Microsoft announces the Surface Pro with a nifty new design and big battery boost

Over at a press event in Shanghai, Microsoft has revealed the next model in its Surface range of hybrids, and as expected, the follow-up to the Surface Pro 4 has dropped the number and is simply called the Surface Pro.

Also as expected, the power of the convertible has been boosted with an upgrade to Kaby Lake processors, which are fanless – meaning this is a quieter-running and more power-efficient device. Plus there’s optional support for 4G LTE coming later this year.

And the new Surface Pro has witnessed some improvements to the overall design, including rounded edges, and less bulk – this is the lightest model of the hybrid yet at 770g (and 8.5mm thin) for the Core m3 version.

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But the biggest design move is an improved hinge, meaning the kickstand can go much further back to an almost flat position, called Studio Mode.

As with the Surface Studio, this allows for a more comfortable experience when doing things like sketching on the Surface Pro with the stylus (or using the Surface Dial with the hybrid).

Speaking of the pen, this is also revamped and now boasts 4,096 levels of pressure, tilt sensitivity, and an improved 21ms latency, with Microsoft promising to deliver the ‘best writing experience’ thus far.

Beefy battery

The Surface Pro has a claimed battery life of 13.5 hours, an impressive boost (the Surface Pro 4 offers nine hours of longevity according to Microsoft’s official figures). There are no USB Type-C ports here though, with just a plain Type-A port, mini-DisplayPort and audio jack.

Microsoft further claims that the new machine is 1.7x faster than the iPad Pro (and 2.5x faster than the Surface Pro 3).

As promised, enhanced Type Cover keyboards of the Alcantara (fabric) variety were also revealed alongside the refreshed hybrid.

As for the asking price of the new Surface Pro, the entry-level model starts at $799 in the US and £799 in the UK (that’s around AU$1,380). It goes on sale on June 15.