Microsoft’s Surface lineup has gotten stronger over the years with the additions of the Surface Book and Surface Laptop. But the flagship Surface Pro 6 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is still something of a niche device. It walks that tightrope between being a tablet and functional PC, but not without wavering once or twice.
With a full version of Windows 10, the Surface Pro is an incredibly versatile device. It’s one of the best tablets on the market, and it’s a remarkably capable laptop (if a little light on ports), but it’s often priced higher than comparable laptops or tablets, making it tough to justify.
That’s why this sale piqued my interest. It’s not a massive discount, but it’s just enough of one that the Surface Pro is more appealing and competitive if you’re in the market for a new tablet or laptop. We’re guessing Microsoft is discounting last year’s Pro to make way for its new models on October 2, but we can’t think of a lot of reasons you should wait. We don’t know how different the new Surface models will be, but the line has been fairly set for a while and does its job well.
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Is the Surface Pro right for you?
Microsoft’s Surface Pro is an excellent laptop and tablet. It’s also a great choice for digital artists. That said, it’s not without its faults.
WIRED: The Surface Pro 6 gets the job done as a laptop, and that’s thanks to its keyboard. The soft-touch alcantara material covering the chassis makes typing on the keyboard an absolute joy. The keys themselves are surprisingly tactile for a tablet keyboard. Typing on it feels just as good as typing on a full-size laptop keyboard. Keys have more depth and spring than the keyboard case for the latest iPad Pro.
Speaking of inputs, the Surface Pen is just as good as ever, silky smooth and responsive in everyday use. The low-latency connection between the Pen and the Surface make it feel like using an actual pen, whether you’re writing or drawing. To top it all off, battery life on the latest Surface Pro is nothing short of epic. In tests our reviewer managed about eight hours of continuous use on a single charge.
TIRED: There are a couple problems that have plagued the Surface Pro since its introduction, and they’re unfortunately still present in this latest version. First up, the connectivity is seriously limited. It only has two ports: a USB port and a DisplayPort jack. It has no USB-C, no card reader, or HDMI. Even a second USB port would be appreciated.
It’s also not quite as easy to use on your lap. As a laptop, it works best on a table.
If you do want a high-end laptop, the Surface Book is also on sale for $1,283 ($216 off) on Amazon.