Everyone is waiting for an official announcement of the next Surface Pro, but right now, the Pro 5 is not likely to surface (pun intended) until at least spring 2017 - March is the top tip right now and it might even happen at MWC. Until Microsoft takes the wraps off, we've rounded up the Surface Pro 5 UK release date, price and specification rumours. See also: Best convertible laptops and tablets 2016.
Surface Pro 5 UK release date rumours: When is the Surface Pro 5 coming out?
Next possible Surface Pro 5 release date: March 2017
Microsoft launched the Pro 4 in October 2015, so October 2016 seemed like the most probable release date for a new model. However, at its October Windows event, the new Surface hardware was limited to the new Surface Book i7 and the Surface Studio. So we're expecting the Surface Pro 5 in 2017.
The fact the next big Windows 10 update (called the Creators Update) isn't coming out until Spring 2017 has led many to speculate that Microsoft will hold back its Surface hardware until then.
The latest leak comes from a Chinese website (via Digitimes) which claims that Microsoft has given the manufacturing contract for the Surface Pro 5 to Pegatron (which also makes the Surface Studio). The report also states that the Surface Pro 5 with have a 4K display, a stylus which recharges wirelessly and that it will launch in Q1 2017. That mean the first quarter, and it's most likely that we'll see a March announcement.
This is backed up somewhat by Yibada which reports (with no source) that Microsoft will announce the Surface Pro 5 at MWC 2017. The mobile focused show starts on 27 Feb in Barcelona and would be an unusual place for the launch but you never know.
Recently, Microsoft demonstrated Windows 10 running on an ARM processor:
There was a lot of speculation that the new Surface will use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 635 processor instead of an Intel Kaby Lake chip. The benefits of this would be longer battery life, and potentially the addition of LTE for mobile connectivity.
But, let's not forget we're talking about the Surface 5 PRO here. The Pro has always been about having desktop power in a portable device, and a seventh-generation Intel Core chip would be the logical choice. And we think this is still the most likely option out of the two theories.
The photo below from a developer shows a wall in Microsoft's building 88, and suggests Microsoft has more than one new Windows Surface in store, so it's feasible that the Surface Pro 5 may go with Kaby Lake, and a Surface 5 (the non-Pro version) might have the ARM chip.
Read our Surface Book review.
Should Microsoft wait until the spring to update its Surface Pro 5 it will give it more time to get the product ready (the Pro 4 launched with a number of issues including battery drain). An older report by Kitguru says the Surface Pro 5 will arrive in early 2017 (mainly due to the Kaby Lake processor, but this delay could in fact, as we've said above, be down to waiting for the ARM processor.).
Also see: Best Windows tablets 2016
Surface Pro 5 specs rumours
Although it's early days, there are a few rumours circulating. One is that the Surface Pen - the stylus bundled with Surface Pro tablets - will be updated so that it contains a rechargeable battery that charges wirelessly when magnetically attached to the tablet. The current Surface Pen attaches magnetically but is not rechargeable as it takes an alkaline AAAA battery:
Another more obvious rumour is that the Pro 5 will have the latest generation of Intel processor. Some say it will be the sixth-generation Skylake chip, but other rumours suggest it will be the following generation, codenamed Kaby Lake. Yet others say that because Microsoft has demoed Windows 10 running on an ARM processor, the Pro 5 will switch to a Qualcomm Snapdragon system-on-chip (SoC) in order to give better battery life.
The most likely is for the Surface Pro 5 to go up to a 7th-generation Intel Kaby Lake Core i7. Following CES 2017 this is even more likely considering the new Lenovo Miix 720 has the chip.
The report mentioned above, which cites manufacturing sources in China, suggests the Surface Pro 5 will come with a 2K screen but there will also be a 4K model for those willing to splash the cash. It also touts an upgrade to 16GB of RAM, presumably for cheaper models as the Pro 4 is currently available with this capacity.
One other candidate for an upgrade is the USB port. The Surface Pro 5 could be the first in the range to get a USB-C port rather than the USB 3.0 port on the Pro 4. This could also be used for charging: the proprietary charging connector is an annoyance that could quite easily be solved by USB-C.
Cameras are the other likely components to see upgrades, along with the latest versions of Wi-Fi (hopefully with MU-MIMO support) and Bluetooth.
Surface Pro 5 price rumours
Now we're really into wild speculation territory, but experience tells us that Microsoft will charge similar price for each version of the Pro 5. There's no reason to suspect there won't be a similar range of models, from an entry-level Core i3, up to a wallet-bashing Core i7 with plenty of RAM and internal storage. The Surface Pro 4 starts at £749 and we don't expect this to change much.
In the US, the Surface Pro 4 has had a second discount of $150. A price cut can often hint at a new model coming soon but this is another limited time offer which ends on 27 August. Strangely the offer is not available in the UK store.
When more rumours - or hard facts - emerge, we'll update this article, so keep it bookmarked if you're excited about the Surface Pro 5.
"The digital revolution is changing the traditional workplace environment, making us more reliant on our peers to share knowledge and work together; while more people are working remotely and need to be productive from anywhere. And, the workforce demographic is shifting towards millennials who are more collaborative, multi-task more, and use multiple devices," said Microsoft in a blog post.
The Surface as a Service Program means that authorised distributors can offer Surface devices with a subscription model. This will help customers get the latest devices without large upgrade costs. It has started with ALSO, a leading Cloud Solution Provider in Europe.