So, surprise! I updated my Surface Book to a brand new Surface Pro 6. I managed to get a hold of a retail model of this epic new tablet/laptop combination, and I haven’t been able to put it down since. In fact, I’m typing this review up right now on my Surface Pro 6 Type Cover, which they were also kind enough to send me, along with a Surface Pen.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the matte black model, although if I had had the choice, that would have been my pick for sure, but this model is just as good. Now, let’s see what the Surface Pro 6 (plus type cover and pen) is like to use, after a week. But, believe me, all of my opinions are my own, and are not in any way influenced by being sent this model. Let’s dive into the specs first of all.
The Surface Pro 6 has pretty average internals. Intel’s 8th-gen i7 chip, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage is the configuration I was sent, and it performs perfectly for what I need it to do. Bearing in mind that that consists of writing articles like this one (by the way, keep on the lookout for a new one dropping later this week…), streaming videos in HD quality from Youtube and Netflix, and some very light gaming. All things considered, this works perfectly for what I need a laptop to do.
The Surface Pro lineup has always been a good looking lineup. From the curves that are only refined every generation, to the sharp corners of the kickstand, this is a pleasure to not just use, but just to touch. Also, the pen looks much nicer now, with significantly smaller magnetic strips on the flat side of the pen. However, as a downside to that, the magnets on this pen are significantly weaker than that of my old Surface Book. Not that they have posed any kind of problem to me, but it is still something to note.
From the body’s curves, to the kickstand’s sharp corners, this is a pleasure not only to use, but just to touch
This laptop has good battery life. Like, really good. It gets me through a full day of usage, if not more. However, I am coming from the Surface Book, which could get me through 2 full days, if not more, which means that I am of course going to be a bit underwhelmed. Nevertheless, the battery life is still good. I don’t think it should be a big reason to buy this device, but it is also not really something to worry about. During this week, I took a trip down to Manchester, and took this with me. I was planning to use about 2 days of heavy usage, and on my way out, I was grabbing all the tech I would need, and I faltered at the charger. I would not have done that with my Surface Book. In the end, I took it, and I’m glad I did. At the end of the first day, I had only 30% left.
Similarly to the next product I will be reviewing, the Surface Pro 6’s software is what really lets it down. From the painful seconds that it takes the OS to switch from tablet mode to desktop mode, to the simply weird way that it handles notifications, the software is far from perfect. Windows 10 is just not made for tablets, and that is what this device is trying to be. Both a tablet and a laptop. My recommendation to Microsoft is, why not just make a second version of Windows, very similar to the normal one, but that way, you can optimise it for tablets rather than optimising it for laptops, with a quick nod here and there to the 5% of Windows users who use a tablet. However, in the end, the real question is would this stop me from purchasing this device myself, and that is a hard question. Let’s leave that for the verdict section, shall we?
The Surface Pro 6 has a surprising number of extras, considering the fact it is a laptop. It has Windows Hello, which is still very fast and I haven’t put my password into my laptop since setting it up a week ago, the type cover, which has very sufficient key travel and even has a backlight, while still staying as thin as a kid’s book, and the Surface Pen, which, while seriously overpriced, I imagine would be a great tool for artists and editors alike. This Surface includes some incredible extras, even if they do cost literally hundreds of pounds.
Now, my biggest issue with the Surface Pro lineup in 2018. The price. The Surface Pro 6 retails at £1080, but there is actually a deal on which lowers it to only £880. That is expensive. However, if this would be your laptop replacement, that might actually seem like a good deal. However, if you want to use it as a laptop, you would have to add £130 for the Type Cover, or £150 for the Signature alcantara one. Then, to get the full experience, you would need to buy the £100 pen, and maybe even the Surface Dial which means that the minimum price now is £1110. Not so cheap now, is it? Is it worth it? Let’s see.
The Surface Pro 6 could very well replace a laptop for some people. If you are an artist, a photographer or just someone who wants their laptop to be portable, the Surface Pro 6 was literally made for you. If you are a hardcore gamer, someone who loves to plug in a million devices, or someone who needs a durable laptop, this may not be the device for you.
For me though, is it worth it? Yes. I would not buy the Surface Dial, because I am not an artist. However, I would purchase the Type Cover and Surface Pen, because I feel like they are essential to the whole experience of the Surface. This would replace my laptop and my tablet, which makes it worth the money for me.
So what do you think about the Surface Pro 6? Will you be purchasing it? Is it worth all that money? Let me know in the comments section down below.