Microsoft unveiled the new Surface Pro during a recent event in Shanghai, touting faster performance for the gadget on the strength of its seventh-generation Intel Core processor.
These processors, dubbed Kaby Lake, are supposed to be 35% faster than the fourth-generation chips. It's not clear, however, how these new processors will fare compared to the sixth-generation series, or the Skylake, since they are built on the same 14nm architecture. Although some reports claim that the Microsoft Surface Pro will be faster and have a longer battery life.
Microsoft says that there is a 20% improvement in performance for the new Surface Pro compared to its previous iteration. In terms of battery life, user will be able to use it for about 13 hours from a full charge, which is about a 50% improvement from the old device. For comparison, the MacBook Air can only last 12 hours before needing a charge.
At first glance, there seems to have been no changes made to the physical design, although the thinner and lighter new Surface Pro is more rounded and less edgy. The 12.3-inch Pixel Sense touchscreen display has been retained, but it doesn't have a USB-C port, but rather the USB 3.0 Type-A, as well as the patented Surface Connect port. There's also a microSD card slot and a mini DisplayPort.
The biggest change, perhaps, is the kickstand which can now lie almost flat on the table. This modification will come as good news for digital artists.
The new Microsoft Surface Pro starts at $799, with the Surface Pen and the keyboard accessory sold separately. These two accessories are available in platinum, cobalt blue, black and burgundy.
The new stylus is billed to have less input lag, as Microsoft quadrupled the sensitivity from 1024 levels of pressure to 4096. The buyer can also use the same pen as a creation tool on the Surface Dial.
It's interesting to see how the new Surface Pro will impact the sagging laptop industry, which has been spiraling down for the past nine years now. For its part, Microsoft's Surface line fell 26% based on first quarter data against the same period in 2016.
The new Pro joins the growing Microsoft Surface family, including the Surface Book, the Surface Laptop, and the Surface Studio PC. Microsoft Surface Pro will come in three variants, the Core i7, Core i5, and Core M, and will launch in June of this year. Pre-orders will start next week.