Microsoft Surface Pro 6 – Rumors, Specs, Features, Pricing, Release Date and Other Details We Know So Far
News about the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 was just recently shared, revealing that the tech giant has something in store for the masses that could present itself as a highly-portable machine while also being able to transform itself into a compact, but powerful computing tool for a variety of tasks. The 2-in-1 Windows-powered machine is not going to be released for quite some time, but we wanted to go through a few things regarding rumors, potential specifications, features and the pricing of the upcoming product. Let us begin.
*This is preliminary information and will be changed and/or updated as more details come forward.*
Surface Pro 6 - Design
Our last and perhaps only proper news surrounding the Surface Pro 6 involved a design change, but the rumor did not go into specifics, unfortunately. The Surface Pro lineup has not changed by a huge margin in recent years. The product unveiled back in 2017 featured just a specifications bump and offered little to no real-world benefit to the end-user if they intended to upgrade their Surface Pro 4. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft will be able to change the design of this 2-in-1.
Frankly speaking, the thing that won me over after using a Surface Pro 4 was its hinge mechanism. For a device this sleek, the hinge was one of the sturdiest things I have ever seen on a computing machine this thin. Even after laying it on my lap, which made an uneven surface for the machine to place on, I was able to type on it very comfortably.
Based on my personal experiences, I highly doubt that the hinge mechanism is going to change but the overall form of the device could accommodate thinner bezels to make it appear more as a futuristic product.
The slimmer bezels will mean that the Surface Pro 6 will have an overall reduced footprint while offering more real estate to the user; more screen but a smaller size is something that I am sure we all will be craving to see from a 2-in-1 like this.
Surface Pro 6 - Specifications
Starting off with the display, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, as we mentioned, could have a smaller footprint, which can only be achieved through the reduction of bezels. The Surface Pro 2017 features a 12.3-inch Pixel Sense display with over 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. With the Surface Pro 6, we could be seeing a bigger screen size, possibly in the range of 13.5-14 inches with a resolution that is higher than 2,736 x 1,824 pixels.
The upcoming Surface Pro 6 could also double up when it comes to pressure sensitivity, allowing users to experience a more life-like experience when using the Surface Pen accessory with the product’s display. Looking at what kind of silicon manufacturers are using right now, it honestly would not make sense for Microsoft to use an 8th-generation processor designed for ultrabooks and 2-in-1’s.
Intel really outdid itself when it announced that Core i5 and Core i7 models of the ‘U’ series of chips will feature a total of four cores instead of the usual two while remaining in the same 15W TDP boundaries. Though we can say that AMD might have been the driving force behind this change, I have to say that it was a real game-changer thanks to personal experience. Portable notebooks became tremendously powerful, to the extent that even if you had something like an i7-8550U on a machine that featured a Thunderbolt 3 port, all you needed was an eGPU solution and you were off to the races as far as gaming is concerned.
However, in 2019, it would be a grave mistake for Microsoft to rely on Intel’s 8th-generation processors. Instead, we believe that the Surface Pro 6 will feature Intel’s 10nm Cannonlake various models. A 10nm Cannonlake Core i3-8121U was already spotted in a notebook, but Intel has stated that large volumes of these chips are not going to be available until 2019, which was revealed in the company’s Q1 2018 financial report, and makes it the perfect time for Microsoft’s engineering team to be in close contact with Intel’s.
As all of Apple’s notebooks have foregone the 4GB RAM versions, we also expect the Surface Pro 6 to follow the same approach. 4GB of RAM isn’t what it used to be, and having 8GB of RAM is also seen as a bare minimum in a variety of scenarios. If we can have smartphones coming with 8GB of RAM, we cannot see why Microsoft becomes stingy when it comes to adding more memory.
Secondly, we expect the Surface Pro 6 to arrive with a base storage model of 256GB. 128GB worth of SSD storage only looks great when you have a 1TB mechanical hard drive to supplement that storage and the sleek form factor of the Surface Pro 6 means that accommodating a mechanical hard drive is going to be a no-go. For users that want to experience a whole lot of media consumption, a 256GB model is going to be fine, while those who want to tackle a whole lot of productivity will have to rely on higher storage versions, which means paying a hefty premium for those.
Intel’s 8th-gen CPU lineup does not include those underpowered ‘Y’ series of chips that came with the 7th and 6th-gen lineup so we’re also hoping that the 10nm Cannonlake series does not include those as well. Unfortunately, if that happens, it will make the Surface Pro 6 severely underpowered and only cater to a few users, like the 12-inch MacBook.
Surface Pro 6 - Features
If the Surface Pro 6 offers increased computing performance by choosing Intel’s right chips (or AMD’s), it could offer creative professionals, content creators, and others a small bridge to take advantage of. However, sufficient horsepower is not going to be enough as you need a variety of I/O to help you through that course too. While we see the Surface Pro 6 shipping with things like a single standard USB 3.0 port and a microSD card slot, we’ll be very surprised not to see a Thunderbolt 3 port on the machine.
Microsoft will not have an excuse to not incorporate a Type-C USB port that supports Thunderbolt 3 because we’re heading into 2019 and not seeing these tiny ports on notebooks and 2-in-1’s mean that manufacturers are missing big-time as it heavily reduces the throughput and flexibility of these portable machines.
As you all know, Thunderbolt 3 ports drive a lot of versatility as they can be used to hook up multiple displays, an external GPU enclosure, storage peripherals and a variety of USB-powered hubs to connect wired mice, keyboards and even an RJ45 cable for Ethernet connections.
In short, the Surface Pro 6 will effortlessly be able to increase your workspace capabilities with that single port. If the MacBook Pro lineup can ditch all ports to go all-USB-C, then we see why can’t Microsoft do the same thing.
Surface Pro 6 - Release Date
As mentioned earlier, the Surface Pro 6 is not going to materialize until 2019, so Microsoft has a lot of time to get things right. If we go by the previous unveiling of the Surface Pro 4, the product was announced during the first week of October and was officially ready to purchase during the last week of the same month. However, when the Surface Pro was announced in 2017, its unveiling took place during the month of May.
However, there was not a radical difference between the Surface Pro 2017 and Surface Pro 4, so Microsoft could have afforded to unveil the updated 2-in-1 a little earlier than usual. What we believe is that the Surface Pro 6 is going to see a launch taking in October 2019. Naturally, a machine with a brand new design, advanced specifications and functionality is going to see a launch during the same period when Apple usually announces its latest iteration of the MacBook Pro family.
This is going to give consumers a choice to make when it comes to purchasing either Apple’s or Microsoft’s premium devices and the month of October is going to provide the perfect setting for that. If Microsoft decides to choose another month for the release, well, that is going to be completely up to them.
Surface Pro 6 - Pricing
The regular pricing of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pro 2017 was $799 for the base model and this just included the Windows 10-fueled tablet. With the release of the Surface Pro 6, we see that price increasing to $999 for the base model. Microsoft might have other plans in the future, and the portable machine might end up more expensive than our own guesses, but running a fully-functional desktop operating system and featuring the best possible internals in a space this compact, the Surface Pro 6 could be a real winner.
What sort of additions, specifications, features and pricing details are you looking forward to from the Surface Pro 6? Let us know down in the comments.