Surface Pro 4 and Surface 3 :: A look at the hardware

by Volker Weber

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Surface Pro 4 and Surface 3 are both 2015 machines. Surface 3 is just a few months older and to most people they look very similar. Surface Pro 4 has a larger and better screen with higher resolution, a smaller bezel and the kickstand is adjustable in every angle. Surface Pro 4 has vents and a fan, Surface 3 only cools through the body.

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Surface Pro 4 is thinner and larger. It does not have a MicroUSB port for charging. That port was barely powerful enough to charge Surface 3. Instead it has a proprietary reversible dock connector that looks like a MicroSD slot in this photo. The headphone jack is on the other side. The other two ports are USB Type A and DisplayPort. I have used this port with an Apple adaptor and it worked just as well. Looking at the photo it appears to be bent a little bit. You will find the same dock connector on Surface Book, both one the Base and the Clipboard and obviously on Surface Dock.

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Again, both look remarkably similar. The keyboard however makes a big difference. It's larger to fit the larger body, the keys are less tall and are spaced so it's much easier to type without hitting the adjacent key.

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The other big difference is the trackpad which has grown considerably and an improved surface. While the old trackpad was barely usable, the new trackpad is much nicer. I only used the Surface 3 trackpad when I really could not select something with my finger, I use the new trackpad all the time.

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This grey keyboard is a Signature Type Cover which is wrapped in Alcantara. It's a luxury. And it technically fits the smaller machine. Microsoft has not changed the connector from the original Surface. It's just too big.

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Yes, Surface 3 has taken a beating with scratches and chips all over the place. I expect the same to happen to Surface Pro 4, if not worse.

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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