Everything we know about the Surface Pro 4

Microsoft finally unwrapped the Surface Pro 4 at their #Windows10Devices event in NYC. We've finally got the full run down its design, features, and specs.

Few were expecting the Surface Pro 4 to have significant hardware revisions, particularly as Microsoft confirmed it would have compatibility with existing Surface Pro 3 accessories, like the docking station. The Redmond giant did have some surprises in store for Surface fans, though, outlined in further detail below.

The Surface Pro 4 comes in several configurations, just like its Pro 3 predecessor. Its headline feature, arguably, is the inclusion of Intel's fresh Skylake CPU. The 6th generation processor boasts increased efficiency and large gains for integrated graphics, particularly when compared to the Surface Pro 3's Haswell setup.

Specs

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CategorySpecification
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro
CPU6th Generation Intel Core m3, i5, or i7 (Skylake)
Graphicsm3 Intel HD graphics 515, i5 Intel HD graphics 520, i7 Intel Iris 540 graphics
Display12.3-inch PixelSense Display at 2763 x 1824 (267 PPI)
Contrast ratio: 1300:1
Aspect Ratio: 3:2
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD options
RAM4GB, 8GB or 16GB
Rear Camera8MP
Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Front Camera5MP
Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Windows Hello-compatible
Dimensions11.50 x 7.93 x .33 in (292.10 x 201.42 x 8.45 mm)
Weighti5/i7: 1.73lbs (786g), m3: 1.69lbs (766g)
PortsFull-size USB 3.0, microSD card reader, 3.5mm headset jack, Mini DisplayPort, Type Cover port, Surface Connect
WiFi802.11ac WiFi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible
BatteryUp to 9 hours
PenSurface Pen
1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity
Magnetic storage
Power supply24W power supply (Intel Core m3)
36W Power supply with USB chargin port (Intel Core i5 and Core i7)
OtherStereo microphones, stereo speakers with Dolby audio, ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer
In The BoxSurface Pro 4
Surface Pen
Power supply
Quick Start Guide
Safety and warranty documents

Overall it seems that the Surface Pro 4 is a solid iteration on the Pro 3, touted as 30% faster during the event.

The optional Intel Iris 540, i7 Skylake CPU and 16 GB RAM for the higher tier configurations will boost the Surface Pro line's capabilities significantly.

While Intel's Iris 540 tech won't run the latest games on the highest settings, they'll provide a welcome improvement over the Surface Pro 3's most powerful spec option. The Iris 540 supersedes the Iris 6100, which could run modern games fairly adequately on mid to low settings.

One of the primary drawbacks of the Surface Pro 3, particularly for heavy users, is the heat generation. In certain situations the SP3 could overheat, and throttle the processor to compensate. To remedy this, the Intel i5 and i7 Surface Pro 4's have 'hybrid cooling' systems, which distributes heat more evenly using phase changing liquid that travels around the components in metal tubes. The Intel m3 Surface is reportedly fanless, but retains the vents seen in the models demonstrated during the events.

The Surface Pro family certainly isn't intended for gaming, though. The inclusion of the Iris 540 is primarily intended to help the SP4 power external 4K monitors, utilizing the new Surface dock, as well as perform intensive tasks like video rendering.

Speaking of visuals, Surface inventor Panos Panay noted that they shrunk the SP4's bezel to pack even more pixels into the screen. Thanks to a technology Microsoft are calling PixelSense, the SP4 rocks over 5 million pixels in what they describe one of the brightest and most accurate displays the devices team has ever made.

Microsoft also unveiled a brand new Surface Pen, which has an eraser-like material on the reverse end and interchangeable nibs to simulate different types of physical inputs. The new Pen boasts 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity, and now includes a magnetic region to attach it to the tablet itself. Say goodbye to flimsy pen loops.

There's also a brand new Type Cover, which sports various usability improvements, a 40% larger trackpad made of glass, and an optional fingerprint reader.

