Microsoft held an event in Shanghai today where they introduced an updated Surface Pro 4 only called the Surface Pro. The new “versatile laptop” offers smaller refinements from te previous generations but overall is the same 2-in-1 Microsoft has offered over the past couple of years. While there is an absence of USB-C, Microsoft managed to make some design and functionality jumps. The Core i5 and i7 models both dropped active cooling and went entirely fanless. A new chip inside the “laptop” allows for the Surface Pro to offer LTE support, a first for the Surface lineup. The 12.3-inch 2736×1824 PixelSense remains the same, but there are updates to the Surface Pen and apps to support the pen further.
The last a final update to the Surface Pro is the hinge which can now fold back to 165-degrees, making it lounge back like the Studio. In fact, Microsoft calls it Studio Mode. The basic model starts at $799 for the M3 version, while the i7 model maxes out at $2,699. The maxed out version is a hefty price for the “most versatile laptop,” but still less than a maxed out MacBook Pro. Pre-orders start today with the device shipping June 15th in a total of 25 markets.
Microsoft refined the Surface family
The changes to the marketing for the laptops, 2-in-1’s, desktop makes the lineup from Microsoft more appealing. The laptop is “performance made personal,” the Book is “the ultimate laptop,” the Studio is “turn your desk into a studio,” and the Pro is “the most versatile laptop.” Microsoft changed the Surface Pro marketing from a 2-in-1 to a laptop, which is a small but meaningful change. The company is embracing the traditional laptop style over the new tablet form factor which was a big push with Windows 8.
Microsoft is giving you a device for every need. You can have a Windows device at your desk or on the go. There is a laptop for students. You have a 2-in-1 for professionals. Lastly, you have a desktop studio or the ultimate laptop experience. The family of devices for Microsoft is a first. It’s more cohesive than Apple’s product lineup which feels overwhelming now.
Microsoft looks they’ve hit the jackpot with their marketing and devices. They’re premium Windows 10 devices are targeting a market of disgruntled Apple professional users. While Windows 10 is still a mess, and slightly less user-friendly than MacOS, it’s come a long way. Developers have access to Bash on Windows 10, and you can install a virtualized Linux OS through the Windows Store. The future of Microsoft is bright.
Maybe I’m looking at Microsoft too optimistically? Does anyone want to drop $2,000 for a premium Windows laptop when they can get the same design and specs from another OEM like Dell or HP? Let me know in the comments below!