Microsoft Announces New Surface Pro!

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Just 2 weeks after Panos Panay, Microsoft’s Vice President of Devices, said there would never be a Surface Pro 5 we now have the new Surface Pro! It was revealed at a Microsoft hardware event in China, and yes Microsoft seems to be ditching the number on their Surface Pro line. So it seem like Panos was being a little deceptive. The new Surface Pro will start at $799 and will launch on June 15. You can pre-order one on Microsoft’s website now. That means the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop will have a simultaneous launch in 26 countries.

As you’d expect, the device gets a spec bump, and the Inking/pen sensitivity was increased to 4,096 levels of sensitivity. This is great for artists that are on the go and for those of us that prefer taking notes by hand instead of typing. The low-end Surface Pro retails for $799 and comes with 128GB of storage, Intel Core m3, and 4GB of RAM. The high-end model packs in 1TB of storage, Intel Corei7, and 16GB of RAM. Microsoft is also touting 13.5 hours of battery life.  Microsoft has now addressed two pain points of the Surface Pro line. Many people said it was too expensive for the entry model, and many people wanted a 1TB storage option despite having a miscroSD card slot on the back. While a Core m3 processor isn’t great, it lowers the barrier of entry for those that want a Surface Pro but couldn’t afford one or that didn’t need cutting edge specs. I would recommend going for the 256GB, Core i5, and 8GB RAM model or higher. You can’t upgrade anything in the Surface, so getting at least 8GB of RAM would set you up with a great device for years to come.

The Specs

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  • Display: 12.3″ Pixel Sense display with 10 point multi-touch
  • Resolution: 2736 x 1824; 267 PPI; 3:2 aspect ratio
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • CPU Options
    • Seventh Gen Intel Core m3 7Y30
    • Seventh Gen Intel Core i5-7300U
    • Seventh Gen Intel Core i7-7660U
  • Storage Options: 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB SSD
  • RAM Options: 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB; 1866Mhz LPDDR3
  • Cameras
    • Rear: 8MP 1080P HD video with autofocus
    • Front: 5MP 1080P HD video; Windows Hello compatible
  • Speakers: stereo Dolby Audio Premium speakers
  • Ports
    • One full-size USB 3.0
    • Mini DisplayPort
    • Headset jack
    • Surface Connector
    • microSDXC card reader
  • Sensors: Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope
  • Wireless
    • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
    • Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology
  • Enterprise level security
  • 13.5 hours of battery life
  • Surface Pen
  • Weight: 1.69 lbs to 1.73 lbs (768 g to 784 g)
  • Dimensions: 11.50 inches x 7.9 inches x 0.33 inches (292 mm x 201 mm x 8.5 mm)
  • 4G LTE in select models

The Core i5 versions are fanless, the battery life has increased by 50% while being 2.5 times more powerful. The edges are smoother and more rounded, kickstand folds even flatter to 165 degrees for easier drawing/writing, Surface Dial support, and the front camera is hidden within the bezel.

Nothing crazy in the specs, but there are some noticeable omissions. Where are USB-C and Bluetooth 5.0? Microsoft did some research and asked consumers how they’re currently using USB-C. Most said they were using it to charge their phones, and I have to say I’m in that same boat. Not enough things utilize USB-C right now for things other than charging devices (Nintendo Switch being an exception). Microsoft tried using micro-USB to charge the Surface 3, but they found people complained their device wasn’t charging. Those users were trying to use their phone’s wall plug to charge the Surface 3 instead of the included Surface wall plug. The phone chargers didn’t put out enough power to get the job done, and I’ll confess that I ran into this issue. That’s why all Surfaces have the same power plug that can connect to a dock to become a full workstation. There is a chance that we will see a Surface Pro with USB-C in the future. Windows Central reported that they were talking with Panos at the event, and he showed them a prototype adapter that would convert the Surface Connect port into USB-C. It could handle powering the device as well as data transfer. It looks like an adapter is on its way for those die-hard USB-C users, but I’d prefer to wait for a future Surface Pro hardware update that has it built-in.

New Type Cover and Pen

The increased sensitivity of the Pen has been doubled from the previous version, and it still magnetically attaches to the left side of the Surface Pro. The latency was also cut in half from 45 milliseconds to 21 because of a co-processor devoted to the inking capabilities by tying the GPU and the digitizer together. The tilt and rotation of the pen input has been improved as well. The Surface Pen still has a year of battery life. Unfortunately we didn’t get a rechargeable pen this year. It will be available in 4 colors: platinum, burgundy, cobalt blue, and grey.

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We couldn’t have a new Surface Pro and not have a Type Cover refresh. They now come with the Alcantara material that’s on the Surface Laptop. Other than that, the cover is pretty much the same as before. It will come in 3 colors with the Alcantara material (platinum, burgundy, and cobalt blue) and grey in the old material.

The new Pen and Type Cover are compatible with older Surface Pro models as well. You can pre-order the new Type Cover from Microsoft now for $159.99, and the new Pen will be available “soon”.

Wrap Up

That’s it! While looking at the Surface Pro you wouldn’t think they did much with it, but making a lighter Surface that’s 2.5 times more powerful than the Pro 4 and increases battery life to 13.5 hours is amazing. The Surface Pro product line has come a long way from its chunky beginnings. What do you think about the new Surface Pro? Are you going to get one or upgrade? I’m going to stick with my Surface Pro 4 for now. Let us know in the comments below.

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source: Windows Central



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