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New Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) vs Surface Pro 4 (2015): What’s the difference?

We compare the new 2017 model of Surface Pro to Microsoft’s previous Surface Pro 4 device, to see how these 2-in-1 tablet/laptop convertibles stack up.

Microsoft has just taken the wraps off a new Surface Pro hybrid tablet-cum-laptop that it says is faster, more powerful, even lighter and more intuitive to use than the 18-month-old Surface Pro 4.

The new name ditches those numbers for a simple Surface Pro title. This is partly because the new model has been completely redesigned inside and out, for an rebooted experience better than ever before. At least, so claims Microsoft. Perhaps the company just fancied doing an Apple, who in 2017 has already released the all-new ‘Apple iPad‘.

The new Surface Pro consists of a whopping 800 new parts when compared to the older Surface Pro 4. So what’s actually changed and will this new platform be the ultimate way to experience Windows 10?

Check out our detailed comparison of the new Surface Pro 2017 model with the iPad Pro, Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and Huawei’s all-new MateBook E.

New Surface Pro is faster and lasts longer than Surface Pro 4

One of the biggest and most important updates for the new Surface Pro is the processor tech. Stuffed inside this convertible device you’ll now find Intel’s latest seventh generation Kaby Lake CPUs (with a choice of m3, i5 or i7 processors). These fanless chipsets support up to 16GB of RAM and offer Intel HD Graphics 615 or 620, or Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, depending on the model involved.

The older Surface Pro 4 topped out at Intel Core M, i5 and i7 6th-gen models with Intel HD Graphics 540.

What does that actually mean in normal speak? Well, you can of course expect the new Surface Pro 2017 model to be faster than the older Pro 4. You can also expect more efficient processing – in fact, Microsoft reckons you’ll get 13.5 hours of mixed use on a single charge. We’ll be testing this out in full for our new Surface Pro review, of course.

New Surface Pro sports a different design to the Pro 4

Microsoft is proud to say that the new Surface Pro is ‘ultra light’, for added portability and convenience. The official specs place it somewhere between 766g and 786g, depending on your chosen chipsets. The older Surface Pro 4, by comparison, weighed in at between…766g and 786g. Hmm, slightly confusing.

When Microsoft launched the Surface Laptop, it made a big deal about that Alcantara skinned keyboard. Well, now it’s added the same material to the new Surface Pro. This Alcantara Type Cover will offer the same grip and tactile feedback as well as high quality finish that you get on the laptop, for a more premium feel compared with the Surface Pro 4’s standard Type Cover.

Microsoft says the new Surface Pro is also more flexible, literally, thanks to the upgraded hinge mechanism. This will fold right out into the new Studio mode, meaning a lie-flat position ideal for using the Surface Pen.

Ports are the same across both Surface Pro models with USB 3.0, mini-DisplayPort and microSD expandability on offer.

New Surface Pro has a next-gen Surface Pen

Microsoft has launched the next-gen Surface Pen along with the latest Surface Pro device. This features a hefty 4,096 levels of pressure, measuring with a 21ms latency and tilt sensitivity. If you’re after incredible precision for your creative sketches, this is the one for you.

It also looks like you’ll have access to the Surface Dial accessory that appeared with the Surface Studio. That means the ability to quickly select new tools and manipulate on-screen items with ease.

How do the other specs compare?

Microsoft’s enhanced colour PixelSense display has been used for the new 2017 edition of Surface Pro. That means a 12.3-inch multi-touch screen with a 2736 x 1824 resolution. For the eagle eyed, you’ll notice that’s the same resolution as the Surface Pro 4, offering a pleasing 267 pixels-per-inch.

Both the new and old Surface Pro feature 8-megapixel rear cameras that can record up to 1080p HD video, plus 5-megapixel front-facing cameras also with 1080p HD video capabilities.

No changes when it comes to storage space, either. Both Surface Pros are available with these storage options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB.

New Microsoft Surface Pro’s asking price is slightly higher than the Surface Pro 4

As you’d probably expect, the latest Surface Pro is a little more pricey than the older Surface Pro 4, but not by much.

The new Surface Pro will be released on June 15 here in the UK, starting at £799. The Surface Pro 4, still available to buy now, starts at £749.

Since you can spec the models out as you please, that price can go all the way up to just over £2300 on the Surface Pro 4. Meanwhile the new Surface Pro tops out at an eye-watering £2700.

Stay tuned for our in-depth new Surface Pro review.


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