After spending some time with the Microsoft Surface Pro 9, we can see how it can turn even the staunchest Apple fan into a Microsoft fan. Yes, it’s a powerful device in its own right, but the name of the game here is flexibility. (It’s also one of our favorite laptops on the student market.)
As a 2-in-1 laptop, the Surface Pro 9 is extremely impressive. It’s easy to switch from laptop mode to tablet mode in an instant, and with the computer’s 12th Gen Intel Core processor (which can be upgraded, along with a bunch of other custom specs), you’ll get fast, seamless performance , whether you’re handheld or setting up a home base on a desk. The Pro 9 is also the first Surface to offer 5G support, which is a welcome addition. Access to all your favorite Android apps as well as Xbox Cloud Gaming is here too, which only sweetens the deal.
We loved the new Slim Pen 2, which makes note-taking an enjoyable activity rather than a chore. Being able to handwrite messages and convert them to computer text never ceases to feel like magic, and opening your note-taking app by clicking the tip of the pen is a fun little trick that actually seems useful. Art students will especially love the Slim-Pen-2-Adobe-Suite synergy. The new stand has also been improved and feels much more balanced in desktop mode than any of its predecessors (we don’t recommend using it on your lap though, it’s too unstable).
While we really liked the feel of the Pro 9’s removable keyboard, we couldn’t help but feel it was a bit flimsy. We don’t think this thing will survive major drops, so we recommend playing it safe and getting a carrying case. Another small gripe we had with the laptop-tablet combo was the angle it sits at in desktop mode — not great for video calls and makes you look downright awkward on the other end of the camera (the camera quality is really good, though ). As long as you’re fine with everyone in the conversation staring at your chin, this shouldn’t be a problem for you. Oh, and the lack of a headphone jack will always be a bummer for us. I’m sorry!