Surface Boss Teases New Surface Pro Type Covers

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 31 Comments

Surface Boss Teases New Surface Pro Type Covers

In a further indication that we’re on the verge of a Surface Pro announcement of some kind, Surface boss Panos Panay today tweeted a photo of four new Type Covers from China:

Working session. 30 hours to go. #MicrosoftEvent #Surface #Shanghai https://instagram.com/p/BUYi5gzD1Vf/

Yep. Now, Microsoft is leaking information about the new devices.

And based on the photo, it looks like we’re about to get four new Type Covers in Alcantara and colors. Like Surface Laptop.

You may recall that numerous images of the next Surface Pro, which will apparently be called—wait for it—Surface Pro, have just leaked.

And that I said a month and a half ago that the next Pro would be a minor refresh, with the same connectors and Kaby Lake inside.

And that Panos Panay was previously, and widely, misquoted for saying that there was no Surface Pro 5. He did suggest, however, that there would be an update without “meaningful change.” So a Surface Pro 4 refresh.

And that we’ve been waiting for this announcement for months. And that it is coming tomorrow. Finally.

More soon. Well, tomorrow. Probably.

 

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Comments (31)

31 responses to “Surface Boss Teases New Surface Pro Type Covers”

  1. Avatar

    El Comment

    A simple processor update would be highly disappointing and would not counter the big revenue decrease of the Surface division last quarter.


    I was looking forward to USB-C, better pen, and a Surface Pro 13 or 14 inch. Let's hope another OEM dares bigger formats.


    Surface: from high price innovation to high price stagnation ?

    • Avatar

      Vuppe

      In reply to El Comment:

      It's a mid-season refresh, not the next generation of the product. Next year if there's no USB-C it's the appropriate time to get upset.

      • Avatar

        MikeGalos

        In reply to Vuppe:

        Or, next year "USB 3.1 (or USB 3.0) with the USB-C connector, the optional USB Power Delivery (or not) and all (or maybe some or maybe none) of the optional Alternate Modes" (what you call USB-C) will be the next IEEE 1394/Firewire/i.LINK/Lynx and become the latest "port of the future" that dies from multiple, incompatible implementations that all meet the vague spec.


        • Avatar

          Vuppe

          In reply to MikeGalos:

          I'm not 100% sure what you said there, but USB-C/Thunderbolt is going to be the future port of choice, at least for the next several years. It's already seeing enough adoption to assure its success.

          While it's not likely traditional USB-A will disappear quickly – there's still some hardware that supports PS/2 – in the world of instant gratification USB-A doesn't meet the requirements.

          • Avatar

            MikeGalos

            In reply to Vuppe:

            USB-C is a connector and cable spec not a port spec.

            Thunderbolt over USB is an Alternative Mode that is optional and, by itself, doesn't support things like DisplayPort 1.3 or HDMI or superMHL. To get those you also need 3 other, also optional Alternative Modes in your USB port, And, of course, since multiple Alternate Modes from multiple vendors are needed and need to be updated individually to support updates to the supported specs (like HDMI 2.0b) you have a situation of constantly out of date specs that need constant update in drivers to be kept current.


    • Avatar

      Narg

      In reply to El Comment:

      Any technology update in any computer line is good. Ask Apple. They stagnated in processors so long they lost market due to their slowness on this.

  2. Avatar

    humayunl

    "30 Hours to-go"... Sounds a lot to me like a built in battery into the keyboards which will increase backup time on these babies... Am I the first one to really notice the between-the-lines messaging here?

  3. Avatar

    Mrincredible

    Interesting they don't show the top of the keyboard. Sure these aren't docks?

    https://www.thurrott.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/laptop.png


  4. Avatar

    Detective Polarphant

    There could be a few upgrades that aren't visually obvious. An AMOLED screen would save battery life and is certainly the future for these devices - the new Samsung Galaxy Book has an AMOLED screen with great colour accuracy and gamut - plus it helps with battery life.

    LTE and tilt support for the pen would also be good upgrades.


    It's strange that Microsoft now have no devices at all between the screen sizes of 5" up to 10" and no devices with LTE - in other words, no mobile devices...


    • Avatar

      SvenJ

      In reply to Detective Polarphant: Well, if MS could automatically initiate Hotspot/tethering on my iOS or Android device, like it does on my Windows Phone, lack of LTE wouldn't be as annoying. Still adding a tablet to my AT&T account is only $10 and gets me access to all my data bucket. Many carriers limit the amount used via tethering, but not used directly from the laptop/tablet. (kind of bizarre)


  5. Avatar

    Cain69

    My SP3 (released Jun 14) is still going strong. I expect it to last me at least three more years. Assuming 4+ years of use of SP5 - lack of USB C just does not make sense. A fully functional USB C would be a great transition from current tech to future... I guess MS does not see it that way.

  6. Avatar

    tomstubbs

    I noticed a $200 price drop in the high end configuration of the Surface Pro 4 that started this weekend sometime.

