Microsoft’s Surface Pro is one of the most popular hybrids out there. It’s what many people with the iPad Pro would be: a tablet that also runs a full desktop OS, and can easily be docked with a keyboard to use as a full-featured, professional grade laptop.
It might have taken Microsoft a while to find its feet in the space, but find its feet it did and since the Surface Pro 3 things have been going swimmingly for the Windows 10 maker.
Samsung and Apple have even taken a leaf from Microsoft’s book with the Galaxy Tab 3 and iPad Pro lineup. You know you’re onto something special when Apple starts copying you – just ask Samsung.
The reason these types of hybrid devices are so popular is because they are, essentially, three products in one: a PC, when docked with a larger display, a laptop, when used with keyboard and a tablet, when detached from keyboard.
Running Windows 10 is another huge benefit as well; it’s a full-fat desktop-grade OS, packed with features. For productivity and getting things done, iOS simply pales in comparison.
The current Surface Pro 4 has some desirable specs including a 12.3in 2736 x 1824 pixel at 267 pixels per inch; 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB storage options; Intel Skylake Core M3, Core i5, or Core i7 processors; 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB of RAM; and runs Windows 10 Pro. Oh, it also has an amazing stylus and keyboard.
Many people thought Microsoft would unveil the Surface Pro 4’s successor at Mobile World Congress in February–but that event came and went without any announcement. The Surface Pro 5 is coming, though. It’s just a question of when.
Below we’ve rounded up all the latest rumors and news about the Surface Pro 5. While nothing is official until Microsoft announces it, here what you can expect in Microsoft’s next flagship hybrid.
Surface Pro 5: Release date
All the rumors point to an “early 2017” release. However, given that March is almost over, it’s possible the Surface Pro 5 could be pushed back to summer. What is most likely is that the Surface Pro 5 will be announced sometime in the end of March or April and ship about a month later.
It’s likely Microsoft is holding off releasing the Surface Pro 5 until the next major Windows 10 update, called Redmond 2, is ready as it’s likely the Surface Pro 5 will require Redmond 2 to run.
Surface Pro 5: Display
All rumors point to the Surface Pro 5 having a 4K display, which will be a huge improvement over the Surface Pro 4 display.
If they do include a 4K/UHD display it will likely be either a screen with 3,840 x 2,160 pixels (a 16:9 ratio) or a screen with 3,840 x 2,560 pixels (a 3:2 ratio). For now we’re betting on the 3:2 ratio size since they’ve been using 3:2 since the Surface 3.
Surface Pro 5: Specs
Almost everyone expects the Surface Pro 5 to sport Intel’s new Kaby Lake processors, which will be a massive improvement over the Surface Pro 4’s Skylake architecture. Kaby Lake benefits by using a 14nm architecture, however the Surface Pro 5 could possible use chips that are even better.
Some rumors say Microsoft might opt to include Cannonlake processors in the Pro 5. Cannonlake processors are set to succeed Kaby Lake and use a 10nm architecture. However, Cannonlake processors aren’t set to be out until the second half of 2017, so if Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 5 before then, it will almost certainly have Kaby Lake processors.
But it’s also likely the Surface Pro 5 will come in a range of spec options, running the gamut of everything from Intel Core M chips to higher-power Intel Core I chips. You can also expect varying amounts of RAM and storage. There’s a chance the Surface Pro 5 could come in multiple screen sizes–or a 4K version and a lower res version–but that’s debatable at the moment.
It’s also very likely that the Surface Pro 5 will feature USB-C ports since that is quickly becoming the industry standard I/O. As for battery life: a 4K screen is going to suck power like there’s no tomorrow, but architecture and battery improvements mean the Surface Pro 5 will last as long as the Surface Pro 4 does.
Surface Pro 5: Accessory Support
The Surface Pen has been the stylus of choice since the original surface was released. In the years since, Microsoft has updated the Surface Pen with new features; most recently with an eraser and dedicated button to activate the Cortana digital assistant.
It’s highly likely the Surface Pen will get a pressure sensitivity update with the Surface Pro 5. Other pens on the market feature up to 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity whereas the most recent Surface Pen only features 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Surface Pro 5: Price
TL;DR version: no one knows.
Surface Pro prices have begun in the £700 and £1,000 range historically, so expect the Surface Pro 5 entry level price point to fit somewhere in between. But also know that a full maxed out Surface Pro 5 will likely cost you over £2,000.
If that sounds a bit too pricy, you might want to check out the Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4 – both are great machines and are now a lot cheaper, as Microsoft readies the release of the Surface Pro 5.
Microsoft is also running a limited-time deal on the Surface Pro 4 (128GB / Intel Core i5) where it’s knocking $200 of the RRP. Get in quick though as this deal won’t last long.