Does a recent price decrease for the Surface Pro 3 signal that it is almost time for the Surface Pro 4? That is the latest from the technology media rumor mill. With Microsoft ready to release Windows 10 to consumers next week, some think the official Surface Pro 4 announcement is right around the corner as well.
In recent weeks, we have witnessed an echo chamber of Surface Pro 4 speculation. Does this mean we are coming close to an accurate picture of what is to be expected from the new product?
Now is a good time to take stock in what the so-called insiders have been saying to try and separate the wheat from the chaff.
Release date—probably October, but maybe late 2016
Several sources predict an October 2015 release. DigiTimes points to Microsoft placing a large order of Samsung 256 GB solid state drives, which the publication believes are meant for the new Surface Pro 4 line. Information about this purchase comes from an off-the-record source.
The launch may happen sooner than that, however. Some voices in the tech community predict the Surface Pro 4 will make a surprise simultaneous debut with Windows 10, which is scheduled for July 29. That is the word from an International Business Times article back in March, a prediction that was echoed as recently as the beginning of July.
Others say we might not see the Surface Pro 4 until late 2016. Those SSDs that Microsoft ordered? They supposedly use NVMe technology which is three times faster than the drives employed by the Surface Pro 3, and are reportedly not slated to ship until the second half of 2016 according to Microsoft-News.com.
Processor—Probably Broadwell, Skylake maybe
What will replace the Haswell dual-core i5 and i7 found in the Surface Pro 3? Will it be the newly-released Broadwell Core M processor? Or will it be Intel’s Skylake that is still on the horizon?
TechRadar says the Intel Core M Broadwell is the leading CPU candidate. This would make an October release feasible for the device. From a design standpoint, Broadwell’s fan-less design would make the Surface Pro 4 thinner than its predecessor while keeping it compatible with SP3 accessories. It would also bump battery life by up to 30 percent.
Most of the Skylake speculation has a “wouldn’t it be cool” flavor to it—since both the Surface Pro 4 and the new Intel processor are due out around the same time, the wow factor is understandable. You will find this stance espoused by IT Pro among others; and whether true or not, the Skylake would give Microsoft one heck of a selling point to brandish upon its launch.
Display—Higher resolution is likely; perhaps a 14-inch model
Surface Pro 3’s ultra-thin form factor, bezel, and 12-inch screen will stay consistent in the next generation according to TechRadar, with the possibility of a 14-inch screen cited by the Dayherald. The resolution might get an upgrade says a report by the International Business Times, which is predicting a 2K screen sporting a 2,160 x 1,440 pixel-resolution. This rumor has been corroborated by Motley Fool, Christian Today and other publications, with no real alternate storylines put forth.
Storage and RAM—More!
Building upon the 256 GB SSD discussed about, Daily Tech says the SSD could pack up to 1 TB of disk space. This publication (and others) says SP4 will come stocked with 16 GB of DDR3 memory, which provides ample power for production-minded users.
Cameras, Ports, Accessories
It is not outlandish for the Surface Pro 4 to make the switch to the USB 3.0 standard, a case that Geek Snack makes. The publication makes a reference to possible 4G LTE capabilities, which would be a huge boon to business users on the road.
IT Pro predicts improvements to both front- and rear-facing cameras, and a better stylus as a result of Microsoft’s acquisition of Israeli stylus maker N-Trig.
Rumored pricing has been almost unanimous—the Surface Pro 4 will range in price between $1,200-$2,000 depending on specifications and extras.
Taking into account all that we almost know, I predict a 2016 launch for the Surface Pro 4. Microsoft tends to provide substantial hardware improvements for its next generation devices, and I think the Surface Pro 4 will come with a Skylake CPU and a big NVMe SSD. Having these components indicates later launch by my estimation.
What do you think the launch date and specifications will be for the Surface Pro 4? Let me know in the comments.