In 2017, once the Surface Pro was unleashed without some, Microsoft said there will be no 'Surface Pro 5.' Why? Apparently the Surface Pro 5 will only exist as it attracted enough of an experiential shift to the product line to deserve some from the name.
On the other hand, the Surface Pro 6 came out from late 2018, entirely skipping the'5'. Thus, you might be expecting some sort of radical shift in the Surface Pro 6 -- or one or 2 of the modifications we have been requesting as the Surface Pro 4.
We would not state that the Surface Pro 6 is completely devoid of improvements, yet. The Surface Pro 6 includes a much faster processor and even longer battery life, but it is still tough to swallow that it is worthy of the amount once the Surface Pro of 2017 was not. However, some more revolutionary changes ought to appear on the Surface Pro 7, at least based on some current patent that shows off a thinner Type Cover.
That, and whatever changes are coming from the Windows 10 April 2019 Update and beyond, make us interested what the following Surface will look like.
But beyond improved silicon and also that amazing black colour option, the Surface Pro 6, because it is today, does not alter the formulation -- not the outdated USB 3.0 port.
Price and availability
The Surface Pro 6 cost starts at $899 (£879, AU$1,349), which can be right in accordance with the pricing to the Surface Pro 2017. The tablet is currently available for sale right now in the USA, UK and Australia -- although the foundation model is out of stock in the United Kingdom at the time of the writing.
Just remember, just like using previous models, the Surface Pro 6 does not contain the $99 (£99, AU$139) Surface Pen nor the $159 (£149, AU$249) Sort Cover and that, regrettably, will probably not change.
The Surface Pro 6 we reviewed , as listed on the right, will probably charge a whopping $1,199 (£1,149, AU$1,670), as a result of the updated storage from 128GB about the base model to the 256GB listed here. That's a significant price hike for only 128GB of additional space.
From there, the Surface Pro 6 may be personalized with up to a Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. If you truly need to max the Surface Pro 6 out, you are looking at a giant price tag of $2,299 (£1,799, AU$3,200).
Similarly, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2017) calls for somewhat less at $799 (£769, AU$1,199), that will get you a 2,732 x 2,048 pixel display powered by Apple's A10X SOC and also 64GB of flash memory. On the other hand, the iPad does not incorporate a stylus or a keyboard, which call for another $99 (£99, AU$145) and $169 (about £170, AU$245), respectively, should you purchase them from Apple.
On paper, the Surface Pro 6 remains the greater value in that you are getting more of a full computer for just about 100 dollars (or quid) more. But, it is unquestionably a closer race than it has ever been.
And, if you would like to go with Chrome OS, you can grab the newest Google Pixel Slate for $599 (£549, AU$850) to start, which will be excellent in your paper. But, Google is asking for an additional $199 (£189, AU$280) for the keyboard pay. That's not a fantastic bargain, particularly if the two the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 6 dwarf it in terms of absolute power.
Design, screen and display
Save for the gorgeous-looking, lovely-feeling, fresh black colour scheme, only about nothing has changed about the Surface Pro design in the 2017 model to today's Pro 6. The tablet measures only 0.33 inches thin and weighs only a mere 1.7 lbs , the same as last year's model.
The Surface Pro 6 includes the very same ports and wireless options as its predecessor, and of course the specific same Sort Cover. We are fine with the latter, since the Sort Cover remains great -- it is the very striking accessory of its kind that we have used yet.
But we must acknowledge that we are seriously let down from the lack of USB-C now around, and it is not about any perceived advantages of the platform. Microsoft continues to be gating faster data transfers and broader docking capabilities behind the proprietary Surface Connect port for some time today, forcing users that want that rate and growth to pick up a $199 (about #150, AU$280) Surface Dock accessory.
Even the added USB 3.0 is behind the curve of USB 3.1 -- the norm in 2019 -- that can be twice as fast at moving data compared to the prior. This is not okay: it is currently costing consumers more money than required to unlock the full versatility of a device that Microsoft claims can function as their only computer.
On a slightly more optimistic note, the display is moderately improved in 1 place but otherwise silent. The Surface Pro 6 display today includes a more powerful contrast ratio of 1,500:1 compared to the prior model's 1,300:1 figure.
