MS Surface


I have a Surface 3 (not Pro) that I absolutely love. It’s fantastic for life on the road, as I have full access to all my Office apps, amazing battery life and light weight. It’s a little (a lot?) underpowered for gaming, but I can still run a few older games on it just fine for the times when there’s nothing appealing on Netflix.

And I still use my Day 1 Surface RT as a Netflix/Plex terminal on the treadmill!

I would love a Surface Book, but they’re a little (a lot?) too rich for my blood. My wife would have my nuts if I came home with one of those. Huge fan of the hardware.


Apparently refresh still doesn’t have USB C? Way to future-proof, Microsoft.


Well, it does allow people to use there current hardware with it, and that is something business want,


Without an actual redesign, they likely only had space for a single connector and had to make a Sophie’s choice. For today, if I’m going to be stuck with a single port, I guess I’d prefer USB-A.


USB-A has been around for more than 20 years and there are billions of devices that use it.

Plus, it’s a tock refresh. And MS isn’t in a big hurry with a huge redesign. Intel sort of screwed everyone over by extending 14nm for another year.

I expect Cannonlake (10nm) will let MS do a full redesign, especially in terms of thermals and battery life. And you can probably expect the mini-DP to be replaced by USB-C.


Surface Pro has been announced in shanghai. This is not a simple refresh. There’s a whole lot of new stuff here.

New hinge that goes further than before.

New display, and the pen now has 4096 layers of pressure, four times than before.

New thermals along with the 7th gen core CPU.the i5 versions are now fanless.


Yep. So it is truly a new design and still they opted to include only a single USB-A port. That sucks. They should have replaced the mini-displayport with USB-C. Takes up the same amount of space and is infinitely more useful.

It no longer comes with the pen, that’s a separate $99 purchase now. Sucks.

It’s supposed to have 50% more battery, which is a huge improvement if true. That was always the Surface Pro’s achilles heel.


Damnit, I want the new surface book, with a nice 10 series GPU, then I’ll get it.


Also the fanless “i5” is almost certainly a Y-series CPU. Intel no longer labels their low-core/high-boost/fanless CPUs m5 and m7, because consumers figured out they were slow. But that’s what it is. Look for a Y in the CPU name to figure that out.


Well, there’s a dongle that adds USB-C support.




Given that every USB and video device I plug into my 2016 MacBook Pro has a dongle except for my USB-C Lightning cable, I think MS made the right call here for 2017.


You sure about that, there, stussy?

I’m going with… no.

i7 has Iris Plus graphics though so that makes it the go-to model for me this time around. Cheapest one though, I don’t need 16GB RAM or giant SSD.


Hmm, old Surface Pro 4 “up to 9 hours video playback” new Surface Pro “up to 13.5 hours video playback”. Bold claim!


Ars is saying the i5 is not a Y-series CPU. Since it’s fanless, I would wait to see reviews before buying one as it is likely to substantially throttle. The core m (Y-series) CPUs are binned to run at very low voltages, and designed to run at very low stock clocks with high boost clocks, so they feel responsive when browsing and such and sip power. The normal non-Y i5s, well, aren’t.

Regarding the dongle and “Microsoft could have switched the mini DisplayPort on the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop to USB-C, but Panay says that’s simply “taking away another port that matters” and could have generated similar complaints."

Panay lost a ton of credibility right there. Nobody prefers a mini-DP to a USB-C, because most monitors don’t have mini-DP and you need an adapter anyway. Jagoff.


Well, personally I use a cable to connect my monitor to my computer. :) And that cable has Mini-DP on one end, and DisplayPort on the other. (Actually, it has Mini-DP plugged into a stupid USB-C dongle at this point, but you know what I mean.)


Depends on the wattage budget TDP; if it’s using the entire back of the device as a heatsink it might be OK. I wish we had the exact model number and I could look it up. I’d say 15w is probably do-able if they have a good “entire back of the device as heatsink” design. But you’re right that it should be tested under real loads, like games or something.


Yep. And you would just use a cable with USB-C on one end and full-sized DP on the other.

Same difference, except that plug could also connect to every USB device in the world; flash drives, mice, keyboards, wifi cards, ethernet, a USB fan to waft cool air over your balls, you name it.


It is 15w TDP for both the i5 and i7 (versus 4.5w for the i3) though I suspect the Iris Pro, +boost clock and 64mb eDRAM will punch that up higher for the i7:

So weird that the i3 has the same 4mb L2 cache? There must be some other form of gimping here I can’t see. Also interesting, they really juiced the i3 part for Kaby Lake. Check out that boost clock! (Geekbench 3 single core result shown; that’s a bit faster than an iPhone 6s which is quite good.)

Anyways, if the case-as-passive-heatsink design is done right I expect the i5 should be OK on throttling except in extreme long burn run scenarios. We’ll see!


If the i5 model doesn’t throttle and really gets 10+ real hours of battery life (not just watching video), it is truly a remarkable achievement.