Surface Pro 6 vs. Surface Pro 5: What’s New?

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Microsoft's favorite detachable is back in black. That's right, the Surface Pro 6 is here and returning to its original black matte design, but what else has actually changed in this dark revitalization of the Surface? Well, not much.

While we were hoping to see some major revisions per our previous issues with the Surface Pro 5, there weren't as many as we'd like. Here's how the new Surface Pro 6 compares with the Surface Pro 5.

Surface Pro 6 black and silver

Design

The Surface Pro 6 is landing in on Oct. 16 lathered in a black matte finish, similar to how the original Surface Pro was designed. While it definitely stands out from the typical platinum we've seen from the past few Surface Pros, there's an option for that color as well.

Aside from the color, there's not much that's changed design-wise. Both the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Pro 5 weigh about 1.7 pounds, and have the same 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33-inch measurements. We still wish the bezels were a little thinner.

The ports are the exact same as the previous iteration: one USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort, a 3.5mm audio jack, Surface Connect port and a microSD card slot. The most disappointing design choice is yet again the exclusion of the USB Type-C port.

Surface Pro 6 Typing

Specs and Features

  Surface Pro 6 Surface Pro 5
Price  $899 $799
Display 12.3 inches (2736 x 1824) 12.3 inches (2736 x 1824)
CPU 8th Gen Core i5, Quad-Core i7 7th Gen Core m3, Core i5, Core i7
RAM Up to 16GB 4GB, 8GB, 16GB
Graphics   Intel UHD Graphics 620 (i5), Intel UHD Graphics 620 (i7) Intel HD Graphics 615 (m3), Intel HD Graphics 620 (i5), Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 (i7)
SSD Up to 1TB SSD 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD
Ports One USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm audio jack, Surface Connect, microSD card slot One USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm audio jack, Surface Connect, microSD card slot
Colors Matte Black, Platinum Platinum
Size  11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.33 inches
Weight  1.7 pounds 1.73 pounds, 2.39 pounds with Type Cover

Microsoft claims that the Surface Pro 6 is 67 percent more powerful than the Surface Pro 5, since it's the first quad-core processor outfitted in a Surface Pro. Meanwhile, the Surface Pro 5 has a dual-core processor.

Microsoft also claims that the Surface Pro 6's battery life will last up to 13 hours,  which is quite an impressive feat considering the Surface Pro 5 only hit 7:30 on our tests.

The Surface Pro 6's display still measures at 12.3-inches (2736 x 1824), but according to Microsoft it has the highest contrast ratio of any Surface device to date delivered through a whopping 5 million pixels, or 267 ppi.

Surface Pro 6 PixelSense

Outlook

The Surface Pro 6 is getting a major power upgrade along with another color choice. While that may not seem like much of a change from the previous generation, the potential power gap for a $100 difference in price is significant. However, there's only one way to know for sure which is the right Surface for you: stayed tuned to Laptop Mag for our full review and benchmarks when the Surface Pro 6 launches on Oct. 16.

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4 comments
  • Cutie Pie Says:

    people who want thinner bezels don't use it as a tablet

  • Justin Leaderman Says:

    Remember it's Intel who downgraded the Graphics with the 8th Gen, not Microsoft. They don't have a more powerful sku available for the i7's so Microsoft had no choice!

  • Panther6834 Says:

    As with M.H., I'm also wondering about the lowered GPU specs. The i7 version of the Surface Pro 5 (aka "2018") came with an Iris Plus 640, yet the "updated/upgraded" Surface Pro 6 ONLY comes with a UHD 620? This is the exact same GPU that came in the lower-spec Surface Pro 5/2018. So, Microsoft, what gives??? Initially, I was considering "upgrading" to the new Surface Pro, but seeing that, in some sense, it's actually a DOWNGRADE, I think I'll wait until the Surface Pro 7 is announced.

  • Michael Henke Says:

    I know a dGPU isn't really possible, but not even Iris Plus graphics with the i7?

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