When comparing MacBook vs Microsoft Surface Pro, the Slant community recommends Microsoft Surface Pro for most people. In the question“What is the best laptop for programming?” Microsoft Surface Pro is ranked 6th while MacBook is ranked 8th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extremely portable
The laptop weighs just 2 pounds and is 13.1 mm thin. It's one of the thinnest and lightest laptops on the market and it's extremely portable and easy to carry around.
Pro macOS is developer-friendly
macOS is based on XNU (Darwin) kernel, it's a certified Unix and arguably a lot more developer friendly than Windows. Development for Unix is native on macOS.
There's a large selection of great development tools available for macOS. The operating system itself comes bundled with a powerful terminal emulator, called Terminal. Additionally, Apple provides tools, like Xcode, an IDE that contains a comprehensive collection of tools for developing macOS and iOS software, for free.
You can also install Homebrew, an extremely useful package manager.
Pro Amazing display
Everything about the display is very good - from its high resolution (2304x1440) to the brightness (325 nitts), uniform brightness distribution (90%), and high contrast ratio (1000:1) with over 95% of the sRGB spectrum. Overall, a great display which will come in handy for people who work with visual arts.
Pro Excellent trackpad
The MacBook has a large 4.4 x 2.7-inch Force Touch trackpad with a Taptic Engine that delivers haptic feedback whenever the user taps on it to give them the impression that they are actually clicking on it. It also supports gestures and multi-finger swiping.
The accuracy is almost perfect and there's virtually no lag or stutter when using the trackpad.
Pro Decent battery life
The battery lasts around 7h30m of continuous web browsing which is about average for this class of laptops. Where this laptop's battery truly shines though is under heavy stress where it manages to last an impressive 2h35m under a total stress test (maxed out brightness and processor usage - circumstances that you are likely never going to encounter in the real world).
Pro Completely silent operation
Thanks to the Core M processor (which doesn't require a fan) and the SSD storage, there are no moving parts the in MacBook. It will operate in complete silence.
Pro Very good speakers
The speakers, found above the keyboard produce loud and clear sound with minimal to no distortion whatsoever. They can be used for both listening to music and watching movies with no problem at all.
Pro Decent keyboard
Pro Available in 4 colors
The laptop is available in space gray, gold, silver and rose gold (pink) finishes.
Pro Lightweight yet powerful
Pro Works as a tablet or a laptop
Surface Pro can be used both as a laptop and a tablet. Being that it can be used as either makes it extremely convenient to those that want power on the go.
Pro Reasonably priced
For the specs, the Surface Pros are a fantastic deal. Then factor in that you’re getting a tablet plus a laptop...it’s a no-brainer.
Pro Comes bundled with a great stylus
N-trig pen feels like a real pen and is natural to hold. There is a top button on the pen that allows for an eraser function as well as use for a wake up function.
Pro The last couple of i5 models are fanless
Pro Balanced screen colors
Pro 3:2 aspect ratio makes the device easier to hold and use
With a 3:2 aspect ratio the device is not as top heavy when holding in portrait and is easier to reach parts of the screens with the users thumbs when in landscape.
Pro New redesigned keyboard and touchpad attatchment
The keyboard attachment has been redesigned form earlier versions with a larger touchpad.
Con Not very powerful
With an Intel Core M processor, the Macbook isn't a serious development laptop. While it will get the job done for lighter tasks, it will struggle with heavier jobs.
Con Non-free software
Apple doesn't release the source code for most of their software & firmware. This makes it significantly more difficult to customize, automate tasks, and verify security.
Con It's a bit hard to get used to the keyboard
The keys are pretty shallow, with a travel length of just 0.5mm. They still provide good feedback and the writing experience itself is not bad, but it's just a bit hard getting used to, especially if you are coming from a laptop that's not a MacBook.
Con Connecting more than one thing requires a hub
The laptop comes with a single USB-C port that's used for charging as well as any other peripherals or external storage devices. Connecting more than one thing at a time requires using a USB hub.
Con Premium price for not-so-premium hardware
Macbooks are one of the most expensive computers for the hardware they have. Mac is the most expensive UX to buy, as the price has low relationship to how good the hardware is and, instead, is related to how the whole experience from opening the box, to the physical shop, to the cloud and sync services they have.
Con Too fragile, compared to the competitors
Can barely handle liquid, breaks easily with bumping and, at a premium price, has the largest probability of something just breaking without apparent reason.
Con Very expensive (official) repairs
Fixing any problem with a Macbook through the official means is a very expensive investment. Usually, any problem that happens means replacing most of the laptop for 80% of the price, even if the problem can be solved by replacing a 5$ transistor or a 15$ chip or even bypassing with a 1$ wire.
Con Heavy for a tablet
Con Keyboard doesn't come with the device
You have to pay an extra $130 for the type cover keyboard.
Con Not a lot of ports
1 USB 3.0, microSD Card reader, Headset jack, Mini DisplayPort
Con Requires tweaking to reach full potential
Kinda applies to most Windows computers, but in the case of the Surface Pro, many users will benefit from undervolting (among other tweaks) to help keep performance steady and temperatures down. Especially true for the models without a fan.
Con Can be difficult to use
Unless you have a flat surface available to deploy the kickstand, it's not very laptop-like.