Surface Pro 4 Predictions

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by dstrauss, Mar 20, 2015.

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  1. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    OK - with Windows 10 earmarked for a "summer 2015" delivery, it is time for predictions about the forthcoming Surface Pro 4. BTW - Thurrott pointed out that Summer=June 22 through September 21, but my bet is we see it closer to July 4 than Labor Day. We shall see - onward!

    Surface Pro 4

    All Models
    Same physical dimensions.
    Same screen size and resolution.
    Same power/bus connection
    Same kickstand
    Same type cover (but of course, "enhanced" trackpad, whatever that means)
    USB 3 (standard port)
    USB 3.1 Type C Connector - replaces mini DP for video and data**
    Micro SDXC (boo - sorry, but still no full SDXC)
    Integrated rechargeable N-Trig pen (hopeful because N-Trig told me it is only being sold to OEM partners)
    Intel Real-Sense 3D camera (for Windows Hello)

    Core M Models (ULV)
    Fanless - with even more battery replacing the fan space!
    4gb ram and 128gb SSD
    8gb ram and 256gb SSD

    i5 Broadwell Model
    8gb ram with 128gb, 256gb, and 512gb SSD options

    i7 Broadwell Model
    8gb ram with 256gb and 512gb SSD options
    16gb ram with 512gb and 1tb SSD options

    Apologies in advance if Core M covers all three processor levels [just not well versed in Intel terminology, but my point is there will be some form of ultra-low power SKU with real 12 hour plus battery life; an mid-range power SKU (what I call i5); and a full power SKU (i7)]

    **I know it is too late, but it would be awesome if Microsoft replaced both the mDP and standard USB 3 ports with THREE Type C USB 3.1 two channel ports - SWEET!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  2. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    I think that is fairly spot on, one exception though. Even if a USB-C port is included the mini-DP will stay on since Panay stated that the next generation would be compatible with the Docking Station and that has a mini-DP port.
    One improvement that would be welcome is an anti-glare coating on the screen.

    Sent from my GT-N8010 using Tapatalk 4
     
  3. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Surface Pro 3 docking station connects its mini Display Port through the power connector anyway though.

    I'd love this (or even 2 USB 3.1 type C and a legacy USB Type-A), but I don't see it happening. I also really hope the Chromebook Pixel model of one port on each side (including power through that port) catches on really fast.
     
  4. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    Are you saying there is no requirement for a DP chip or interpreter on the motherboard?

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk 4
     
  5. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    It is possible for Microsoft to add the Type C USB 3.1 connecter and remove the Mini-DP but allow the Dock to offer the backwards compatibility of DP and USB 3 through the data bus on the Power Connector....
     
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  6. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy FORMER Editor, TabletPCReview Staff Member

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    At this point, I'm really expecting the SP4 to be a tweaked version of the SP3: generally the same, but with a faster processor. But this is based on speculation, as I haven't seen anything I consider a reliable leak.

    The biggest possibility for change I see is that MS might swap out the full-size USB port for a USB Type-C (USB-C) one. This would allow the tablet to be a bit thinner. Combine this with a more-efficient processor and MS would have a slimmer, lighter model with the same battery life.

    On the other side of the coin, there will certainly be lots of complaints from people not ready to switch to USB-C yet, but adapters will be available and people who buy this model will be happy about the change in a couple of years.

    There's a possibility that the SP4 could be available in a 14-inch version, but I'd be very surprised if the company didn't continue with the 12-inch one, too. As discussions in this forum shows, there's only moderate interest in the larger screen.

    I have heard nothing solid about a release date for the new model, but I tend to think it will be out this summer, in time for new school year. That's about a year after the SP3, and has been pointed out, in time for Windows 10.

     
  7. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah, my actual expectations and what I hope for are two entirely different things.

    The USB 3.1 Type-C connector only muxes in DisplayPort data in 'alternate mode'. Any chips that are necessary for a physical DisplayPort out are also necessary for the DisplayPort out through USB 3.1 Type-C.

    (And the biggest pain for USB 3.1 Type-C DisplayPort out is that passive adapters aren't allowed that way. I understand the reasoning for this, it's to give compatibility for future things like HDMI 2.0, but it's still going to be a slight pain point.)
     
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  8. clovismod

    clovismod Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Maybe a slight larger screen in the same format, by removing the Start button in the bezel.
     
  9. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    I can imagine a few different alternatives, but I think I agree with Ed; I think it is most likely that Surface Pro 4 will be a "perfected" Surface Pro 3.

    If you recall, the Surface Pro 3 appeared to have been rushed to introduction when Microsoft made the last-minute decision to ditch the mini-Surface. At the time, I wondered if that might explain the fixed focus cameras and the poor thermal management (throttling) of the processor. (That is, the Pro 3 design had to be hastily wrapped up without time to "tweak" it and production part orders had to be placed for components that were available rather than optimum components that probably had much longer delivery times - thanks, Apple, for buying up key parts inventories for years in advance...)

    If that was the case, Panay might now be looking at Pro 4 as the opportunity to produce the tablet that Pro 3 was originally intended to be. And, we have the declaration that Pro 3 accessories will still be compatible.

    So, thinking along those lines, I would expect the Pro 4 to feature:

    <> HD cameras with auto-focus that are compatible with Win10 biometric security requirements for facial image acuity
    <> Possibly better quality microphones, again compatible with Win 10 biometric requirements for voice audio fidelity
    <> A range of processors as described by Dale, with a fan-less low end model and much less throttled mid- and top-end models (that is, the top two models will still have one large or maybe even two smaller fans, a la Pro 2...)
    <> Integrated graphics native to the above processors
    <> Same overall dimensions (Pro 3 accessories will be compatible...)
    <> The same battery (43 Whrs, I think?) or at best only a slightly larger battery
    <> Same screen
    <> Same ports (sorry, but I do not see USB 3.1 C because accessories (like thumb drives) and adapter cables aren't readily available and won't be for many months )
    <> Same microSD card socket (like it or not, this is where the industry is moving)
    <> Same pen (Pro 4 too thin for a silo and Microsoft acquisition of N-trig too recent to effect any dramatic pen design changes; HOWEVER, perhaps somewhat improved pen software / driver...)
    <> Same or very slightly improved kickstand that holds its angle better
    <> More consistent production quality; fewer instances of "bowed" cases, mis-alignment of screen corners, light leakage at the screen edges, digitizer dead zones, etc.
    <> Same AC power adapter...
     
  10. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    It's likely you are "more right" compared to some of my "fantasies," but I really cling to the stick-like N-Trig that has been on their website for nearly two years. It's rechargeable, and obviously won't be as usable as its big brother (which I see as an optional accessory) - but it would be there with you all the time - a necessity for such a note-centric device. When I wrote to N-Trig about trying to buy one, their cryptic response of "those are only being sold to OEM's" sounded too much like they had such a deal in the works, and not just "we only make them available to OEM's."

    One last fantasy as well - either include a type cover in the box or put a coupon in the box for ordering a type cover of your choice. It is the single most valid criticism out there - the SPro 3 is nearly worthless (let's say 50% less valuable) WITHOUT a type cover. Embrace that and quit giving your critics ammunition to feed naysayers.
     
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