Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 event wrap-up: The Apple War

This week Microsoft became a computer company selling hardware – not just phones, not just tablets, but laptops, too. Today we're running down all the products we saw the company deliver to the public, including the Surface Pro 4, the Surface Book, a new Microsoft Band, and a couple of smartphones. Microsoft suggests that they're taking on Apple directly with these products – at least the Surface models vs Apple's laptops. Do they put their manufacturing where their mouth is, or do we need to wait to see how well the lot fares?

The two most important announcements at this week's Microsoft event were of the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book. The former is a new version of the ever-evolving tablet series which also double as PCs. The latter is a laptop that has a display that's able to detach and act as its own independent tablet.

The Surface Pro 4 is a bigger, yet smaller version of its predecessor, the Surface Pro 3. Here you'll find the newest in Intel processor technology and a display that's larger without making the chassis taller or wider. The body of this tablet is actually thinner, on the other hand, than its predecessor.

The Surface Pro 4 is being set up by Microsoft against the MacBook Air, suggesting that the former was 50% faster than the latter. "MacBook Air is a great product," said Microsoft's Panos Panay, "[but] Surface Pro is the best product."

As for the iPad Pro – Panay took to the toaster refrigerator to call out Apple for suggesting in 2012 that a tablet-laptop hybrid shouldn't have converged in the first place, saying "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user." You'll recognize the irony of that statement when you see the iPad Pro.

Microsoft also took to competing against Apple's MacBook Pro directly with their newly-announced Surface Book. Have a peek at our Surface Book vs MacBook Pro feature article to see how many times Microsoft called Apple out, and on what, and when.

You'll also want to see our full Surface Book hands-on to get a feel for how this laptop is going to act out in the wild. It'll fold back, up, flip, and detach.

We also heard about Windows 10 Mobile's release for Windows Phone devices. With the Microsoft Display Dock and Continuum functionality, things could get real interesting real fast.

Microsoft's newest couple of smartphones, the Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL, are here to fill Microsoft's gap at the top end of the smartphone universe. How well they'll do on the market – and how well their best buddy, Lumia 550, will do at release time – we'll just have to wait and see.

As for the Microsoft Band 2: you're going to have to check how a superfan's perspective weighed on our ability to decide whether or not these wearables will be a good idea.

Head down to the timeline below for additional insight, and stick around our Microsoft tag portal for more!