Today at an event in New York City, Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 4, a widely expected device that follows the unsurprisingly named Surface Pro 3. Microsoft noted that its Surface business is now at a $3.5 billion annual run rate.
The device is the thinnest Surface yet, according to Microsoft. The company expanded the Surface Pro’s screen to 12.3 inches from 12 inches. The device is the same size, but with less bezel. More screen and less wasted space.
According to Microsoft, the screen sports 267 PPI, and over 5 million pixels. According to the company’s own Panos Panay, the Surface Pro 4 has 60 percent more pixels than its predecessor. Microsoft spent quite some time discussing the screen of the device, noting that its glass is a mere 0.4 millimeters thick.
The device will retail for $899, is available for pre-order “pretty much right now,” according to the company. It will be available on October 26.
Moving on to more performance data, the Surface Pro 4 is 30 percent faster than its predecessor, according to its maker. It will come with a terabyte of storage and 16 gigabytes of RAM. It is not clear if those two figures are upgrades or standard specifications. (We’ll clarify with the company.)
It also comes with a new stylus, which will contain a year’s worth of battery, an eraser function, and a new way to keep it around. The new stylus will snap to the edge of the Surface Pro 4, akin to how the prior generation of the Surface pen would magnetically attach to the side of its dock.
Finally, there is a new Type Cover, which, praise the lord, will have a chiclet-style keyboard and a 40 percent larger trackpad.
The announcement of the Surface Pro 4 comes on the heels of releases from both Apple and Google of similar devices, the latter two firms following Microsoft into the category somewhat.
Microsoft’s Surface project has seen better days recently, after a launch difficult launch that included an expensive writedown. That loss was later mirrored and magnified by the Redmond-based technology firm’s multibillion-dollar writedown relating to its purchase of the majority of Nokia’s hardware assets.
For Microsoft, the Surface Pro 3 was an important moment, as it saw stronger sales than its predecessors. The Pro 4 contains a strong set of upgrades on that prior success. It will be interesting to see how it performs in the market.