Reviews Microsoft Surface Pro (5th Gen) (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB)

Microsoft Surface Pro (5th Gen) (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB)

Better than ever, the new Surface Pro is the most versatile laptop we've ever built. Completely redesigned from the inside out with all new custom parts, Surface Pro delivers more battery power, more performance, and a superior display. The stunning PixelSense display supports pen and touch, while the refined design provides 68% more battery life and 2.5X the performance of Surface Pro 3. A powerful Intel Core processor runs full desktop software with ease, ensuring a smooth, productive workflow.

 

*Up to 13.5 hours for video playback. Testing conducted by Microsoft in April 2017 using preproduction Intel Core i5, 256GB, 8 GB RAM device. Testing consisted of full battery discharge during video playback. All settings were default except: Wi-Fi was associated with a network and Auto-Brightness disabled. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage, and other factors.

 

*3DMark 11 Overall score comparison; Surface Pro i7 vs. Surface Pro 3 i7.

 

*Applies to i5 & i7 with understanding that m3 is 2g heavier.

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Comments:
I first have to say that I did not purchase my Surface Pro through Amazon. However, Amazon is pretty much the most popular place to read reviews before purchasing items. So I'm posting my review here, in hopes it helps others make their decision.
First the obvious. The device looks and feels like a premium item. The vent slots around the top edge are even less visible than on the previous model (Surface pro 4). Even though the edges are slightly rounder on the new version, I would not have noticed unless told about it.
My core i5 model is fan-less, meaning COMPLETELY silent. You will not hear a peep out of this device. Definitely an improvement from the previous generation.
I'm pleasantly surprised at how cool to the touch the device stays, even after hours of uninterrupted use. Definitely on par, or better than my ipad slim. I bought mine during my lunch hour from work. I came back to the office, plugged it in and ran through initial set up.
The device was at about 40% charge when I pulled it out of the box. I then charged it to 100%, and proceeded to time the beginning, and end time for every use session. This way I could accurately measure the real world battery life with normal use.
I used it for a total of 5 sessions in the first 24 hours, and got 6 1/2 hours of actual use time. In that time, I read and replied to e-mails, downloaded and set up all office 365 applications, played around in Onenote, then sketched with the pen for about an hour, watched a couple of hours of youtube videos, imported and tweaked some spreadsheets in Excel, used the pen to work out lots of math problems and used it to make several Amazon purchases. Then, when the device was down to about 3% battery, I charged it again for the second time. This time I turned off the keyboard's back light, because I'm a touch typist, and rarely look at my keyboard even when in almost complete dark. I then clicked on the battery icon, and changed the device settings to "Recommended". To my surprise, the device only marginally dimmed the screen brightness, but the result was that on my second charge, I got abut 8 1/2 hours of use. I could even go lower on the settings to "Best Battery Life", and it would probably push it to about 10 hours of use. I just choose NOT to do that, because then my display would be too dark to be enjoyable.
The device keeps its charge intact when turned off, and inside my messenger bag for several hours every day.
After the 3rd full charge, I am getting consistently, between 6.5 to 8.5 hours, depending on what software I'm running.
I suspect that those manipulating large 3D creations in zbrush, or modo, will definitely see less battery hours than I.
The kick stand is slightly less rigid than on the surface pro 4, but I see no wobble or any reason to feel insecure about it.
The only reason I took 1 star from this review, is that after one week of use, now I have spotted a small point (The size of half a drop of water) on the screen, where I can see some faint back light bleed when on a completely black screen. Again, I can ONLY see it during the all black boot up screen, or if I REALLY look for it while watching movies with dark backgrounds, while on a room with all lights turned off. I cannot see this spot on any other circumstance. It is so faint, that I can't see it, even if I look for it during normal use. I'm a hard nitpicker, and probably would have thought about exchanging my unit, if I had noticed this the first day. But now that all my accounts are synched, I've downloaded all my applications and installed all my personal files on here... the hassle is not worth it. So, PLEASE check your screen as SOON as you boot it up for the first time, and you should be golden.
To end on a happy note, I have to say that for a few days, I really contemplated getting the new Ipad pro instead of the surface pro.
If you are a digital artist who ONLY wants a portable digital sketchbook, and you do NOT require the device for any serious work... then the ipad pro is probably the best option for you. Simply because the ipad pencil has a lower initial activation force for the pen. This makes it feel more natural when drawing. However, writing on either device feels quite similar. After a few days of comparisons, I had to move up to the Macbook pro as an alternative, because the ipad pro just didn't measure up to my personal and professional needs. But then I realized that the new Macbooks have NO legacy USB 3.0 ports, no Micro SD card slot, and only 2 USB C type ports. Welcome to dongles galore! I need my device to be as portable as possible. Having to carry around several adapter cables and dongles would really put a strain on my already cluttered bag. Not to mention that I would only be able to afford the 128GB model, which I know for sure is not enough for my needs. The 256GB on my surface pro, coupled with the ability to keep a 128gb SD cart permanently inserted in it for extra space, was just too good to pass up. Then I realized I would also lose the touch screen, and digital pen capabilities if I went with the Macbook pro. Next, the software compatibility issues between the MAC OS and some of the learning software that I use, meant that I would still have to install Windows on a partition of my Macbook pro. Then I would have to start dealing with itunes for my videos and audio files. No. Just NO. Too many negatives crept in, to the point where I felt that the Surface Pro was really tailor made for people like myself.
In my case, I wanted a portable device that I could use not just for fun. But that I could use to take notes and draw graphs and images during lectures; use in work meetings as a digital white board while hooked to a projector; work out math/physics problems without having to waste paper; use to manipulate CAD or Photoshop images while on the go; compile and share PDFs or any other format work/school related documents, while having the ability to mark them up, highlight and share them easily; use for coding/programming; and that as an added bonus, could be used as a fun machine for watching movies and drawing/painting on the go.
If you want a thin, sleek device that can REALLY replace your laptop, then the Surface Pro is the definite winner.
In short, if you want an ultra portable device optimized for content creation, get the Surface Pro.
If you want a portable device optimized for content consumption, then get the Ipad Pro.
I have owned multiple phones, laptops, game consoles, portable game devices, both work and gaming computers etc...
I'm so happy with this device, that this is the first time I have felt compelled to write a review for an electronic device ever.
Good luck with your search.

