As expected, Microsoft’s follow-up to the Surface Pro 4 tablet is just called… the Surface Pro.

The new model looks nearly identical to its predecessor, but instead of 6th-gen Intel Core Skylake processors, the new model is powered by 7th-gen Intel Core Kaby Lake chips.

Microsoft unveiled the new Surface Pro at an event in Shanghai today.

The new model also supports an updated Surface Pen with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt detection, and reduced latency… but the new pen is sold separately, rather than bundled with the tablet.

The new Surface Pro also has an improved kickstand, which supports wider angles, including a “studio mode” which has the tablet lying at a slight angle designed to make writing or drawing more comfortable.

It’s basically a smaller version of the kickstand used in the Surface Studio, Microsoft’s premium all-in-one desktop aimed at artists, and designers and Microsoft showed off the Surface Pro working with Surface Studio accessories including the Surface Dial.

Microsoft says the new Surface Pro supports up to 13.5 hours of battery life. Oh, and the model with a Core i5 processor is fanless: previously you had to opt for a Core M3 chip if you wanted a fanless Surface Pro.

If you’re wondering why models with a Core i7 chip aren’t fanless, it’s not just the CPU that gets an upgrade: that model also has Intel Iris Plus graphics.

The company says the 12.3 inch tablet features and “enhanced color” PixelSense display, but it has the same 2736 x 1824 resolution as the Surface Pro 4.

Another thing that hasn’t changed? The ports: there’s a USB Type-A port, a mini DisplayPort, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, but no USB Type-C port.

The company also introduced new Surface Pro Type Cover accessories which will work with the 5th-gen Surface Pro tablet, but also with the Surface Pro 3 or Surface Pro 4. The key difference between this year the company’s Alcantara fabric-covered Type Cover is available in 4 colors (grey, teal, gold, and burgandy).

The new 5th-gen Surface Pro will be available with a choice of Core M3-7Y30, Core i5-7300U, and Core i7-7660U processors, 128GB to 1TB of solid state storage, and 4GB to 16GB of LPDDR3-1866 RAM. There’s also optional support for 4G LTE.

Microsoft’s new tablet measures 11.5″ x 7.9″ x 0.33″ and weighs about 1.7 pounds.

The Surface Pro is launching on June 15th in 26 countries including the US, Canada, the UK, and China. Pre-orders open today for $799 and up.

And when I say up, I mean way up for the higher-end models: you’ll have to shell out $2699 to get a new Surface Pro with a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage. And don’t forget, the keyboard is sold separately. At least the pen is included.

At today’s launch event, Microsoft also announced that the Surface Studio is coming to China, as is the recently announced Surface Laptop. And the HoloLens Development Edition is also now available in China.



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14 replies on “Microsoft Surface Pro update brings Kaby Lake CPU (and a few other minor improvements)”

  1. Anybody aware of trade-in program for the old surfaces when getting the new surface pro?

  2. RE:HDMI 2.0 – Kaby Lake doesnt support HDMI 2.0 natively. No Kaby Lake mobo does. Any system supporting HDMI 2.0 does it in one of two ways: 1. via a DP adapter, 2. via proprietary GPU.

    So, you want HDMI 2.0 out of a Surface Pro? Buy a mini-DP to HDMI 2.0 adapter, and that should work….

    1. I agree. But having to bring lots of dongles and cables with you defeats the purpose of a MOBILE computer. There’s far more TVs/Monitors with HDMI input than miniDP, especially useful for presentations since we know the whole Miracast-thing crashed and burned.

      I don’t think its too much to ask for just a few extra IO these days, but all the OEMs seem to think “less is more” when it really isn’t.

  3. Microsoft’s pricing totally sucks! They charge $300 to add 4 GB of ram and 128 GB of storage to the basic i5 Surface Pro.

  4. Nice, the i7 model with the higher end graphics should satisfy the Photoshop and CAD people. Not sure it would be that great for editing video though. But at this point I think its safe to say the desktop tower is getting toppled.

    1. The SP4 with i7 chip already had Iris Graphics (Skylake), it’s called Iris Plus now in the Kaby Lake lineup, but it’s essentially the same GPU.

  5. As much as I detest manufacturers that go all USB-C and nothing else, why is it so hard to have both USB-A and USB-C to make everybody’s lives easier until USB-C is really mainstream (which it isn’t yet, unless you’re a tech fanatic who enjoys re-buying peripherals you already own just for a new connector).

  6. There’s no performance or efficiency gains going from Intel’s 6th-gen the Intel’s 7th-gen processors.
    So all the improvements are basically with the style/form factor.

    And its a big big omission to leave out a HDMI 2.0 port and the USB-C port. Even Apple gets that right, very embarrassing.

    1. Going all USB-C isn’t “gets that right” if it means having to use adapters and dongles, but HDMI 2.0 would have been nice.

    2. Wow, I didn’t know that the iPad Pro now had HDMI 2.0 port and the USB-C port. That’s amazing!

        1. I meant USB-C for Apple. HDMI 2.0 would’ve been very nice, as well as a HDR-spec complaint screen on such a luxurious device.

          But the thing that really makes this cringe is the USB 3.0 port…. it’s not even a 3.1 port on that thing… MS Hardware division must be run by some “Feminist” group rather than the “Nerd Herd” we want.

          PS Battery life improvement is via THEIR testing methods. Weight is equal between the SP4 and the SP New, so they haven’t increased the battery size/capacity much if at all. The places battery life is affected is Battery, CPU, and Screen. Since both Battery and Screen, the only major battery saving spot is the CPU. However, efficiency between Intel’s 6th-gen and Intel’s 7th-gen processors are equal. So the only gains MS could have done are small efficiency gains in the Software, RAM, SSD, and Display controller. I believe when the comprehensive reviews start pouring through, you will know that I am right, that the SP 2017 is essentially same as the SP4 with only minor differences.

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