Surface Pro 5: Rumours and Speculations

surface pro-5

Microsoft has been dominating the tablet market in recent years. Following the release of Surface Pro 4, the tech giant’s tablet revenue reached $926 million (US) in the first quarter of 2016, while Apple’s iPad sales steadily declined.

What played into Microsoft’s success were the tablet’s features. Equipped with a perfectly-sized display, a powerful processor, a responsive snap-on keyboard, and an ergonomic stylus, the current Surface Pro is now the gold standard of laptop/tablet hybrids that many hardware manufacturers aspire to achieve.

Given the commercial success of Surface Pro devices; Microsoft enthusiasts and tech reporters have already made much speculation about what the next Windows tablet will look like. And although Microsoft has remained tight-lipped about any official details; we have compiled a list of rumours concerning Surface Pro 5.

Possible release dates

According to a Windows blog, the tech giant plans to release three Surface-related products: Surface Studio, Surface Dial, and a new Surface Book; with windows enthusiasts hoping for an April release.

However, rumours of a spring sequel to the popular Pro tablet were dismissed when a report from ZDNet suggested that the Surface Pro 5 debut would happen much later. In fact, Microsoft usually announces their new Surface lineups around October.

Kaby Lake processors

Under the hood, the current Pro 4 uses the sixth-generation “Skylake” Intel processor; which outperforms the current iPad Pro chipset. According to Forbes; it is likely that Microsoft will extend its lead by shipping the Surface Pro 5 with the latest seventh-generation Intel processor, Kaby Lake, released at the end of 2016.

The new processor boasts clock speeds of around 4.2-4.5 GHz and improved graphics performance. It can perform tasks that demand a lot of processing power, such as photo editing, video rendering, and 3D work, while minimising power consumption. If the Surface Pro 5 does come equipped with this processor; users will have a robust, more lightweight alternative to their laptops.

Stylus improvements

The latest iteration of the Surface Pen features a digital eraser; a button that opens OneNote, and the ability to launch Cortana remotely. Since it’s normally a default accessory to the Surface Pro, we expect pretty much the same components for Pro 5.

Areas where we foresee improvements include enhanced fine pressure detection; palm rejection (so you can rest your hand on the screen), and increased stylus responsiveness. Additionally, reports from CNET and Digital Trends indicate that Microsoft is developing a Surface Pen that can be recharged as it rests on a magnetic dock with a USB connector; eliminating the need for AAA batteries.

USB-C connector

Speaking of USB, the Surface Pro 5 will likely come with USB-C connectors. The USB-C port is a slimmer connector designed for smaller mobile devices and laptop models. It builds on previous USB versions and can theoretically transfer data at a lightning-speed of 10 gigabytes per second.

Many smartphone and tablet manufacturers — including Google, Apple, and Samsung — have all adopted this connector to complement their increasingly thin mobile devices. Given its rise in popularity with the new Macbook; it’ll be a surprise if the Surface Pro 5 doesn’t follow the trend.

Sharper screens

When it comes to screen resolution, the Surface Pro 4 managed to outrank its competitors. With a 2,736 x 1,824 screen resolution and a pixel density of 267 PPI to display clear and crisp images; there isn’t much incentive for Microsoft to take the Surface Pro 5 resolution any higher.

Yet, despite its already stellar display; multiple sources are claiming that Surface Pro 5 will be one of the first smart tablets to feature a 4K display with 3,840 x 2,560 pixels. If the rumours are true; this will be a huge benefit to photo and video editors as well as anyone who wants to stream high-resolution videos from their tablet.

However, when you consider the demands on battery life when adding a 4K screen, the graphic upgrade hardly seems worth it. We predict that if the Surface Pro 5 did have a 4K display, it would probably be offered as a higher-priced option. Otherwise, the higher resolution might be reserved for Surface Studio and Surface Books.

Price estimates

It’s unlikely that Microsoft has even settled on a price for Surface Pro 5; but if previous Pro products are anything to go on, the new tablet will probably be around the same price range as its predecessors. Unless Microsoft offers a revolutionary tablet feature; we predict that the next version will start at $1,349 and can cost up to $2,000 with more RAM, processing power, and storage space.

Should you wait?

There’s definitely a lot to look forward to if any of the rumours about the Surface Pro 5 features are true. Microsoft is also keeping any mention of new tablet features under wraps; so there’s a good chance that there will be some exciting surprises. And until Microsoft comes out with an official announcement, we’ll have to make do with Surface Pro 4 for now.

Microsoft rumours come and go, but the promise of a new tablet is highly plausible considering the number of leaks and coverage surrounding it. If you want to know the latest in Microsoft developments; whether it’s the Surface Pro 5 release date, Office 365 updates, and cloud features, call Empower IT. We’re always at the bleeding edge of technology; and we make sure your business is too.