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If tradition is anything to go by the next Microsoft Surface Pro isn’t due for release until October this year at the earliest. But that hasn’t stopped a wealth of new rumors making the rounds about what’s tipped to be a major overhaul for the top-of the line Windows tablet.
Here’s a quick roundup of the latest murmurings when it comes to the next incarnation of the Microsoft Surface Pro.
First launched in 2013, the Surface Pro is Microsoft’s take on a truly professional tablet. It’s widely regarded as one of the best Windows’ tablets available and falls neatly into the 2-in-1 niche, courtesy of high specs, a detachable keyboard and compatibility with a stylus pen. Yet since it first hit the market, little about the design of the Surface Pro has significantly altered.
That could soon be about to change, many predict, with the launch of the 7th generation Surface pro later this year.
So, what is the 2019 Surface Pro expected to offer?
Right about now a whole host of patent applications for the Surface Pro are reportedly being leaked, indicating the next model is set for an upgrade.
The biggest clue that it’s earmarked for a change comes courtesy of a patent for what appears to be the Pro 7’s Type Cover.
There’s also a second, slightly left of field patent doing the rounds that is prompting speculation the new Pro 7 would feature a reflective touch display, allowing users to write on both sides of the tablet.
“While not exactly the folding PC that many have been dreaming of, this suggests that you’ll be able to make use of all the available space on the next Surface, including using that rear display as a primary OLED, LCD, or LED screen while it is closed,” Digital Trends explains.
There also appears to be truth in the rumor that Microsoft is rethinking the Pro’s kickstand, with a 2017 patent indicating they are looking to deliver a new, improved feature which opens and closes more easily.
One of the big-ticket items on many user’s wish lists is that the next generation of the Pro will offer USB-C, and there’s increasing speculation Microsoft will deliver.
Surface Go, which is the smaller version of the Pro, currently features USB-C, while most Microsoft Laptops include multiple USB-C Thunderbolt ports along with USB-A.
A lot of tech experts note the absence of USB-C on the Pro is a glaring omission, and they’re calling on Microsoft to remedy the matter.
When it comes to an estimated release date for any new Pro most experts agree it won’t be before October this year, and more likely it will happen mid-2020.
Historically, the Pro 4 and Pro 6 launched in early October, but the Pro 5 hit the market in June. That means there’s roughly 16 to 18 months between the previous three models.
The current Surface Pro 6 retails for US$899 (AU$1349) for the base model.
As Tech Radar notes, this price tag marked an increase over the cost of the Surface Pro 2017, which started at $799 (AU$1199).
“So, the pricing of the Surface Pro 7 could go one of two ways: another increase of $100, or it may just stay the same price – we doubt the price will drop again, though,” Tech Radar reflects.
“If the price does go up by another $100, and start at US$999 (AU$1380), it’ll put the Surface Pro 7 in the same league as devices like the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre x360 – not to mention the new iPad Pro.”