The Surface Pro 4 won’t be replaced until there’s a clear “experiential change” to trigger a major hardware update.
Microsoft’s current marketing focus is on pushing the newly announced Surface Laptop running Windows 10 S. But there’s also the Surface Pro line, with the latest model being the Surface Pro 4. However, that device is now 18 months old, which makes it pretty ancient from both a marketing and hardware viewpoint.
If you’re expecting, and indeed waiting for the imminent arrival of a Surface Pro 5, prepare to be disappointed. The Surface Pro 5 does not exist as a product, and according to Microsoft VP of Devices Panos Panay, it won’t exist until a hardware breakthrough or two occurs.
Typically we see devices that fall into the laptop and 2-in-1 categories regularly receiving updates with new features. They get thinner, lighter, more efficient, and boast the latest hardware inside. albeit these are small, incremental improvements. While talking to CNET, Panay explained that he doesn’t see it that way and believes anyone using a Surface Pro 4 today will still be enjoying it five years from now.
It could be the case that the Surface Pro 4 is the newest Surface Pro device for years to come. That’s because Panas doesn’t intend to use a new processor or some other component update as a reason to change the model. If the Surface Pro 5 does happen, it will be because there is, “an experiential change that makes a huge difference in product line.” By that he means a big hardware stride such as large gains in battery life or a significant weight reduction.
I take that to mean the Surface Pro 4 will remain current and could see further component upgrades, but it will remain a Pro 4 in name, look, and experience. For the Surface Pro 5 to exist, Microsoft’s hardware geeks need to achieve some breakthroughs in terms of the technology incorporated and/or the experience offered. I wonder what Microsoft’s marketing and sales departments think about that…