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Gear Lust: The next Surface Pro will have optional LTE, better battery life

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Microsoft just announced its fifth-generation Surface Pro at a Shanghai event last 23 May 2017. For the uninitiated, Surface Pro is a line of hybrid tablets (i.e. devices that are both laptops and tablets) that use an optional detachable keyboard and a stylus pen.

The latest iteration doesn’t come with a number on its name. It’s just “Surface Pro”.

What’s new on the Surface Pro

Here’s a quick overview of its new features:

As for the specs:

  • Dimensions: 11.5″ x 7.9″ x 0.33″
  • Display Screen: 12.3-inch PixelSense Display
  • Resolution: 2736 x 1824 (267 pixels per inch)
  • Memory: 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB RAM
  • Processor: Intel Core 7th-generation m3, i5, or i7
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB (all options are solid state drives)
  • Battery life: Up to 13.5 hours of video playback

The fifth-generation laptop/tablet hybrid comes with a few interesting tweaks:

  • The Core m3 and i5 models are cooled so well that they don’t have a fan.
  • The new Surface Pro’s performance, according to Microsoft, is upped by 20% over the Surface Pro 4.
  • There’s 4.5 hours more battery life than the Surface Pro 4.
  • The pen has been improved, from the older version’s 1,024 degrees of pressure sensitivity to 4,096 pressure points on the new one. It also supports tilt for shading, and is currently the fastest digital pen with only 21 milliseconds of latency.
  • It now has optional LTE connectivity with nano SIM and eSIM support, but there are no visible antenna lines.

It’s not perfect

While the updated device looks and feels terrific, we have a few complaints. First, the keyboard and pen are not included in the box; they’re sold as separate accessories. Next, there’s no USB-C port. Sure, you can use the dock, but that’s sold separately as well.

Bummer: Microsoft will sell the iconic Surface Pro pen separately.

Take note, if you have the old version of the pen, you can use it on the new Surface Pro. Likewise, if you lost your old pen, you can buy the updated pen on your older device.

Shut up and take my money

So how much does this bad boy cost? Microsoft’s new gadget will set you back upwards of $799 for the cheapest Core m3 variant and will go as high as $2,699 for the Core i7 with 1TB SSD option.

The new Surface Pro will be available starting 15 June in a number of countries including the US, parts of Europe, Japan, China, and South Korea.