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Microsoft Surface Pro celebrates fifth anniversary

Microsoft Surface Pro LTE, Surface Pro celebrates fifth anniversary
Microsoft Surface Pro LTE
Announced as Surface for Windows 8 Pro back in June 2012, Microsoft's well-known 2-in-1 convertible was later renamed to Surface Pro and made its debut in February 2013. The fifth generation was released last year, in June.

Half a decade since its introduction, the first-generation Microsoft Surface Pro 2-in-1 detachable tablet and the events surrounding the launch are remembered by the Corporate VP of Microsoft Devices Panos Panay. 

Due to the snowstorm that had hit New York in early February 2013, just when the Surface Pro was supposed to launch, the team decided to launch the convertible in Las Vegas instead. They were also lucky to have a stage ready in a store that had just opened at the Fashion Show Mall, so the first-generation Microsoft Surface Pro had its official launch in Las Vegas on February 9, 2013.

According to Panay, the Surface Pro team "wanted to challenge the concept that people should have to choose between the portability and convenience of a tablet and the power and productivity of a PC." The original Surface Pro is not completely outdated yet, although five years seems like an eternity when talking about computers. The 10.6-inch convertible has a full HD display with Wacom digitizer pen input support, a dual-core Intel Core i5-3317U processor, 4 GB RAM, and 64 GB or 128 GB internal storage.

Although it was praised for its unique kickstand design that allows it to be used as a tablet and a laptop as needed, the list of initial complaints included the short battery life, excessive heat and fan noise generated when under heavy load, as well as its bulkiness when compared to the ARM-powered tablets of 2013.

In the meantime, Microsoft managed to successfully tackle the cooling issues by using a combination of copper sinks and heat pipes. This engineering approach was used since the release of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. Now, they only need to take care of the poor repairability rating of the Surface Pro, since iFixIt usually ends up awarding very low scores to Microsoft's convertibles.

The Microsoft Surface Pro is now a mature product, having reached its fifth generation in June 2017. Marketed as the Surface Pro, last year's convertible comes with a range of Kaby Lake processors (the most powerful choice is the Intel Core i7-7300U), up to 16 GB RAM, and up to 1 TB internal storage. The 12.3-inch PixelSense display has a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824 pixels and features 10-point multitouch and pen support.

The price of the Surface Pro 2017 starts at US$799 (for the Intel Core m3-7Y30 processor model) and can go as high as US$2,699. However, a US$200 off promotion starts tomorrow and will last throughout the President's Day weekend. Those eager to snag this deal can do so at Microsoft Stores and various select retailers, such as Best Buy. Sadly, the Surface Pro LTE devices are not included.


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Codrut Nistor, 2018-02-16 (Update: 2018-02-16)