- So-so cameras
- Extra cost for pen and keyboard cover
- No USB Type-C
Offering both laptop-like performance and an ultra-portable, lightweight package, Microsoft’s Surface redefined the hybrid experience. Their latest release features fewer major upgrades and more refinement compared to the differences between earlier models.
Does the Surface still have what it takes to keep the competition at bay? Reviewers are chiming in with their thoughts on their power new piece of kit.
Let’s see what they’re saying!
Looking at the Surface, most reviewers were quick to point out how similar it is to the older Surface Pro 4. They found minor differences—mostly in the hinge and corners of the device. However, the difference in the hand pleased most reviewers. Most had no issue with using the device in their lap or holding it for extended periods.
The front of the tablet features a 12.3-inch PixelSense display running at 1824-by-2736 pixels. Reviewers loved the display for its crispness, brightness and color accuracy. Benchmarks show it can handle professional photo editing and other color-sensitive tasks with ease. The resolution also makes the Surface ideal for working with multiple apps, documents or images at once.
Expert Reviews UK put the monitor through their testing routine and declared, “at full whack it’s utterly gorgeous.”
Depending on the model you choose, the new tablet comes with either an Intel Core m3, i5 or i7 processor and between 4 and 16GB of RAM. Most reviewers agreed that the i5 is the most versatile choice. However, for professional work, the i7 comes highly recommended.
Reviewers had zero issues with the tablet getting warm to the touch despite the new fanless design on m3 and i5 models. For the i7 models, reviewers found the fans barely noticeable.
Alphr summed up performance reviews well, saying, “If you are thinking of doing CAD/CAM work on it, you’ll need to go for the top spec, but a Core i5 version will be fine for most users.”
The Surface Pro 5 runs the same version of Windows 10 as a desktop or laptop computer. Depending on the model you choose, you’ll find between 128GB and 1TB of internal SSD storage. There’s also a microSD slot and USB 3.0 port for added storage options.
Microsoft doesn’t disclose the new hybrid’s battery capacity. While most reviews found that it falls short of the estimated 13.5 hours provided by the manufacturer, most had no trouble getting 6 to 8 hours of the tablet. With lighter usage, reviewers such as IT Pro UK squeezed 11 hours out of a single charge. Keep in mind, however, that the faster processors will use more power.
The Surface Pro 5 features a variety of ports to connect your accessories. While reviewers questioned the lack of USB Type-C support, most were happy with the options. Choices include a USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort and a 3.5mm headphone jack. You’ll also find Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.1 support.
Many reviewers overlooked the 8MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing lens. Those that didn’t found the rear camera only so-so. However, no one had problems using the front-facing camera for Microsoft Hello unlocking or Skyping.
Reviewers agreed the Surface works best when paired with the Type Cover keyboard and Microsoft Pen. Neither are included with the tablet itself, so be sure to consider the added price of the two accessories. For artists, the Microsoft Pen now features 4000+ levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support.
The keyboard cover also received rave reviews. IT Pro UK said, “Not only was it by far the best detachable laptop keyboard we'd ever seen, it was one of the best laptop keyboards around, full stop.”
Overall, reviews for Microsoft’s latest release are positive—though some question whether an upgrade from the 4-series is worthwhile. The Verge summed up opinions well, saying, “The Surface Pro is the best execution on this style of computer: it has the power of a full-fledged laptop and the full support of Windows 10 Pro, while still maintaining a very light and portable package.”
As long as you don’t mind the price, it appears there is a lot to love about this tablet.