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The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Review: More than a color



Microsoft is in a unique place in the PC field compared to other manufacturers. Apart from Apple, Microsoft is the only company controlling both the hardware and the software side. When the Surface product line hit the market in 2012, Microsoft's goal was to showcase the benefits of its platform with a world-class hardware offering. On October 2, 2018, the company unveiled its sixth version of what is now a fixture in the PC space, the Surface Pro 6.

On the outside, it would be easy to write this update as a spec bump, but there are noticeable improvements across the Surface Pro, making it a worthwhile successor to the Surface Pro 201

7. The company has not completely reinvented Surface Pro since launching the Surface Pro 3 in 2014, switching to the new thin and lightweight form factor that features the 3: 2 aspect ratio display. Surface Pro 4 stretched the display from 12 inches to 12.3 inches in the same size device, moving from Haswell to Skylake, and Surface Pro 2017 made some minor improvements, and with the move to Kaby Lake finally got the power management problems solved that has plagued the Skylake generation of Surface devices.

Probably the biggest change you'll see with the Surface Pro 6 is that it's available in a new color: black. Surface has not been offered in black since the days of the Surface Pro 2, and the new color will be retained alongside the existing platinum color that we've come to know throughout Microsoft's PC range. But inside the device are new components that take the Surface Pro to a new level. Most notably, Microsoft has switched to quad-core Kaby Lake refresh chips, and as we've seen in the rest of the PC industry, Kaby Lake Refresh brings a significant performance boost.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 [19659005] Model tested: Core i5-8250U 8GB 256GB $ 1199
Processor Intel Core i5-8250U
4C / 8T, 1.6-3.4GHz, 6 MB L3, 14nm, 15W

Intel Core i7-8650U
4C / 8T, 1.9-4.2GHz, 8MB L3, 14nm, 15w

Memory 8GB or 16GB Dual -Channel LPDDR3
Graphics Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel UHD Graphics 620 (24 EU, 300-1100 MHz)
Intel Core i7-8650U
Intel UHD Graphics 620 (24 EUs, 300-1150 MHz)
Display 12.3 "2736×1824 3: 2 PixelSense
LG Display, Touch and Pen Support
100% sRGB color + enhanced color, individually calibrated panels [19659006] Storage
128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB PCIe 3.0 x2
Networking 802.11ac, 2×2: 2, 866Mbps Max, 2.4 and 5GHz
Bluetooth 4.1
Marvell AVASTAR
Audio 1.6 W Stereo Speaker (Front)
Dolby Audio Premium [19659007] Battery
45Wh, 44W Power Adapter with USB Charging Port
Right Side USB 3.0 Type-A
Mini DisplayPort 1.2
MicroSDXC Card Reader
Surface Connect Port (charge and dock)
Left side Headphone jack
Power Button
Volume Rocker
Keyboard Port
Dimensions 292 x 201 x 8.5 mm (11.5 x 7.9
Weight Core i5: 770 grams (1.70 lbs)
Core i5 / i7: 784 grams (1.73 lbs)
Cameras Rear: 8.0 MP autofocus
Front: 5.0 MP autofocus and Windows Hello support
Dual microphones
Extras Surface Pen and Dial (sold separately)
Surface Dock – 2 x mDP 1.2, 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x Gigabit (sold separately)
TPM 2.0
Prices 128 GB Core i5 8 GB RAM: $ 899
256 GB Intel Core i5 with 8 GB RAM: $ 1199
256 GB Intel Core i7 with 8 GB RAM: $ 1499
512 GB Intel Core i7 with 16 GB RAM: $ 1899
1TB Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM: $ 2299

One decision that we've challenged since the launch event was disappointingly lacking an Iris GPU option in the Surface Pro with this generation Fashion ll 2017 was equipped with the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, which doubles the execution units compared to the standard UHD Graphics 620 and adds 64 MB eDRAM. However, the iris option is no more, but even if Microsoft wanted to continue to offer it, Intel is no longer selling 15-watt CPUs in its current formation with the iris option. They would now have to switch to a 28-watt model to gain access.

The rest of the Surface Pro is almost identical to its predecessor on a technical data sheet. The 12.3-inch display has the same resolution of 2736 x 1824, SSD capacities of up to 1 TB, and maximum RAM of 16 GB due to the limitations of LPDDR3 capacity. It includes the same Marvell AVASTAR radio link that has been used for too long in all Surface devices.

The only missing feature that everyone would probably have expected with this introduction was a USB-C port. Microsoft finally includes it instead of the Mini DisplayPort in the Surface Book 2 as well as on the Surface Go, but in a confusing move If the Surface team kept the Mini DisplayPort connector on Surface Pro, instead of switching to USB-C, it could double as a DisplayPort as needed.

Microsoft has also cut prices pretty much, but the bottom model with the core m3 and the lowest price is no more. The good news is that the base configuration stores the 4GB of RAM, which means that a 128GB Core i5 with 8GB of RAM is now the base at $ 899. Last year, the MSRP of the 128 GB Core i5 was $ 999 and only came with 4 GB of RAM. At the top of the savings are even greater: The 1 TB Core i7 with 16 GB of memory is $ 400 cheaper than the starting price of last year's Surface Pro.


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