Microsoft managed to offer the market an almost perfect 2 in 1 device with the Surface Pro. Solid compactness, powerful specs good enough for power users, amazing screen, excellent keyboard and a solid Windows ecosystem made the Surface Pro line very successful, with the latest Surface Pro 5 rumored to debut during the first half of 2017.
But Microsoft didn’t manage to make a perfect hybrid between a laptop and a tablet. There are still some downsides found on the Surface Pro 4 disallowing it to become the best possible hybrid device. While some can’t be improved – like compactness since the screen must remain large enough in order to do serious work on the device – there are some other disadvantages that can be improved with the release of the Surface Pro 5.
For instance, the battery life can be much better. And if Microsoft decides to use the latest, seventh-generation of Intel Core CPUs (Kaby Lake), the battery life can gain a lot. The new processors from Intel are much better when it comes to power efficiency over previous iterations, especially the ones meant for mobile devices (laptops, 2-in-1 hybrids).
There are some rumors talking about the possibility of Microsoft to include Qualcomm’s ARM-based CPUs in the upcoming Surface Pro lineup. While making an ARM-based CPU the first choice isn’t really probable, Microsoft could decide to pack Snapdragon CPU inside entry-level Surface Pro 5 variants, thus making battery life even longer than by using Kaby Lake processors. Qualcomm and Microsoft already showed full Windows 10 running on Snapdragon chipset, so including a Snapdragon CPU as an option could happen.
Aside from easing up battery burden with CPUs that are less power hungry, the Surface Pro could become even faster by implementing seventh-gen Core i7 CPUs into the lineup, giving the Surface Pro even more power while at the same time expanding battery life.
Another potential improvement is the inclusion of the rechargeable Surface Pen. Surface Pen is used on the Surface Pro 4, but it uses a disposable AAAA battery. When the battery dies (Microsoft claims it can last a full year) you can’t recharge it, and since there are good chances you’ll forget about the battery powering the stylus, you won’t have a replacement by your side.
If rumors are true, Microsoft could include a rechargeable Surface Pen with the Surface Pro 5. The pen will have a rechargeable battery supporting wireless charging, a huge upgrade over the previous Surface Pen.
The Surface pro is most likely to come equipped with USB Type-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 support, ditching the USB 3.0 port found on the Surface Pro 4. Universal UCB C port can make things easier, and there’s a chance for Microsoft to include both options, the best possible outcome if you ask us.
As for the Surface, Pro 5 reveal date, there are solid chances for Microsoft to unveil the device at MWC 2017 in Barcelona (February 27 – March 2, 2017). If company skips MWC, we could see the upcoming hybrid during a standalone event before the end of Q2, 2017.