Tech giant Microsoft announced the latest version of its popular Surface Pro laptop today, some 18 months after it released the Surface Pro 4. The new Surface Pro -- Microsoft isn't calling it the Surface Pro 5 -- comes with an upgraded Kaby Lake 7th generation Intel Core processor, which the company said runs 2.5 times faster than the Surface Pro 3.
The new Surface Pro (pictured above) offers 13.5 hours of battery life with a full charge, an improvement of more than 50 percent over the previous model, according to Microsoft. It is also lighter than its predecessors, weighing in at just 1.69 pounds for the lightest models, in part due to a new fanless design available on the Core m3 and Core i5 versions.
It's a Laptop, not a Tablet
While Microsoft has firmly positioned previous versions of the Surface Pro as members of the tablet category, the company is pitching the new device as a laptop in its marketing material. The company referred to the new Surface Pro, which supports a detachable keyboard and stylus, as "the most versatile laptop on the planet."
For the most part, the new Surface Pro looks a lot like its predecessors. The majority of the improvements for this iteration are internal. In addition to the upgraded processor, the new version also sports an integrated SSD on its motherboard and improved sleep functionality to help save on battery life. It will also feature Qualcomm's 4G LTE Advanced cellular service later this year to provide road warriors with a bit more mobile connectivity.
Creatives and Business Pros Alike
The company is positioning the new Surface Pro as the ultimate tool for graphic designers and other artists, with a large 12.3-inch display that supports the Surface Pen.
"Twice as accurate as the previous version and enhanced by our PixelSense Accelerator custom silicon, the new Surface Pen and new Surface Pro together set the industry standard for faster, more fluid writing and drawing, and now Surface Pen supports tilt for more natural shading," the company said in a statement.
But Microsoft is not just going for the creative community. With the addition of its new Inking feature, the company is hoping business professionals will also see value in the functionality of the Surface Pen. Inking allows users to mark up documents written in applications across Windows 10 and within the Microsoft Office suite, similar to the way they would use pens to make notes on hard copy documents.
The new models are set to launch June 15, and will start at $799, not including the Surface Pen or the detachable keyboard, which are being sold separately.