Microsoft Announces New Surface Pro With Kaby Lake And Optional LTE

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The new Surface Pro is here, and it looks nearly identical to the old Surface Pro 4. Microsoft has dropped the numerical suffix to its popular convertible, which explains why Microsoft’s Panos Panay remarked earlier this month that there would be no “Surface Pro 5”, but it has also added over 800 “new custom parts” to the winning formula.

First and foremost, the new Surface Pro includes Kaby Lake processors, which replace the Skylake chips that were getting a bit long in the tooth on the Surface Pro 4. Customers can choose from Core m3, Core i5 and Core i7 models, with the first two being completely fanless. Even though Core i7 models have a fan, Microsoft says that the device can barely be heard, as it outputs just 18dB at full tilt.

The inclusion of Kaby Lake and tweaks to the internal battery means that the Surface Pro now offers up to 50 percent greater battery life than the Surface Pro 4 (which now stands at 13.5 hours), while also offering 35 percent more battery life than the iPad Pro.

On the exterior, the Surface Pro retains a single USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm headphone jack and the Surface Connect port. Microsoft still seems to allergic to USB-C, so you won’t find that new port (or even Thunderbolt 3) on the Surface Pro. Microsoft says that it has improved the Surface Pro’s hinge with a 165-degree range of motion, which allows it to lay down in “Studio Mode”. This is meant to mimic the functionality of the ultra-expensive Surface Studio.

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Despite the improvements to performance, battery life and functionality, the Surface Pro is actually Microsoft’s lightest “Pro” tablet ever, coming in at 1.7 pounds.

There’s also a first for the Surface Pro family: the inclusion of optional LTE connectivity, for those that need internet connectivity on-the-go (pricing hasn’t been announced on this option though). The Surface Pen (available for $99) has been upgraded to support 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and a new Surface Pro Signature Type Cover covered in Alcantara is available in platinum, burgundy, and cobalt blue ($159 each).

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The new Surface Pro started at $799 and will be available to ship on June 15th.