Microsoft announce all new Surface Pro (2017) and Microsoft Whiteboard

It’s thinner, it’s lighter and features much more curvature than ever before on a Surface Pro so it’s a pleasure to use, combine that with an all new Pen, an even more impressive Kickstand and LTE support, is their anything this thing doesn’t do to impress, well, no.

The interesting thing about the Surface Pro (2017) will be rather obvious, in that it isn’t called the Surface Pro 5 like you’d expect, and we kind of get that. I mean, yes there’s a collection of improvements versus the now reduced Surface Pro 4, but let’s be fair pretty much all of the improvements in the new Surface Pro are very expected and, whilst still incredible, predictable.

One of the main reasons we believe the Surface Pro (2017) didn’t get a 5 slapped to the end of it’s branding is simple, it’s refined. The idea of the original Surface Pro was divisive, but my god was it a great machine when we had it. However, the first and second Surface devices had many flaws which took a while to iron out, but we think it’s a pretty safe bet to see that they have, and this is what we’ve been waiting for that entire time!

Just like the recently announced, and released globally on the same daySurface Laptop, the new Surface Pro (2017) has an all new Type Cover in the same familiar 4 colours, but also including that same material surrounding the trackpad and keyboard giving that extra bit of comfort compared to the more rubbery material there previously. Sure, the material isn’t that different from what was on the base of the Type Covers in the past, but it’s now in the same conventional place and feels very pleasant.

One thing we do find odd about the new Surface Pro, is that Microsoft are marketing it as “the most versatile Laptop”, which is odd but there you go. But, whilst this is more a 2-in-1, Microsoft are now claiming this to be a 3-in-1.

When Microsoft announced the Surface Studio, one of it’s biggest features was a feature Microsoft are now calling Studio Mode, as it allows the Surface Pro’s incredible Kick Stand to go to just a low degree angle that it’s almost perfect for drawing and being productive. This level of Tilt from the Surface Pro we’d expect to make it’s way eventually to the Surface Laptop, though maybe that’s looking too far ahead, though that thing really doesn’t have much of an opening.

Microsoft have also drastically improved the Surface Pen, one of the biggest features now on is Tilt Mode, which ironically was the only feature Apple had on the Surface Pen with the Apple Pencil, allowing the Pen to now track a sidewards drag, giving you a more accurate paint pattern etc, for drawing. Naturally this is a new generation of Surface Pen, though Microsoft did say the technology is already there for existing Surface devices, which are expected to see support in a coming update.

One thing you won’t see on the Surface Pro (2017) is USB-C, which is surprising again, but the same USB-A (3.0), Mini Display Port and Surface Connector are your only ports on this thing, with the same microSD Card Slot. This isn’t at all a deal breaker, but it is a bit crazy how they’ve ignored that standard twice in a row. Maybe the Surface Pro 2018 perhaps, seen as they’ve now put pressure on themselves to make one annually now!

Fan-less, now not just M3, but Core i5!

One incredible feat Microsoft have done with the new Surface Pro comes with their new Fan-less design. Now, with the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft did bring fan-less design to the Surface Pro though limited it to the slower Intel Core M series chip, but now, you can also get a fan-less design on even the latest Intel Core i5 Kaby Lake Processor, which is incredible!

Granted, should you go for the more expensive Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake Processor, fans will return, but they’re incredibly subtle now.

Also thanks to the new Kaby Lake Processors and extra performance benefits in Windows 10, these are instant-on, AND double battery life, which is incredible! … or it would be if Microsoft’s battery estimates were anything close typically to reality, but still a great improvement.

LTE finally onboard

One of the biggest requested feature of what was originally expected to be a Surface 4 device (to upgrade from the Surface 3), was support for LTE, though surprisingly that’s now in the Surface Pro. One of the more incredible features of this, is that Microsoft have managed to do this without any compromise on the devices design, no additional bumps around the edges etc to accommodate an antenna band, which is incredible.

Though, LTE versions will be available, it is worth noting that this is a specification choice, not standard.

More expensive for us UK Folk, but you knew that already!

Whilst the Surface Pro (2017) will launch worldwide in 26 Countries, which is amazing, it has seen a garish price increase for us UK folks, and STILL doesn’t come with a Type Cover, which we think is ridiculous beyond means, but these are the prices you’ll be able to get the Surface Pro (2017) on June 15th;

  • 128GB Storage / pitiful 4GB RAM / Intel Core m3 = £799
  • 128GB Storage / still pitiful 4GB RAM / Intel Core i5 = £979
  • 256GB Storage / 8GB RAM / Intel Core i5 = £1249
  • 256GB Storage / 8GB RAM / Intel Core i7 = £1549
  • 512GB Storage / 16GB RAM /Intel Core i7 = £2149

and if your eyes aren’t watering enough;

  • 1TB Storage / 16GB RAM / Intel Core i7 = £2699

Yeah, it’s expensive. Plus, that Type Cover is STILL not expected to come with it, only if they announce it will would that price be slightly more appealing, bare in mind currently Type Covers sell for £149 each!

Microsoft Whiteboard

Another thing introduced by Microsoft today was the Microsoft Whiteboard, a collaborative Whiteboard application which allows anyone realistically running Windows 10 with Pen input, to use a Whiteboard more or less.

Whilst this is an incredibly impressive suite of software, with collaborative latency very low, were rather surprised Microsoft didn’t show this off at the Education event as this is fantastic for Education, but regardless it will be available coming the release of both the Surface Pro (2017) and the Education focused Surface Laptop so there’s that!

Surface Studio for all, including us UK Folks!

The Microsoft Service Studio is the most beautiful device we’ve never spoken about, why, because it was US exclusive, well, not anymore! That’s the good news, bad news is what you’ll be paying for it.

The Surface Studio, in terms of specifications was always a bit under-par. No true Solid State solution, more a Fusion drive solution using age-old HDD, and will still be using last-gen Intel processors, this is a true example of design over function, slightly. The biggest appeal of the Service Studio is it’s design, is its ability to concave to that incredible lower-tier, so in reality there’s many out there who will find this a perfect iMac for Windows solution, but do keep in mind before you start a mortgage for its price, that it already needs an update as soon as possible, and would likely be better to wait for that!

As expected, Microsoft ain’t sharing the price on their website, just yet, but this is a perfect indicator to the rather mediocre specs this thing realistically has, but we get it, it really is the most desirable Desktop since the original iMac, but trust us, resist.

How much will this behemoth cost you;

£3,000 – £4,250

Holy moley, that’s insane. You could literally get the highest possible spec iMac FROM APPLE for less than the top spec, rather pathetic spec Surface Studio, I’m serious, this is including the Apple RAM cost which you could get 32GB of RAM for £70 not £540 we did it ourselves. A 27-inch 5K iMac with 4.0GHz Quad-Core i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB of ACTUAL Flash Storage, and 4GB Dedicated Graphics, £3,779. And realistically, it’s not as you’d buy your own RAM, so it’s £3,309

We don’t like being this negative, but Microsoft really have screwed up on the price here.


 

But there you have it, that’s the all-new Surface Pro (2017), the arrival of the Surface Studio to our shores, the new Pen and a pretty neat Whiteboard app. What do you think? Will you be a new Surface owner come June 15th?!

Published by R-Tech

R-Tech is the source of all the latest Technology posts on RKUK Media.

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