The Surface Pro 4 (SP4) was a minor upgrade to the Surface Pro 3, but a popular one with our customers and staff, with many appreciating the flexibility of a highly portable laptop and tablet PC, or with a dock and external monitors as a desktop PC.
The new Surface Pro isn’t the Surface Pro 5 as expected, but instead Microsoft have named it the Surface Pro, breaking away from the incremental naming convention. To try and (unsuccessfully) avoid confusion between this Surface Pro and the original Surface Pro of 2013, Microsoft are referring to it as the “new Surface Pro”, at least until there’s a newer new Surface Pro.
The new Surface Pro is stated to be thinner with more rounded edges, and lighter than the SP4. Side by side the SP4 to Surface Pro changes are too small to be obvious.
What to expect
The facts that will interest most of our customers is that the Surface Pro is a sensible increment of the last two models.
Ignoring the entry model, the Intel i5 Surface Pro is now fanless for a massive boost in battery life, and the Intel i7 Surface Pro has a quiet single fan and enjoys the improved Intel IRIS graphics of the 7th Gen i7.
Regarding docks – the new Surface Pro is being sold with the desktop “floating” dock that the SP4 was sold with, using the same proprietary Surface interface port used by all previous models.
While it is likely the Surface Pro could be used on the traditional cradle-style Surface Pro 3 dock, an adapter wedge (to make up for the thinner body) is unlikely to be released for the new model as it was with the SP4.
There’s a new Surface Pen with increased accuracy and lower latency, but it won’t be included with the Surface Pro. This new premium stylus is purchased separately, as are the Surface Type Covers. In previous Surface Pro models, the Pen was included.
The Surface Pro joins a family of Surface products when it becomes available to us on the 15th of June 2017, along with the Surface Laptop announced earlier in May, and the Surface Studio announced last year on the 26th of October. The Surface Book remains as the hybrid tablet/notebook PC, and is likely to be updated in the next six months.
Microsoft intended the original Surface Pro as a competitor to the iPad, but it has become much more than that. It has its flaws, but for a business PC that’s useful at the work desk, boardroom, airport lounge and as a kid’s distraction at the restaurant, it stands alone. We recommend it!
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