Surface Pro 5 release date, news and rumors


You might suspect that the Surface Pro 2017 is the closest we’ll ever get to the Surface Pro 5, but if Microsoft itself is anything to go by, you would be dead wrong. The Surface Pro 5 doesn’t exist right now, as Microsoft Surface leader Panos Panay confirmed last May, but it will when more meaningful changes erupt from the geniuses at Microsoft’s hardware design lab.

More specifically, echoing Panay, while there’s “no such thing as a [Surface] Pro 5” right now, there will be when the time is right. When Microsoft can come up with upgrades that radically improve the dynamics of its wildly popular Surface Pro 4, it isn’t too far-fetched to presume that we’ll see a name change beyond the confiscation of a numerical value.

2018 could be the year that we see the Surface Pro 5 and all that it entails. Last May, Panay said that if the Surface Pro 5 ever does exist, it will be when it can bear changes more significant than a simple processor refresh. There’s no telling for sure when or if that will take place, but the next time it could will be around the anniversary of the latest Surface Pro.

As the 2017 Surface Pro emerged in mid-June of last year, the next Surface Pro – whether it’s the 5 or the Next or what have you – is months away based on that fact. And although the new and improved Surface Pro of yesteryear introduced a better battery life and a Surface Pen equipped with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, that wouldn’t be enough for Microsoft to justify upgrading the number in its title along with amping up its specs. Let’s take a look at what would.

Cut to the chase

-What is it? The would-be fifth Surface Pro tablet

-When is it out? Spring 2018 at the earliest

-What will it cost? Likely as much as – if not more than – the current model

Surface Pro 5 release date

Reports dating back to March 2016 led us to believe that the Surface Pro 5 would come out alongside the Windows 10 Creators Update, and that would have made complete sense had it actually come to fruition. Instead, the Creators Update launched, complete with a handful of new designer- and gamer-focused software features, but with no first-party hardware in sight.

Of course, as we mentioned before, the 2017 Surface Pro was revealed not long thereafter at a Microsoft event in Shanghai. We certainly wouldn’t bet on an imminent Surface Pro 5 release given that the rumors are scarce right now and Microsoft is hard at work safeguarding its devices against Meltdown and Spectre.

That goes without mentioning the fact that the Surface Pro with LTE only just came out on December 1 and has since been accompanied by a healthy dose of firmware treats. There’s no way a company would launch a follow-up product a month and some change later. What’s more likely is that Microsoft will continue to deliver system-specific updates to the existing Surface Pro until its sequel is ready in the warmer months of 2018.

Surface Pro 5 price

Historically, Surface pricing rarely fluctuates with each new variation. At the Shanghai event on May 23, the Surface Pro was revealed to come with a $799 price in the US or £799 in the UK (that’s around AU$1,380) for the entry-level model.

If the Surface Pro 5 is indeed the Surface Pro, then we now know for sure what the price will be. But, if the Surface Pro 5 is the would-be successor to the Surface Pro, then maybe we can expect a higher price tag.

While it wouldn’t be ideal for Microsoft’s loyal following if the company deviated too far from the norm, ambitious upgrades may necessitate that it does. For the price of the next Surface Pro to differ from its predecessors, it would have to offer some serious advantages over its last-gen sibling – not just a run-of-the-mill spec boost.

Regardless, the ball is in Microsoft’s court here, and if pricier new additives like, say, a bezel-less display are implemented into the baseline model, it’s not unprecedented for PC makers to issue a price hike.

Surface Pro 5 specs

In terms of specs, what little we know is based on tweets from Microsoft informant Paul Thurrott whose sources have told him that the Surface Pro 5 will indeed use an Intel 7th-generation Kaby Lake processor.

More likely, though, is that he was confusing the Surface Pro 5 for the new Surface Pro considering it, too, uses Kaby Lake. Not to be confused with the 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh processors, Intel’s 7th-gen Kaby Lake processors are a more than sufficient upgrade for any Windows tablet or laptop purchased prior to 2015.

Port-wise, as it stands (and as Thurrott had also predicted), the Surface Connect proprietary charger is here to stay, meaning the latest Surface Pro – and presumably the Surface Pro 5 – don’t use USB Type-C for charging or data transfers. That said, this is bound to change given that the Surface Book 2 does offer native support for USB-C.

Surface Pro 5 design

Ahead of its announcement, a leak published by VentureBeat showed off a number of press renders that claimed to be of the Surface Pro 4’s successor. As it turns out, that was only half true. These designs ended up representing the Surface Pro rather than a true Surface Pro 5.

Those who were hoping for an intense overhaul of the Surface Pro 4’s appearance will certainly be in for a rude awakening. Yet, for those of us who adore the SP4’s current look and only care about performance refinements, this will do just fine.

Those who were hoping for an intense overhaul of the Surface Pro 4’s appearance will certainly be in for a rude awakening. Yet, for those of us who adore the SP4’s current look and only care about performance refinements, this will do just fine.

Surface Pro 5 stylus and Dial

One piece of the puzzle regarding every new Surface is how Microsoft will upgrade its Surface Pen stylus accessory that comes bundled with each tablet. The most recent Surface Pro iteration may have been treated to a helping of 4,096 pressure sensitivity levels, but back in January 2016, we were led to believethat a rechargeable stylus was in the works in Redmond.

Another interesting patent filed by Microsoft describes a renewed Surface Pen loop, designed to latch the Surface Pen onto your Surface devices via a USB connection. Not only would it hold the Surface Pen into position when needed, but it would simultaneously charge the accessory for prolonged continuous use.

Of course, Microsoft also has the Surface Dial in its clasp. The designer-focused puck-like accessory was briefly mentioned in a slideshow presentation in December, with ZDNet having picked up the slides itself for use in a news story. The company claims that peripherals such as the Dial, wearables, headsets and more are factors essential to what is perceived as the “modern PC.”

Also mentioned was the incorporation of “hero features” such as Cortana and Windows Hello, and although a fingerprint scanner didn’t make it into the new Surface Pro itself, there is an optional Type Cover that includes this functionality. With that in mind, we can surmise that if or when a Surface Pro 5 is announced, it will also support fingerprint recognition.