After lackluster sales of its predecessors, Microsoft appears to have had its first hit tablet with last year’s Surface Pro 3. The follow-up model is expected soon, and rumors about this upcoming device are already circulating.
There are some details about this tablet that are definitely true, not rumor. Last fall, Brian Hall, the General Manager for the Surface line, promised that the next generation Surface Pro would be compatible with accessories designed for the current one. As Hall specifically included the Type Cover in this, an item that clips to the front of the SP3 for storage and to protect the display, it’s virtually certain that the Surface Pro 4 will be the same size and shape as its predecessor, which likely means it will also have a 12-inch screen.
In addition, the device will obviously debut running Windows 10, which is set to launch July 29.
On to the SP4 Rumors
A unconfirmed report indicates that the Surface Pro 4 will be powered by Intel Skylake processors. There will be Core i3, i5, and i7 models in this lineup, and these will have better CPU and graphics performance and a longer battery life than the Haswell chips used in the SP3. Another possibility is that its processors will come from Intel’s Broadwell line. These will also be have better performance than the Haswell line, but not as good as the newer Skylake chips.
Microsoft offers the current Pro model with 64GB, 128GB, 256GB or 500GB of built-in storage. There has been speculation that a 1TB version of the SP4 might be introduced.
It’s not known if the screen resolution will remain at 2160 x 1440 or if it will increase. However, with the overall display size not expected to change, it’s possible the resolution will stay the same too.
Reports claim that Microsoft is going to announce the next Surface Pro in September, with a release coming in October. The third-generation model has already been on the market for over a year, so it will be no surprise if a replacement is in the offing.
That said, a rival rumor indicates that the release of the Surface Pro 4 has been pushed all the way back to the second half of 2016 so the device can include 256GB solid state hard drives (SSD) with NVME technology that won’t be available until early next year. These SSDs are supposedly worth the wait because they will be able to transfer data at up to 2 GB/s, considerably faster than the 600 MB/s supported by the SP3.