Microsoft's Surface Pro has been our favorite 2-in-1 for a few years, so when a new version arrives at our digital door, it is an exciting time for us here at Digital Trends in Spanish. However, the question remains: how much better if it is is the next generation hardware? To find out, we did this face to face: Surface Pro 6 vs. Surface Pro 5, comparing them in all the most important factors.
Note: Yes, the Surface Pro 5 was technically simply called ?Surface Pro? when it launched in 2017. That was confusing, and Microsoft now calls it ?Surface Pro (5 generation)?. We will call it Surface Pro 5 to make things easier.
The Surface Pro 5 saw only minor physical changes over its predecessor, and something similar happened to the Surface Pro 6. It has a matte black material covering that possibly gives it a more professional look, and feels comfortable in both grimaces and fingers. The finish itself is a bit thicker than the previous ones, which leads to a certain saving of weight and size in the internal frame to maintain exactly the same dimensions of its predecessor. Its total weight is a few grams lighter, although it is not as noticeable
The design of the two devices is very similar, with thick bezels, a hallmark of the devices intended for regular use of tablets, although they are a bit more rounded at the corners than the Surface Pro 2017.
Even the selection of ports, one of the weak points of Surface Pro 5, has not changed. Both 2 in 1 come with a single USB-A 3.0 port, a microSDXC card reader, a mini-DisplayPort, a headphone jack and a Surface Connect port. None of the devices have a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 connector. While that was not a big problem with the Surface Pro last year, the lack of it on the Surface Pro 6 is of major concern, since few laptops or modern 2 in 1 come without one.
The most important update of the new Surface Pro generation is the internal hardware. Surface Pro 5 offers a base model with a seventh-generation Intel Core m3 processor with Intel HD 615 graphics, combined with 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD. There are a variety of configuration options that offer more powerful Core i5 and i7 processor, as well as up to 16 GB of memory, better integrated graphics and plenty of additional storage space. The top configuration will cost you $ 2,700 dollars, including the best processor, a dual-core Core i7-7660U (with four threads thanks to hyperthreading).
All that changed with the Surface Pro 6, which not only offers much more powerful hardware, but also at a much more competitive price. Its $ 900 base model comes with 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage and a Core i5-8250U octave and four-core processor. That is not only much more powerful than the Core i5 models offered by Surface Pro 5, but it is much more capable than the Core m3 processor offered by the $ 900 Surface Pro.
But that's just the beginning. There are upgrade options for an i5-8350U processor, or for $ 1,500 dollars you can get a Core i7-8650U processor with 256GB of storage. The top configuration comes with 16 GB of RAM and a terabyte of SSD storage for $ 2,300 dollars.
While the new model is faster in most aspects, it is slower in one area. The highest available configurations of Surface Pro 5 can be purchased with processors that have Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics. It is a much more powerful graphics core than the UHD 620 found in the Core i7-8650U used in Surface Pro 6. While that the newest 2-in-1 being a much more powerful machine in terms of general computing, gaming and 3D rendering may be a bit better hardware of the last generation.
There were no changes in display technology between generations. Both the Surface Pro 5 and 6 have the same PixelSense display with a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824.
The physical changes in the Surface Pro 6 were minimal in the new hardware generation, so there is not much difference in the physical portability of the two devices. Surface Pro 5 and 6 measure 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches, so the new version is not more compact and should fit in the same cases. The weight is also almost identical. The Surface Pro 6 weighs 1.71 pounds with the Core i5 processor and 1.75 pounds with the Core i7, while the Surface Pro 5 weighs 1.73 pounds with the Core i7 and 1.7 pounds with the Core i5.
However, battery life has improved greatly between generations. In our original test, the Surface Pro 5 reached five and a half hours of battery life when surfing the web, and 10 hours when it was in a video playback cycle. With our most recent review of Surface Pro 6, we reached 9.5 hours when we surf the web and more than 14 hours in video playback. That is a big jump in battery life, and something that is definitely the highlight of Surface Pro 6. But, we must keep in mind that both models have experienced battery problems in the past due to firmware updates, so The useful life of the battery for both hybrids may vary.
However, none of the devices are close to the battery life of the Surface Book 2, the market leader.
The small adjustments of Surface Pro 6 are worth it
The Surface Pro 6 is better than the Surface Pro 5, it has an optional new black finish that we adore, the most important improvements are the new four-core processor and the improved battery life. But it retains some of the same old problems, the bezels are still large, the screen resolution has not changed and there is no USB-C or modern ports on the device, not to mention that Microsoft is not using Intel Whiskey-Lake processors.
Even so, given the initial price of $ 900 dollars, the Surface Pro 6 is a good update that could last longer than a previous generation of Surface Pro 5. It is faster, has improved multitasking performance, has a more battery charge Long and offers more hardware for your money.