Note: This is a first look at the Surface Pro 4. We'll publish a full review

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 has satisfied one expectation: It’s taken the proven success of the Surface Pro 3 and gone even further, offering a substantial performance boost and other improvements.

Now comes the harder part. The tablet ecosystem has dramatically evolved since the launch of the Surface Pro 3. New Surface clones like the Lenovo Miix 700 and the Vaio Canvas will ship soon (though the Vaio will only be available here in the UK via import). Then there’s the Surface Pro 4's flashy new family member: the Surface Book, a two-in-one boasting incredible battery life and a pricey external GPU option. Suddenly the Surface Pro 4 is simply machina sapiena, and the Book is machina maxima.

The Surface Pro 4 may have to resign itself to living in the shadow of the Surface Book. As for the rest of the new competition, the Surface Pro 4’s impressive features, performance, and overall experience have set some tough new standards for high-end Windows tablets in. We’ll see if any of them can meet the challenge.  

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