Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book differences

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 6, 2015
Updated • May 22, 2018

Microsoft announced several new devices on its Windows 10 Devices event including a new version of the popular Surface Pro line called Surface Pro 4 and the company's first laptop Surface Book.

If you have followed the announcement, or maybe just heard about the two devices, you are probably wondering how these two differ and which one to pick if you want to buy a Microsoft computer running Windows 10.

The main issue here is that Microsoft has not revealed all information yet about either of the devices. While Microsoft revealed some information, other critical information have yet to be named by the company.

surface booksurface pro 4


This article concentrates on what Microsoft has revealed so far. We will update it once additional information are revealed by Microsoft (this should be soon considering that pre-orders start tomorrow).

Microsoft Surface Pro 4Microsoft Surface Book
ProcessorIntel Core M3, Intel Core i5 and i7Intel Core i5 and i7 Skylake
Memoryfrom 4GB to 16GBfrom 8GB to 16GB
Storagefrom 128GB to 1TBfrom 128GB to 512GB SSD
Graphics Intel HD graphics (m3), Intel HD graphics 520 (i5), Intel Iris graphics (i7)Intel HD graphic or NVIDIA GeForce graphics
Screen12.3" 2763x1824 267ppi touch13.5" 3000x2000 267ppi touch
Dimensions11.50 x 7.93 x .33 in (292.10 x 201.42 x 8.45 mm)Laptop: 9.14 x 12.30 x 0.51- 0.90 in ( 232.1 x 312.3 x 13 -22.8 mm)
Clipboard: 8.67 x 12.30 x 0.30 in (220.2 x 312.3 x 7.7 mm)
Weight766g (m3), 786g (i5/i7)1576
Wireless802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible
Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technologyBluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
Ports1 USB 3.02 USB 3.0
microSD card readerFull-size SD card reader
Surface ConnectSurface Connect
Headset jackHeadset jack
Mini DisplayPortMini DisplayPort
Media5.0MP front-facing camera5.0MP front-facing camera
8.0mp rear-facing camera8.0mp rear-facing camera
Stereo microphonesDual microphones, front and rear facing
Stereo speakers with Dolby AudioFront-facing stereo speakers with Dolby audio
SensorsAmbient light, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, MagnetometerAmbient light, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer
Batteryup to 9 hours video playbackup to 12 hours video playback
Ships withSurface PenSurface Pen
MiscOld Keyboards work, interchangeable pen tips, magnetic pen storage, Surface Pro 4 Type Cover available for $129.99Glass multi-touch trackpad, zero drain when laptop closed, backlit keys
PriceStarting at $899 up to $2699Starting at $1499 up to $2699

As you can see, the devices are quite similar in many aspects. Core differences include the screen size, battery, graphics and that the Surface Book ships with a keyboard attached to it.

Microsoft points out the main difference between the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 on the company's store website. It describes the Surface Book as the "most powerful Surface laptop to handle any task" and the Surface Pro 4 as the "perfect balance of size and power for working on the go".

This does not make a whole lot of sense though considering that the Surface Book weights less and has better battery life than the Surface Pro 4.

The Surface Pro 4 on the other hand offers up to 1TB of storage which the Surface Book does not as its limit is 512 GB of storage.

As far as price is concerned, the Surface Book starts at $1499 while the Surface Pro 4 at $899. The maximum is interesting though as you will end up paying more for a maxed out Surface Pro 4 if you add a Surface Pro 4 Type Cover to the device. This sets you back $2699 for the Surface Pro 4 and $129.99 for the type cover opposed to $2699 for a maxed out Surface Book.

Both Surface devices are already available on Microsoft's Store website in the US.

Now You: What's your take on those two devices and which would you pick?

The Surface Book promo video

The Surface Pro 4 promo video

Article Name
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book differences
A comparison of Microsoft's Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 devices.

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  1. Andrew said on October 6, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    The surface book is really a beautiful device… I have to admit I like where Microsoft went with this…

  2. Bond said on October 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    The Surface Book Storage is up to 1TB.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 6, 2015 at 7:01 pm
      1. Bond said on October 6, 2015 at 7:11 pm

        Well, in the video it shows this:

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on October 6, 2015 at 7:13 pm

        Is that for the Surface Book? Maybe a 1TB is coming later? Or they have made an error on the site.

  3. Bond said on October 6, 2015 at 7:21 pm


    Yes, it is. Taken from this video: at 1:10 mark.

    Strange indeed. Btw i couldn’t reply to your last reply so i think the post might not fit unders yours.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 6, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Yeah the reply level is restricted here on this site.

  4. Dragos said on October 6, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Seems that a lot of press sites miss the differences and purposes of the two.

    The Surface Pro is a big tablet with a keyboard. It competes with the MB Air and other netbooks.

    The Surface Book is a laptop with a detachable screen. Not a tablet. There are no ports on the “tablet” part, you can’t even charge it without having it connected to the keyboard. Which means the keyboard (and associated weight) is not optional. This already makes differentiating between the two quite clear. Take into consideration the discrete GPU on the ‘Book, which makes it a viable computer for people that can’t do with a Surface Pro (graphics people, engineers, game devs etc) and the difference is even more obvious.

