It’s only about 20 days after Microsoft released Surface Laptop, its first ever clamshell laptop, powered by a special Store lock-down version of Windows 10 S in New York city, Microsoft announced a new Surface Pro early today in Shanghai, China, along with an improved Surface Pen and new Signature Type Covers. Quite a month for Microsoft, I would admit.
The Surface Pro
First of all, it’s not called Surface Pro 5, like many expected. It’s just called Surface Pro with a minor refresh to the Surface Pro 4. While it inherits the same basic design of its predecessor, there are still a number of small but very desirable changes.
Surface Pro is based on faster and more reliable Intel “Kaby Lake” chipsets in
- Core m3-7Y30 with HD Graphics 615,
- Core i5-7300U with HD Graphics 620, and
- Core i7-7660U with Iris Plus Graphics 640.
It’s not only running faster but also quieter. Thanks to its fan-less architecture on the Core m3 and i5 models. Partly because of this, it’s also rated at 13.5 hours of battery life (for video playback), a 50% jump from Surface Pro 4 and 30% more battery life than an iPad Pro. If it works like it’s benchmarked in Microsoft lab, you can leave the power supply at home without worrying about running out of the juice anymore.
There are the same port options as before, one USB 3-A port and one mini-DisplayPort port, and the USB 3-based Surface Connect. The microSD slot is still hidden under the kickstand. Sorry, there is still no USB-C port and that shows how Microsoft dislike it.
The new Surface Pro features the same 3:2 12.3-inch PixelSense display as its predecessor, providing a resolution of 2736 x 1824 (267ppi) and 10 point multi-touch capabilities.
Microsoft ditched the numerical updates. And it makes sense to keep in line with their other newly announced Surface family, Surface Book, Surface Laptop, Surface Studio, Surface Hub, and now Surface Pro. But it’s still not clear if there will be a new Surface Pro 5 down the road.
The new Surface Pen
The new Surface Pen is much improved with twice the accuracy as the previous version. It sports 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and new tilt/shading capabilities and requires much less on-screen pressure than before, 10 grams vs. 20 grams. And it comes with 4 colors, Platinum, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue and Black.
The bad news, it’s no longer bundled with any new Surface Pro models. It costs $99 if you want it.
To get the best out of the new Surface Pen, the new ink features will roll out to all Office 365 subscribers in June. In addition to that, Microsoft will also release a new two-way Microsoft Whiteboard app that offers a limitless canvas for creativity and collaboration with simultaneous inking between multiple people across the world.
The new Surface Pro Signature Type Cover
The new Surface Pro will ship with new designed Signature Type Cover in Alcantara material in three colors to match your personal style: Platinum, Burgundy, and Cobalt Blue. It provides with a full 1.3 mm of key travel, a full-size glass trackpad with 500 dpi sup-pixel resolution and five-finger multiple touch support.
The new Signature Type Covers are $160 while the normal black one carries over at $129. They are also back-compatible with Surface Pro 4.
The new Surface Pro will ship with Windows 10 Pro. But Microsoft mentioned that it will offer Windows 10 S as well in the future.