Contrary to numerous rumors that emerged over the last few months, the highly anticipated Surface Pro 5 did not make an appearance in 2016. Now speculated for a possible Q1 2017 launch instead, Microsoft would have a couple more months to polish up and work out all the kinks in its upcoming enterprise-grade hybrid device before its release. Considering that the Surface Pro 5 will be entering the market a bit later than expected, it would need to have a number of notable features to make it truly stand out from the competition. Fortunately, this seems to be the case.
The enterprise-grade hybrid device market has been quite saturated lately, especially with the launch of Apple’s most recent powerhouse machine, the revamped 2016 MacBook Pro, as well as the upcoming release of its own hybrid device, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2. From what could be determined from recent Surface Pro 5 rumors, however, it appears like Microsoft has a few aces up its sleeve. Here are some killer features that have the capability to make the Surface Pro 5 into the hybrid device to beat in 2017.
Intel Kaby Lake Processor
By moving the Surface Pro 5’s release date to Q1 2017, Microsoft has managed to ensure that its next enterprise-grade hybrid device would be equipped with Intel’s most advanced and most powerful processor on the market. Being Intel’s last 14nm chip, Kaby Lake processors provide a significant performance boost over its 6th generation Skylake chips, according to Tech Radar. So far, Apple’s most powerful and updated laptops, the MacBook Pro 2016, are equipped with 6th-gen Intel Skylake processors. This means that once the Surface Pro 5 enters the market, it would inherently have a more powerful chipset than one of its biggest rivals.
The Surface line has managed to make a reputation for itself by being hybrid devices that offer uncompromising performance to its users. This is one of the main reasons why the Surface Pro 4, the Pro 5’s predecessor, became such a huge hit. While the machine was sleek and extremely portable, it was nonetheless a powerhouse device capable of performing desktop-grade tasks without any problems. With the Surface Pro 5, Microsoft could easily do this again, and if it does, the SP5 would surely be one of the devices to beat in 2017, at least in terms of raw power.
eSIM Technology/LTE Connectivity
One thing that the Surface line of devices has always lagged in is cellular connectivity. While Surface devices are extremely potent when connected to the internet, the fact that they are unable to take advantage of mobile data computing is something that has always been an Achilles Heel of the entire line. In fact, LTE connectivity is exactly where the Surface Pro line has lagged against its competition, such as the iPad Pro and even Google’s marginally successful Pixel C tablet. If rumors are to be believed, however, the Surface Pro 5 is set to change all of this.
Popular German Microsoft blog Dr. Windows recently published a report stating that the Surface Pro 5 might be the tech giant’s fist hybrid device to feature eSIM technology. This means that for the first time since the Surface line was introduced, it would finally have a device that is capable of connecting to the internet on its own without being dependent on Wi-Fi or mobile hotspots. Unsurprisingly, the idea of the Surface Pro 5 having LTE connectivity has been welcomed very warmly by Microsoft fans, with many stating that cellular capabilities might very well be the upcoming device’s true killer feature.
Free And Improved Accessories
Hybrid devices such as the Surface Pro 5 are capable of optimum performance once linked to their respective accessories. For the Surface line, these come in the form of a dedicated Surface Pen and a keyboard case. With these accessories, the hybrid device becomes what it really is designed to be – a portable powerhouse machine capable of desktop-grade computing. While these accessories are great, however, the fact that they do not come with the initial product is something that is extremely inconvenient for users. Thus, with the Surface Pro 5, Microsoft would have the chance to fully address this issue.
While unconfirmed, speculations have emerged over the last few months stating that the Surface Pro 5 might come with a higher price than its predecessors. Apart from this, rumors have also stated that that upcoming hybrid device would come with the Surface Pen and the keyboard cover out of the box. Doing so would raise the price of the Surface Pro 5 significantly, but considering what consumers would be getting, most users would likely deem the additional price for the device worth it.
The Surface Pro 5 is Microsoft’s chance to establish itself as a leader in the enterprise-grade hybrid device market. Though the competition is fierce, the momentum the built up by the Surface Pro 4 and its predecessors has established a pretty good starting point for the upcoming power device. If Microsoft plays its cards just right and equips the hybrid machine with these rumored killer features, the Surface Pro 5 might very be hailed as the machine to beat in 2017, despite strong competition from rivals in the enterprise-grade mobile industry.
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]