Microsoft as anticipated on Tuesday announced a long overdue upgrade to its popular Surface. As rumored, Microsoft dropped the conventional numbering scheme with the new 2-in-1, instead electing to refer to the device simply as the Surface Pro.
Visually, not much has changed with the Surface Pro. The Verge, which got some hands-on time with the new system, notes that the edges are now rounded and a perimeter cooling vent has shrunk a bit. There’s also a new hinge borrowed from the Surface Studio.
On the inside, however, is where most of Microsoft’s attention has been focused. It starts with new processors – specifically, 7th-gen (Kaby Lake) Core m3, Core i5 and Core i7 chips. The two slower CPUs are fanless; only the Core i7 model requires active cooling.
Microsoft is also claiming the new Surface Pro will get a major bump in battery life, all the way up to 13.5 hours on a single charge. If true, that’d be close to twice as good as its predecessor and a serious boon for the Surface family.
The Surface Pro comes with a revised Surface Pen that bumps the level of pressure sensitivity from 1,024 levels up to 4,096 (its activation force has also been lowered). Unfortunately, it’s no longer included with the machine and is sold as a $99 optional accessory. The size of the screen – 12.3 inches – and its resolution – 2,736 x 1,824 (267 PPI) – remain unchanged.
Sadly, Microsoft failed to bake in a USB Type-C connector. Instead, you’ll get a USB 3.0 Type-A connector, microSD card slot, headset jack and a mini DisplayPort on top of the Surface connector.
Panos Panay, head of the Surface division, told the publication that there are around 800 new custom parts in the Surface Pro.
Microsoft’s new Surface Pro is available to pre-order from today starting at $799 which gets you a Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of solid state storage. The high-end configuration with a Core i7 chip, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage can be yours for $2,699.
Look for units to ship in mid-June.