Windows Surface Pro (2017)
Windows Surface Pro (2017) is the next generation tablet cum laptop by Microsoft. It was introduced May 23, 2017 in Shanghai, China.
The previous generation of Surface Pro tablets was introduced back in 2015 and surprisingly the new Surface offspring got no digit in its title. Microsoft has dropped the numeric line of hybrids altogether. Or so it seems right now.
But the move is as unexpected as it’s logical. The only upgrade is that of a CPU. Microsoft swapped the Skylake with the baby new Kaby Lake and that alone boosted both the performance and the battery life. The latter – due to the Intel’s microarchitecture featuring cooler work.
There are three subfamilies of Windows Surface Pro (2017): Intel Core m3, Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7. The Intel Core m3 iteration features the 128 GB SSD and 4 GB of RAM. Intel HD Graphics 615 supports 4k HD video playback but it’s still the entry-level configuration.
The Intel Core i5 iteration features either the 128 GB or the 256 GB SSD and 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM correspondently. Intel HD Graphics 620 is certainly a step up from the previous model and the ‘heavy’ graphics editors must sit well with the tablet. Especially due to the fact that Windows Surface Pro (2017) has three positions: vertical, laptop-like with the type-cover attached, Studio mode with the same cover and tablet – with no cover at all.
The problem is, the Surface Pro Type Cover, a design miracle with low profile keys and a finger print reader shall not come from the box. Users will have to buy it separately. The cover is available in four colors: Platinum, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue and Black. The Surface Pen has also been re-issued in the same colors to match. The Surface Dial didn’t follow the pattern and remained white. It somehow undermines the whole design conception but on the other hand, the Dial is too big for the tablet. Remember, that the screen proportions are the same. Yet, the tablet became lighter and slimmer with less pronounced bezels.
The top configuration is the Intel Core i7 with 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM and up to 1 TB of SSD. Not every regular laptop can boast such a storage. The user can choose from 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB GB. The top Surface Pro of 2017 also features the best integrated graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640! It supports 4k video playback, and most modern games, though on low settings. But considering how demanding the games nowadays are, its’ a great advantage.
Anyway, the whole line is meant not for gamers, but for creatives and artists, hence the Surface Dial support. The tablet is ideal for sketching, writing, painting, emailing, watching movies and communicating in social networks. Speaking of which, Surfaces are still not GSM tablets and the only network available is the Wi-Fi.
Probably, this is explained by poor Windows 10 performance on mobiles. But the problem still remains: far and away from hotspots your tablet is useless as the communication device. So it makes it more a laptop than a tablet, especially the one we all have got used to. It looks like Microsoft grasped this fact and started calling this product ‘laptop’. Not tablet, not even hybrid but laptop. Rather strange, too, because Microsoft has recently rolled out the Surface Laptop with the sandboxed Windows 10 S in it. And the short mid name Pro is the only mean to tell both devices from each other in shopping catalogues. While the models of Surface Pro tablet of 2017 and 2013 will be confused even more.
The batch of ports remained the same. No Type-C, just the USB 3.0 Type A, mini-Display port, 3.5 mm headphone jack and the Type Cover slot. Oh, and the SDXC card reader of course that can enhance the internal storage up to 200 GB. So, plugging some peripherals will turn out tricky for the Windows Surface Pro.
It’s hard to say where the Surface Pro (2017) will fit. Microsoft seems to test the Kaby Lakes in their portables before making any decision about the whole line.
See also: Sell old Windows Surface tablet now for top price.