We have been hearing rumors that Microsoft was working on yet another new Surface for quite some time but we didn’t actually expect that there will be actually two of them. One being the Surface Book 2-in-1 convertible laptop and then there’s this: the Surface Pro 4, which is a much more traditional product when it comes to the Surface family.
By traditional, I mean that the Surface Pro 4 doesn’t deviate from what Microsoft has cooked up for previous Surface products. In fact, the basic design still more or less identical to Surface Pro 3 with its 3:2 aspect ratio form factor, magnesium chassis in silver colourway, and kickstand with resistive hinges. Even its I/O ports and power connectors are identical to Surface Pro 3.
Despite not having huge difference in terms of physical design, there are still plenty of improvements over its predecessors. For example, the PixelSense display on Surface Pro 4 has thinner bezels which subsequently allows Microsoft to implement a slightly larger 12.3-inch display on the device. Not only that, the display’s resolution has been increased to 2,736 x 1,824 which has a pixel density of 267 ppi.
Microsoft has also removed Windows button from the right side of the display which should be a joy for owners of previous Surface Pro who found themselves pressing the button by accident when they are using the Surface Pen with the tablet. Other than being physically thinner than Surface Pro 3, the 8.45 mm Surface Pro 4 is also lighter than its predecessor at only 766 to 786 grams.
With the recent release of the 6th generation Intel Core processors, Microsoft has adopted some of the new chips for Surface Pro 4 which gives up to 30% more performance than the Haswell-based Surface Pro 3. Surprisingly, Intel has choose Core m3 for the base model of Surface Pro 4 instead of Core i3.
At the same time, Microsoft has also revealed a new Type Cover to go with it. Just like the tablet itself, the new optional keyboard attachment for Surface Pro 4 also features improvements over its predecessor rather than being a totally new product. For one, Microsoft has managed to make the new Surface Pro 4 Type Cover even thinner than its predecessor
Other than that, the gap between its keys is now much more visible than before. The keys also feel much more responsive and seem to have better travel distance. Additionally, the new Type Cover is also equipped with a precision glass trackpad that is not only feels quite smooth but it is also 40% larger than Surface Pro 3 Type Cover.
Just like Surface Book, the new Surface Pro 4 also contains magnets on one of its side that act as a storage mount for the new Surface Pen. I would take the magnetic mount over Pen Loop anytime but as mentioned in the hands on with Surface Book which has similar mount for the new Surface Pen, I don’t think it would reduce the chances of losing the pen even though the magnets are quite strong.
Among all the new Windows 10 devices that Microsoft has launched at New York last night, only Surface Pro 4 has a firm release date for Malaysia which will be on 19 November 2015. Pricing for Malaysia is not available at the moment but if you need some indication, the price of Surface Pro 3 in United States starts at USD 899 (about RM 3,784) and that’s not including the new Type Cover which itself costs USD 129.99 (about RM 547).
All things considered and as far as my first impressions are concerned, the new Surface Pro 4 is a refinement of the excellent job that Microsoft has did with Surface Pro 3. Of course, the final verdict is still out there until we able to get our hands on the retail unit and learn more about its potentials as well as shortcomings; hopefully soon enough.