Microsoft announces Surface Pro 6, here’s what you need to know

The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 has been announced by Microsoft at its annual event in New York City, continuing the company’s Surface Pro range. It’ll be released on 17 October, and prices for its various configurations range from £879 to a whopping £2,149.

Most of the upgrades from the previous Surface Pro are hidden under the hood, including the introduction of Intel’s 8th-generation Whiskey Lake Core i5 and i7 processors, but a lot of features and stats are identical to last year’s Surface Pro.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6: UK release date and price

The Surface Pro 6 will launch in the UK on 17 October, a day after the US release.

Prices range from £879 to £2,149, with different options including memory, processor and storage space. The cheapest option comes with 8GB memory, an Intel Core i5 and 128GB memory, and that’s the only configuration under £1,000.

Microsoft has dropped the option for 4GB memory, which previously had been an option for all Surface Pro devices. The remaining memory options are 8GB and 16GB. Storage space and processor options remain the same at 128GB, 256GB, 516GB and 1TB storage space, and i5 or i7 processors respectively.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 6: Specs and improvements

The biggest new addition to the Surface Pro 6 is Intel’s Whiskey Lake processor series, replacing last year’s Kaby Lake processors. Intel’s 8th-gen Core i5 and i7 processors include increased USB support for up to 10GB/s and increased turbo clocking. It also supports UHD displays and a far greater CPU cache than Kaby Lake, meaning it performs noticeably better.

Externally, the device is similar to last year’s Surface Pro. It retains the 8MP rear and 5MP front cameras, the 2736 x 1824-pixel 12.3in screen size and identical Mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm headphone jack and full-size USB connectivity.

The ports have been a disappointment to some, with expectations of Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C connectivity dashed in a Surface Pro 6 that retains the USB-A ports of older devices. It’s a strange decision, given that Microsoft’s Surface Go devices use USB-C.

While the Surface Pro 6 retains last year’s 13.5 hour battery life, the upgrade to Whiskey Lake processors means this is a power increase of about 67% according to Microsoft.

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One notable omission from the device is any kind of Surface Pen, a feature also missing from last year’s Surface Pro. Surface Pens still work on the device, however, you’ll just have to shell out around £100 to acquire one or just use the same one from your Surface Pro 3 (or later) device. Similarly, if you want the keyboard Type Cover that’ll cost an extra £150.

In fact, the most notable change to the Surface Pro 6 is the introduction of a new black variant, which is beautifully understated and classy.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6: New features

The Surface Pro 6 comes loaded Windows 10 Home, upgraded with its latest October Update offering. That means many of the new features of the operating system update are available from day one.

One such feature is the timeline, which lets you access recent files in a way similar to Apple devices. This’ll simplify navigating multiple tabs and applications.

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A useful feature on the Surface Pro 6 is the Your Phone app, which lets you sync your phone and Surface Pro 6 seamlessly. This lets you text from the Surface Pro 6, or transfer photos seamlessly, a useful feature for people who have trouble sending files over Wi-Fi.

The Surface Pro 6 also brings Microsoft Edge Learning Tools, an improved set of tools to improve your work. It includes a dictionary and a thesaurus, and is available on Microsoft Edge even when offline.

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