Excellent computer for general purpose work. I am working with the i7 with 1TB of storage - I bought the Pro 4 with i5 and 256GB and rapidly realized I under-purchased for my work.
The good (ok great):
Fast - the i7 Surface Pro is significantly snappier than the i5 of 2015. Maybe 2 to 2.5x as fast at standard jobs. I'm running some multi-media jobs to benchmark this weekend and will post a followup.
Storage - very fast. Files open and close with "snap".
The screen is just as excellent as the Pro 4, and that's what got me to switch most of my computing from a MacBook Air to the Pro line. The screen is gorgeous.
The fingerprint reading on the touch keyboard (recommended option) is much faster and more accurate. This tells me that there must be CPU processing involved in fingerprint sensing accuracy as I just switched the same keyboard from the Pro 4 to the Pro 2017.
Cooling - I noticed the Pro 2017 just doesn't heat up as much as the Pro 4 at any task.
Surface Dock - Truly outstanding accessory. Just hook up the magnetic connector and add monitor, ethernet, sound, and more USB-3 to the job. I use it with a very high resolution Dell display and it's stunning.
Mixed
The battery - it's significantly longer lasting at the same brightness as the Pro 4 - but I still get about 5-7 hours of useful life. That's at "suggested" or "brighter" settings. I don't use brightest - it's just wasteful. Battery life could still be better, but it is pretty much good enough for my needs.
Wish List
USB-C. I of course didn't expect it, but Microsoft could have upgraded the USB 3.0 to latest spec and added a USB-C to the Pro 2017. Really, it's not badness (I'm not deducting a star) but seriously why not?
All in all, this is more than a solid performer. It's a stylish, good-looking outstanding performer that is suitable for any road warrior or any desk. This is an excellent followup to the already great Pro 4.

I purchased the Surface Pro i5 8GB RAM.

The unit is taking the place of both a HP ultrabook and an IPad. The ultrabook is still a good laptop and performs well, however this Surface Pro has exceeded all of my expectations. It has been a great purchase and I love working on it on a daily basis. I bought a keyboard for it as well, which has made it a true pleasure to use. It easily runs circles around both my ultrabook (which I love) and the IPad.

The Surface Pro is built very well, from both the perspective of actual construction and initial durability, as well as design. The speakers being front facing work very well, better than any laptop or tablet I have listened to.

The screen itself is beautiful with excellent clarity and detail, with the speed behind its supporting hardware to display anything I have thrown at it. Touch-screen action, speed and response are excellent.

Saying the processor is very good is an understatement. Fan-less and very fast; it handles video compression, editing, and encoding better than any I have used, especially considering the small form factor. Simpler editing and any other daily computer use tasks aren't even really worth mentioning because it easily does those concurrently as the heavy tasks. Absolutely wonderful.

Battery life has been exceptional. Coming from an ultrabook which has good battery life, the Surface Pro has been amazing. I am on it all day and it has no problem running on and on.

The Surface Pro is on the expensive side, however, I can say that in comparison with any other tablet or laptop on the market, this is by far the superior product, in nearly all aspects. Years ahead in development, hardware, and support. It is truly a pleasure to use.

I suppose what tops it all off is its extremely small and portable size. Keep in mind that this isn't just a tablet, like "competitor products". This is an actual, fully capable computer, which can be easily thrown in a backpack or simply carried. It really has no competition because it outperforms everything else. I know I will love this Surface Pro for years to come.

