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Microsoft Releases 5th Generation Surface Pro
By Jef Cozza
Posted: June 15, 2017 10:41am PDT

External accessories can be connected to the Surface Pro via a full-size USB 3.0 port. The line also features a microSD card reader and headset jack.

Microsoft launched the newest version of its Surface Pro 2-in-1 device today -- a convenient cross between a laptop PC and tablet. The new model comes in a 12.3-inch form factor that features a 2736 x 1824 resolution touchscreen display.

The latest iteration of the Surface Pro weighs in at just 1.69 pounds, making it attractive as a lightweight mobile device. Meanwhile, enterprises will likely appreciate the device's support for Windows Hello facial recognition sign-in feature, which should help increase security.

The new Surface Pro device also features the TPM security chip for enterprise-level security, and comes with a 5.0MP front-facing and a 8.0MP rear-facing camera. The Pro will be running a full-fledged version of the Windows operating system in the form of Windows Pro, rather than the stripped-down Windows S version Microsoft is shipping with the Surface Laptop.

More Attractive to Artists

Microsoft has upgraded the new model from Intel's Skylake architecture to Intel's more advanced Kaby Lake chip. The change is expected to improve battery life up to 50 percent, according to Microsoft's estimates. The new Surface Pro also offers accelerated 4K HEVC video decoding, and a new stylus with reduced latency and four times as many different pressure levels as its predecessor, plus new support for drawing at a tilted angle.

While the stylus used to come included with all but the cheapest Surface Pro models, users will now have to shell out extra for it, as the price of the stylus has increased to $100 from $60. For artists who plan to use the Surface Pro for drawing on the go, the pen might represent enough of an upgrade to justify the increased investment.

In fact, artists and other creative professionals seem to be the key demographic Microsoft is targeting with its latest set of upgrades. The company is also hyping the new model's improved kickstand, which allows the device to be propped up at more angles, making it more attractive as a drawing surface.

Up to 1 TB SSD

External accessories can be connected to the Surface Pro via a full-size USB 3.0 port. The line also features a microSD card reader and headset jack.

The fifth iteration of the Surface Pro comes in six different models. The entry-level edition will run you $799, is powered by Intel's Core m3 processor, and comes with 4 GB of RAM, and a 128 GB SSD hard drive. Moving up to $999 will get you an i5 processor, which you can bump up to 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD for $1,299.

The cheapest model running on an i7 processor starts at $1,599 and also comes with Intel's Iris integrated graphics processor for faster photo, video, and 3D workloads. For $2,199, users can bump up the specs to a 512 GB SSD and 16 GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the top-line model, which comes with a 1 TB SSD, will cost $2,699.

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