A digital pen stylus is also included in the box, providing a wireless method of tracking your input, complete with a magnetic edge to mount it to the side of the Surface Pro 4.
Finally, you’ll find a few buttons on the casing, with a power button up top next to a volume rocker, with the ports located all around the body, providing the 3.5mm headset on the left edge, cover port at the bottom, and all remaining ports — USB, Mini Display, and Surface Charge — on the right edge.
Microsoft’s Type Cover keyboard is different in this generation, also, but is an optional purchase for $199.95 (at the time of publishing).
Has it really been that long between Surfaces?
It might not feel like it, but Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 is now a year old, and it’s time for a fourth-generation product. In that time, we’ve seen a jump from the fourth-generation Intel Core processors (Haswell) to the new sixth-generation models (Skylake), and while there are some incremental updates, some other bits and pieces have changed under the hood.
Let’s get stuck into design first, though, because not a lot has been changed there. For Surface Pro 4, Microsoft took the point of view of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, powering through the improvements by upgrading the screw, the processing, and making the design a little thinner, but generally leaving the formula the same.
And that makes sense, because last year’s Surface was a huge hit with customers and reviewers alike, though several months after was a little hit and miss, so we’re hoping this year’s generation will turn it around and improve it for the new generation. We’ve had a new operating system officially arrive, and that should have given Microsoft the time to truly pull off a product made for Windows 10.
Is that what the Surface Pro 4 is: a computer and tablet designed for Windows 10 over everything?
Out of the box and into our hands, and there’s no mistaking the computer, because this is clearly a Surface.
There’s the unmistakeable slight skew of the Surface rectangular frame, the 3:2 aspect ratio from last time continued emulating that of paper, the “VaporMg” magnesium casing Microsoft no longer likes to talk up but still uses, and even that hinge from last generation has stuck around, one of the excellent inclusions that means you can make the tablet stand up anywhere, or even lie close to flat.
While the design is still the same basic rectangle, Microsoft has managed to put the tablet on a slight diet, dropping the thickness from 9.1mm down to 8.5mm, and getting 24 grams off the weight. It’s not a huge dent, but in a world where size denotes quality and development level, it’s a move Microsoft had to do.