The Surface Pro 4 has been a reliable companion for me during the last couple of months and I really got to love many of its functions and specialities – especially Windows Hello and the Surface Pen are awesome tools I don’t want to miss in my workflow anymore. Despite my huge excitement for the device, there are of course also things I’d like to see improved in the upcoming version of the Surface Pro. Furthermore, I also hope that Microsoft will add further functionalities to its ‘tablet that can replace your laptop’. That’s why I’ve decided to sum up all those things I’m looking forward to seeing in the Surface Pro 5 in this post. While I don’t see Microsoft changing or integrating all the things I’ve listed here I’m sure they’re working hard to improve the already very good ‘Surface experience’. You’ve got more ideas/wishes regarding the next Surface Pro model? Don’t hesitate to add your thoughts in the comment section below!
Flawless Experience from the Beginning
With Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book Microsoft definitely raised the bar once again regarding what customers can expect from a modern Windows 10 2-in-1 PC: Just think about Windows Hello facial recognition, the improved Type Cover which offers a notebook-like typing experience, the phenomenal keyboard and the awesome trackpad of the Surface Book. But despite does great improvements and innovations (like the hinge on the Book) the experience wasn’t without flaws. Probably the most famous problem were the annoying crashes of the display driver. But apart from that there were also many other problems which I’ve listed here. Given the relatively high prices of both the Pro 4 and Surface Book, the amount of problems people were experiencing at the beginning is just not acceptable. Thus, it should be Microsoft’s primary goal for the Pro 5 (and the Book 2) to offer customers a flawless experience right from the beginning. Of course it’s completely normal that there are some minor problems with every product but it definitely should not be happening to that extend once again!
More USB Ports
Ok, the future might be wireless as claimed most famously by Apple with their iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models which have to go without a 3.5-mm headphone jack. Nevertheless, I think that USB ports are still quite essential in our every day life working with computers and therefore I’d wish for two USB ports on the Surface Pro 5 rather than just one like on all the previous Pro models. Ideally, Microsoft should integrated one standard full-size USB port and a second USB Type-C port – just like Asus did with their Transformer 3 Pro.
Just before the big Windows 10 devices event in October last year there were rumors claiming Microsoft would announce a Surface Pro 4 with an almost bezel-less screen similar to the one found on the Dell XPS 13 and XPS 15. While I did not believe that rumour back then, I think it might be possible that Microsoft reduces the size of the bezels on the Pro 5 which would give it a very cool look indeed. Furthermore, this would also allow Microsoft to include a bigger screen into a similarly sized chassis. Given the fact that Microsoft also has to integrate cameras and sensors needed for Windows Hello in the upper bezel and that the lower one is needed for attaching the Type Cover, those two bezels probably have to stay the same. Nevertheless, reducing the bezels on the left and right side of the display would be a welcome change for me.
Picture source: via WinBeta
Longer Battery Life
For me the Surface Pro devices are all about productivity on the go and therefore have to offer long battery life. While for my use case (taking notes at school and blogging on the go) the Pro 4 offers long enough battery life most of the time, I sometimes would wish it to be a bit more persistent. Thus, I hope Microsoft will not further decrease the thickness of the device (Pro 4 is already very thin at 8.45 mm) but instead integrate a bigger battery (along with more efficient Intel processors of course).
Improved Surface Pen
The Surface Pen for me was probably the reason why I bought the Pro 4: For a student, note-taking with the pen and OneNote is just incredibly useful. As I use the pen every day very intensely I of course hope and truly believe that Microsoft aims to further improve the already very good pen experience with Surface – you just have to look at the new features like Windows Ink added to Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update to see how important this topic is for Microsoft. Probably one of the coolest things Microsoft could add to Surface Pen is the one described in this patent entry: There the stylus features a part called ‘color sensing tip’ which allows to pick colors from real objects in your environment and then draw with the exact same color on your device. I have no idea whether this is already ready for the market but I definitely think that this feature would allow some very interesting new use case scenarios. And of course it would – just like the iris scanner on the Lumia 950 – provoke a ‘wow-effect’ when showing it to your friends.
Another feature Microsoft could add to the Surface Pen is a rechargeable battery as described here.
Type Cover Option à la Surface Book Keyboard
At the moment I’ve got the Surface Book here for an extended review period and for me the device undoubtedly has one of the best keyboards (if not the best one) I’ve ever used on a notebook – typing on it is just such a pleasant experience. Additionally, the bottom part of the Surface Book also features an incredible touchpad. While the latest Type Cover also has an improved touchpad which is very good as well, the one found on the Book is just top-notch. Thus, I’d love to see Microsoft offering a Type Cover option for the Pro 5 which shares some key parts of the Book keyboard, e.g. an integrated battery. Of course such a Type Cover would be substantially heavier and therefore Microsoft should of course keep offering thinner and lighter Type Cover options for those who need their device to be as light as possible.
More Color Options
Microsoft already offers quite a few differently colored Type Covers (although not all color options are available in every country which is a shame) but I’d also wish them to offer the Surface Pro 5 itself in different colors just like Apple is doing with their iPad Pro and Macbook line-up. While I definitely like the Pro 4’s silver coloring I would not mind a black version either (like the one of Pro 1 and Pro 2 for instance).
So, that’s my list of wishes for the Surface Pro 5 which I think would further improve the experience. I don’t think Microsoft will add everything I listed above but I think there might be some things in the list which they are definitely taking a look at. At the end of the day I’m definitely looking forward to the Surface Pro 5 and I’m very curious what Microsoft changed and improved.
Do you have any wishes or do you disapprove with one of mine? Let us know in the comments below!