Surface Book 2016 vs MacBook Pro 2016: What’s the difference?

It’s holiday time for professionals across the world as both Apple and Microsoft just refreshed their top of the line laptop models – Surface Book for Microsoft and MacBook Pro for Apple. While these laptops might not be directly in competition, there is certainly a decision-making process when it comes to buying such highly priced computers.

Surface Book 2016 vs Macbook Pro 2016

Surface Book 2016 vs MacBook Pro 2016

So, for the sake of choosing between flagship laptop models, here is a point-to-point comparison of the Apple MacBook Pro (2016) and the Microsoft Surface Book i7 (2016).


1. Design

With the new design, the MacBook Pro (2016) now has a lighter body and the overall volume of the laptop is lower with the same 13 and 15-inch screen sizes. It is also slimmer and has a better metal body than its predecessor from last time. The new Surface Book weighs around 1650 g whereas the MacBook is lighter at 1360 g.

With the new Touch Bar, it also has some additional functionality that may be realized within a few months of launch.

The Surface Book i7, on the other hand, continues with the innovative design, like the last year’s model, but an annual upgrade doesn’t necessarily warrant a design change this fast. It has a divisive hinge that doesn’t allow the laptop lid to close completely. But this screen is detachable for enhanced convenience so that it can be used as a laptop-tablet hybrid, which the MacBook Pro cannot do. Moreover Surface supports Touch, but Mac does not.

2. Display

There is no apparent difference between the smaller models of the MacBook Pro and the Surface Book. However, there is a slight size difference, with the MacBook having a 13.4-inch screen size and the Surface Book having a 13.5-inch screen.

Apart from a bigger 15-inch variant, the MacBook Pro has no advantages compared to the Surface Book i7. Surface Book (3000×2000) completely owns the MBP (2560×1600) in terms of display resolution.

3. Security Features

The new MacBook Pro now has Apple’s very own Touch ID as the default login feature – fingerprint-sensing technology. On the other hand, the Surface Book uses Microsoft’s face sensing technology – Hello – to unlock the device. So, it makes it hard to decide which is better as both of them use their own technique to unlock the device. But, if past experience is to go by, fingerprint unlocking is always faster, more convenient and more reliable compared to face detection. Face detection is still in its testing phase and isn’t much trustable in terms of securing your important files and documents.

4. Performance

Coming to the core internals of both the devices. The MacBook Pro now comes with 7th generation Intel processors, with the lowest base model running on the latest Core i5 chipset, and the top two models running Core i7.On the other hand, the Surface Book comes in only one variant – the 7th generation i7 processor.

Talking about the graphics performance, the MacBook runs a disappointing Integrated Intel Iris Graphics 540 GPU or the Radeon Pro on the 15-inch variant. The Surface Book has the much more powerful Nvidia GTX 965M GPU.

Both laptops will offer 8GB and 16GB RAM variants and can handle multitasking smoothly.

5. Battery Life

Both these laptops are still not with reviewers and consumers to test actual battery life, but with what the respective companies claim, the MacBook Pro offers a 10-hour battery life and the Surface Book claims to have a 12-16 hour battery life. While these are not confirmed figures, we can expect the Surface Book to have a better battery life.

6. Operating System

Apple’s MacBook Pro runs MacOS Sierra, whereas Surface Book is powered by Windows 10 OS. Windows 10, as you are aware, is better optimized for Touch displays.

Take a look at their official videos:

Surface Book

MacBook Pro

What is your take on these two devices?

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A constant learner of gadgets, Ankit has been writing about technology and the internet, in general, for the past three years, and has written for several well-known media outlets.


  1. kyoden

    Pretty sure both have 6th generation Core series processors.

  2. Rob

    One machine is running a hardened reliable operating system; the other, a work in progress.

  3. Ankit Chawla

    Yes, thanks for the correction 🙂

  4. socrateos

    Mac is not even touch screen – outdated.

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