Mobile Technology

Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) vs. Surface Pro 4

Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) v...
Comparing the new Surface Pro (2017) and its late-2015 predecessor, the Surface Pro 4
Comparing the new Surface Pro (2017) and its late-2015 predecessor, the Surface Pro 4
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Bundled Surface Pen
1/18
Bundled Surface Pen
Camera megapixels
2/18
Camera megapixels
Processor
3/18
Processor
Dimensions
4/18
Dimensions
Display resolution
5/18
Display resolution
Display size
6/18
Display size
Facial recognition login
7/18
Facial recognition login
Fanless
8/18
Fanless
Comparing the new Surface Pro (2017) and its late-2015 predecessor, the Surface Pro 4
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Comparing the new Surface Pro (2017) and its late-2015 predecessor, the Surface Pro 4
microSD
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microSD
Starting price
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Starting price
RAM
12/18
RAM
Release
13/18
Release
Software
14/18
Software
Storage
15/18
Storage
USB
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USB
Weight
17/18
Weight
Build
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Build

Microsoft's new Surface Pro subtracts the numbering-scheme branding and adds some highly incremental steps forward. Let's see exactly how incremental, as we line it up next to its direct predecessor, the Surface Pro 4.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

Absolutely no differences here: Microsoft's boasts of "lighter and thinner" only apply to the new keyboard covers for the Surface Pro – not the device itself.

Weight

Weight
Weight

Ditto for weight.

Build

Build
Build

The Surface Pro still has a magnesium (silver-colored) build. And any design differences are extremely minor.

Display size

Display size
Display size

Rest assured, we will eventually get to differences, but not here.

Display resolution

Display resolution
Display resolution

Or here.

Processor

Processor
Processor

There we go: The only significant upgrade in the 2017 Surface Pro is a generational move forward to Intel's 7th-gen (Kaby Lake) processors.

Fanless

Fanless
Fanless

The Core m3 model is fanless (silent) in both versions, but the new Surface Pro goes quiet with the Core i5 models as well. The i7 Surface Pro still has a fan, but Microsoft says it stays pretty quiet. (Constant fan noise was one of our few grips with the Surface Pro 4.)

RAM

RAM
RAM

RAM breakdowns look the same as in the Surface Pro 4, varying depending on which processor configuration you go with (with some overlap).

That 4 GB of RAM looks pretty questionable for a premium 2017 productivity device. Heavy multi-taskers may want to consider ponying up $1,299 or more for an 8 GB or higher variant (or going with a rival device that's more generous in this department).

Storage

Storage
Storage

Storage tiers haven't changed.

microSD

microSD
microSD

Both have microSD card slots.

USB

USB
USB

Microsoft isn't as eager as Apple to push the world into USB-C – retaining a lone USB 3.0 port. Perhaps the company is exploiting Apple's questionable move to position the Surface as a common-sense device that works with the accessories customers already own.

Camera megapixels

Camera megapixels
Camera megapixels

If you use your large tablet as a camera, this is what you're working with.

Bundled pen

Bundled Surface Pen
Bundled Surface Pen

While Microsoft recently stopped bundling the Surface Pen (active stylus) with the Surface Pro 4, that model otherwise included the pen in the box. That all changes with the 2017 Surface Pro: The Pen will be a separate $100 purchase.

Facial recognition

Facial recognition login
Facial recognition login

Windows' Hello facial-recognition login is still around.

Software

Software
Software

Both devices will keep you updated to the latest version of Windows 10 Pro.

Release

Release
Release

The Surface Pro is up for pre-order now, with shipments starting June 15.

Starting price

Starting price
Starting price

These prices reflect today's price drop for the Surface Pro 4. For that minor difference, anyone who cares much about performance and fan silence (or relative silence) will likely be much better off going with the new model.

If you already own a Surface Pro 4, it looks like you'll be fine standing pat – with such minor upgrades.

1 comment
minivini
If MS keeps their promise to bring us usb-c via the Connect port this year, this will be a seriously versatile machine. I'm on the verge of pulling the pre-order trigger to replace my Surface Pro 1st generation.