1Surface Pro Hybrid Still Impresses Despite Lack of Cosmetic Changes
Microsoft may have dropped the numbering convention from its Surface Pro line, but it hasn’t lost its knack for stuffing a powerful, full-fledged Windows PC into a highly portable and frankly desirable form factor. The company follows that practice with the successor to the Surface Pro 4, albeit a little too closely for those who expect their component upgrades to wear a new face, especially when that face hails from 2015 or earlier if you count the similar-looking Surface Pro 3. See, the new Surface Pro—not the Surface Pro 5—looks and feels a familiar as its forbearer. But after putting it through its paces, it’s apparent that Microsoft elected to invest most of its efforts under the hood. Here are some first impressions of the new Surface Pro.
2Surface Pro Is Still a Sharp, if Traditional Dresser
All these years later, the Surface Pro still impresses with its sleek glass-on-magnesium looks. Its bezels are a little on the chunky side in this age of Dell laptops with InfinityEdge displays and the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it’s a still a premium device, especially when it’s paired with Microsoft’s new Surface Pro Signature Type Cover.
3Type Cover Improves Typing Experience
Add the optional Surface Pro Signature Type Cover and your wrists will thank you. Wrapped in Alcantara, a suede-like synthetic material sometimes found in luxury vehicles, the keyboard-cover combo improves on the already-pleasant typing experience provided by the standard Type Covers from Microsoft.
4New Model Softens Rough Edges
5It Has Powerful Processor Options
For the new Surface Pro, Microsoft has moved to seventh-generation Core m3, i5 and i7 processors from Intel. In a recent evaluation of a Core i7 model with a base frequency of 2.5GHz and a generous 16GB of RAM, it handled Windows 10 Pro, basic apps and some demanding drawing and multimedia programs with ease.
6Windows Digital Ink Works Faster
7Shift Surface Pro Into Studio Mode
8Button Placement Was Ill Considered
The Surface Pro 3 had its volume rocker on the left side near the headphone jack. Microsoft moved it to the top near the power button on the Surface Pro, making it way too easy to put the device to sleep when you’re fumbling to mute an unexpectedly loud browser tab. Sadly, that’s where it remains on the new Surface Pro.
9There’s No USB-C Port
10It’s A Lightweight Travel Companion
11The Battery Goes the Distance
Microsoft claims the Surface Pro battery can last up to 13.5 hours between charges on a Core i5 model, that is if all you do is watch video. For those who want to do more than binge watch Netflix video, they’ll be pleased to know the more powerful i7 model can handle mixed workloads during cross-country flight with power to spare.