As was expected, Microsoft has announced a new Surface Pro today at its event in Shanghai.
This week’s new Surface is a refresh of the older Surface Pro 4 — much like the Pro 4 was for the Pro 3 back in 2015. This means that the Surface Pro 5 — or Surface Pro as it is now branded — keeps the same chassis and connectors as the older models to ensure compatibility between keyboards and cases. But now, Microsoft has improved the hinge so the new Surface Pro can lie even flatter than any of the previous Surface Pro devices.
However, just because it has the same outer shell does not mean that Microsoft has left the insides alone. Just like the Surface Pro 4, there are substantial internal upgrades to the machine with the most tangible being an upgrade to Intel’s 7th Generation processors: Kaby Lake. In fact, the device comes with fanless Intel processors. That means that you’ll get more battery life and power output from a Surface Pro 2017 model than you would from older models. It’s worth noting that the Surface Pro 4 was a victim of Skylake’s hardware issues at launch, with reliability issues and battery drain in an event dubbed Surfacegate.
The gap between the Surface Pro 4 launch and the Surface Pro (2017) implies that Microsoft took their time to smooth out these problems before launch. Here’s hoping.
Aside from that, the excellent screen remains the same with minor improvements, you’ll get a new Surface Pen with improved latency, and Microsoft has new type covers out as is the tradition at these things. Microsoft claims that this new Surface is a refined version of the old one, everything from the 13.5 hour battery life, to the fanless design, to the softer rounder corners helps bolster that narrative. Even the kickstand gets improved, with the ability to tilt even further than it did before to enable inking.
Arguably, Microsoft has hit the Surface Pro sweet spot. There’s not much that can be done with the hardware without removing its appeal, and change for its own sake is hardly ideal. Demands for bezel-less tablets often ignore usability issues, and if you require a more flappable Surface — well there’s a Surface Laptop for that.
Microsoft has focused on making the best Surface Pro it can, and no one can take that away.
You can grab the Surface Pro from the Microsoft Store here.