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Op 26 Aug 2016 door Alison Smith

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Forget the desktop PC. Forget the regular laptop. This two-in-one hybrid laptop/tablet is lighter than a laptop, with a better screen and more options.

When my old notebook finally became so slow that I was afraid it would actually stop, I knew I would have to make a decision what to go for next and with so many different options in the market, I also knew it would be a difficult decision.

As well as the outdated laptop I also have an Apple tablet which I use for quick reference on the internet. It's a handy, portable device for travelling, but at work I need more than to just check emails and access the net.

What I really needed was a device which would act as a "thin client" at work, giving me access to our network, plus a lightweight option for taking to and from work so I could easily carry it home and take it on trips, all with enough processing power and memory to not feel I'd lost out on performance.

I decided to try the Surface Pro 4 from Microsoft, which can be used as a tablet, has a good "normal" size keyboard option, which attaches magnetically and quite securely, and, with the optional hub, I can connect to the network and plug in to a large HDMI screen and a regular USB keyboard with numeric keypad, which is handy for admin and financial tasks. After work I detach one cable and it folds down into a thin, tablet-sized portable which fits in my shoulder bag easily. At home it becomes a laptop and, by detaching the magnetic keyboard, you have a tablet device.

Surface Pro also comes with a touchscreen and pen, which I thought I would never use, but it's a useful alternative to the touchpad mouse on the keyboard, which I've always found a bit unhandy. The battery time is good and the device is easily and quickly booted up and shut down.

Part Windows PC, part tablet, the two-in-one category covers touchscreen laptops that turn into tablets and tablets that can turn into laptops with a detachable keyboard. Surface Pro 4 wasn't the cheapest option, but it ticks a lot of boxes and, despite the scepticism which often surrounds new Microsoft products, it has been well-received by the critics, and gets a thumbs-up from me.

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