After ruling out the existence of any such device as the Surface Pro 5, Microsoft surprised all by launching a brand new Surface device simply named as the Surface Pro.
Launched at a media event in Shanghai, the new Surface Pro, however, continues to have a startling similarity with the Surface Pro 4 since the bulk of modifications apply to the internal build. And much of that has to do with the fitment of the new seventh generation Intel Kaby Lake processors across the range.
Further, the entry to mid-level variants running Intel Core m3 and Core i5 chips also include a fanless design, that makes them near silent in their operations. The Core i5 model is also a wee bit lighter as well. However, the top-of-the-line Core i7 model comes with a fan unit though Microsoft also stated a new hybrid cooling system is in place for faster cooling.
Microsoft said the new top-end Surface Pro is now 1.7x faster than the iPad Pro running Apple’s custom A9X chip. A new LTE version too is in the pipeline though details of that aren’t available at the moment; save for it featuring a micro SIM and eSIM slots. The new LTE Surface Pro will also be slightly expensive than the current version.
Another of the biggest improvement with the new Surface Pro is its battery life which, according to Microsoft, will now last a whopping 13.5 hours. That does make a considerable jump over the 9 hours that the Surface Pro 4 delivered. Microsoft explained the higher battery time has to do with the integration of the new Kaby Lake chips as well the way the SSD memory is now embedded in the motherboard itself.
The range starts with the Core m3 version that comes with 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, along with Intel HD graphics 615 and costs $799.
Next in line is the Surface Pro with Core i5 chip and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 620. Here you have two options; one that has 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD and costs $999 or the more capable variant with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD that is priced at $1,299.
The top-end model features a Core i7 processor and the more advanced Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 chip. You have three memory size and storage options to choose from starting with 8 GB RAM/256 GB SSD that costs $1,599. Then there is the version with 16 GB RAM/512 GB SSD that costs $2,199 while the most expensive model offers 16 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD that costs $2,699.
Microsoft also introduced a new Surface Pen that it claims has its pressure sensitivity increased to 4096. Besides being more accurate and responsive, the new Surface Pen also allows for greater tilt angles. This, in turn, will allow you to make pencil like shading, something that was not possible with the earlier Pen. The Pen though costs and extra $100.
Much of everything else remains the same, including the looks and feel though the corners are more rounded this time. The back stand, however, exhibits greater tilt angles – 165 degree – to allow for Studio Mode of operations.
Also available is a set of new touch covers sporting Alcantara finish. Those, of course, come for a premium, priced at $159 compared to the $129 that would fetch the regular black covers. The Alcantara covers are available in bold color options of platinum, burgundy, and cobalt blue.
The new Surface Pro is already on pre-order in the US and is slated to reach select markets worldwide from June 15 onwards.