Microsoft’s Surface Book Or Apple’s MacBook: Which One Will You Buy?
It’s the first time a guy is writing on Hauterfly, but our editor-in-chief Zahra made me do this. I’m part of the team that manages the servers behind your favourite digital magazine (ed’s note: the very humble Pandu is our Chief Technology Officer!), and needless to say I’m learning a lot about women’s fashion and beauty every day. In my day job, I deal with a lot of tech and gadgets, and so the month of October — when tech giants like Google, Microsoft and Apple line up their new and shiny products for the holiday season — is exciting.
In the past two days, both Microsoft and Apple showcased their latest computers. Here’s a quick roundup of what was announced and what we think of the ultra-cool new gadgets.
Microsoft Surface Family
Microsoft has been on the rise with the success of its Surface Pro hybrid laptops that work both as tablets and desktops, creating the right mix of productivity and portability. The Surface range has now expanded to desktops with the announcement of a 28″ all-in-one PC called the Surface Studio. The beautifully designed desktop is touted to have “the world’s thinnest LCD monitor”, which tilts up to 20-degrees to form an interactive desk interface for artists and creators to use the Surface Pen stylus and their hands to draw directly on the screen. Microsoft also announced a special Surface Dial, a hockey puck-like device that works in tandem with the Surface Pen, allowing creators to easily rotate/pan and use special tools like a pallette when placed on the screen. The Surface Studio video shows off this stunning computer in great style, and the background music using Fiona Apple’s rendition of Willy Wonka’s Pure Imagination touches your soul, making you want to buy one now!
Microsoft announced that the device will be available “in limited quantities” in time for the US holiday season starting at $2,999 (approximately Rs 2 lakhs). It’s not clear yet whether it will be available broadly and whether you’d be able to buy one in India in the near future.
Microsoft also announced the Surface Book Pro — a powerful laptop whose screen can detach and work as a tablet. The Surface Books are ideal for business users, developers, and anybody who wants a bit of power and a great portable laptop.
Apple Macbook Family
The Apple Event followed the announcement of the Surface Studio (and even though most people might not actually buy it, it did set the bar really high for innovation in the next generation of computers). Microsoft also had the advantage of a shock-and-awe effect because not many details about the products were known, unlike Apple, where most of the announcements were already expected due to the huge amount of leaks.
Apple announced a new set of sleeker, lighter and faster MacBooks. Apple’s MacBooks are already a category leader and the focus was on the new, innovative Touch Bar that the new MacBook’s will feature.
The Touch Bar replaces the function keys on the MacBook Pro keyboard with a multi-touch, OLED, full-colour touchpad strip that can display various functions depending on the program you’re using. From suggesting auto-complete words when you’re typing emails or writing a document, to being able to click scroll through your pictures when in Finder, or being able to use special functions when using tools like Photoshop or DJ Pro, Apple demonstrated that the Touch Bar is a truly new user interface that might make it hard to go back to a regular laptop once you get used to it. Apple showcased the new MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar in a video featuring background music from Don’t Stop Get It by Born Dirty (ft. Kid Sister).
There is a version of the MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar available to order immediately, and the MacBook Pro with TouchBar, available in 13″ and 15″ screen-sizes, will be available in 2-3 weeks. Apple is expected to release it soon in India as well and the India pricing is already announced on the Apple India website, and starts at a whopping ₹155,900 MRP for the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.
If you’re looking at a bit of indulgence this Diwali or Christmas, Apple and Microsoft are both vying for your money. So which one should you buy?
First off, there are many, many other laptops from Dell, Asus, HP, Lenovo and others that might offer you equivalent or better specifications in a price range lower than either the Surface or the MacBook products. The big difference, however, is the fact that these products are designed and engineered by the same company making the OS, use premium materials, follow a rigorous quality process and thus have a huge quality stamp.
The next important decision if whether you’re a Windows user or a Mac user. Both environments can pretty much do everything, but if you’re an avid gamer, you’ll probably lean more towards Surface and if you use other Apple products, you’ll probably lean more towards a MacBook.
In terms of pure specifications, both the Surface Book and MacBook Pro are available with Intel i5 & i7 processors and both pack a great amount of performance. The MacBooks have 4 ThunderBolt-3 slots and a 3.5mm headphone jack, with about 10 hours of battery life. Meanwhile, the Surface Book has a 2 USB-3.0 Type-A ports, a Mini Displayport, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a full-size card reader with about 12-16 hours of battery life.
As for me, I think it’s time to retire my 3.5-year-old MacBook Air in favour of a new MacBook Pro. Though I once worked for Microsoft and am still a big fan of the company, I have 5 Apple devices and in my current line of work, use a lot more developer tools that require Apple’s OS than Windows. Also, I have a man crush on Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, and his oh-so-soul-touching voice that makes me want to tell Apple to take my money already.
So which one do you plan to buy? Let us know in the comments below!