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Microsoft launches its most versatile and capable Surface Pro ever

By Vijay Anand - on 24 May 2017, 2:45am

The new Microsoft Surface Pro is a more elegant Surface Pro 4

After much anticipation, Microsoft has today unveiled a successor to the Surface Pro 4 that launched in 2015 – The Surface Pro.

Yes, you’ve read that right – there’s no number attached to the new Surface Pro. While Microsoft felt it was no longer necessary to number every new device, there are easily two main reasons that make up for this decision. First, we’ll be honest to say that on first impressions, it didn't seem like there's a whole lot new going for the new model.  A numerical attachment usually carries a higher perceived expectation of a host of new changes to the product. By doing away with the number, you only deal with the version of the product, i.e. is it last year’s model or a current year’s model. This has proven to be successful in certain mobile device product lines and most notably Apple products.  Secondly, this better ties in with the entire product stack from Microsoft’s Surface range of devices to simplify product names without each carrying a different number because of uneven launch cycles.

See what we mean? The entire Surface family looks and sounds good without each product carrying a further numerical figure.

Back to the new Surface Pro device, despite what we mentioned, there’s still plenty of nice refinements done to the already iconic Surface Pro 4 to bring about a more refined product in a number of subtle ways. Here’s our numerical list (pun intended), right after this cool new video ad for the new Surface Pro:-

  1. More powerful than ever before: The Surface Pro finally boasts Intel’s 7th generation Core processor (Kaby Lake). Expect better performance, improved power savings and better graphics core. CPU  model options are Core m3-7Y30, Core i5-7300U and Core i7-7660U processors.

  2. Fanless, whisper quiet design: Tying in with the new Kaby Lake processors for improved performance and power efficiency, Microsoft was able to carefully optimize the thermal solution with the new processor. The result is that for an Intel Core i5 and lower powered processors, you get a fanless design solution. The Core i7 model will still come with a fan, but it’s able to spin slower than its predecessor and thus it’s still quieter.

  3. More battery life: Microsoft states up to 50% more battery life than the Surface Pro 4 with an officially claimed 13.5 hours of battery uptime from video playback, which is impressive to say the least.

  4. It’s lighter: The new Surface Pro weighs just 768 grams, whereas the predecessor starts from 786 grams. That’s not a lot of savings, but when you consider all the better stuff you get from 2017’s Surface Pro and yet It weighs less, you start to appreciate it. In fact, we’ll let you in on a little insider info – even the new hinge design contributed to a weight savings, which brings us to the next point.

  5. New hinge, new angle:  A completely redesigned hinge has given the new Surface Pro savings in cost, weight and yet more dexterity – up to 165 degrees to be accurate. At such a wide obtuse angle, Microsoft dubs this as the Studio Mode. Mostly because it resembles the Microsoft Surface Studio whose large screen can almost lie flat too, which is great as a digital canvas. Now you can have a mobile creative studio. This brings us to the next related point.

  6. A vastly more sensitive Surface Pen: The redesigned Surface Pen has quadrupled the pressure sensitivity to 4,096 levels and reduced the activation force for a much more pleasant and fluent inking experience. Note that the Surface Pen has now become an optional purchase with the new Surface Pro.

    Surface Dial is compatible with the new Surface Pro and the updated Surface Pen now boasts 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity!

  7. Supports Surface Dial accessory: The updated 12.3-inch PixelSense display now supports the revolutionary Surface Dial accessory both on- and off-screen usage for supported apps and adds to the mobile creative studio proposition.

  8. New Surface Pro Signature Type Cover: It looks like the highlight of the Surface Laptop was brought forward to the renewed Type Cover as it uses a high-quality scissor mechanism (similar to the Surface Laptop) and 1.3 mm of key travel for faster and more accurate typing. A full-size glass trackpad with five-finger multi-touch capabilities allows for improved precision, and the entire keyboard is wrapped in soft Alcantara material, creating a comfortable palm rest and beautiful aesthetic.

  9. LTE Advanced support: Available later this year, the Surface Pro will come with LTE Advanced support to finally enable true mobility and work, collaborate and create from anywhere.

  10. New colors: Following the modern color set that debuted with the recent Surface Laptop, the Surface Pro too follows suit with new Signature Type Cover colors to match your style – Platinum, Burgundy  and Cobalt Blue. The new Surface Pen and Surface Arc Mouse are also available in these matching color options.

The new Surface Pro will launch globally on 15th June, but Singapore is unfortunately not part of the first launch wave. It will first be available in these 25 markets:- Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Pre-order for the new Surface Pro and Surface Pro Signature Type Cover begins today from US$799 and US$159.99 respectively in select markets at Microsoft Store, microsoft.com, BestBuy.com and JD.com where available. The new Surface Pen will be available in the coming weeks. Below are the full set of Surface Pro SKUs and their price points:-

  • Intel Core m3 / 128GB storage / 4GB RAM – US$799
  • Intel Core i5 / 128GB storage / 4GB RAM – US$999
  • Intel Core i5 / 256GB storage / 8GB RAM – US$1,299
  • Intel Core i7 / 256GB storage / 8GB RAM – US$1,599
  • Intel Core i7 / 512GB storage / 16GB RAM – US$2,199
  • Intel Core i7 / 1TB storage / 16GB RAM – US$2,699