New Microsoft Surface Pro(2018) Review: The Best Tablet/Laptop for College Students & Teachers

Microsoft’s Surface Pro has been one of the best detachable laptops since the first one was launched in 2013. The company keeps improving this popular 2-in-1 laptop and the latest reiteration of Surface Pro that was launched in 2017 is the best so far. It fixes some flaws in Surface Pro 4 and it comes with new features that make it more powerful.

Speaking of features, Surface Pro(2017 version) has a lot of great stuff for students and teacher. This is the perfect laptop/tablet for college students and  for teachers. It is compact and lightweight so it can easily fit inside a backpack. It perfectly combines style and performance, it has everything you need for a more productive school life.

Read: The Best Tablet for Teaching Math & English

Review : The Newest Microsoft’s Surface Pro (2017)

Performance

Surface Pro 5 is available with the M3/i5/i7 processor, up to 16 GB RAM and up to 256 GB storage. The price starts from $799 for the most basic model and the highest-end cost around $2,699. The most important improvement in terms of performance is in the battery. The predecessor(Surface Pro 4) is highly criticized for its mediocre battery, especially when compared to the traditional laptop. Thankfully, Microsoft upgrades the new model’s battery by 50%. It is still nothing compared to the traditional laptop, but it is a great improvement compared to the older versions, which improves the laptop’s lifetime by almost two hours.

The overall performance of this 2in 1 laptop is much better than the previous version. However, in terms of connectivity, it is still pretty much the same. It still doesn’t have USB Type-C, and still, stick with the old-school USB 3.0. this is such a shame considering this is a must-have feature in the other 2-in-1 tablet laptop in this class.

Design

The dimension of this laptop is 11.50 x 7.9 x 0.3 inches. Meanwhile, the weight is less than 2.4 pound, making it very lightweight and portable. This is the perfect tablet/laptop for college students who need to take their computers anywhere. This measurement is also smaller compared to some other popular tablets on the market.

Microsoft doesn’t do anything with the new Surface Pro’s design. Thankfully, it is not a big problem since we already get such an exceptional design from the predecessor. The 2017 version only comes with slightly curvier edges, but overall, the other elements are the same with the previous version. The only major change in design is the kickstand that can now open up to 165 degrees. With the new kickstand, this laptop becomes more comfortable for drawing. It might be a nice thing for design students who cannot afford the more expensive Surface Studio.

If there is one drawback in terms of design, it is definitely the color. Just like the previous series, the 2017 version is only available in grey. Thankfully, the Signature Type Cover, which is sold separately, is available in several different colors—burgundy, cobalt blue, gold, and platinum. In addition, the keyboard is also covered with beautiful Alcantara leather, which gives a premium feel to this tablet/laptop hybrid.

Display

The display is certainly one of the best aspects of this laptop/tablet hybrid. It comes with 12.3 inches PixelSense display, 2736 x 1824 resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio. The detail is flawless and it can be easily used for both learning and entertainment. In terms of brightness, with a maximum of 396 nits, it is even better than some of the more powerful laptops in the market.

The Pen

Surface Pen is one of the best things about the Surface Pro series. The latest Surface Pen is significantly improved. Now it comes with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, which makes it the most sensitive Surface Pen ever. The new stylus is also able to detect your pen holding angle. This way, you can easily change the shape of your drawings simply by tilting the pen.

To accompany the pen’s excellence, the latest model is now equipped with Palm Block technology. With this technology, you are able to rest your hand comfortably on the screen when drawing and writing, giving you more control over your activity with the pen.

Surface Pen is definitely a great tool for students. You can use it to draw or simply to take lecture notes. The bad news is, unlike the previous version, the Surface Pen is not included in the latest one. It is sold separately and it is also more expensive compared to the old Surface Pen.

Pros and Cons

The Pros

  • Better performance compared to the previous series and even some other laptop/tablets from the other brands.
  • Great design and material for the keyboard.
  • Much better battery life.
  • Great portability.
  • Surface Pen is faster and more sensitive.

The Cons

  • No USB-C.
  • Surface Pen is now sold separately and also very costly.
  • No significant upgrade from the Surface Pro 4.

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Verdict

It is safe to say that Microsoft is playing it safe with the newest Surface Pro, especially in terms of design. Furthermore, the fact that the Pen is not included in the package is definitely a disappointment. It makes the price of the new model much more expensive than the predecessor since you have to pay more to purchase the pen, not to mention that the keyboard is also sold separately.

But overall, Microsoft’s Surface Pro is still one of the best 2-in1 laptops in the market. The new one is much faster than the predecessor and the performance is simply outstanding. Even though it is basically a tablet, it has the performance of a laptop. But still, if you want to use this device as your only laptop, it is best to purchase the higher end models with better RAM and storage.

This laptop/tablet is also very compact, which is perfect for students with high mobility. Its features are more advanced compared to ordinary tablets but it is not as heavy as a laptop. So, it certainly will not be a hassle to carry around. Overall, The New Microsoft’s Surface Pro (2018) is definitely the best laptop for students and teachers.

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