Microsoft's Next Surface Pro May Arrive Soon

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At its big Surface event earlier this year, Microsoft conspicuously left out talk of a new Surface Pro. But something new might be coming in the next few months.

microsoft surface pro 4 nw g02Microsoft is working on a new version of its Surface Pro tablet, according to a report in China's Economic Daily News. The report, which was spotted by Digitimes, claims the Surface Pro 5 and ship at some point in the first quarter of 2017.

Microsoft held a Surface event in October where it unveiled a new version of its Surface Book two-in-one hybrid, as well as a new all-in-one called the Surface Studio. The event was strategically held ahead of Apple's own MacBook Pro event in October, and many industry analysts and pundits argued that Microsoft's event overshadowed Apple's rather anemic show.

MORE: MacBook Pro vs. Surface Book

However, questions remain about the Surface Pro. Microsoft is currently selling the Surface Pro 4, a device it released in 2015. There had been some speculation that Microsoft would release the Surface Pro 5 in October alongside the other Surface devices to round out its lineup. Instead, Microsoft ignored the Surface Pro, causing some to wonder what the fate might be for its high-end tablet.

The Economic Daily News report is slim on details and focuses mainly on the Chinese manufacturers that might be partnering with Microsoft to bring the tablet to the market next year. However, the report does say that the rumored Surface Pro 5 could ship with a new high-end Ultra HD display topping the 2736 x 1824-pixel resolution in its current 12.3-inch screen. Microsoft is also reportedly planning a new Surface Pen to support the Surface Book 5 that would use magnetic charging -- a first for the company's Surface Pro line.

Exactly when Microsoft might announce the Surface Pro 5 is unknown at this point, and it's possible the company's plans might change as it gets further into the manufacturing process. But if the Surface Pro 5 is released in the first quarter, it might be battling on store shelves with new versions of Apple's iPad, which have also been tipped for an early 2017 release date.

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  • ArtInvent Says:

    @Joe C - not sure what you are expecting from an ARM Windows machine. Basically some VM/emulation trickery. Ugh. There's no way on earth it will run all the catalog of Windows apps smoothly, certainly not this year. MS is close to perfection, just needs to stay the course with ongoing refinement of the concept. Kaby Lake, better battery life, sleeker hardware, lighter, better stylus action to match the iPad Pro. Windows 10 improvements and continued stability fixes. The only way the iPad Pro is in the hunt is it is less complicated with a nicer stylus. Counter that and they will outcompete.

    ARM may be okay for 2nd tier Surface line. No way I would get it for a true power laptop replacement/tablet hybrid. That is i5/i7 all the way. Intel eventually gets the power efficiency to parity with ARM, but with the tremendous back catalog of X86 apps. Can't touch that. The ARM move is probably just a competition threat to bring Intel prices down.

  • Joe C. Says:

    I'd rather see a Kaby Lake refresh of the current Pro 4 at the same price point, followed by a Pro 5 later in 2017 integrating MSFT's Win 10 on ARM efforts. If the Surface line is going to truly be the tablet that replaces my laptop, it needs to *truly* provide me with a tablet's battery life.

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