Surface Book vs MacBook Pro

Microsoft Surface Book

Billed as a MacBook Pro killer, the Surface Book shares a similar machined metal unibody construction, island-style keyboard, high resolution display and glass trackpad as its competitor. With its sharp, angular wedge profile, you'd be forgiven if you thought the Surface Book is a futuristic creation of famed Apple designer Jony Ive.

Yet while the Surface Book may borrow from Apple's design ethos, Microsoft is positioning the laptop as a clear competitor to the MacBook Pro. In a direct comparison, Panos Panay, head of hardware at Microsoft, proudly proclaimed that the Surface Book performance is twice as fast as the MacBook Pro.

Surface Book

And the similarities end here, as Microsoft and Apple take radically different approaches when it comes to the vision of tablet and laptop computing.


Even though the Surface Book and MacBook Pro share similar 13-inch frames, silver body and machined metal unibody construction, the Surface Book looks more modern with its sharp edges, and dramatic wedge design, compared to the softer curves on Apple's notebook.

The Surface Book also has a more pronounced hinge design, which Microsoft is dubbing the Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge. While the hinge adds to the tech-inspired design of the Surface Book, it's not an entirely new design. The Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge looks a lot like the watch band hinge Lenovo introduced on the Yoga 3 Pro, except that the Surface Book hinge doesn't rotate the full 360 degrees.

Surface Book

When closed, the Surface Book has a wedge profile, and there is a slight gap between the display and keyboard that adds to the minimalist, airy design. The downside is that the open space can attract dirt and dust when transporting the notebook in a bag.

Both the MacBook Pro and the Surface Book come with a backlit keyboard and island-style key arrangement. Microsoft marketing was in full gear during the keynote to highlight the Surface Book's comfortable typing experience, noting deep key travel, quiet typing sound and large, glass trackpad. Apple's MacBook Pro has historically come with a good keyboard and a very responsive glass trackpad. However, unlike business-class notebooks, neither keyboard is spill-resistant.

The 3.34-pound Surface Book weighs about the same as the 3.48-pound MacBook Pro. Impressively, despite having a removable tablet display, the Surface Book only occupies a slightly larger footprint than the MacBook Pro. The Surface Book measures 12.3 x 9.14 x 0.9 inches (31.24 x 23.22 x 2.29cm), while the MacBook Pro measures 12.35 x 8.62 x 0.71 inches (31.37 x 21.89 x 1.80cm).