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Surface Pro is a much bigger upgrade than we expected

by Josh Levenson | May 23, 2017May 23, 2017 8:30 am PDT

Microsoft has announced the successor to the Surface Pro 4 — and it’s a much bigger upgrade than we anticipated.

From the outside, the Surface Pro is essentially a Surface Pro 4 with an Alcantara Type Cover clipped on, but under the hood there are around 800 new parts, including a seventh-generation Kaby Lake processor. But sadly, there’s still not a USB-C port.

By attaching the SSD to the motherboard, harnessing the power-saving functionality of the new CPU and optimizing Windows 10, Microsoft says it’s increased the battery life to 13.5-hours of video playback on the i5 variant.

Speaking of different models, the firm has switched to a fan-less design on both the core m3 and i5 configurations, and claims that the fan on board the i7 version “can’t be heard” as it operates at just 18dB. Pretty impressive, huh?

When you dive further into the spec sheet, it becomes apparent that bringing the Surface Pro in line with the Surface Studio was Microsoft’s main goal. Not only does it sport the same 165-degree hinge, it also offers users the facility to use a Surface Dial on the screen.

What’s strange, however, is Microsoft took the wraps off a new Surface Pen — which is capable of detecting the angle it’s being held for more accurate shading — alongside the Surface Pro, but it’s not included in the box. Instead, you’ll need to purchase it separately for $99.

Let’s talk about availability

The Surface Pro is available to pre-order today, with prices starting at $799. Shipments will leave the warehouse on June 15. As usual, the Type Cover isn’t included in the price; an Alcantara one will set you back an additional $159, while a plain black one retails for $129.

Also, for the first time, Microsoft will offer an LTE model of the Surface Pro that will, of course, be priced slightly higher than the regular variants. Unfortunately, the firm hasn’t provided any details about the device. All we know is that it’ll launch later this year.

Josh Levenson

Josh Levenson is an avid technology enthusiast who writes news and the occasional how-to. He's also a self-proclaimed sneakerhead and has been an...