So long to numbering the Surface Pros. Microsoft has dropped the curtain on the new Surface Pro, and it has quite the power. Yes, they get the price headlines of it starts at $799, but if you want something more than a Netflix machine, it heads north of $1000 in a hurry.
Preorders start today with the ship date slated for June 15th. It wouldn’t be an unveiling without a slick marketing video, and Microsoft is happy to oblige:
Yeah, it looks like a Surface Pro 4, but the company promises it’s a significant departure from its predecessor. One thing is for sure; the company can’t decide if the Surface Pro is a laptop or a tablet. The marketing pushes the laptop angle, while the design still keeps the hybrid mentality.
According to Microsoft’s Surface Chief, Panos Panay, there are over 800 new custom parts in the latest Surface Pro. It’s cool Panos. Not sure you had to put a number to it, but I’ll take one.
Microsoft Surface Pro Specs
Outside of the price headline, the other two to get a lot of mentions are the 13.5 hours of battery life and the LTE option. Thanks wireless carriers for bringing back the unlimited data options.
It will depend on the configuration, but Microsoft is using the latest Kaby Lake processors with fanless designs on both the Core m3 and Core i5 models. The company promises the i7 will still be whisper quiet for those long Netflix, I mean work binges.
Other changes include the borrowing of the Surface Studio hinge design. Yep, get your art studio on with a 165-angle. You can use the pen and dial on the screen for better creative control. Testing so far shows the hinge is pretty damn durable. Obviously, don’t lay on it, but it can handle some weight.
Microsoft is keeping with the push started with the Surface Laptop. The keyboard is covered in Alcantara and comes in a variety of colors.
Ports include a USB 3.0, Surface Connect, headphone jack and mini DisplayPort. Yeah, you’re noticing no USB-C. The rationale is Microsoft has a ton of enterprise customers. USB-C isn’t quite mainstream yet, so they are sticking with the old standard. A bit disappointing, but you can see the why in design decision.
Weight is as light as you’d expect. The m3 is 1.69 pounds, and both the i5 and i7 are 1.73 pounds.
Getting the $799 Surface Pro will have a 128GB SSD, an Intel Core m3 and 4GB of RAM. Not exactly a machine destined to do a lot of work, but functional. Mid-range will set you back $1,299 and is configured with an Intel i5, 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. The top line configuration is $2,699.00 and comes complete with 1TB of storage, an Intel i7 and 16GB of RAM.
On the GPU side, the selection is pretty limited. You’re not buying a Surface Pro to stuff a GTX 1080 inside. Each model relies on Intel HD Graphics 615 (Core m3), 620 (i5) and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 for the i7 configuration.
Surface Pro Unknowns
We know it has the LTE option, but we don’t know pricing or specs. What will be the processor? Release date? All we know is it is slated for later this year. Something to consider if you’re preordering today.
Your Move Apple
The Macbooks are destined for a refresh with the latest Intel chips, but Microsoft is starting to distinguish itself with other features like Studio Mode. Comparing it with the touchbar and it’s easy to see which creatives would prefer. Does Apple have something in the works with iMac and MacBook? Here’s hoping. And add back the damn SD card reader.