    The nVidia GPU is described on various sites as having 1GB or GDDR5, but I haven’t seen anything on MS sites except GeForce 8G, whatever that might mean.

    1. ilev said on October 7, 2015 at 6:24 am

      Both Surface devices have nothing to do with Apple’a MBs as they don’t run OSX. They are made to undermine Microsoft’s friends : Lenovo, Toshiba, Dell, HP, Asus….

  5. theMike said on October 6, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    in 6 months it’ll be outdated and half the price

    1. Solidstate89 said on October 7, 2015 at 2:13 am

      You act like that hasn’t been true for every electronic device that has launched in the last 20 years.

    2. silat said on October 7, 2015 at 5:50 am

      That goes for any device.

    3. fokka said on October 7, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      sp3 with 512gb still costs 2000 bucks, so, whatever you say, man.

  6. Marco said on October 7, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Surface Book is a great 2-in-1 Ultrabook. However, it is far too expensive! I don’t think they will sell many of them at such high prices…
    Also, it’s not yet certain if Surface Book will be available outside the US for the time being.

  7. Nerdebeu said on October 7, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    What I want to know is the weight of the detachable screen on the Surface Book. I have not found any information about it, only the total weight of the device is given. It seemed interesting to compare the two “tablets”.

    1. Dragos said on October 7, 2015 at 1:17 pm


      1. Nerdebeu said on October 7, 2015 at 1:24 pm

        Thanks, I thought I looked everywhere. ;). So less heavy than the Surface Pro 4.

  8. Ivan the Terrible said on October 7, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Where are the USB Type C ports?

  9. DarkerBright said on October 7, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Any idea how the Surface Pro 4 will compare to the Tablet part of the Surface Book graphics wise. Do we think they will cut back on the Intel graphics chip set knowing you have the option to use a discreet chip in the keyboard or will the tablet part of the Surface Book match the Surface Pro 4 in every respect with the exception of ports and battery life?

  10. fokka said on October 7, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    so close, but still not perfect.

    i have hoped for a “true laptop-style dock” for years, but i’m not entirely happy with the surface book. for one, the hinge just looks goofy and over engineered to me. remember, this isn’t a 360° hinge like on a yoga (afaik), i’m not even sure if it opens up a full 180° and even in “closed” state, there still is plenty of room between the screen and the keyboard. that doesn’t only look odd, it also makes the whole thing less compact than it would ideally be during transport.
    i can think of two reasons why MS chose this awkward hinge (cooling, center of mass/pivot point), but i just have the feeling that a more conventional hinge should have been possible as well.

    i also would have hoped for type-c ports on both the sp4 and the surface book, now we have to wait yet another year for that convenient and truly universial port to be adopted. yay.

    and why i’ve always been intrigued by the surface line and even think that the base price is kinda fair, when looking at the upgrades-list i can’t help but feel taken for a fool. 512gb on the sp4 cost 1700$ in the best case and an insane 2700$ on the book and it won’t be any better in euro. the case of the surface book is especially infuriating, since i neither need an i7, nor 16gb of ram, but i have to take those things too if i want a healthy amount of storage in my surface.

    i like many aspects of the surface line and think the hardware is very intriguing, but i can’t take part in that price gouging, sorry.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 7, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      I think I’ll pick up a Surface 4 Pro this time. Since I only do my writing on it and research, I don’t really need the extra power the Surface Book offers. I’d really like to try a Microsoft Band but it is not clear yet if it will ever come to Germany.

    2. Marco said on October 9, 2015 at 6:31 am

      Hi fokka
      Watch this video, it is a 360-degree hinge, it’s at 0:40, and they call it draw mode:

  11. scotto said on October 8, 2015 at 9:32 am

    The article says “This does not make a whole lot of sense though considering that the Surface Book weights less and has better battery life than the Surface Pro 4.” But even if you include the typecover, the Surface book is about 40% heavier than the SP4. Am I missing something?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 8, 2015 at 9:43 am

      Scotto, I forgot to update this part. Microsoft’s initial information on its site stated that the Book was smaller than the Pro.

  12. DarkerBright said on October 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Not sure if anyone is interested, but after doing a little more reading what I can gather, although not confirmed, is that the Surface Pro 4 will have up to Intel Iris graphics (540) and the Surface Book tablet section will go up to Intel HD 520. Still no info on the NVidia graphics but someone suggested elsewhere that it might be a new 955M?

    1. Dragos said on October 8, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      Yes, the i7 Surface Pro will have Iris Graphics.

  13. srb468 said on October 10, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    I was really excited about the Surface Book until I realize there isn’t any I/O port on the tablet part except the headphone jack. Heck, even the SD card reader is located on the keyboard part. That greatly undermines its potential to be used as a content consumption device. Well, I guess MS intended it to be for professionals…

    I find it hard to imagine the use cases where you already [have to] packed everything in your suitcase, take out your Surface Book, and decided to pop off the keyboard and put that back…

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