Apple MacBook Pro vs Microsoft Surface Pro 3: ultrabooks of 2015? – Geek Snack

Apple MacBook Pro 2015 13 inch vs Microsoft Surface Pro 3 base model – Design

Apple prides itself with an eye for design, and they deliver on that expectation, almost every time. The design of the MacBook Pro is in no way disappointing, as Apple once again demonstrated that it can make the most portable laptop on the market, and make it as premium as possible at the same time. As usual, the Cupertino-based company focused a lot on revamping the design of the 2015 MacBook Pro and making a thin, light, ultra-portable device and succeeded.

The MacBook Pro measures 12.35 inches in width, 8.62 inches in depth and a surprising 0.71 inches in thickness, which make it the thinnest laptop on the market. It’s also pretty light, weighing about 3.5 pounds, which make the laptop as portable as possible. The metal design of the device gives it an enormously appealing premium feeling which is one of the most appreciated design traits of the MacBook, and of the most praised element of the laptop as well.

Even if people were not satisfied by the performance of the MacBook Pro 2015, the design and display are the selling points. Apple wants to market the MacBook Pro as the go-to device for travel and as a mobile workstation that is easy to use, carry and handle, all at the same time. Excelling at design is one of the company’s strong points and selling points, and the MacBook Pro is certainly a high-point in their history.

The addition of the seamless force touch trackpad on the device has also been received positively by tech enthusiasts and average users alike, although there are skeptics out there who don’t see the purpose of the feature. I personally like the force touch feature because it makes navigating easier and more seamless than before on OS X Yosemite. Even though the MacBook Pro design is seamless, there are other things at fault with the device which warranted negative reviews in the community.

Another great trait of the MacBook Pro is the backlit keyboard, which has a premium feel to it and keeps your typing as silent as possible. The notebook comes with a full-size keyboard with 78 keys, which is ideal for most people, while others miss the numpad. I personally love the numeric pad on laptops, so I probably would have liked it better that way. But when it comes to appearance, the keyboard looks and feels fantastic, with the keys spaced perfectly and of a great size for the average consumer fingers.

Moving on to the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, the design doesn’t stand out as much as it does on the MacBook Pro, but it does still look and feel premium enough for a high-end device. The Surface Pro 3 design follows simple elements, providing users with a seamless chassis made out of magnesium that offers a durable build and construction. It doesn’t feel as high-end as the MacBook Pro does, but it still emanates an air of luxury of its own.


Microsoft went with a simple design for its convertible, something that we’ve grown accustomed to over the last couple of years, seeing many Surface devices launched. The Surface Pro 3 boasts with a completely different design that emphasizes portability as much as it does versatility. The kickstand on the back of the Surface Pro 3 could have been a bit more flexible and stay in positions that it doesn’t stay in right now, but otherwise it’s a sturdy kickstand which will sit comfortably on any surface. Except your lap.

Even though Microsoft has marketed the Surface Pro 3 as the perfect mobile workstation that’s portable and easily maneuverable, the kickstand becomes bothersome rather quick when used in one’s lap. When it’s on a flat surface, the Surface Pro 3 looks as good as any convertible ultrabook, but when sitting on a person’s lap, it becomes uncomfortable and unstable. Hopefully in the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft will have found a better solution or material for the kickstand.

When talking about measurements, the Surface Pro 3 is definitely smaller than the MacBook Pro. It measures 11.5 inches in width, 7.93 inches in depth and only 0.36 inches in thickness. It weighst less than 2 pounds, namely 1.76 pounds, which make the Surface Pro 3 the winner when it comes to portability. That design and size do facilitate for a smaller screen, though, which can be a plus or a minus, depending on preference. In my case, it’s a minus, but the difference is not that big as to prompt serious complaints, not even from me.

The Surface Pro 3 uses a Type Cover and Microsoft has done a great job making their own. The keyboard is a full-size one similar to the one found on the MacBook Pro, but not as high-end. The magnetic cover will blend into the device rather well and even when the convertible is in laptop-mode, it looks premium and solid. The trackpad of the keyboard isn’t as great as it is on the MacBook Pro, as it occasionally stutters and misses strokes, but it does perform pretty well otherwise.

The bezels on the Surface pro 3 are slim and symmetric on all sides, which is something I rather love about the convertible. The thin bezels keep the device small and portable, all the while keeping it appealing to those who prefer screen to body ratios to be high and mighty, like myself. The MacBook Pro doesn’t have prominent bezels, so they’re pretty much even from this aspect of their design.

Mainly, the Surface Pro 3 is designed as a convertible and it does well in that department. It’s easy to use as a tablet or as a notebook, in tent mode or in laptop mode, on virtually any surface, except your own lap. But the lap thing can be overcome with a bit of “getting used to it”, in a matter of days. Since it’s a convertible, its main purpose is to provide users with as many use cases as possible, which it does rather well.

Even though both the Apple MacBook Pro 2015 and the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 excel at design, the MacBook Pro looks and feels more premium and is easier to get accustomed to than the Surface Pro 3. Considering the fact that each has a particular audience in mind, they excel in their own targets, but when compared, the winner has to be the MacBook Pro and its seamless, thin, light design.

On the next page: MacBook Pro vs Surface Pro 3 Display


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