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On the surface

  • Published at 05:43 pm April 26th, 2016
  • Last updated at 05:55 pm April 26th, 2016
On the surface

People still wonder if there ever will be an affordable device that can replace a legitimate laptop. There are robust tablets now that can actually substitute for a laptop. The most recent Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (2015) was an indicator that a company could actually take this one-of-a-kind path. The success of the Pro 4 led way for iPad Pro and Google's Pixel C to borrow a few elements of the Surface Pro. Now, we look into what the new model has in store for consumers.

The specs While the actual release date of the device has yet to be confirmed, we can only make an educated guess that will be available early 2017. What we can also expect is the obvious upgrades under the hood. The Surface Pro 4 has the latest sixth-generation Skylake Intel processor (Core m3, Core i5 or Core i7). Skylake's successor Kaby Lake won't hit the market until later this year, so you can expect the new upgrade to be available with the new Surface Pro 5.

It may not be wishful thinking either if Microsoft puts in some improvements on the Pro's keyboard cover. Traditionally, the keyboards are sold separately for $129. The keyboard is an integral part of the entire Surface Pro experience so we can only hope there is more bang for your buck for the new and improved keyboards. What will be wishful thinking is if the company decides to add the keyboard within the same box as the Surface Pro. It's not an impossible idea, but don't hold your breath either.

The touchscreen stylus, which is standard with every Surface device, will possibly have a nice upgrade itself. We might even see the new USB C ports, which might team up with the microSD card slot, Mini DisplayPort and the audio jack.

Price Alright, here's the hard part. These devices, robust travellers they are, will cost a pretty penny. In other words, these suckers are not cheap. The entry level for the Surface Pro 4, at the moment, is $899. This model offers the Intel Core M3 CPU, 128GB SSD storage and 4GB of RAM, along with the touchscreen stylus. $999 is for the 256GB SSD with 8GB of RAM. Recent reports say the intro-level will remain at $899, and the $999 model will have the Intel Core i7. Phew. Only time will tell all the official stats of the new Pro 5.