The Surface family grows. After the presentation of the Surface Laptop comes the launch of the new Surface Pro, which now forget the numbers (no Surface Pro 5) and without touching just the outside touch the interior and a very special peripheral, the stylus or Pencil that has been improved noticeably.
That is the big bet of a Microsoft that wants to remain a reference in these convertible tablets in which the experience and writing is almost as important as the keyboard and touchpad.
Specifications to the height
The renovation of the equipment is especially noticeable in its internal components , which are updated with the presence of new processors of the family Kaby Lake and appreciable improvements also in components like its cameras rear and frontal.
|NEW SURFACE PRO
|12.3 inches PixelSense resolution 2,736 x 1,824, 3: 2 ratio, 267 dpi density
|292 x 201 x 8.5 mm
|Intel Core m3 / i5 / i7 generation Kaby Lake.
|Intel HD Graphics 615 (m3) / 620 (i5) / 640 (i7)
|4/8 / 16GB
|128/256/512 GB / 1 TB
|Windows 10 Pro
|Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
|Front 5 Mpi, rear 8 Mpi
|USB 3.0, microSD card reader, Mini DisplayPort, cover / keyboard port, headphone, SurfaceConnect for dock
A “silent” design
Few changes will appreciate in the new member of the Surface Pro family, something that shows that in Microsoft have long accepted with a format that simply go polishing throughout the generations.
Among these slight differences is the presence of somewhat more rounded edges, as well as the integration of the same hinged system as the Surface Laptop, which incidentally also inherit almost all the colors of that other family: we have models in platinum, burgundy , And cobalt blue.
Where Microsoft has focused is to achieve that the Surface Pro are silent even in the design : this system of hinges or the operation of the connectors is designed to give a feeling “premium” both in materials and in those “noises” that makes The Surface Pro when one connects something or unfolds the stand (tiltable up to 165°, what they call “Studio Mode” in reference to the Surface Studio) to support the tablet on any surface.
Yes there are changes in the covers with keyboards (Type Cover), which make use of the same magnetic anchor system to the screen, but also have the same Alcantara fabric that characterizes the Surface Laptop. That will therefore be a distinctive sign of both families from now on, and will certainly make the finish and sensations with this keyboard and touchpad differential at least in that touch and look.
The beauty is in the interior
At Microsoft have not made major changes in the outside of the team, but where they have wanted to do is in the interior. The new Surface Pro are designed to offer even more power and efficiency but with better cooling.
The surprise here is in the models with the Core i5 of the Kaby Lake family, which as in the case of the Core m3 manage to give their full potential without the need for active ventilation, an achievement that will allow you to enjoy powerful and quiet equipment.
There will be a version with the Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake, and although this one will integrate a fan that component has also been modified to generate also less noise (only 18 dB). As in previous models, we have a 12.3-inch screen with Pixel Sense (267 dpi) technology that maintains the 3: 2 format and is also compatible with the striking Surface Dial. Microsoft offers WiFi versions of these products initially, but is preparing iterations with integrated LTE connectivity.
The introduction of these processors (in addition to other components, such as the new SSD) also influences another key section, that of efficiency. In Microsoft they assert that the autonomy of the equipment can reach the 13 hours and average, being therefore a 50% greater than that of the Surface Pro 4 and approximately 20% superior to those of the Pro iPad. This data, of course, will have To verify in actual tests.
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What does seem to remain unconvinced in Microsoft is the USB-C port: they return to do without it, so we will not find it in this iteration. We have in fact the same port selection as its predecessor: USB 3.0, microSD card reader, Mini DisplayPort, cover / keyboard port and Surface Connect for the dock. Although it is not possible to connect USB-C devices on the tablet, the new Surface Dock does have this connector.
There is one more difference with the Surface Laptop: these arrive with Windows 10 S preinstalled, a decision that some found wrong. In the case of Surface Pro the operating system used will be Windows 10 Pro, which will allow to continue accessing all the features of the operating system, including software installation outside the Windows Store.
Many good news for the pencil Surface
If there is a differential feature in the new Surface Pro, this is the appearance of a new version of the Surface Pen , which is offered in the same four colors with a design very similar to that of its predecessors – yes, without the Traditional clip that allowed for example to fit it to the pocket of the shirt – but (again) with important changes in its technology and its interior.
This new pen stands out for detecting up to 4096 pressure levels and above all for offering a minimum delay of 21 ms from the beginning of strokes until the screen recognizes them and shows them. That delay allows, say at Microsoft, to reduce the response time in half compared to that offered by the Apple Pen of the iPad Pro.
These new capabilities also take advantage of a wider support of Windows Ink in Windows 10, but especially in Office, where there are new functions for the pencil – for example for notation of equations in OneNote to transfer them to Excel. These peripherals – which are also backward compatible and can be used in Surface Pro 4 and earlier – are so precise that we can even simulate the “shading” we do when tilting the tip of the pencil to apply that shading to parts of the drawing.
We are therefore facing a major evolution of one of the defining elements of these equipment, but also a disadvantage for users: it is no longer included with the new Surface Pro, which will require them to be purchased on an optional basis.