Microsoft announced its new Surface Pro laptop/tablet on Tuesday. Though from the outside nothing seems to have changed, in reality, the company has changed quite a few things in this new device.
Big changes from Microsoft
The company is dropping its numbering scheme, and it’s called just the Surface Pro and not the Surface Pro 5, even though it follows the Surface Pro 4. The dropping of the numbering scheme suggests that Microsoft is doing what Apple has been doing with its MacBook and iPad lines for a few years now. Such a naming scheme could also help avoid confusion, as the company offers several different products under the Surface brand, including a desktop and two laptops, says CNBC.
The company is also changing the positioning of the new device. Rather than calling it a 2-in-1, Microsoft is pitching it as a laptop. Though the company still uses the idea of a “tablet that can replace your laptop,” it now believes that users mainly buy Surface devices as laptops, notes PCWorld. However, the fact that it does not ship with a keyboard could draw some criticism.
The differences are inside
Though on the outside, the new Surface Pro looks similar to the Surface Pro 4, there are some differences on the inside.
In an interview with The Verge, Microsoft’s Surface chief Panos Panay reiterated this, saying, “It’s a meaningful change. There are about 800 new custom parts in the new Pro.”
Microsoft’s new device is more powerful than its predecessors, notes CNBC, as it has improved battery life – 50% more battery than the Surface Pro 4, to be precise. It is powered by Intel’s latest seventh-generation Core processors, giving it more power as well. What’s positive for Microsoft is that Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro don’t have these chips yet.
The kickstand can tilt to a 165-degree angle, enabling the device to be propped up on a desk to make it ready for drawing with the Surface Pen. This makes the $99 Surface Pen a must-have accessory, especially after considering that the company improved the levels of pressure supported, thus allowing you to draw and write more accurately, notes CNBC. Another essential add-on, the Type Cover keyboards, will cost $129 to $159.
The device also supports Microsoft’s Surface Dial, which first debuted last year with the Surface Studio desktop. The Surface Dial can be used for PowerPoint, zooming around 3D Maps, editing in Adobe Photoshop, and more.
Other details about the Surface Pro
The new Surface Pro is available for preorder and will ship starting on June 15 to 26 markets worldwide, including the U.S., the U.K., India, Taiwan, France, and Germany. The new Pro, which ranges from $799 to a whopping $2,699, is slightly more expensive than its predecessor. The cheapest $799 model comes with Intel HD Graphics 615, an Intel Core m3 chip, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD.
The $999 4GB RAM/128GB SSD version and $1,299 8GB RAM/256GB SSD models come with a Core i5 chip and Intel’s HD Graphics 620. There are Core i7 options too: a $2,199 16GB RAM/512GB SSD variant and $1,599 8GB RAM/256GB SSD version. Finally, there is a $2,699 16GB RAM/1 TB SSD option. All the Core i7 models are equipped with Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics 640.