MacBook Pro vs Surface Pro: which is right for you?

MacBook Pro vs Surface Pro with images of the MacBook Pro 16 and Surface Pro 9 on a blue background
(Image credit: Apple / Microsoft / Future)

MacBook Pro vs Surface Pro is a question that will come up for many creatives looking for a portable device to work on. Both are billed as 'pro' devices, and they both have creatives among the pros they have in mind, but while Apple's MacBook Pros and Microsoft's Surface Pros might be in direct competition with each other, they're actually very different machines from top to bottom.

The Surface Pro, now in its 9th generation, is a tablet that runs the innards of a thin and light laptop. It doesn't lack power, but that's not its main focus either. Its main focus is flexibility, offering a highly portable creative tool with a touch screen that makes it suitable for drawing and note taking as well as video editing (also see our best drawing tablets and best laptops for video editing for more task-specific devices). It runs Windows, so if you attach Microsoft's Type Cover, you effectively have a very compact laptop.

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Matt Bolton

Matt is Managing Editor at, and previously worked on T3, MacLife and MacFormat. He's been testing technology for over a decade, working in specialist Apple publications as well general technology and creative journalism, and has charted Apple’s ups and downs since his student days (but still hopes to hear “one more thing”). By day, you can find him covering TV, audio, smart home gear and more at, as Home Tech Editor. By night, he's probably updating or pairing or installing some new piece of technology in the quest for the perfect setup.

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