Microsoft Surface fans and customers were waiting for the Redmond giant to release a new Surface Pro device for quite sometime already with rumors circulating for again and again. Though Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop provides a remarkable standard for future mobile computing devices, slate devices are still one of the key alternative when customers wants more flexibility with their computing device.
And finally after a few failed anticipations, Microsoft formally announced the new Surface Pro. While the naming of the new slate seems confusing given that the Surface Pro line is already at its fifth iteration, Microsoft simply named the upcoming tablet as the Surface Pro to signify an important step where Microsoft is heading in innovation, design and ultimate mobility.
The new Surface Pro takes off where last year’s Surface Pro 4 had left and by that means the new device is given a new design, better quality materials, more powerful hardware and better display. It also comes with a new set of accessories and new features to make this new device the most powerful ever in the entire Surface device range.
Design-Wise | The new Surface Pro is the thinnest of all Surface’s tablets around at 8.5mm thick and the lightest at 771 kg. It also employs a new hinge design while allows the device to stand in different angles to up to 165º angle to lay to almost flat on the surface, an ideal position for writing and drawing.
The screen is a stunning 12.3-inch PixelSense display with 2736 x 1824 resolution with 267 ppi and an aspect ratio of 3:2. The new and vibrant display supports Microsoft’s color switcher profiles while allow users to select predefined color schemes in an instant, a powerful tools for graphic artist where the device is obviously is designed for. the display also works ideally with its supported accessories including the new Surface Pen and Microsoft’s Surface dial which are sold separately.
Powerful Hardware | Microsoft provides the best set of system configuration for its Surface device and is design to eliminate any compromises on any task that one would throw at it. The new Surface Pro is available in different configurations and is powered by Intel’s 7th generation processors with the Core M3, Core i5 and the Core i7 variants. With these powerful chipsets, Microsoft was able to provide the Surface’s first fanless devices with the Core M3 and Core i5 variants while the Core i7 devices features a new hybrid cooling system for a quiet and peaceful experience.
Core M3 : The base model with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD storage and Intel® HD Graphics 615, fanless design.
Core i5 : There are two configurations available for this variant, one with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD and one with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. Both variants comes with Intel® HD Graphics 620. like the Core M3 variant, this machine also features a fanless chassis design a first for this type of Core i5 equipped Surface device.
Core i7 : This variants comes with a trio of options to choose from and that includes: an 8GB RAM + 256GB SSD combo, 16GB RAM + 512GB SSD combo, and 16GB RAM + 1TB Hybrid SSD combos. These units come with a high-performance Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics 640.
All variations of the new Surface Pro comes with the following standard features: 8 Megapixel back camera and 5 Megapixel front-facing camera with both capable of taking 1080p high-res video and full support for Windows Hello, dual microphone and a new 1.6W stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium.
Connectivity-wise | The new Surface Pro comes with Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.1, Microsoft will also be pushing out an LTE version of the device in the coming months. As for the ports, it includes a 1x USB 3.0, 1x mini DisplayPort, microSDXC card reader, headphone jack and Surface Connect interface.
The new Surface Pro comes with a round of accessories designed for greater flexibility and productivity. The Surface Pen which proves to be so useful got its own redesign with now featuring 4096 pressure points, a decrease of at least 21 milliseconds of latency with tilt functionality. But unlike its previous iteration, the new Surface Pro won’t be bundled with the new Surface Pro and is sold separately for $99.
The Signature Surface Type Cover for the new Surface Pro comes with a premium treatment wrapped with Alcantara material like we’ve seen on the Surface Laptop. The keys features a scissor mechanism with 1.3mm key travel for maximum comfort and responsiveness. They are available in Platinum, Burgundy, and Cobalt Blue for $192 also sold separately
Besides these two common Surface accessories, Other peripheral devices are also supported on the new Surface Pro including the new version of the Arc Mouse and Microsoft’s Surface Dial a powerful tool for graphic artists. Support for the new Surface Dock enables the new Surface Pro to become a desktop PC that connects wired peripheral devices such as external displays, keyboard, mouse and other devices to the Surface Pro using the proprietary Surface Connect cable.
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro drives the new Surface Pro and with a battery pack with a promised 13.5 hours of video playback. Users will get Office 365 subscription when they purchase the new Surface Pro. The new Office 365 comes with new additions such as the new inking feature that takes advantage with the new Surface Pen. Microsoft will also include a new Whiteboard app which is exclusive for Surface users that enables multiples Surface devices to work on a project with inking on.
Price | Surface devices are premium devices that showcases the full potential of Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS and the new Surface Pro lineup is expected to come with a premium pricing. As it feature different configurations, customers could select the best option they need and the base price for the new Surface Pro starts at $799 with 4GB/128GB Core M3 variant. Core i5 equipped Surface Pro’s goes for $999 and $1,299 for the 4GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB RAM and storage combos respectively. Core i7 equipped Surface Pro’s are priced as follows (RAM/SSD): 8GB/256GB for 1,599, 16GB/512GB for 2,199 and 16GB/1TB for 2,699. The device is now available for Pre-order from Microsoft’s website.