Microsoft Surface Laptop And Surface Pro Released Worldwide

There's no debating that both the new Surface Pen and Type Cover have earned their slight price hikes, but we remain disappointed in the lack of any bundling to save committed customers a bit of money for fully buying in on Microsoft's products on day one.

What this means in practice is that the Surface Pro will be more than good enough for everyone except the most demanding of users. Select "Activation" from the sidebar and you will see a section which will include a "Go to Store" button where you can update to Windows 10 Pro.

Another key change comes in the hinge, which has been improved through drawing inspiration from the Surface Studio.

Last time on All Hands on Tech, we reviewed the other most recent edition to the Surface family, the Surface Laptop. For those who tried the Surface and did not find it to their liking, the 2017 Surface Pro deserves a second look.

The Surface Studio, Microsoft's ultra-high end workstation, is also being made available in 13 more countries following its initial release in the US.

Another, very much slighter, adjustment is some rounding of the edges. In a lap it takes up significantly more space than a similarly sized laptop would, but it's still so stable I don't really mind. I didn't until it was pointed out to me.

Think of Microsoft some ten years or so ago and your mind's eye will picture a software giant chugging along with its globe conquering Windows operating system and nearly ubiquitous Office productivity suite. But none really do much to address my main issue with the machine: I'd just much rather be using the Surface Laptop.

Dimensions remain 292 x 201 x 8.4mm, and it still feels like a handsome device, even though the general design should, by rights, seem a little long in the tooth by now.

Microsoft's local people told us that "it stands by the quality of its products", but wouldn't say if it would replace the keyboard on the Surface Laptop if it was worn quickly from the ravages of food and liquid, but it's the one other question mark the Surface Laptop pops up with.

The material that covers the Signature Type Cover is Alcantara. Microsoft claims to have made the attachment magnets stronger on the new Type Covers, although the one I was sent doesn't seem to be one of the uprated models. If you want to use the new pen, that's an additional $99, so you are looking at a premium of $249.99 in addition to the purchase price to get all the accessories.

The new Surface Pro, meanwhile, is a somewhat known quantity, as it is the fifth iteration of Microsoft's volume Surface device, a 2-in-1 tablet form factor that can be used-is, in fact, most often used-as a laptop of sorts, thanks to an optional Type Cover.

And now to the really interesting upgrades.

The pen is improved with support for shading, 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, and also tilt support too. If it seduced you, it will be necessary to put the price: 3 549 €. In our battery benchmark, the Surface Pro lasted 11hrs 33mins, which is one of the best scores we've seen for an Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-based machine and a huge improvement over the 5hrs 56mins we got in the same test for the Surface Pro 4.

Let's get one thing clear: you're still getting Windows 10, and it will run all the things Windows 10 will run, but there's a catch, and it's a mighty big one.

Internal storage size for the new Surface Pro runs from 128GB to 1TB, and memory can be 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB.

All clear? Right, now let's talk about the screen. It even has the same, admittedly gorgeous, 12.3-inch PixelSense touchscreen with a 2,736 x 1,824-pixel resolution. I think it works really well, and I applaud Microsoft for continuing to develop and sell new hardware. Thankfully, it can be swapped out in Display Settings for the standard sRGB profile.

And then there's the Surface Pro; refined over five generations, it turned out that not many changes were necessary.

Anyone moving from an older version of the Surface Pro to this new model will find the basic elements of the device to be pretty similar. As I said, that's the model I'd recommend most people buy.

Artists and designers should love the beautiful screen, Surface Pen and Surface Dial compatibility and the ability to angle it like a sketch pad.

The screen was the one thing that gave me an initial headache, but once you get rid of the default Enhanced colour profile, it performs identically to the excellent screen on the Surface Pro 4.

Almost every task I've performed with this device has turned out better than I expected.

  • Arturo Norris