Should you buy a Surface Pro 5 (2020) in 2022?

Surface Pro LTE
Surface Pro LTE (Image credit: Windows Central)

Should you buy a Surface Pro 5 (2020) in 2022?

Best answer: The fifth-generation Surface Pro (2017) is still a formidable device even though the newer Surface Pro 6 has been revealed. It has 7th Gen Intel Core processor (CPU) options, the same ports, and optional LTE connectivity, plus it's generally available at a cheaper price.Microsoft: Surface Pro (2017) (From $649)Microsoft: Surface Pro 6 (From $899)

Surface Pro (2017) and Surface Pro 6 have similar hardware

The Surface Pro 6, revealed at Microsoft's 2018 Surface event, is actually a pretty light refresh, coming now with 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 CPU options and redone thermals inside, and a new black color finish (platinum is still available).

Both the Surface Pro (2017) and Surface Pro 6 have the same ports, including USB-A, Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connect, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and a microSD card reader, and you can get up to 16 GB of RAM and up to a 1 TB solid-state drive (SSD) in either.

The Surface Pro 6 actually has fewer configurations available — at least for now — starting with a Core i5 model, whereas last year's Surface Pro starts at a Core m3 CPU and goes up from there to Core i5 and Core i7 models.

If you already have a Surface Pro (2017) and don't absolutely need the black color finish found on the Surface Pro 6, you're probably fine sticking with the older model. Sure, the 7th Gen CPU doesn't match the 8th Gen options, but that difference in performance likely isn't worth the price of a whole new device. Likewise, the battery should be similar, with both models offering up all-day life.

Surface Pro (2017) has optional LTE availability

While there's no evident reason why the Surface Pro 6 won't one day receive LTE support, there are currently no models available. If you'd like to stay connected wherever you go using mobile data, the Surface Pro (2017) is your best bet. There are models available now with LTE connectivity.

Surface Pro (2017) and Surface Pro 6 have the same display

Whether you buy the 2017 Surface Pro or the latest Surface Pro 6, you're going to get Microsoft's 12.3-inch PixelSense touch display with a 2736x1824 resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio.

These displays have excellent color and respond perfectly to touch, plus they're fully compatible with the Surface Pen and Surface Dial for an outstanding inking experience. Above the display, both laptops include an IR camera for quick and secure logins through Windows Hello.

Surface Pro (2017) can be had for cheaper

Now that the Surface Pro 6 has been announced, Microsoft has dropped the price on most 2017 Surface Pro models. Configurations with a 7th Gen Intel Core m3 CPU, 128 GB SSD, and 4 GB of RAM start at $649, while more powerful options with Core i5 CPU, 256 GB SSD, and 8 GB of RAM are $999 (about $200 less than similar Surface Pro 6 models).

These prices do not include Type Cover or Surface Pen for the 2017 Surface Pro or Surface Pro 6; both still need to be purchased separately no matter which model Pro you choose.

The Surface Pro (2017) is still a great choice

The Surface Pro 6 has only seen a light refresh with a new black color option and 8th Gen Intel Core CPUs, so if you can live with a platinum finish and the performance from a 7th Gen Intel Core CPU, the Surface Pro (2017) will make a great laptop. Considering you should be able to find it a bit cheaper and with LTE connectivity options, it's still a great buy in 2019.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.