The Microsoft Surface Pro 4, released in 2015, was a groundbreaking 2-in-1 device that aimed to bridge the gap between laptops and tablets. While it garnered praise for its innovative design and powerful performance, no device is without its shortcomings. In this article, we will explore the cons of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, shedding light on aspects that users and potential buyers should consider before making a purchase.
1. Limited Lapability: One of the main drawbacks of the Surface Pro 4 is its limited lapability. The detachable keyboard, while offering convenience and portability, can be challenging to use comfortably on the lap. The kickstand, although innovative, does not provide the same stability as a traditional laptop, making it less ideal for users who often work on their laps.
2. Type Cover and Surface Pen Sold Separately: While the Surface Pro 4 comes with a detachable keyboard known as the Type Cover, it is sold separately, which can be a significant downside for budget-conscious consumers. Additionally, the Surface Pen, a stylus designed for enhanced productivity, is also an additional purchase. This approach increases the overall cost of ownership for those looking to maximize the device’s capabilities.
3. Battery Life: Despite improvements over its predecessor, the Surface Pro 3, the battery life of the Surface Pro 4 remains a point of contention. While Microsoft claimed up to 9 hours of battery life, real-world usage often fell short of this mark, especially under heavy workloads. Users requiring extended battery life may find the Surface Pro 4 lacking compared to some of its competitors.
4. Heat and Fan Noise: The Surface Pro 4 faced criticism for its tendency to generate heat, particularly during resource-intensive tasks. The device incorporated a fan for cooling, but it was not always sufficient to prevent overheating. This not only led to discomfort for users, especially during tablet mode use, but also resulted in noticeable fan noise, detracting from the device’s overall user experience.
5. Display Driver Issues: Many early adopters of the Surface Pro 4 reported issues related to the display driver. Problems such as screen flickering and color calibration inconsistencies were common. While Microsoft addressed some of these issues through software updates, the initial experiences of users highlighted a significant flaw that affected the device’s display performance.
6. Limited USB Ports: The Surface Pro 4 comes with a limited number of USB ports. With only one full-sized USB 3.0 port and a mini DisplayPort, users may find themselves needing additional adapters or hubs to connect multiple peripherals simultaneously. This limitation can be a hassle for those who regularly use external devices or accessories.
7. Storage and RAM Not User-Upgradeable: Unlike some traditional laptops, the Surface Pro 4 does not allow users to upgrade storage or RAM. The configuration you choose at the time of purchase is what you are stuck with. This lack of upgradeability can be a downside for users who foresee increased storage or memory needs in the future.
8. Price Tag: While the Surface Pro 4 offers a premium design and powerful performance, its price tag places it in the higher-end spectrum of devices. The cost of the device, combined with the separate purchase of accessories like the Type Cover and Surface Pen, may make it less accessible for budget-conscious consumers, especially when compared to alternative 2-in-1 devices on the market.
9. Limited Angle Adjustment: While the kickstand on the Surface Pro 4 is versatile, allowing users to adjust the viewing angle, it has limitations. Users who prefer a wider range of angle adjustments, particularly for artistic or drafting purposes, may find the Surface Pro 4’s kickstand restrictive in comparison to dedicated drawing tablets.
10. Aging Hardware: As of the current date, the Surface Pro 4 is a device that has been on the market for several years. While it was cutting-edge at the time of its release, the hardware is now considered somewhat dated. Users seeking the latest features and technologies may find more compelling options among newer devices in the market.
Conclusion: The Microsoft Surface Pro 4, despite its innovative design and impressive performance, is not without its drawbacks. Potential buyers should carefully consider factors such as lapability, additional costs for accessories, battery life, and potential hardware issues before investing in this device. While the Surface Pro 4 contributed significantly to the evolution of 2-in-1 devices, it’s essential for users to weigh the pros and cons to determine whether it aligns with their specific needs and preferences in today’s rapidly advancing tech landscape.