Apple MacBook vs Microsoft Surface

The Apple Macbook is a really powerful and popular laptop.

That said, how does it compare to the Microsoft Surface?

There has been a long-standing rivalry between Microsoft and Mac with many staying loyal to one camp.

Let’s break down two of these opposing companies’ most popular laptops to tell you who we think comes out on top.

Our aim in this article is to compare both the latest generation models of the Apple Macbook Pro and the Microsoft Surface Book 2.

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Apple Macbook

Macbook Pro Finger Scaner


Released in 2006, the Macbook Pro is currently in its 7th generation. Since its initial release, the components of the Macbook have continuously grown in power.

The latest generation of the Macbook Pro is the most powerful yet.

There are three different variations of the Macbook Pro. Each comes with different specifications.

13-inch Macbook Pro Without Touch Bar

  • 2.3 GHz 7th generation Intel Core i5
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • Intel Iris 640 graphics

13-inch Macbook Pro With Touch Bar

  • 2.3 GHz 8th generation Core i5 quad-core
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB storage
  • Intel Iris Plus 665 graphics

15-inch Macbook Pro With Touch Bar

  • 2.2 GHz 8th generation Core i7 6-core
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB storage
  • AMD Radeon Pro 55X (4GB) graphics

While all three variations are very powerful machines, the 15-inch Macbook Pro with Touch Bar is the most powerful. It features incredible graphics and a mighty processor.


Macbook Design

Apple has worked hard to adapt the design of their latest generation of Macbook Pros in a couple of ways. This includes the power of their components. While the overall appearance has not changed massively, the most considerable design change is the addition of the Touch Bar.

A Touch Bar replaces the command buttons that were previously above the number keys on the keyboard. This cleverly designed addition of hardware adapts its options, depending on the program or app open. This allows users to improve their productivity and complete tasks more efficiently and easily.

With the Touch Bar, you can control everything from sound and brightness, to what—and how—you are browsing on the internet.

All the features on the Touch Bar were already available in previous generations, but users had to access them differently.

The addition of the Touch Bar, however, gives the machine a look and feel that is sleek and modern.


The Macbook Pro is not for those with a small budget. All the models listed come in at three different prices. This is unsurprising, considering the variation of size and components used in each computer.

The most powerful and expensive is the Macbook Pro, 15-inch with Touch Bar. This retails at $2399. The 13-inch Macbook Pro with Touch Bar is $1799 and if you can sacrifice the Touch Bar completely, you can go for the 13-inch Macbook Pro without it for $1299.


Mac Book Pro Generation

When it comes to innovation, Apple has worked hard to develop and improve the design and features of this Macbook Pro generation. Previous versions of the Macbook Pro were heavy, and portability was a pain. This weight reduction appears to be one of their main improvement focuses.

The latest generation of Macbook Pros comes in at just 3 pounds for the 13-inch and 4 pounds for the 15-inch. This weight reduction in the 13-inch model is directly comparable to what once was Mac’s lightest and most compact laptop, the Macbook Air.

This modification in weight makes the Macbook Pro so much more compact and portable. Apple’s creativity is further highlighted in the latest generation of Macbooks by the addition of the Touch Bar features.

Why the Macbook Pro Stands Out

The Macbook Pro features superior graphics which gives a crisp, sharp image. In addition to this, it has a lightning-fast response time due to its powerful processor. With such speed and power, it really makes writing that latest article or editing the family vacation movie a breeze.

All three models are light and have a compact design that has improved portability. Finally, two versions of this latest Macbook Pro incorporate that sleek Touch Bar which helps to improve user efficiency.

What Other People Say

Macbook Pro Design

The Macbook Pro’s latest generation has been well received within the Macbook user community. While the Touch Bar is the newest design addition to the laptop, it has received mixed reviews.

Many have questioned its functionality as it is not compatible with all apps and programs. For those looking to buy a Macbook, the addition of the Touch Bar makes them considerably more expensive. While we love its design and functionality, the added cost to have it may not be appealing to everyone.

Microsoft Surface

Microsoft Surface Tablets


The Microsoft Surface Book is a very powerful machine and when it comes to system components there are many configurations to choose from.

13.5-inch With Dual Performance Core

  • Intel Core i5 dual-core processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • Choice of storage: 128GB or 256GB
  • 620 integrated GPU

13.5-inch With Quad-Core Power

  • Intel Core i7 quad-core processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • Choice of storage: 256GB, 512GB or 1TB
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 discrete GPU with 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory

15-inch With Quad-Core Power

  • Intel Core i7 quad-core processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • Choice of storage: 256GB, 512GB or 1TB
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 discrete GPU 6GB with the GDDR5 graphics memory

There is a great variety of different options, especially when it comes to extra storage. This machine also has some impressive graphics qualities, if you are prepared to pay the price. Overall, Microsoft has given their customer the flexibility to tailor the perfect machine for their needs.


