This week, Microsoft announced the latest iteration of it’s Surface Pro. This device, called simply the “Surface Pro” (without a version number), seems at first glance to be very similar to the previous Surface Pro 4. And for the most part, it is – unlike previous updates, this one is more of a refresh than a brand new device. However, these smaller, incremental improvements that make up the refresh add up to an overall much better device in Microsoft’s premium Surface Pro line.
Inside, the new Surface Pros are packing the latest seventh-generation Intel Core processors, with the new Kaby Lake architecture and a battery that Microsoft claims will last up to 13.5 hours. This is no small feat, as 13.5 hours is a whole 50% higher than the Surface Pro 4. Additionally, models that use Core m3 and i5 processors will be fanless. Unfortunately, Microsoft still refuses to include a USB-C port in the new device, even though that appears to be the direction the industry is heading in. In fact, the device input/output has not been changed at all, with the new models having the same Surface connector, USB port, and mini DisplayPort as on the Surface Pro 4.
The last significant change inside the new Surface Pro is that certain models will have built-in LTE connectivity for web browsing on the go. The LTE machines will support both micro SIM and eSIM cards, but the exact price of the new models and their release date have not been revealed.
Along with the internal changes, Microsoft is also adding a few features that make the new Surface Pro similar to its high-end all-in-one aimed at creatives, the Surface Studio. The new Pros can tilt up to 165 degrees, letting them lay almost completely flat on a table. Another feature that the Pro is adopting from the Studio is support for the Surface Dial, the handheld dial that can be placed on the screen and used to interact with any app that supports it.
The way the Surface Pro works with the Surface Pen has been tweaked as well. The newest model of the Pen, which will now be sold separately for $99, lets software detect the angle of the pen and use it for features like shading or stroke width. Smaller changes have also been made, like the activation force needed being lowered, the small clip being removed from the side of the new Pens, and optimizations to make drawing feel more fluid.
Even though this newest iteration of the Surface Pro is not revolutionary, the wide range of small changes and refinements make the device more powerful and more fun to use than ever before. Right now, they are available to preorder for $799 and will start shipping on June 15th.
What do you think of the new Surface Pros? Would you consider buying one? Let us know in the comments below!