Everything moves fast in today’s tech world. In the past, a lot of us could live with purchasing a device that has been in the market for at least two years compared to one that’s just been recently released. That’s quite different today as some devices created years ago aren’t equipped to handle newer apps and
ased. That’s quite different today as some devices created years ago aren’t equipped to handle newer apps and fare less in terms of features.
Given that the Surface Pro 4 is nearly two years old while the Galaxy Tab S3 has just been released, is it still wise to purchase Microsoft’s older tablet or is it better to go with the new one by Samsung?
The Surface Pro 4 features an all-magnesium, unibody casing as the model that came before it. This time, however, a Microsoft logo in chrome replaces the Surface logo. The Galaxy Tab S3 also features a similar design to its predecessor, particularly on the front, but visible changes are seen on the back portion where it sports a glass back panel. The Tab S3 also bears similar features to the Samsung’s Galaxy S7, notably the home button that functions as a fingerprint sensor.
The Surface Pro 4 has a slightly larger screen size than its predecessor – 12.3 inches vs 12 inches. Microsoft has also trimmed the thickness of its new tablet, from 9.1mm to 8.4mm, by eliminating the capacitive Windows button and bringing the optical stack closer to the glass. These changes have made the tablet more responsive whether using fingers or the Surface Pen.
Samsung has always bettered the competition in terms of screens, particularly their Super AMOLED display panels. Now, the company has made the display of their Galaxy Tab S3 HDR ready therefore making it a lot better. While the new screen does improve the viewing of videos, particularly dark movie scenes, there isn’t a lot of widely available HDR video yet.
The Tab S3 can support 12 hours of video playback and can be recharged quickly through Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charger. Battery life isn’t the Surface Pro 4’s strongest suit as it’s only capable of about six hours of video playback but this figure is so much better than the previous model.
A Surface Pen is bundled with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, and it features improvements over its predecessor. The new pen feels like an actual pencil and even comes with an “eraser” that not only erases but also opens OneNote with a single press, takes a screenshot, and summons Cortana with a long press.
The Type Cover for the Surface Pro 4 is also much improved, but sadly not included with the package. The chiclet-style keyboard is now spaced more widely apart allowing each key to be lit. An upgraded version with biometric functionality can also be purchased.
The Tab S3, on the other hand, comes with an S Pen that is much thicker than its predecessor making it easier to hold and has a few upgrades as well. Like the Surface Pro 4, you will need to purchase the keyboard attachment but you don’t need Bluetooth to connect the keyboard to the device: it just works.
The Surface Pro 4 might offer the best value for what you need today. While great, the Galaxy Tab S3 is focused on the future which makes it ideal for early adopters. Then again, Microsoft’s device has a shorter battery life which might make the Tab S3 more favorable. The gap in years between the release of these devices show just how different they are when compared, but the final choice will always depend on what you want out of your device.