Microsoft Surface Design

It’s safe to say that the Surface Book takes the definition of a laptop to another level. This is because it allows users to detach the screen to use directly as a tablet. To accommodate this design feature, however, they have had to sacrifice somewhat on how sleek the finish looks.

The Surface Book is designed for optimal interaction. With the dual functionality, this design is very interactive and user-friendly.

While the design of The Surface Book supports versatility and innovation, the overall appearance is not as sleek as the Macbook Pro. It is also slightly thicker than the Macbook Pro.


As a reflection of the different components available, the Surface Book comes at many different prices. These prices vary depending on the size or the level of storage you opt for. An entry-level Surface book retails at $1199 and can go up to $1499 if you need more storage space.

The 13.5-inch Surface Book with a more powerful processor starts at $1999 and again, depending on the storage you want, goes up to $2999. Finally, the 15-inch size is the most expensive of the Surface Books, starting at $2499 with 256GB of storage. This price can go as high as $3299 if you are looking for 1TB of storage.


Converting Surface from Laptop to Tablet

The Surface Book is designed with great creativity, to have the function of both a laptop and a tablet. The integrated touch-screen display, which can be used in laptop or tablet mode, gives optimal productivity and control to the user.

The thought that has gone into making it so versatile makes the Surface Book great a choice.

Why The Surface Book Stands Out

First and foremost, the Surface Book stands out because of its adaptability. The ability to detach the screen allows for optimal interaction and function for the user.

This laptop is light and compact, which makes it highly practical and portable. The choice to decide what variation and storage options you want is great for the customer.

With so many different prices and storage sizes, you are bound to find a Surface Book that meets your price point and storage needs.

What Other People Say

The Surface Book has been well received in customer and user reviews. Almost all reviews praise its adaptability in terms of the detachable touch screen display. There is a lot of positive press surrounding this product with its unique, adaptable, and award-winning design.

What are the Main Differences Between the Apple Macbook and the Microsoft Surface?

Ports on Surface vs Macbook

While the Surface Book and Macbook Pro are similar in price and power, there are a few key differences to consider. First and foremost are the ports available on each machine. The Macbook Pro only has Thunderbolt (USB C) ports, which can be a deal-breaker for some.

USB C ports are faster than USB 3.0 ports, but they need adapters for you to use any existing hardware, like USB memory sticks and memory cards. This is not a problem with the Surface Book, which offers USB ports and an SD card reader as well as a mini DisplayPort.

A more obvious difference between the Macbook Pro and the Surface Book is the Surface Book’s touch-screen display. This can be used in laptop mode but is really designed for when the screen is detached. This added feature of transforming it into a tablet gives the Surface Book an extra edge over the Macbook Pro.

Finally, another key difference between both machines is the Macbook Pro’s ability to run both software systems. Mac has worked to integrate both Microsoft and OS X software for optimal user accessibility. This “best of both worlds” feature is not available on the Surface Book.

When to Choose Apple Macbook

Macbook using Windows

If you are looking for a powerful, light, and portable laptop, the Macbook Pro is a great option.

If you are also looking to run both operating systems, then the Macbook Pro is the way to go. The Pro uses Boot Camp Assistant to run both Windows and OS X systems alongside each other.

When to Choose Microsoft Surface

MS Surface Tablet Mode Drawing

The Surface Book is the best option if you are looking for an adaptable and versatile laptop.

This computer’s ability to transform into a tablet is unique and practical for the user. There is also more flexibility when it comes to the variation of the components in the Surface Book.

If you have a specific storage setup in mind or only have a certain budget you are willing to spend, the Surface Book has more options available.

The Surface Book is the computer to go for if you are looking for more accessibility when it comes to external hardware. If you are hoping to easily use USB memory cards or SD Cards, then the Surface Book is the clear winner. You can use these with the existing external hardware, unlike the Macbook Pro which will require adapters.

Final Thoughts

Both the Macbook Pro and the Microsoft Surface Book have an impressive and powerful component base. In terms of processor power and graphics quality, they are virtually neck and neck.

The real deal-breaker with these two laptops is the software system you want to use and the level of versatility you are looking for in a computer.

A Surface Book does offer the user more flexibility, along with heightened interaction, thanks to its detachable touch-screen display. Arguably, the flexibility continues with the addition of this laptop’s better selection of ports.

However, if you are looking to have the choice of running both software operating systems, then the Macbook is your only option.

While they may not offer the same variety of external ports, it could be argued that Thunderbolt ports are better and faster. That said, you will need to buy extra adapters if you want to use USB devices, memory sticks, or memory cards.

Whichever you decide to go for, be certain to consider your options very carefully and make comparisons between the two. Both laptops are quite pricey so it is really worth making sure you have considered all aspects before taking the plunge.

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About the Author Marcus

Marcus has a graduate degree in computer engineering and has many years of experience in cutting-edge technology research and development in both startups and Fortune 500 corporations. In his free time, he enjoys RTS gaming.

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