Microsoft’s New & Improved Surface Pro

microsoft surface pro

Microsoft has followed in Apple’s steps and completely forgotten how to name their products(..sigh). Nevertheless, the successor to Microsoft’s well-received Surface Pro 4 is called the New Surface Pro. While it does not bring many cosmetic changes to the table, the Surface Pro has undergone some significant evolution and has over 800 new custom parts added on the inside to make this a completely different device.

The Surface Pro will ship with three CPU configurations with 7th Generation Kaby Lake Intel Core m3 (with Intel® HD Graphics 615), i5 (with Intel® HD Graphics 620) or i7 (Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics 640) inside. The m3 and i5 models are silent as they are fanless (unlike the Surface Pro 4) while the i7 model has a fan. Due to numerous internal changes and the move to Kaby Lake, Microsoft claims that the new Surface Pro will have up to 13.5 hours of battery life which is double that of the Surface Pro 4. The Kaby Lake processors also make the new Surface Pro 2.5 times more powerful than the older Surface Pro 3. There will be 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB SSD storage options with 4GB, 8GB and 16GB RAM options.

power surface pro

Design wise very little has changed. The exterior of the device has thinner air vents and slightly rounded edges to make for a more ergonomic feel. There is only one USB 3.0 port, one Mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSDXC port and Surface Connect port for charging. The lack of USB C is a glaring omission here but Microsoft’s logic is that USB C is a bit of a messy standard right now. The kickstand has improved from previous generations and can now bend back to 165 degrees into what Microsoft calls “Studio Mode”. They say that the kickstand is sturdy enough to not get damaged when leant against and given their track record, we have confidence in that statement.

screen surface pro

The display has a 3:2 aspect ratio for better productivity. The 12.3-inch PixelSense display has a 2736 x 1824 resolution and a pixel density of 267ppi. It supports 10 point multitouch. It is compatible with the new $99 Surface Pen which is sold separately and comes with support for tilt functionality and 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. Older generation Surface Pens will also work. The Surface Dial, which was announced with the Surface Studio, is also compatible with the device.

keyboard surface pro

The new Surface Pro does not come with the detachable keyboard. It is sold separately for $159.99 and has a new Alcantara fabric instead of the traditional plastic top. This fabric is much more comfortable but concerns have been raised regarding the fabric getting dirty and uncleanable over time. There is also a black $129 keyboard cover available without the Alcantara fabric. The keys are LED backlit and the trackpad is of glass with Microsoft precision drivers.

dial surface pro

There is a 5MP front facing camera which supports 1080p video recording and is used for secure entry into the device via Windows Hello. The rear camera is 8MP and also records 1080p video. The audio experience is also improved as there are dual mics and new 1.6Watt stereo Dolby Audio Premium speakers.

The new Surface Pro starts at $799 for the Core m3 model with 128GB SSD and 4GB RAM up to $2,699 for Core i7 with 1TB SSD and 16GB RAM. It will come in Platinum, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue and Black colours. It will come with the new Windows 10 Creators Update.

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