Today, Microsoft held an event in Shanghai, China, where it promised to "show the world what's next". Indeed, that's exactly what the firm did, as for the first time, a new Surface device is being launched globally in 26 countries, rather than the usual US-only availability.
The new device is called the Surface Pro, and it's a refresh of the Surface Pro 4. The new naming convention was leaked by VentureBeat last week, and it's not entirely surprising. After all, the new model isn't much of an external change from its two predecessors, so it doesn't make much sense to continue these generational leaps in branding, as it would have if the device was called Surface Pro 5. In fact, it explains Panos Panay's comments from a couple weeks ago that there's no such device with that name.
On the outside, the new Surface Pro looks almost exactly the same as the Pro 4, right down to the chrome Microsoft logo on the kickstand. The power button and volume rocker are on the top, and it still has the lone USB Type-A port and Mini DisplayPort, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Naturally, this means that the company has once again omitted USB Type-C, instead sticking to the Surface Connect port.
Of course, there are internal changes, as the processor selection has been upgraded to Intel's seventh-generation Kaby Lake chips. It's not the first Surface to use Kaby Lake, however, as that distinction belongs to the Surface Laptop.
In fact, Microsoft says that the device has 50% better performance and 50% better battery life than the Pro 4, bringing it to up to 13.5 hours of juice. On top of that, the Core i5 model includes a fanless design now, and the i7 models have a new thermal design that should make them quieter.
As you might have guessed from the images above, the colors of the accessories will mirror the colors of the Surface Laptop. Type Covers will be offered in Burgundy, Platinum, Graphite Gold, and Cobalt Blue. Still, they'll all be branded as Signature Type Covers, with an additional non-Signature black one.
There's also a cellular option for the new Surface Pro, making it a first for the Pro line of devices. This is big news for anyone that was looking for connectivity on the go in a more powerful device, as the feature was previously exclusive to the non-Pro Surface 2 and 3. The LTE models should be available this fall, but Microsoft didn't reveal pricing on them.
The new Surface Pro will be available on June 15, and it will start at $799, the same price that the Pro 4 started at. The Surface Pen (for the first time) and Type Cover will be sold separately for $99 and $129 ($159 for the Signature Type Cover), respectively.