10 Features Microsoft Should Offer With the Microsoft Surface Pro 5

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10 Features Microsoft Should Offer With the Microsoft Surface Pro 5

At Microsoft’s Surface model introduction last year, the company unveiled new models in its computing line, including an all-in-one PC called the Surface Studio. But as Microsoft discussed its “Surface Family” of devices, the company made no mention of an update to the tablet in that lineup, the Surface Pro 4. It’s been a year and a half since Microsoft updated the slate, but several recent reports have suggested it could finally get attention sometime in the spring. Microsoft has kept its plans close to the vest, but there’s some indication that the predicted Surface Pro 5 will deliver better processing power, a slimmer design and longer battery life. This eWEEK slide show will look at the features Surface Pro 5 should offer to make it a hit this year.

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Include the Latest Intel Processors

According to several reports, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 5 will ship with new Kaby Lake processors, which deliver faster performance and better energy efficiency. The Surface Pro is one of the more powerful tablets on the market, but it needs to keep pace. A Kaby Lake-equipped version would help it do that.

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Tweak the Design—Just a Bit

Several rumors say Microsoft isn’t planning a big design update to the Surface Pro 5. The Surface Pro 4 is already thin and portable, so there isn’t much room for improvement. However, Microsoft should work to make it even lighter and thinner to be more appealing to enterprise users who often travel.

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Improve the Surface Pen

Each new Surface update should come with an improved Surface Pen. Microsoft should announce an updated Surface Pen with the Surface Pro 5 that would allow users to write digitally with greater precision. More shading options and other tweaks would also be welcome.

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The Storage Seems Sufficient

Microsoft offers up to 1TB of storage in the Surface Pro 4. The company should maintain that level of storage in the Surface Pro 5, not deliver less storage as a way to reduce the price. Corporate users want as much onboard storage as possible.

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The Display Quality Matters

A better and brighter display in the Surface Pro 5 would be welcome. The Surface Pro 4 features a 12.3-inch screen and a 2,736-by-1,824-pixel resolution. Microsoft should consider pushing the resolution to true 4K. And, with iPad Pro offering a 12.9-inch screen, a 13-inch display could make some sense.

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Bring on a Better Type Cover

The Surface Pro 4’s Type Cover currently offers solid laptop-like performance. Microsoft should consider updating the Type Cover with improved construction and higher-quality keys. It would at least put pressure on Apple to respond with a better keyboard-cover combination for its iPad Pro.

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Longer Battery Life Is Always Welcome

The Surface Pro 4’s nine hours of runtime on a single charge is adequate but not ideal. Microsoft must leverage Kaby Lake’s efficiencies and find ways to stretch the Surface Pro 5’s battery life to at least 12 hours to keep up with competitors.

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Keep the Windows 10 Pro Standard

The Surface Pro 5 should target enterprise users first and foremost, and those customers want the best and most secure software. Therefore, Microsoft must offer Windows 10 Pro as a standard option in the Surface Pro 5. Windows 10 Home is not a good fit with the Surface Pro 5.

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Don’t Underestimate Port Support

As a corporate-friendly device, Surface Pro 5 needs to come with an adequate number of ports to support external hard drives, displays and other accessories. Microsoft should boost the number of USB 3.0 ports in the Surface Pro 5 to at least two in its latest option. Adding another Mini DisplayPort option also might make some sense.

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Let’s Get Down to Pricing

The Surface Pro 4 isn’t cheap and signs point to the Surface Pro 5 being as pricey. However, Microsoft can’t increase the price. A starting price of $799 is reasonable, and those who want more and better features already can spend more than $1,000. At that price, the Surface Pro 5 will be competitive against other high-end slates.

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