This ought to be a blessing to both the content creators and customers alike, with deeper blacks than ever as well as brighter colours that surely makes movies more striking, and potentially makes media editing simpler and more precise for content creators.
It should not be too surprising that the Surface Pro 6 is far more powerful and capable than 2017's model. A lot of the newfound energy comes through the addition of quad-core processing, as a result of Intel's 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh processors released before this season.
Of course, visual performance does not increase much, if at all, at the Surface Pro 6 within the prior model, using the very same graphics subsystem as before within this specification.
But, we have recorded some notable gains in battery life in addition to multi-core performance, which should clearly see far better longevity out of the tablet in addition to faster video encoding and other CPU-intensive tasks.
As a rule of thumb, the Surface Pro 6 is ideal for creative professionals and even pupils. You will get some good mileage out of the laptop when playing casual games such as Hearthstone or Chocolate Crush. Just do not expect this Windows tablet to churn through complicated media rendering and encoding or complex spreadsheet functions with reams of data.
In contrast, the iPad Pro 2017 using the Apple A10X Fusion chip scored 9,343 points at the Geekbench 4 multi-core test. That can be up there with lots of laptop processors from 2017, however, a whole lot has changed since then. Nonetheless, the new iPad Pro 2018 changes things somewhat.
Granted, the iPad Pro and Surface Pro will probably forever be a little bit of an apples to orange contrast given the way the two have been built on completely different operating systems with different degrees of overhead onto their various processors. Without a true multitasking or open-ended app management on iPad Pro, it'll have less overhead but also less flexibility than the Surface Pro.
Microsoft has gone and beefed up the lasting ability of Surface Pro 6 with a significant margin, especially in regards to video playback. Battery life via simulated overall use, represented with the PCMark 8 evaluation, remains basically the same as previously.
But, we have seen a profit of one hour and 47 minutes -- almost a two-hour growth -- in our video rundown evaluation on Surface Pro 6. That's seriously impressive. Between the two amounts, you need to see a substantial increase in time away from the outlet from the past year's model.
Now, we have seen the iPad Pro 12.9 achieve its ranked 10 hours of battery life on a regular basis, particularly in video playback but also overall use. Therefore, the Surface Pro 6 is not quite up to level still, and that's to be anticipated. The version of iOS on the iPad Pro was especially designed and developed to the device, whereas Windows 10 was designed for innumerable devices and therefore has no means of being as optimized.
Apps and features
Such as the Surface Laptop 2, the Surface Pro 6 does not have lots of distinctive pieces of software and features to speak of, and it can be a little bit of a double-edged sword. The good? There's no bloatware with this device in any way, as it pertains straight from Microsoft.
What is also good is the Windows Hello facial recognition, which uses the tablet's infrared camera beside its webcam, and is plenty fast and precise. We could barely open the tablet out of its Form Cover before we are already logged in to Windows 10.
The poor? There is basically nothing in the way of special software and features. When it's with this tablet, you can basically get it onto some other Windows 10 tablet.
The Surface Pro 6 is, of course, Microsoft's greatest tablet yet, but we are frankly left wondering why this one was extended a number since it improves on fewer facets of the device than last year. Microsoft hard-lined against the this past year's model a'5' in the end of its title, basically stating it was not worthy of the moniker.
Now, even fewer improvements and special features are introduced, and it skips the'5' completely. In any other case, this might only be advertising blather, but because of Microsoft's past, on-the-record statements, it is hard to dismiss.
In order of some, less skipping one at the arrangement entirely, we'd have anticipated some radical improvements into the design: a much better screen, possibly; hardwired connections that are up-to-date rather than proprietary, possibly; a radical pricing movement that contains every vital accessory from the box could have sufficed.
Rather, the Surface Pro 6 is faster, longer lasting and today comes in a slick, new black casing... and that's about it. This is surely a much better product than a year ago, but just barely so for this to become worthy of being numbered'6' less'5'. If you already have a Surface Pro 2017, we would say that this update is not worth the price. Otherwise, it is nevertheless the best Windows tablet.