The Surface Book and MacBook both sport a dual-core i5 processor, 128 GB of storage, 8 GB of RAM, and integrated Intel graphics, which make them pretty evenly matched. Of course, this is no surprise considering that Apple and Microsoft are at the top of the tech food chain, and both the Surface Book and MacBook are flagship laptops.
From the get-go, you already know that whichever device you choose, you will be getting premium features. Let’s break it down below in six categories.
Both laptops are made of unibody aluminum frames. The MacBook features Apple’s third generation of the butterfly hinge keyboard—designed for a quieter typing experience—and the Force Touch track pad, which heavily relies on software for depth and accuracy. While the Surface Book uses Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad, the industry standard in Windows 10 laptops.
Apple products are known for their bright and crisp screens, largely thanks to its Retina display and True Tone technology. However, Microsoft has been slowly closing this gap with its pioneering PixelSense displays.
In terms of pixel density, the Surface Book wins the game with its incredible 260 PPI (pixels per inch), making for cleaner texts and graphics. But the MacBook has a more accurate color reproduction with its true P3 color gamut.
According to Microsoft, the Surface Book can last for seventeen hours straight without you having to plug the laptop to a power source. However, a reviewer reveals that he barely got seven hours with his Surface Book while Apple claims that you can get an average of ten hours with the MacBook Pro. But at the end of the day, battery life is largely dependent on how heavy you use the laptop, such as which apps you run or how bright your screen is.
Apple invested heavily in futureproofing its latest iteration of the MacBook Pro by having only Thunderbolt 3 ports. While Thunderbolt 3 is incredibly versatile and fast especially with data transfers, it may leave some users inconvenienced because they have to use dongles on top of other accessories.
The Surface Book took a more practical approach. It’s loaded with ports—two standard USB, one USB-C, two Surface Connect, and an SD Card slot—which make for easier connectivity with other devices through HDMI and the like.
The OS is probably the biggest difference between the two laptops. Surface Book runs Windows while the MacBook runs macOS. Both are excellent operating systems, and choosing which one is better is largely dependent on personal preference and which one you’re most used to.
Also keep in mind that your choice of laptop should complement every other device in your home. If you use Apple gear, the MacBook is probably the more sensible choice.
The Surface Book has the upper hand on this one. It has touch screen capability and can be detached from the keyboard to work exclusively as a tablet, giving you another option on how you interact with your laptop.
Meanwhile, the MacBook is a conventional laptop in every sense, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A lot of tech companies have been experimenting with hybrid laptops. If you’re into that, the Surface Book is the best option.
Choosing the right laptop for work is of paramount importance since this will be your primary device especially when you’re on the go. It is, however, a difficult task to decisively declare one of these two laptops as the better device.
The Surface Book offers much more versatility and connectivity, but the MacBook has better graphics. In any case, you will be getting a powerful laptop that can, in theory, meet your professional demands.