Barely two weeks after taking a swipe at the iPad Pro in an earlier ad, Microsoft’s new ad for the Surface Pro 4 takes a ‘below the belt’ swing at Apple’s MacBook Pro. The ad shows to two devices side by side and features a silly song with lyrics that highlight the Surface Pro’s features against what the MacBook Pro can’t do.
Here’s the video:
After watching the 30-second video I couldn’t help but wonder why Microsoft would pit its Surface Pro against a robust and hugely popular MacBook Pro. Why not try the same thing with the Surface Book? That’d make more sense, right?
I’m not a big fan of hybrid tablets, to be honest. I think they’re not solid enough for the kind of work I do on a daily basis, and honestly I need a bigger screen if I’m going to be working eight, ten hours a day at my system. The MacBook Pro I use for my work has a Retina display, and I’ve also installed the f.lux blue light filter app so my eyes don’t get tired in any kind of lighting condition. It’s perfect for me, so maybe I am a little biased.
But even notwithstanding the fact that I use a MacBook Pro, I think the comparison is unfair. Sure, pitting the Surface Pro against the iPad Pro makes sense because both are essentially tablets, but I think Microsoft is trying to send a message here – that hybrid tablets are the future. I would tend to disagree. Here’s why.
First of all, as laptops go the MacBook Pro has proven itself over many iterations and years, and it still remains the laptop to beat. And when the MacBook Pro 2016 comes out this month the OLED touch-bar is going to bring the sheer pleasure of a tactile experience with it. There’s really no alternative that I’d rather go with other than perhaps the aluminium and carbon fiber HP Spectre that I’ve been having my eye on. It’s advertised as being the thinnest laptop in the world but what it has under the hood can really pack a punch that might even send the MacBook Pro reeling.
Second, a hybrid tablet is a tablet, not a laptop. You can stick a keyboard in there, attach a pen and give it a fancy name but it’s still a tablet. I don’t think we’ll be able to blur the line between tablets and laptops that easily. Several manufacturers have tried it – even Apple, with the iPad Pro 12.9-inch screen – but laptops continue to rule the upper end of the mobility world.
While I would agree that the MacBook Pro desperately needs some new functionality, I think the MacBook Pro 2016 might fill that gap to a certain extent. I definitely won’t agree that the Surface Pro 4 can compete in any significant way with the MacBook Pro – old or new.
Am I biased? I honestly don’t know.
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