GADGETS
12

Surface Pro 4 release date, price and features – what we know so far

by Mark JudgeSeptember 23, 2015

Microsoft has a big event scheduled for October 6, which will most likely see the unveiling of various flagship devices designed to work seamless with each other and of course, with Windows 10 Mobile. Probably the most anticipated out of all these devices is the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft’s upcoming convertible tablet. With the Surface Pro 4. the Redmond company is going to go up against Apple’s newly unveiled iPad Pro and co, whether it wants to or not.

The Surface Pro 4 is a curious case, as fans of its previous edition, the Surface Pro 3, have waited a long time for an upgrade in the line-up. Microsoft hasn’t openly talked about the Surface Pro 4 and its features, but CEO Satya Nadella did mention a couple of times over the year that the new hybrid device would be a big improvement over the predecessor.

One of the first things that Nadella mentioned earlier this year is that the Surface Pro 4 will be compatible with accessories from the Surface Pro 3. The news came as a breather for fans who already bought the Surface Pro 3, since shelling out for accessories can add up in the long run, especially if you upgrade your hardware.

Although the company hasn’t officially confirmed that the Surface Pro 4 release date would coincide with the October 6 event, that’s the only possibility at this point. The tablet-notebook hybrid computer is going to be the flagship for Windows 10 Mobile and for the new ecosystem that Microsoft is trying to implement between devices. The Surface Pro 4 is supposed to have Cortana integrated into every native app, and voice commands will be an integral part of the user experience of the device.

Also expected to make an appearance at the October event, the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL are supposed to work seamlessly when it comes to file sharing, integration and app switching features, in conjunction with the Surface Pro 4. The ecosystem between the new devices will aim to demonstrate that the company’s new OS, Windows 10, is a much more advanced operating system than ever before.

The Surface Pro 4 should be made available in two different sizes, a 12-inch and a 14-inch variant, both with QHD resolution. Microsoft is going to use the newest tech when it comes to hardware, and as such, we’re expecting to see either a fanless design with Core M configuration or a new Intel H series chipset. Most likely, the company will make three or more different configurations available once the 2-in-1 is released.

The base model of the Surface Pro 4 will feature a 12-inch QHD display, an Intel i3 processor, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage. A microSD card slot, USB Type-C, microHDMI, audio jack, 2 USB 3.0 ports and a a slightly redesigned kickstand are all expected to be part of the computer’s build. The second model will have the same screen ,but instead of the i3 chipset, i will sport an i5 one, with 8 GB RAM on board. There could also be a 256 GB variant of this one made available. The top tier model for the 12-inch Surface Pro 4 will harbor the Intel i7 processor, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB internal storage, but rumors about 16 GB RAM have also been heard, although I’d take them with a grain of salt, if I were you.

For the larger Surface Pro 4, the same configurations should be made available. Pricing will be crucial for the device if Microsoft wants to effectively compete against the already popular iPad Pro, which goes on sale in November. The Redmond company still has time for a strategy until then and it still has time to make the Surface Pro 4 as appealing as possible.

Expectations of the Surface Pro 4 price lay between $700 and $1600 for all models, with the base model being the cheapest version of them all. We’ve heard a couple of rumors about a cheaper price tag, maybe somewhere between $600 and $650 for the base model, and that might be the more suitable choice in the face of the premium iPad Pro. We also expect a new stylus and type cover to be introduced as optional accessories for the Surface Pro 4, and rumor has it both will include new features.

Since we don’t have to wait too long until the Surface Pro 4 is launched, excitement is growing in the community. There are high expectations of Microsoft and fans of the company are hoping that the Surface Pro 4 would bring a breath of fresh air into a market that has been struggling to get on top. It has every shot, though, judging by the success the Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 have had this year. What would you like to see in the Surface Pro 4?

What's your reaction?
Love It
0%
Interested
0%
Cool
0%
Meh...
0%
What?
0%
Sad
0%
About The Author
Mark Judge
Tech Editor with lots of experience with PC hardware components, iOS and Windows-based mobile devices, and love keeping myself up-to-date with any developments in the industry, which I make my job in sharing with you, our readers.
  • Jay Cruz

    My greatest hope for the SP4 is to (For the love of god,) to have better cooling. If it wont trottle; it’d be the greatest on earth!

    While you could buy some fan to go with the SP3 (That only cools the case of the tablet; instead of the CPU itself.) to help to the performance… It’d be a great help.

    – Other than that, Skylake yeah. Of course.
    – 2 fans would be good.
    – Hoping for the H varients of the CPU instead of the U varients. (HD 530 vs 520 graphics.)
    – Thunderbolt would be awesome (This would allow for some eGPU setup for a fullsized graphics card for a docking station at home.)
    – Docking station and be able to have a GPU in it or be able to add one.

    My dream would come true with all these listed above. It’d be the greatest thing ever!

    • PACitizen

      Thunderbolt-3 is supposed to be compatible with USB-C.

      • Jay Cruz

        Ah okay… USB C for the win then. I’m not too much of a techie to know that. Thanks for sharing! 😀

    • frankwick

      Skylake is your greatest hope for cooling, but don’t wish for too cool because you’ll end up with a neutered CPU fanless design.

      • Jay Cruz

        2 bloody fans would be good. My mom just got a SP3 and it freaking ran the Fans all the time and was quite warm to touch. Shes now taking it back cause it wasn’t what she expected…. Oh well. But yeah, I’m waiting on the SP4.

        • frankwick

          My experience is quite different but I’m running Win10. The fans rarely kick up to audible level. There is always a warm spot under the kickstand in the area behind the Windows button where I presume the CPU is. The other side is generally cool to the touch.

          • Jay Cruz

            Yeah, I believe after the device updates to the latest software it’ll be alright. She’s giving it another go after I told her about the various things needed to be taken care of… Though, for the SP4… As I said before… No throttling. :)

  • Leon Kweli

    I’m just hoping for a >1tb hard drive.. or at least an exchangeable one that you don’t have to cut the device in pieces to get to..

  • PACitizen

    Why the heck wouldn’t they have a 512GB option on the i7 12″ model…?

    • fdisq

      Because the author doesn’t know what he’s writing about.

    • frankwick

      This is all speculation at this point. We will know much more next week.

  • archie

    MS has a tough job to sell “new” features of 4 so its more compelling than apple or S3. Apple ‘s new A9X (on iPad Pro) is 1.8 times faster than preceding A8X &even more in GPU.

    BUT, benchmarks for Intel Skylake (for Surface 4) show its 5% faster than older Haswell (in Surface 3). So S4 should have very marginal performance improvements on S3.

    MS says OLD accessories would be supported, so will they have newer version of its Keyboard & stylus? If Yes, those would also be reverse compatible with Surface 3.

    Windows 10 again will be available for Surface 3. I am not expecting any changes in Memory or HDD Capacity.

    So only “effective” new features for S4 different from S3 seems to be:
    – Less power consuming CPU, allowing for alleviation of thermal throttling and better battery backup.
    – I more screen size
    – Cortana + FingerPrint reader.

    Will they be enough to compete with Discounted Surface 3 line, as I am assuming MS will continue to build them.

    I am not putting iPad Pro as competition as it lacks USB port and a Desktop OS, making it in-eligible as a Laptop replacement.