The Surface Pro 4 has improvements all-around over the previous version, which missed out on Intel's delayed Broadwell chipset, aging fairly quickly in the process.

Still, the SP4 is very familiar when compared to its predecessor at face value. Discussing diminishing returns, Panos Panay noted that the only reason they couldn't get the SP4 any thinner was because they wanted to ensure it still supported a full-size USB port. As someone who's been using Surface Pro devices as their sole computing solution for the last three years, I was more than happy with what Microsoft had to offer.

That's not all, though. Panos Panay shocked the tech industry by closing the presentation with the unveiling of the Surface Book, a beastly MacBook Pro competitor with a unique 2-in-1 design. The Surface Book wields a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GPU in the base, which is also detachable, supporting multiple positioning configurations. Be sure to check out more on that over here.

We certainly haven't seen the last of the Microsoft Devices team, as noted by Panos Panay himself. The future of Microsoft hardware is certainly looking bright.

..."We're relentless. Satya pushes us to be growth hackers. We can't just stop. We need a fleet."...

Pricing and availability

You can customize your Surface Pro 4 spec at the checkout on the Microsoft Store, but it also comes with some pre-defined configurations with fixed price tiers. If you want the Core i7 version with Intel Iris graphics, you have to hit the "Customize" button on the US product website. For UK readers, Microsoft announced that pre-orders will go live on October 7th, with prices starting at £859.99. Listings have appeared for other European territories, such as France and Germany, with pricing starting at €999,00.

The Surface Pro 4 is expected to ship on October 26th in the US, and November 12th in the UK.

  • 128 GB SSD / Intel Core m3 / 4 GB RAM - $899.00
  • 128 GB SSD / Intel Core i5 / 4 GB RAM - $999.0
  • 256 GB SSD / Intel Core i5 / 8 GB RAM - $1,299.00
  • 256 GB SSD / Intel Core i5 / 16 GB RAM - $1,499.00
  • 256 GB SSD / Intel Core i7 / 8 GB RAM - $1,599.00
  • 256 GB SSD / Intel Core i7 / 16 GB RAM - $1,799.00
  • 512 GB SSD / Intel Core i7 / 16 GB RAM - $2,199.00
  • 1 TB SSD / Intel Core i7 / 16 GB RAM - $2,699.00 (Listed as coming soon, as of writing)

Pre-order the Surface Pro 4 at the Microsoft Store (US) (opens in new tab)

We have Dan and Mark on the ground at NYC, so keep your eyes on Windows Central for all the latest and greatest on Microsoft's brand new devices.

For the rest of our NYC #Windows10Devices coverage head here:

  • Lumia 950
  • Lumia 950 XL
  • Surface Pro 4
  • Surface Book
  • Microsoft Band 2
Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