Some people may say that it doesn't have USB Type-C. True, but do I really want to go out and re-purchase all the things I have, just so they can be USB-C based hardware? No; not only would this be expensive for little to no realistic gain, but all of the things I have already work well and I plan on getting use out of my purchases. Plus, most hardware doesn't support USB-C yet anyway; it hasn't been made yet. Lastly, from what I understand, Microsoft plans on selling a Surface Connect-Type C converter just in case you need it, which will support both full data and full Type-C power. Both points of full data and power being important, as many current Type-C ports and hardware are not actually fully capable.

After having the Surface Pro a few weeks, I am extremely happy with it. You won't regret it if you get one.

Over the years I have bought many ultra books, tablets, laptops etc. and always had an element of disappointment. This is the first tablet/ laptop I have bought that has exceeded my expectations. When detached from the keyboard it really is a fine tablet and when attached to the keyboard is a good laptop for travel or occasional use in the home. I would not go as far as saying that it replaces my desktop (2 Hi Res screens etc.) but it comes closer than anything I have had before. Very fast, light and easy to transport with good battery life.

--UPDATE--
Disabling the auto screen brightness feature seems to correct the below issue.

The device will reset at random times. It doesn’t seem to matter what I’m doing. After a review on reddit , I found many early adopters are experiencing the same issue. See thread: “Suspend/Poweroff at Random Surface Pro 2017 i5”.

--Original Review--

Received my Surface Pro yesterday and used it all evening. Here are my initial thoughts, hope they help.
My device Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB, coming from an Ipad Pro.
Pros:
1. It’s a full PC. If it works on PC, It works on this.
2. Ease of use. I love how it easy it is to load UHD video files. Playback is flawless. Never did get this working on Ipad.
3. Fast and responsive.
4. Build quality is premium. Love the new rounded edges.
5. Near silent. It has a fan, but it’s not loud enough to remember it’s even there. I think the i5 doesn’t even have one.
6. Battery life is really good. Again I haven’t done any official tests, but it lasted all evening on the “out of the box” charge.
7. Screen resolution is crisp and bright. Looks great playing hi res videos.
8. Expandable storage with a micro SD card. This is a no brainer. Get a clue Apple.
9. USB port. Again, Apple WTF?
Cons:
1. I wish the bezel was a little thinner. It would be nice to have more screen real-estate.
2. A little smaller than ipad pro.
3. It gets a little warm. Not sure about thermal throttling. I haven’t tested. But it does get a bit warm holding in your hands after a while.
4. While I was browsing the web, it lockup and screen went black, after a few seconds it auto reset. This happened just once. Didn’t happen again all night.
Conclusion:
I really love it. This is the device the Ipad Pro should have been. This is a truly awesome laptop replacement and I enjoy using it. The most versatile portal tablet on the market.

I've gotten a ton of use out of my Surface Pro 3 (SP3) over the past 3.5 years however the battery life was diminishing rapidly so I decided to upgrade to the new Surface Pro. (I don't know why Microsoft has to confuse everyone by not naming it the Surface Pro 5 but I digress.)

Here are the biggest improvements coming from the SP3:
-Noticeably thinner and lighter. Makes it easier to handle as a tablet.
-Fanless i5 version. Love not having to hear the high-pitched fan.

Accessory compatibility:
-My SP3 keyboard cover is compatible with this new Surface. Saves me about a hundred bucks.
-My SP3 charger works with this new Surface.

Otherwise, the new Surface is pretty much identical to the SP3 and that's not a bad thing.
-The best thing about the Surface Pro is the flip-out kickstand. This feature remains just as good with the new Pro and can even fold-out a bit flatter. If you haven't experienced the kickstand before, it is just great. It stores flat on the back, is easy to position, and useful in both the tablet and laptop mode.
-The next best thing about the Surface Pro is the optional docking keyboard. It is very easy to attach and detach the keyboard. The thickness of the keyboard is not much more than a few sheets of paper which makes it easy to store in a backpack.
-The charging cable and brick are fairly compact which is nice for portability. It connects with a magnet which is reliable and durable.

OVERALL
The new Surface Pro is a minor upgrade on the already great older models. It works well as a tablet and as a portable laptop with the keyboard cover.

A great purchase. I just love the light weight and how quickly it boots up. Also the gorilla glass it major improvement over the older models. Still, I was hoping to get some place to put the pen. I mean really, it just does not work to have it stuck to the side of the screen. It is always getting knocked off and that pen is not cheap.

The main advantages of this over a laptop are the smaller size, fully Windows compatible, and better battery life over a tablet.

I recommend getting the type cover and Surface Pen to really use the Surface to its full capabilities. This is my first Surface Pro and the pen absolutely is worth it; it's very intuitive for sketching and jotting down notes. Even for browsing it feels more natural than a mouse or touchpad. This thing is an absolute pleasure to use, and the fan-less i5 core is speedy and quiet.

It charges relatively quickly, but a USB-C connection for faster charges would make it even better.

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