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Microsoft Surface Pro 2024 Review: The Best 2-in-1 Yet, But With Trade-offs

Microsoft’s Surface Pro line has long been a benchmark for 2-in-1 devices, blending the portability of a tablet with the functionality of a laptop. The latest iteration, the Surface Pro 2024, continues this tradition with some significant improvements. However, as with any device, there are trade-offs to consider. Let’s dive into what makes the Surface Pro 2024 shine and where it might fall short for some users.

Microsoft Surface Pro 2024 Review: The Best 2-in-1 Yet, But With Trade-offs

The Pros: Where the Surface Pro 2024 Excels

1. Vibrant OLED Display Option

One of the standout features of the Surface Pro 2024 is the optional OLED display. This upgrade offers:

  • Richer colors and deeper blacks compared to previous LCD models
  • Improved contrast, rivaling even the highly-regarded iPad Pro 2024
  • A more immersive viewing experience for both work and entertainment

While the review notes that the iPad Pro 2024’s OLED might have a slight edge in contrast, the Surface Pro’s OLED display is a significant leap forward for the line.

2. Powerful Snapdragon X Chip

At the heart of the Surface Pro 2024 lies the new Snapdragon X chip, bringing several advantages:

  • Noticeable performance boost over previous models
  • Improved battery life, extending the device’s usability on-the-go
  • Better emulation for running x86 applications, addressing a key concern of past ARM-powered Surface devices

This new chip helps bridge the gap between the Surface Pro’s tablet form factor and the performance expectations of a full-fledged laptop.

3. Refined Design and Build Quality

Microsoft has further refined the Surface Pro’s already excellent design:

  • Retention of the signature kickstand, offering versatile viewing angles
  • Addition of a second USB-C port for improved connectivity
  • Overall premium build quality that users have come to expect from the Surface line
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4. New Surface Pro Flex Keyboard

While sold separately, the new Surface Pro Flex keyboard offers notable improvements:

  • Haptic feedback on keys for a more satisfying typing experience
  • Improved contrast between keys and keycaps, enhancing visibility and reducing typing errors
  • Maintains the Surface line’s reputation for excellent typing experiences on a detachable keyboard

The Cons: Considerations Before Purchasing

1. Expensive Essential Accessories

While the Surface Pro 2024 itself is a powerful device, achieving its full potential comes at an additional cost:

  • The Surface Pro Flex keyboard is sold separately
  • The Surface Slim Pen, crucial for note-taking and drawing, is also an additional purchase
  • These accessories can significantly increase the overall investment in the device

For many users, these accessories are essential for a true laptop-like experience, making the effective cost of the Surface Pro 2024 higher than the base price suggests.

2. Lingering App Compatibility Concerns

While the Snapdragon X chip has improved emulation for x86 applications, some considerations remain:

  • Most traditional Windows programs run well, but there may still be exceptions
  • Some specialized or legacy software might not perform optimally
  • Users with specific software needs should research compatibility before purchasing

3. OLED Display Color Accuracy

While the OLED display is a significant upgrade, it’s not without minor drawbacks:

  • The review mentions slightly lower-than-ideal scores on Delta-E color accuracy tests
  • While noticeable to professionals, this may not impact casual users significantly
  • The overall visual experience is still excellent, with the benefits of OLED outweighing this minor concern for most users

Who Should Consider the Surface Pro 2024?

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2024 is an excellent choice for:

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Who Might Want to Look Elsewhere?

The Surface Pro 2024 might not be the best fit for:

  • Budget-conscious buyers: The high cost of the device plus essential accessories may be prohibitive for some.
  • Users of specialized software: Those who rely on specific programs should verify compatibility before committing.
  • Professionals needing absolute color accuracy: While the OLED display is excellent, those requiring perfect color reproduction might need to look at alternatives or consider calibration.

Conclusion: A Stellar 2-in-1 with Some Caveats

The Microsoft Surface Pro 2024 represents the pinnacle of the company’s 2-in-1 design philosophy. With its optional OLED display, powerful Snapdragon X chip, and refined design, it offers a compelling package for those seeking a versatile computing device. The improved performance and better emulation of x86 applications address key concerns from previous models, making this the most well-rounded Surface Pro yet.

However, the high cost of essential accessories and potential software compatibility issues for some specialized applications are factors that potential buyers should carefully consider. For many users, the benefits will outweigh these drawbacks, but it’s crucial to assess your specific needs and use cases before making the investment.

Ultimately, the Surface Pro 2024 continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in a 2-in-1 device. It’s a testament to Microsoft’s commitment to innovation in the PC space and a worthy contender for those in the market for a premium, versatile computing device. As always, we recommend trying the device in person if possible to see if it meets your specific needs and preferences.

 

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