After Microsoft launched the Surface Laptop, and the company's recent insistence that the "Surface Pro 5" does not exist, we have been wondering about the future of the Surface Pro 4, a well-received 2-in-1 tablet/laptop that launched over a year and a half ago. Today, Microsoft announced its successor, simply called the new Surface Pro.
Like its predecessor, the new Surface Pro is a Windows 10-running tablet that gains laptop functionality with the addition of a Type Cover keyboard accessory. It has a 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and support for the the Surface Pen active stylus.
The new Surface Pro has refreshed internals: It contains a 7th-generation Intel Core m3, i5 or i7 chip, up to 16 GB of RAM and four possible storage tiers ranging from 128 GB to 1 TB.
Notably, both the core m3 and i5 models are now fanless (in the Pro 4, only the m3 model lacked a fan), and the i7 variant has an improved hybrid cooling system that Microsoft claims will offer a quieter experience.
The tablets also now contain larger batteries. Microsoft claims up to 13.5 hours of video playback per charge, which is 50-percent longer battery life than the Surface Pro 4.
At 292 x 201 x 8.5 mm (11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 in) and starting at 768 g (1.69 lbs), the device has the same dimensions as the previous generation, with the form factor remaining almost exactly the same. I/O ports include one USB 3.0 port, a headphone jack, microSD card reader, mini DisplayPort and a dedicated Surface Connect charging port.
The entry-level Surface Pro starts at US$799, but keep in mind that the Type Cover keyboard and Surface Pen stylus are sold separately. The Type Cover has been refreshed since previous generations; users can either purchase a basic plastic Type Cover (price to be confirmed) or the Alcantara fabric-covered Signature edition, which sells for US$160. The Surface Pen costs $99.
The new Surface Pro and its accessories (excepting the entry-level Type Cover) are available for pre-order now to start shipping on June 15.
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