124 Comments
  • Wot, no 3G card? That had got to be the biggest failing of the SP3. Without a 3G card I cannot justify upgrading to an SP4!
  • Still can't believe there is no type c usb Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • This is what I don't get. All the competitors have USB-C. I'm actually pretty disappointed with that aspect.
  • i still don't get why someone would want integrated lte instead of using a mobile hotspot. with integrated, you are paying for connectivity for one device. with the hotspot, you can use it with any device.
  • Exactly, I use the hotspot and get 4G plus connectivity through my phone. In addition, I can still fully use my phone at the same time, even make calls whilst still working on my SP3.
  • Short answer 1: It doesn't waste phone battery. Short answer 2: Convenience.
  • At the cost of paying ANOTHER bill that you might not use. I don't know about you, but my SP is mainly used at home and at the office. IF I'm out and about, I tether it via wifi hotspot and I don't pay a dime extra! I understand why you WOULD want it. But it's def. not a deal breaker, and in fact, those extra atennas would raise the price. I'm just glad they're not FORCING you to buy it WITH the antennas! 
  • Ur on point ... I use my phone as hotspot device... Why not utilize the features of your phone... And not worries I have a powerbank
  • Every upvote this guy (zkyevolved)
  • This is very typical thinking for an Apple fanboi who doesn't see anything wrong with forking out twice as much money every month for two data plans.  They pay twice as much for their out-of-date, overpriced Apple toys so why not pay twice as much to the out-of-date, overpriced phone company too?  I have a Lumia 1520 with a battery that lasts a day and a half even when I tether it.  The amount of extra power needed to send and receive data to my Surface is minimal - although it would obviously flatten the battery of one of these new iPhone toys.
  • With Phone batteries lasting longer, and portable battery packs, I have no quirks with using my phone as a hotspot! HECK, hook it up to your Surface so your phone can stay charged!
  • LTE is mandatory, your argument is baseless.
    ... Also, Looks like there's no hard start button.
  • Apple always makes this an option. I'm tired of the no lte shit.
  • Agreed. That was a let down, though imo, it's the only issue, for me. Lte has real uses, especially for Enterprise. Oh well. Have to say, the surface 3 lte is epic! But I'm buying a sp4 and a book anyway.
  • Meh.  I tether it to my Windows phone, since tethering is free.
  • Would love to know how the battery life of the Core M3 version compares to the i5 and i7 which I assume are the U series... what do you think?
  • I don't understand why they didn't use the m7...
  • Isn't it 28w vs 4.5w for the i vs m? Correct me if I'm wrong but that should be a big difference in power consumption. I know there are a lot of other factors though.
  • The m7 uses 4.5w like the m3
  • Does the pen only attach to the left side, or does it stick to the right side as well?
  • depends if you have an inny or an outty
  • Depends if you partake in anal pleasures
  • Now they added an additional magnet but you can pretty much do the same on existing SP3. Magnet is to the right.
  • yes but it is hella weak.  easy for the pen to fall out in a bag.
  • Depends on if your foreskin covers the full tip, or some is still visible...
  • What stops me from buying them is the lack of an HDMI port...
  • Uhhhh... That's why we have the Surface dock...
  • I use the mini DP - HDMI adapter for HDMI otherwise Miracast...
  • Not hard to fix that. Mini-Display port to HDMI
  • Displayport > HDMI
  • You guys didn't come to the party! :/
  • I'm all the way in the UK :((((((((((
  • I thought there was a USB-C port and a full sized 3.0?
  • Just USB 3.0 on this one
  • This is the biggest issue for me. Every single device Microsoft announced today uses a different charging connector. This kills the dream of charging all my devices with the same cable. I am pretty surprised they went this route. The other big issue is storage. 512GB is really the minimum I would consider, but a $400 premium just to go from 256 to 512 is inexcusable. I will likely go with a different device, such as the similar Dell system coming soon. Pretty disappointed overall with some of the design and pricing decisions Microsoft made with the Surface Pro 4.
  • Don't know for sure, but i think it's because of the backwards compatibility-choice. But i agree with you. Damn connectors. As for the expensive storage upgrade.. you can always add some extra space with the SD-Card slot. It's probely a bit slower, but's is definitely cheaper :). I'm also waiting for Dell to announce the XPS12.. we'll see what they'll bring to the table  
  • U realize that's an ssd right? It's not like they stuck a cheap 5400rpm drive on there, ssd are still alot higher in price
  • Yes but $400 to go from 256 to 500 is ghastly.  A 500 SSD costs $400 by itself... So it should be at most $250 to $275 more going from 256 to 500.... unless 256 are free.
  • Is it fanless ,in both the pro and the book they didn't talk about the cooling system....!!
  • M version is fanless, but still has vents, indistinguishable from the outside. i5 and i7 have a hybrid liquid cooling system which distributes heat more evenly than the SP3, have updated the article with what I've been reading on the subject.
  • Does the M have better battery? And how does skylake m stack up again earlier gen i3
  • Where's