Microsoft’s new Surface Pro (now without a generational number) is the Google Pixel of convertibles. That’s a good thing.
As the successor to the well-loved Surface Pro 4 launched way back in October 2015, the 2017 model looks a lot like the previous versions, but Microsoft assures us there’s a lot to appreciate under the hood.
The most prominent upgrade is the adoption of Intel’s newest seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors. Versions using the Core m3 and i5 chips are fan-less as a result, which means quieter operation and longer battery life — two things everyone wants.
There’s still a faster Intel Core i7 model available, although that requires a fan to run smoothly. More interesting, however, is the introduction of an LTE-enabled model accepting both micro-SIM and e-SIM cards. Mobile data without the need for Wi-Fi or a hotspot would make its tablet mode actually feel like you’re using a smart device.
Accessories are the other highlight. That cool Surface Dial we saw with the Surface Studio last year works on the Surface Pro, and there’s an improved Surface Pen with tilt detection this time. The catch? Neither are bundled in every package, and the stylus costs $99.
This all leads to a convertible with up to 13.5 hours of endurance on a single charge and better comfort thanks to a hinge that allows the 12.3-inch Surface Pro to lie nearly flat on a surface… Ohh, that makes sense!
But really, we just want new color options, and Microsoft hasn’t disappointed us:
I must say it looks fantastic, just like the Surface Laptop revealed a couple of weeks ago. Again the Type Cover keyboard ships separately, and it’s valued at $129.
How much do you have to spend for such a convertible? Not much. A starting price of $799 makes this more affordable than you’d think, but that’s for the lowest-end variant. It includes a Core m3 processor, 4GB of memory, and only 128GB of SSD storage.
Dishing out $2,699 gives you the Core i7 model with 16GB of memory and 1TB of SSD storage. That’s a huge jump from the introductory price, but it’s unavoidable if you want the very best.
If I were to buy one, I’d go for the $1,299 Core i5 version, which features 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD. It strikes the best balance between optimal performance and a price worth paying for.
Worldwide rollout begins on June 15.