonably well priced. The primary reason why people look for Macbook Pro alternatives is the price. 

Surface Book vs. Macbook Pro – The Ultimate Comparison

MacBook Pro is expensive, and there are certain limitations that Apple laptops possess. While it is tough to compete with Apple’s engineering expertise and build quality, competitors like Microsoft have all sorts of arrows in its quiver, and the company has played its ace card with Surface Book.

If you have been hunting for a great Macbook Pro replacement for some time, we know it is hard to find something that is on the same all-around software and hardware experience on the laptop side. Surface Book vs. Macbook Pro is a big debate.  

Both the laptops have their own set of functionalities and a totally different target audience. If you are confused about which one to purchase, it can be quite daunting to choose a side. As overwhelming as it sounds, if you are able to compare both the laptops in terms of functionalities, performance, and design, among other aspects, things will become a lot clear at the time of purchase.  

This is the reason why we have created this post. In our Surface Book vs. Macbook Pro guide, we will go into the details of both the systems to help you understand the major differences between the two so that you easily decide between the two.  

Let’s get started.  

Surface Book vs. Macbook Pro: VARIANTS  

You should know that both Surface Book and Macbook Pro have variants that differ in features and functionalities. As with any other flagship laptops with variants, there are both lower-end models, and high-end models for Surface Book and Macbook Pro and their price varies accordingly.  

When we talk about Surface Book variants, there is Surface Book, Surface Book 2, and Surface Book 3. The choice between these three variants primarily comes down to your available budget. Surface Book 3 is a higher-end model as compared to the previous two ones. The bump in specifications is nice for those who are looking for a new, powerful personal computer with the latest from NVIDIA and Intel.  

Macbook Pro, on the other hand, also has several different variants. Macbook Pro variants sit on top of the performance chart of Apple’s Mac laptops. At present, there are 13-inch models available that were released in May 2020. And the 15-inch models were replaced by 16-inch Macbook Pros in 2019. 

Macbook Pro laptops feature high-density displays and look especially smooth and clean. Macbook Pros are designed for demanding users who are seeking a portable personal computer that performs well at all levels. So, there are two variants – 13-inch models and 16-inch models. All the laptops include a Touch Bar Interface at the top of the keyboard.  

Surface Book vs. Macbook Pro: DISPLAY  

The display is an important aspect to consider when you are comparing Surface Book vs. Macbook Pro laptops. Display plays a crucial role, whether it is working on a presentation, mixing sound files, editing videos, or simply watching a movie.  

All the Surface Book laptops come as a 2-in-1 PC, where you can use it as a laptop as well as a tablet. The display remains the same for all the Surface Book laptops. With a 13.5-inch display size, Surface Book laptops promise to offer compactness with optimum performance. 

The touch display boasts 3000 x 2000 resolution with an aspect ratio of 3:2 and 267 PPI. The display is touch-sensitive and uses Microsoft’s PixelSense Display to bring the glass, the graphical elements, and the sensing elements closer together to increase the accuracy. Although the color output is not that high in Surface Book, they feature 10-point multi-touch, making the laptops compatible with Surface Pen.

With that said, when it comes to pixel resolution, there is no match for Surface Book laptops. On top of everything, the contrast and color ratio of Surface Book is excellent, with a ratio of 1750:1 to 1000:1. So, of all the premium laptops out there, Microsoft Surface Books boasts top-notch display quality. Overall, the images look clean and crisp, and the display actively looks out for the health of your eyes.    

In response, Macbook Pro’s highest scaled resolution is 2048 x 1280 for the 16-inch Retina display with the native resolution of 3072 x 1920. When we talk about the 13-inch Retina display, this variant has a 2560 x 1600 resolution and a scaled resolution of up to 1680 x 1050. The best part is that the high-scale resolutions can easily accommodate the workspace of a big-screen standard Apple Mac laptop on a smaller Macbook Pro with Retina display.

This feature is only good if you can tolerate smaller texts, icons, and other graphics on the screen. Macbook Pro display provides the flexibility of using resolutions higher than the scaled settings. That is, if you use a 3rd party application like QuickRes, it will be easy for you to set the Retina display in order to use resolutions enhanced than the scaled settings that MacOS offers. This includes the native resolution. Nevertheless, the display is not a touchscreen.  

Overall, in terms of display, Macbook Pro has a slight edge because of the flexibility of using scaled display settings, which is not possible in any other premium laptops out there. All in all, both Surface Book and Microsoft Pro use cutting-edge display technology that’s worth the cost.       

Surface Book vs. Macbook Pro: DESIGN  

In terms of design, where Surface Book gives you a 2-in-1 option, Macbook Pro is a proper laptop. That is, you can use the Surface Book as both a laptop and a tablet. It comes with a stylus that allows you to operate it as a tablet.  

Macbook Pro design is inspired by nature. With a larger screen and smaller bezels, Macbook Pro has increased performance and cooling. And its use of recycled aluminum makes it environmentally friendly as well. The improved scissor-switch keyboard allows you to work comfortably without putting any strain on your wrists. However, you will see the butterfly keyboard in the 16-inch model.

But in the upcoming variants, it will be replaced by a scissor-switch keyboard. The magic keyboard also features a larger screen and touch display. The trackpad is designed with multi-touch functionalities that can control certain functions and gestures with ease.    

Surface Book vs. Macbook Pro: PERFORMANCE  

While both Surface Book and Macbook Pro can be upgraded to much more powerful laptops, in this Surface Book vs. Macbook Pro comparison, we will be looking at the baseline models.  

Surface Book is powered by a Dual Core i7 processor and comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal memory. Microsoft has also incorporated a dedicated GeForce GTX graphics card with 965M GPU configuration and 1.0 teraflops of GPU performance. In comparison to that, Macbook Pro is powered by the i5 processor, which is slower and comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal memory. There is no standalone graphics card for Macbook Pro. Therefore, Surface Book appears to be the clear winner in this category.  

On the other hand, when we talk about connections, Surface Book comes with a mini display port, one SD card reader, and two USB 3 ports. Macbook Pro comes with 4 thunderbolt 3 ports. So, if you want to connect other devices with your Macbook Pro, you will need multiple adapters. However, Macbook Pro offers a 1.4GHz  8th GEN Quad-Core processor that boasts a Turbo Boost of up to 3.9GHz.  

Surface Book, however, has a 1.9GHz Quad-Core processor with a Turbo Boost of up to 3.6GHz. The Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 GPU of Macbook is more powerful than Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU of Surface Book.  

There have been complaints regarding the Surface Book easily getting hot even during normal operation. Performance-wise, Macbook Pro tops the chart. It offers a battery backup of up to 10 hours. Surface Book only offers up to 8 hours of battery life.  

Macbook Pro is certainly more powerful than Surface Book. But it is more expensive than Surface Book laptops. In terms of portability, the 13-inch models are easy to carry around. Macbook Pro has a uniform thickness. So, it easily slips into a laptop sleeve or bag. Surface Book can be easily dismantled to form a tablet. This makes it incredibly portable.  

Surface Book vs. Macbook Pro – VERDICT  

As you can see from the Surface Book vs. Macbook Pro comparison, both the laptops are unique and distinct in their own ways. While one has an intriguing display, the other is unmatched when it comes to performance.

So, overall, it is your individual choice whether you want to invest in Macbook Pro or Surface Book laptops. If you want to purchase a Macbook Pro, the higher-end model you go for, the more expensive it will get. With Surface Book, the price is quite low in comparison.