Microsoft Announces New Surface Pro, Touts Unit as 'Most Versatile Laptop'

Following last week's leak of images, Microsoft announced its new Surface Pro. The new-and-improved Surface, billed by Microsoft as "the most versatile laptop," will launch on June 15 starting at $799.

The new Surface Pro is the fifth iteration of Microsoft's laptop/tablet hybrid, known simply as Surface Pro sans numbering going forward. The company touted several new features and improvements, all of which look to make good on the versatility referenced in its branding. A seventh-gen Kaby Lake processor purrs under the hood; that, combined with improvements rolled into Windows 10, result in a battery life of around 13.5 hours—a 50 percent increase over the Surface Pro 4.

Microsoft will offer the Surface Pro in several models. The Core m3 and i5 versions do not offer fans, while the top-of-the-line choice, powered by an Intel Core i7, will include a fan. "This isn't just a processor change," Panos Panay, Microsoft's Surface chief, told The Verge in an interview. "We did take Kaby Lake, it's the latest generation, of course. But it's the integrated SSD on the motherboard. It's the fundamental architecture changes that we do in Windows and Surface. It brings 13.5 hours of battery. It's lighter than the previous generation product, and it's more powerful with no fan."

Panay explained that the key advancements made to Surface Pro are all found inside. "There are about 800 new custom parts in the new Pro," said Panay. Other changes include models sporting up to 16GB of RAM and a hinge design that you can utilize by converting the laptop into its three unique modes: laptop mode, used by opening the kickstand and connecting Microsoft's Signature Type Cover; studio mode, whereby you lower the hinge to its new 165-degree angle, so that it's nearly flat but raised just enough for you to write and draw comfortably; and tablet mode, accessed by folding back the Signature Type Cover and closing the kickstand.

Microsoft's Surface Pro launches on June 15 starting at $799. The most expensive model retails for $2699 and includes 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Check out Microsoft's overview page for more information.

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