Microsoft Surface Pro 7: what we want to see

Surface Pro 7 is, perhaps, one of the highly anticipated releases from Microsoft. However, whether or not it measures up to the growing demands of its target audience is something we’ll have to wait and see.

After all, even though Microsoft has consistently been producing some of the best Windows tablets and 2-in-1 laptops for a while now with its Surface lineup, the Surface Pro 6  unveiled back in October 2018 only offered small improvements over the 2017 model. So, we were starting to think we weren’t going to see more substantial improvements to the Surface Pro formula.

So far, the Surface Pro 7 is looking promising – that is, if we were to go by the rumors we’ve come across. We’re starting to see all sorts of patents for the new Surface Pro coming out of the woodwork that might change the game for how we use Microsoft’s tablets.

For example, there’s a brand new USB-C magnetic Surface charger, which we really hope comes to fruition. Pair that with Intel’s new Ice Lake processors, which is highly plausible if the new benchmarks spotted online were that of the Surface Pro 7, and it might end up being the most powerful model yet. As long as Microsoft doesn’t pack it with new ARM processors instead.

However, because nothing is certain, these are all just educated guesses, though we might actually hear more once Microsoft’s October 2nd event comes around. Still, we will continue to update this article with any new information that we hear.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next Surface Pro tablet
  • When is it out? Late 2019 at the earliest
  • What will it cost? Probably around $899 (£879, AU$1,349) to start.

Surface Pro 7

Surface Pro 7 release date

Because the Surface Pro 6 only recently came out, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the next one be released before the end of 2019.

The Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pro 6 both came on the market in October 2015 and 2018, respectively. However, the Surface Pro 2017 did get a June release date. It’s likely that the Surface Pro 7 could come out in October 2019, but the release schedule for Surface Pro devices seems to be about every 16 to 18 months. In other words, there may not be a Surface Pro 7 until Spring or Summer 2020.

We may see it hit the streets in October, however, if Microsoft wants to stick to that annualized release. The Redmond corporation has already sent out the invites and is gearing up for its October 2 event. And since it’ll be a whole year since Microsoft revealed new Surface hardware, and two years since it released the Surface Book 2, we’re hoping that the Surface Pro 7 will rear its pretty head then.

Don’t worry, we’ll update this article just as soon as new information comes our way – official or otherwise – regarding the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 release date.

Surface Pro 7

Surface Pro 7 price

The Surface Pro 6 initially cost $899 (£879, AU$1,349) for the base configuration, a marked price increase over the Surface Pro 2017, the base model of which was $799 (£799, AU$1,199). So, the pricing of the Surface Pro 7 could go in one of two directions: either it will get another price bump of $100, or stay the same price as before. We doubt the price will drop, however.

If the price does increase by another $100, and launches at $999 (about £770, AU$1,380), it’ll put the Surface Pro 7 at the same price point as computers like the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre x360 – not to mention the new iPad Pro.

Like anything else we’ve listed, we won’t actually know the real pricing of the Surface Pro 7 until Microsoft is willing to share it. But again, we’ll update this article if and when that happens.

Surface Pro 7

What we want to see

Since the release of the Surface Pro 7 is so far away at the moment, it’s hard to foresee what exactly is in store for the next Surface device. Still, based on all the patents that Microsoft has filed lately, like an update to the Surface Pen that would make it more accurate, we put together a wish list of improvements that we’d like to see.

Blazing speed
Back at CES 2019, Intel unveiled Ice Lake, the first 10nm processors for laptops. And, while we don’t know a whole lot about the processors’ performance, the smaller manufacturing process should undeniably lead to improved performance and efficiency.

Still, we’ve heard some rumors that Qualcomm Snapdragon-equipped Surface devices are “floating around”. It’s doubtful that the top-end Surface Pro 7 would utilize an ARM processor like this, as there would be possible problems with software emulation of x86 apps.

Nevertheless, we might see an entry-level Surface device implementing these ARM chips.

If the Surface Pro 7 does use these new processors, you should expect quite the improved performance and battery life across the board.

Thunderbolt 3, please
Microsoft, for obvious reasons not worth going into here, has been uncertain about including Thunderbolt 3 in its Surface Products. And, while this was understandable in the early days, it’s getting trickier to ignore with each Surface release.

Happily, we have reason to think that Microsoft will reveal the Surface Pro 7 with Thunderbolt 3 support, or at the very least basic USB-C charging. Microsoft has patented a new magnetic charger with a USB-C input that would work like the current Surface charger.

We’re not actually sure of whether Surface Pro 7 will support Thunderbolt 3, as it depends on Microsoft’s openness to exchanging its proprietary technology for Thunderbolt 3 that it will have to pay Intel to license. That is, unless USB4 becomes available in time for a release.

An improved Type Cover
The Surface Pro 6’s Type Cover is already one of the best tablet keyboard accessories on the market. It’s not only extraordinarily responsive, but also gives a lot of feedback and is made of sturdy materials. However, we haven’t seen any big improvements to it since the Surface Pro 2017. We don’t believe there’s any such thing as a perfect product, but we do want to see how Microsoft will improve on the peripheral moving forward.

Just like the charging capabilities, we may have an idea of what the next generation Type Cover could look like. Microsoft has patented a thinner Type Cover that could minimize the footprint of the device all around. It looks like Microsoft is planning on doing this by using a trackpad that’s integrated right into the printed circuit board.

It might also utilize haptic feedback in the keys, to improve the tactile response of typing, which would be vital on a slimmer keyboard cover.

It’s a strange move, but it’s caught our attention regardless – if Microsoft can make the Type Cover thinner without making the same mistakes as Apple’s Butterfly keyboards, it might be a game-changer.

We’ve also seen a patent that would make the fabric covering the Type Cover smarter. It should feature touch sensitivity, so you can swipe through news stories and photos without needing to find the touchpad or the touchscreen. We’re not sure who was asking for this tech, but it’s still a cool concept.

Image Credit: TechRadar

Source link