Microsoft's stalwart 2-in-1, the Surface Pro, is back in black with the latest Intel processors. The Surface Pro 6 (Microsoft ditched the naming scheme last year, but it's back) uses 8th Gen Intel Core processors. It will start at $899 when it launches on Oct. 16, and will be available in both black and gray.
Specifically, those CPU options are the Core i5-8250U or i7-8650U, paired with up to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM and up to 1TB of solid-state storage. Microsoft claims that the 2-in-1's battery will last up to 13.5 hours on video playback, so we're curious how it will last on our more stressful battery test. Surface chief Panos Panay said that the thermals were redesigned to accommodate the new quad-core processor.
Despite its name, Microsoft is shipping the Surface Pro with Windows 10 Home rather than Pro. But at least we can be thankful there was nary a mention of S Mode here or with the new Surface Laptop 2.
The 12.3-inch PixelSense display hasn't changed, and it still has the 3:2 aspect ratio I love so very much. And the whole tablet is super light at 1.7 pounds. But while there's so much of the same that's good, there's one new feature totally missing: Microsoft missed the opportunity to add USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 to the Surface Pro 6 (and the Surface Laptop 2), putting it behind the Surface Go and Surface Book 2, which both have the feature. A Microsoft representative said this is because demand for the port is "divided."
The keyboard is still nice and bouncy, though you still have to pay extra for the Type Cover.
If you were waiting for quad-core, you've got it in the most powerful Surface Pro yet, and we'll put it to the test in our labs. But I'm already hoping for a more significant redesign with the latest ports next year.