Microsoft Surface Pro 5: Specs, features, leaks and what to expect

Last week, we compared the size, features and specifications of Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 with those of the Surface Book to see if the hybrid tablet was really worth buying to replace our dusty laptops.

Even though it turned out to be a great device for multimedia geeks, gamers and those who just love to browse around, Microsoft apparently thinks it can deliver something a lot better. Twitter is rife with speculations about the Surface Pro 5, Microsoft's upcoming hybrid tablet and a replacement of the Surface Pro 4, which is expected to launch as early as next month.

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Here's our detailed take on what the Surface Pro 5 is meant to be, if it is the dream 'laptop replacement' tablet, what are its features and specifications and what are people really saying about the tablet.

What are its features?

Since Microsoft hasn't even made a passing reference on the Surface Pro 5 as yet, we'll go by the rumours for now. What we have learnt so far is that the processor that will power it can change depending on when the tablet is launched. While the latest Intel Skylake processor powers the Surface Pro 4, its successor, named Kaby Lake, is expected to launch later this year. So if Surface Pro 5 sees the light on the day next month, then it will probably feature the Skylake chip.

It is also being rumoured that Surface Pro 5 may launch with a rechargeable Surface Pen and dock. The rumour lends itself to a patent filed by Microsoft in January which detailed out how the AAA battery in the Surface Pen can be replaced with a rechargeable one. Also rumoured are the facts that a USB Type-C port pay replace the USB 3.0 port while other ports like a MicroSD one, a DisplayPort and an audio jack may remain unchanged.

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Apart from these minor details, the rumour columns are largely empty as far as Surface Pro 5 is concerned. We haven't had access to any leaked images as well which could explain why most reports are sceptical about a June launch. The more realistic ones are placing their bets on a January 2017 launch though.

A laptop replacement?

We haven't heard much about the Kaby Lake processor in action as yet but what tech analysts are saying is that it is a 64-bit chip based on 14nm process technology. However, it will not be an upgrade but merely a platform refresher until Intel launches its new 10nm processors which will reportedly be named Common Lake next year. If this is true, then the performance of the Surface Pro 5, processor-wise, would be hardly any different from that of the Surface Pro 4. This leads us to another question- why is Microsoft in such a hurry to release it?

When will it release?

Even though rumours about a possible launch of the Surface Pro 5 in June can be found in a lot of forums, it can be the work of those who would like to pit the device with Apple's upcoming MacBook Pro which may launch at Apple's WWDC next month. It is also a fact that none of the rumours owe themselves to any leaked images, statements from Microsoft or any FCC filings. However, given the limited updates we have heard so far, we would rather see Microsoft launching a truly formidable hybrid tablet in the future rather than launching one just for the sake of it. To read about our in-depth comparison of the Surface Pro 4 with the Surface Book, click here.

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