The Microsoft 5th generation surface pro, the new edition of the Surface Pro series looks like two drops of water on the fourth generation of this 2-in-1 laptop / tablet. We searched for what is new, besides the high price.

According to market researcher IDC, 14.3 percent will sell more tablets with removable keyboard until 2021 on an annual basis. That market of detachables or 2-in-1s is the only one that grows in the computer market. Ordinary tablets lose out and desktops and laptops stagnate .

Microsoft 5th generation surface pro

Microsoft 5th generation surface pro

Perhaps that’s why Microsoft will finish out with a new tablet with removable keyboard after two years. The new Surface Pro looks like the fourth generation of Surface Pro 4 from 2015. But is no longer a number. It’s just “Surface Pro” or “New Surface Pro” or “Surface Pro 2017”.

Features

The 12.3-inch PixelSense touchscreen changed nothing against the Surface Pro 4. It has a pixel density of 267 ppi (2736 x 1824 pixels in a 3: 2 aspect ratio). That’s 24 percent more sharp than the third generation and that’s what you really see. The high resolution results in smaller screen letters. That is why the Windows 10 resolution is set to 200% by default.

The new Surface Pro is also delivered directly with the Windows 10 Creators Update, so it’s ready for use quickly. (But from mid-October, you will have to download a major update again . Because then the next update of Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update, will be released with support for mixed-reality headsets.)

The silver-colored magnesium chassis is retained  and the kickstand or movable cover with which you turn the tablet upside down remains adjustable. Therefore, place the screen part in any desired tilt position. The tablet can now use something more flat, Thanks to the 165 degree Studio Mode. This feature is intended for use with the separate pen.

The optional, but indispensable signature type cover keyboard quickly and easily snaps to the underside of the tablet magnetically. This happens with a nodule. So it tends to be closer to the screen than to the second generation Surface Pro keyboard and is also slightly tilted. This chick let keyboard types smoothly, but the quality fades with that of a ‘plain’ keyboard.

The keyboard is illuminated, but the  fingerprint sensor of the 4th-generation keyboard has disappeared . Instead, you can now use the front and back webcams to log in through Windows 10 Hello Authentication. The keyboard adds 310g to the weight of the tablet, which weighs slightly lighter than the fourth generation (770g for our Core i5 version tested).

By default, the Surface Pro 4 included an active Bluetooth stylus. In future, this is optional, but the new Surface Pen has four times more pressure levels (4,096 in total). This works much more accurately than before. The AAA battery is sufficient for a one-year pen autonomy.

The new Surface Pro is available with three different 7 the  generation Intel Core CPUs. The version with mobile Intel Core i7-7660U has another fan. But with our Core i5-7300U version, it’s missing, just like the Core m3-7Y30 variant. Both of these designs are therefore really whispering.

The connections are limited to one usb 3.0 type-a port and one mini display port. It’s a bit odd that Microsoft still did not build a usb type-c, let alone a Thunderbolt port.

The 12.3-inch PixelSense touchscreen changed nothing against the Surface Pro 4. It has a pixel density of 267 ppi (2736 x 1824 pixels in a 3: 2 aspect ratio). That’s 24 percent more sharp than the third generation and that’s what you really see. The high resolution results in smaller screen letters. Which is why the Windows 10 resolution is set to 200% by default.

You can expand the limited number of connections with an optional Surface Base Station that has three USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a 3.5mm audio input / output. Also, a mini DisplayPort video exit and a security lock slot.

The battery is more efficient than in the previous generation, according to Microsoft, until 13.5 hours.

Performance

The Microsoft 5th generation surface pro performs something similar with the same processor and the same memory. But not dramatically much faster than the two-year-old Surface Pro 4.

The weighted DiskIdee performance score of the new Surface Pro is 60/100, versus 58/100 for its predecessor. The battery’s autonomy has improved considerably, but overall performance and especially graphics performance hardly differs.

 

Surface Pro 2017                   Surface Pro 4                                                                          (2017)                                          (2015)

Battery test :                

Futuremark PCMark 8

Home Battery

Score total system (minutes)                   276                                             215

Futuremark PCMark 8 PCMark

Work Battery

Score total system (minutes)                  349                                             272

Benchmarks  :

Futuremark PCMark 8

Home 3.0 Accelerated score                2748                                        2680

Futuremark PCMark 8

Work 3.0 Accelerated Score                3550                                          3545

Futuremark PCMark 8

Creative 3.0 Accelerated Score          4099                                          3452

Futuremark PCMark 8

Storage Score                                              4998                                          4977

Futuremark PCMark 8

Storage Score MB / s                               291.11                                       279.77

Futuremark 3DMark

Professional Cloud Gate-

Score (DX10)                                               5406                                           5687

Futuremark 3DMark

Professional Sky Diver

(DX11 mainstream)                                3590                                           3560

 

Price

We see that trend in other brands of portable computers are becoming more expensive, almost ridiculous. See also our recent tests of the  Lenovo Yoga 910  and  HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2 .

A fully-featured new Surface Pro 2017 Model 1796 as tested by us (Intel i5 / 256GB storage / 8GB ram / Type Cover / Stylus) costs € 1,738.98 including VAT!

The cheapest but much slower version with Intel M3 with 4GB RAM and 128GB of storage costs € 1,238.98.

The most expensive variant with Intel Core i7, 16GB ram and 1TB NVMe ssd costs – do not scare – € 3,388.98. Do you also want a Microsoft Surface Dock? Then add € 229.99 to the price tag.

 

Conclusion

The still very stylish Microsoft 5th generation surface pro is not much faster comparing to it’s previous version, But more expensive than the model marketed two years ago. If you have the fourth generation then there is definitely no reason to upgrade.

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