Surface Pro 5: Microsoft Needs To Make Some Improvements [Opinion]

Tim WarnerGetty Images

The 2017 Surface Pro is still making waves. When released last summer, this author wrote (in an Inquisitr opinion piece) that Microsoft’s new device was a bigger upgrade than advertised.

“Microsoft has finally made its promise of creating a tablet-like device that can replace your laptop. Your turn, Apple.”

There were others who praised the new Surface Pro as well. CNET gave Microsoft’s new hybrid four stars, claiming that the new Pro gets better performance and battery life from the CPU update. The review also appreciated the fact that most of the new models were fanless and that the kickstand is more flexible than ever.

Microsoft Surface Pen

After using the 2017 Surface Pro for several months, it’s easy to notice that some things need improvement. Perhaps the most important one is compatibility with the new Surface Pen, which is supposed to compete with the Apple Pencil. On the surface (no pun intended), the new Pen seems to work well with hardly any latency. However, the more you work with it, the more you’ll notice that at times, the writing comes out jittery. Many hoped that this would be fixed with an update, but it hasn’t. To make things worse, the problems have made their way onto the new Surface Book.

Microsoft's digital pen
Microsoft's Surface Pen causes a lot of jittery writing on the new Surface Pro. Featured image credit: Daryl Deino

A poster at Windows Central has summarized the problems people are having with the new Surface Pen.

“I have got a Surface Pro 2017 unit with the newest pen, the problem is when I write with the pen the letters get messy and there are unwanted lines and twists… I’ve tried everything i read online but the annoying problem still exist.”

Microsoft still has yet to acknowledge the problem. But many people seem to think it’s an electrical issue that would have to be improved by the Surface Pro itself rather than the Pen. Let’s hope the Surface Pro 5 can correct this issue; right now, the Surface Pen is practically useless.

Screen Bezels

The bezels on the 2017 Surface Pro aren’t a deal killer, but they are still sort of thick. Some like thicker bezels so they can hold the tablet better. After all, can you imagine holding the Dell XPS 13 (which has practically no bezels) and always accidentally touching the screen? There has to be some compromise. Even if Microsoft reduces the bezels by 1/8 of an inch, it will still be a great improvement.

USB-C

Microsoft included a USB-C port on the new Surface Book 2, but neglected to offer one on the 2017 Surface Pro, despite the fact that a USB-C port is becoming a new standard on computing devices. You can bet that Microsoft will include this on the Surface Pro 5, and let’s hope it’s Thunderbolt 3 compatible.

USB-C Surface Pro
The latest Surface Pro lacks any USB-C ports. Featured image credit: Daryl Deino

Battery Life

Although Microsoft claims that the new Surface Pro can play nine hours of streaming video in a single charge, this author’s tests have yet to achieve those results. To be sure, the 2017 Surface Pro does offer good battery life as the average user will get six or seven hours of use on a single charge. However, Microsoft needs to make the Surface Pro a device that one can take without having to worry about leaving the charger at home. They did this with the Surface Book 2, and we will hopefully see this with the Surface Pro 5.

Conclusion

Microsoft deserves a lot of credit for their improvements over the years with the Surface Pro. When first released in 2013, the Pro was laughed at. However, by the release of the Surface Pro 4 in 2015, Microsoft finally made the device they advertised – a tablet (although a hefty one) that can replace your laptop. However, they need to make the Surface Pro 5 a device that can replace everything else. An improved Surface Pen and improved battery life can help Microsoft reach this goal.