  7. Avatar

    bbold

    Excited abou the upgrades, and they are needed, but... How hard would it be for them to put the headphone jack on the bottom of the Surface Pro rather than at the top? (When it's in laptop mode.) That would make a world of difference (to me anyway.) If they had done that, and even added a USB C somewhere, it would have shut so many people up. lol

    • Avatar

      TraderGary

      Plus 1. And while they are at it, simply add a headphone jack to the base of the Surface Book. Having the headphone sticking out of the top of the screen is not only inconvenient, it just looks plain dorky.

  8. Avatar

    edboyhan

    I'll just add this -- I have no inside (or outside for that matter :grin) knowledge about things Surface, but it occurs to me that even though they are keeping the magnetic power connector, they could release a new Surface Dock with USB-C and thunderbolt -- there's enough bandwidth on the connector (especially if they get rid of one (or Both) of the display ports on the current Surface Dock).

    I'm just woolgathering here, but I'd love to see this ?.

    • Avatar

      Nonmoi

      In reply to edboyhan:

      Or, again, they can open standard the Surface Connect port (magnetic power connector), I believe you are right about band width, it has long be suspected that Surface Connect support up to pcie x8, and even before tb 3 enabled external GPU dock is a thing, people were already hoping for SP3 dock with a mini pcie port.

  9. Avatar

    glenn8878

    No meaningful change means the same screen size and angled casing. I hope Microsoft to, at least, introduce new apps to rejuvenate the tablet portion of the Surface, but it's just a PC as it always was and their mobile ambitions are saved for another day.

    • Avatar

      Jules Wombat

      In reply to glenn8878:

      Where have you been last two years ?

      Microsoft UWP and Store Apps have Failed to inspire develoeprs or users, with premier developers removing their Apps from the Store on a daily basis. Microsoft cannot inpsire the Apps, the Market base has moved onto Android and iOS. Even Microsoft focus their own development effort on those platforms now.

    • Avatar

      PeteB

      In reply to glenn8878:

      Their mobile ambitions (or lack of) are dead and buried. Apps are something they make only for Android and iOS now. They couldn't even be bothered to make a UWP native Office - the smoking gun that WinRT10/XAML is too weak for any serious apps.

      Nobody uses the "tablet" mode of the Surface anyway - it's always been a glorified Ultrabook.

      • Avatar

        Daekar

        In reply to PeteB:

        I have a cheap Windows tablet that I use instead of a laptop. And I use it almost exclusively in tablet mode.

      • Avatar

        SvenJ

        In reply to PeteB: Their mobile implementation is on life support, but I don't think their ambitions are. As far as a UWP Office, there is Office Mobile, of which OneNote is the only really good example. The other apps are minimal but actually functional for a good segment of casual users. The catch is, what would you run a full featured suite of UWP Office on that couldn't just run Office 2016? It would be a symbolic effort at best. Those who need Office, have Office 2016. Those who only need it occasionally have Office Mobile.
        On that 'Nobody uses the 'tablet' mode....', you need to append Paul's signature phrase, 'Well, not literally nobody.' I use my Surface 3 predominantly in tablet mode, and have explicitly stayed with store apps on it. It serves essentially as an iPad, integrates better with the rest of my tech, and was cheaper than a comparably spec'd iPad at the time.


        • Avatar

          Waethorn

          In reply to SvenJ:

          Didn't you get the memo? Office Mobile is dead.

          • Avatar

            SvenJ

            In reply to Waethorn: It did disappear from the PC store, but not from the Mobile store. You can still get it. OneNote is still there regardless, and seems to be the chosen version going forward. I have hopes that MS will do more than just foist a centennial wrapped Office 2016 on Windows users that do not need all of office, or want to use Office on 7-8" tablets. Office was never touch friendly and wrapping it in UWP livery isn't going to change that. Abandoning their Mobile Office apps would be abandoning Office on anything Windows smaller than 12".


  10. Avatar

    Roger Ramjet

    I assume the Surface announcement is just the er surface of the China thing, I think it would be mildly insulting talk less of inefficient (for the productivity company, no less) if they went through this rigmarole so the Chinese could have the bright lights of some minor refresh they could have easily announced in any of their last two events within the last month.

    I am half expecting some other, and much more significant announcement(s) perhaps in the areas of AI (Xiaoce, say), Hololens(China said to be leading market) or some investment or tie up, BaiduMicrosoft Cloud AI Enterprises Asia has a nice ring to it, etc.(or perhaps just that they have found a way to monetize all copies of Windows and Office running in China :-)).

    The whole Surface refresh in Shangai thing feels like a diversion to me. Hope I am right.

  11. Avatar

    Bats

    HP just announced the refresh of the HP Spectre X2. It's black and gold (or copper). It's really nice looking. I've said this once and I'll say it again, Microsoft is not one for having great designs, just like Apple. No Elegance no anything.

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