Microsoft announced its new Surface Pro (aka the Surface Pro 5) in May 2017, 17 months after the release of the Surface Pro 4, which happens to be the same period of time Microsoft waited to launch it after the Surface Pro 3.

In December the company is launching a new version with LTE connectivity.

Also see our full 2017 Surface Pro review.

When is the Surface Pro 5 release date?

The new Surface Pro was announced in a special Microsoft event on 23 May 2017. 

The LTE version will arrive on 1 December 2017.

How much will the Surface Pro 5 cost in the UK?

The entry-level US model costs $799, and it's £799 for those in the UK.

The Surface Pro 4 has been reduced to £635 and that includes a Surface Pen, but the new model doesn't come with a stylus in the box. And, as always, the keyboard is also an optional extra. For some, then, the old model could be better value.

What are the features and specs?

Here's a quick comparison of the main specifications:

 

Surface Pro (2017)

Surface Pro 4

Dimensions

201x292x8.5mm

201x292x8.5mm

Weight

770g

766g, 786g (Core i5 / i7)

Screen

12.3in PixelSense, 273ppi, 2736x1824

12.3in PixelSense, 273ppi, 2736x1824

Processors

1GHz Core m3-7Y30; 2.6GHz Core i5-7300U; 2.5GHz Cire i7-7660U

Core m3; 2.4GHz Core i5-6300U; 2.2GHz Core i7-6650U

Memory

4GB/8GB/16GB

4GB/8GB/16GB

Storage

128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB SSD

128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB SSD

Graphics

Intel HD 615 (Core m3); Intel HD 620 (Core i5); Intel Iris Plus 640 (Core i7)

Intel HD 515 (Core m3); Intel HD 520 (Core i5); Intel Iris (Core i7)

Wireless

802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1

802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0

Cameras

8Mp (main), 5Mp (front)

8Mp (main), 5Mp (front)

Ports

USB 3, microSD, 3.5mm headset, Surface connector

USB 3, microSD, 3.5mm headset, Surface connector

Battery life

13.5 hours

9 hours

At a glance, it’s hard to spot the differences. Indeed, the image below, comparing Surface Pro 4 (left) and Surface Pro 5 is from our sister site PCWorld.

Surface Pro 5 vs Surface Pro 4

As you’d expect, the new model has Intel’s latest processors inside from the seventh-generation Kaby Lake Core range. Microsoft says this means a 20 percent performance boost over the equivalent Surface Pro 4.

Plus, the more efficient chips also help run time: battery life is claimed to be 13.5 hours, just one hour less than the Surface Laptop. It's not just the newer processor - there's also a larger-capacity battery and Windows 10 Creators Update. Windows 10 S will be offered on some models.

Unfortunately, the upcoming LTE version will be available only in Core i5 configurations, with 4GB RAM/128GB storage or 8GB RAM/256GB storage and Intel HD Graphics 620.

New Surface Pen

There's an improved stylus too: the new Surface Pen can sense when you tilt it like the Apple Pencil and has 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. However, the Pen isn't bundled in the box any more: it's an optional extra. Microsoft says this is because people may already have a Surface Pen from a previous model.

You've a choice of four colours: Cobalt Blue, Burgundy, Platinum and Black. An interesting fact is that the new Pen will work with the previous Surface Pros, the Surface 3, Studio and Surface Book, so you can get the new functions without upgrading your device. 

It'll also work with the Surface Laptop, but without the tilt sensing for some reason.

Surface Pro 5 vs Surface Pro 4

It's longer than the old version and - as you can see - no longer has a clip on it. It does still hold magnetically to the tablet though.

For an artist's impression of the new Surface Pro and Surface Pen, read our sister site Digital Arts' Surface Pro preview.

You can use the Surface Dial on (and off) the fifth-generation Surface Pro, which itself has a “next-generation” hinge that supports what Microsoft is calling “Studio mode” – a nod to the big Surface Studio. The hinge lets the tablet recline to 165 degrees.

Like the recently unveiled Surface Laptop, the optional keyboard for the new Surface Pro is covered in Alcantara. That’s something sure to polarise opinion, with many criticising the choice of material for not being durable enough and its tendency to show every mark.

One of the most interesting things is that the Surface Pro 5 doesn't have USB-C, which seems like a strange omission from Microsoft. Instead it sticks with the Surface connector for charging.

Surface Pro 2017

Later this year, a 4G version of the tablet will be available. 

There was a lot of speculation that the new Surface would use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 635 processor instead of an Intel Kaby Lake chip. The benefits of this would be longer battery life, and potentially the addition of LTE for mobile connectivity.

But the seventh-generation Intel Core chip is the logical choice. And at launch, there's a Core m version available - ideal if you want a silent tablet as there's no fan in this model.

A leak from a Chinese website (via Digitimes) claims that Microsoft has given the manufacturing contract for the Surface Pro 5 to Pegatron (which also makes the Surface Studio).

Surface as a Service Program

"The digital revolution is changing the traditional workplace environment, making us more reliant on our peers to share knowledge and work together; while more people are working remotely and need to be productive from anywhere. And, the workforce demographic is shifting towards millennials who are more collaborative, multi-task more, and use multiple devices," said Microsoft in a blog post.

The Surface as a Service Program means that authorised distributors can offer Surface devices with a subscription model. This will help customers get the latest devices without large upgrade costs. It has started with ALSO, a leading Cloud Solution Provider in Europe.