The Surface Pro gets an update, but still no USB Type-C

Though Surface users can finally get a model with seventh generation Intel Core chips, they have to forgo some other modern features.

May 26, 2017

Share: Facebook Twitter Google Linkedin | Print E-mail

Though Surface users can finally get a model with seventh generation Intel Core chips, they have to forgo some other modern features.

Like the new type cover, the Surface Pen is now a separate purchase from the tablet.
(Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft has finally updated its Surface Pro, dropping the numbering in the name that it used through the Surface Pro 4. While this naming convention better fits what Apple has done with its MacBook Pro line, it's also possible that the name Surface Pro 5 would have led consumers to expect big upgrades. In fact, little has changed between the Surface Pro 4 and this new Surface Pro.

As expected, Microsoft updated the CPUs to 7th generation Intel Core chips, which means the new Core i5 model is fanless. It's also a little thinner and lighter, has better key travel on the new type covers and the new Surface Pen has 4096 pressure points with just 21 milliseconds of latency. Unfortunately, Microsoft is no longer including the pen as part of the purchase, which means both the pen and the type cover must be purchased separate for $99 and $129 respectively.

Surface fans might also be disappointed but unsurprised to learn that Microsoft still hasn't included a USB Type-C port. Instead, the Surface Pro still uses a USB 3.1 Type-A port, a mini-DisplayPort and Microsoft's proprietary charging port that also supports the Surface Dock.

The introduction of the new Surface Pro means a couple of things for Windows hardware. The most important thing for Microsoft is that it finally has a unified Surface strategy across four different devices (Surface Book, Surface Laptop, Surface Pro, Surface Studio) that all support the same peripherals and official accessories. The negative implications for Microsoft's hardware division is that leaving out USB Type-C puts it at a disadvantage compared to other companies. Perhaps it's all the same to Microsoft, however, as long as everyone else is also using Windows.

HP recently refreshed its Spectre x2 tablet/laptop hybrid device. It now supports up to an Intel Core i7 processor and it includes the keyboard cover. Moreover, it has two USB Type-C ports, leaving out the Type-A ports on the previous generation. The Spectre x2 starts at $1,000, which is much higher than the starting price of the new $799 Surface Pro. When the price of the keyboard cover and pen are included, though, the Spectre x2 price looks a lot more competitive.

A uniform product line across different devices must be important to Microsoft. It's possible that USB Type-C won't show up in Microsoft hardware until the company can introduce the feature in all its products and it has a line of accessories to go with it. Until then, plenty of other brands have been happy to make Windows products with Type-C ports. China manufacturers are even including them in cheaper Windows tablets, making their absence in the Surface line even more of a curiosity.

Share: Facebook Twitter Google Linkedin | Print E-mail

Additional Information

Send me the latest Product Alerts for Windows tablets

Sign up for Product Alert e-mail updates - FREE

  • Windows tablets
  • Projector tablets
  • 3G/ 4G tablets
  • Android tablets
  • Glasses-free 3D tablets

Subscribe (No SPAM - We will not sell or share your e-mail address.)

Learn more | See sample

Meet Exhibitors At Our Global Sources Exhibitions

Global Sources
Mobile Electronics Show
October 18-21, 2017

See list of all Global Sources Exhibitions

The No. 1 Site for Buyers of Mobile Electronics

New product coverage updated daily, plus exclusive reports, research and analysis.

Top 20 Most Popular Smartphones
Top 20 Most Popular Mobile Electronics - Smartphones
  • The most popular products during the last 7 days
  • Based on key factors including page views and inquiries
See Today's Top 20 Smartphones
Analyst's Choice
Analyst's Choice - Mobile Electronics
  • Innovative and newly released products
  • Asia's biggest brands and OEM manufacturers
View Products Now

Visit the Mobile Electronics Site for the best industry coverage

Download Electronics e-Magazine

Login or register for immediate download

  • Discover new Windows tablets and other Electronics...
  • Detailed information of verified Windows tablets suppliers
  • You may also be interested:
  • Discover even more related products and suppliers in Smart Living e-magazine.

Note: Magazines are available in English only.

Featured Hot Products

Submit your Buying Request with TradeMatch

Fast and easy to use

Receive tailored offers

Compare quotations

Learn more

Click here to receive FREE e-mail updates