Released last year, there is no denying that (at least when compared to previous devices in the line) the Surface Pro 3 made something of a splash. Coming with an increased screen size, a more powerful set of processors throughout the line, better resolution and an improved battery life among other features, the Surface Pro 3 was a worthy upgrade.
Of course, a month in technology is a year to other industries, and as such a new generation of Surface Pro is expected to arise, and soon. Expectations are high, not only due to some of the exciting new innards of recent laptops, such as the Dell XPS 13, but also due to the prestige of the line. This device will help to lead the charge in promoting and selling Windows 10, it is meant to represent some of the best that Microsoft has to offer.
Even if individual devices have, as of yet, failed to completely live up to the perfect mobile dream sold by Microsoft, the Surface Pro 3 came closer than any other before it.
What then for the Surface Pro 4? What could see the successor device trump its predecessors and allow it to enter the mainstream wholeheartedly? Of course, there are any number of answers. Obvious things, like more power, greater battery efficiency, all of these are sure winners in the eyes of some, but to do this would merely constitute preaching to the converted, the next device needs something more.
That something more is simple, a ‘laptop’ accessory. A large, weighted bottom half that would allow the Surface 4 Pro to connect to it, and provide extended battery life along with a more comfortable keyboard. It needn’t even be remarkably heavy or bulky, something like the bottom half of a MacBook Air would suffice.
If there is one thing that the Surface line in general, across all incarnations, has struggled to do, it is supplant the notion of a ‘true’ laptop. By offering something between the ‘tablet’ and ‘laptop’ the Surface line has indeed been able to carve out a niche, but one that is very limited in size.
A laptop accessory, in addition to being quite easy to manufacture, would also allow the device to appeal to a larger number of audiences. Students, business professionals, general road warriors, anyone who needs to get work done while on the go, where extensive battery life is the key.
Many ultrabooks are able to offer battery life that stretches north of 12 hours. A Surface Pro that could provide this, while also retaining the power that the series is noted for could be on to a winner.
As an accessory, it would also give those who purchase it a choice, an option rather than a necessity. It would also allow for the other, popular, keyboard alternatives to continue to exist.
What will come is something that only time will tell (and indeed that time promises to be soon), but one thing is for sure, the level of expectation that is resting on the Surface Pro 4 is enormous. For Microsoft to screw everything up is a possibility that most definitely exists, but given the importance of the product line in Redmond’s vision for the future of computing, don’t count it out just quite yet.
What feature would you most like to see included on the Surface Pro 4? Better processor? Improved graphics performance? Let us know in the comments below.Further reading: Microsoft, Surface, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4