Right now all eyes are on the launches of Microsoft’s new Surface 3 iPad alternative and the new MacBook recently launched by Apple. A new report indicates there’s a dark horse in the works coming to fill out the rest of the Surface line and act as chief rival to that super-slim new MacBook.
Citing sources familiar with Microsoft’s supply chain, Digitimes is reporting that Microsoft is planning a Surface Pro 4 device for release soon saying the firm has plans to “unveil its next-generation Surface Pro 4 tablet during the upcoming Build developer conference in April.” Allegedly, this new device will go into “mass production” in June and launch with Windows 10 on-board in the second half of the year.
Naturally, a Surface Pro 4 launch at BUILD 2015 would be a huge deal. BUILD is the company’s yearly conference for people building applications and services across its entire portfolio of devices. This year’s conference is scheduled for April 29th to May 1st and Microsoft has already confirmed that it’ll have more to share about its Windows 10 vision at the event. Theoretically, this Surface Pro 4 would act as a next-generation Windows 2-in-1, a perfect show case for the new Tablet Mode that Windows 10 includes.
Earlier this month Microsoft showed off the Surface 3 for the first time. Like its predecessors, the Surface 3 is meant to sit somewhere between a traditional notebook and tablet. It has an entry-level Intel Atom X7 processor so that users can run Desktop apps, something they couldn’t do before. There’s also a 10.8-inch display and support for Microsoft’s Surface Pen and add-on Type Covers. The Surface 3 starts at $499 for a model with just Wi-Fi and no add-ons. The Surface 3 will launch on May 5th, just after the end of the BUILD Conference. Microsoft did confirm that Windows 10 will come to the convertible for free later this year.
Besides a dedicated Tablet Mode, Windows 10 will include a resizable Start Screen, free touch and keyboard friendly Office apps, the Cortana personal assistant from Windows Phone, and a store that allows apps to work across tablets, desktops an its smartphone platform.
Read: What is Windows 10?
The new MacBook drops every single port in favor of a USB 3.0 C port that does everything including charge the device. Also included is a 2304 x 1440 12-inch display. A new keyboard and touchpad design allow the new MacBook Air to be he thinnest laptop Apple has ever produced.
On the Surface the Digitimes report makes sense. Why wouldn’t Microsoft offer a glimpse at its next-generation hardware at the same time as its showing off its next-generation operating system? What’s more, the Surface Pro 3 was announced roughly a year ago. In fact, the Surface Pro 3 was unveiled on May 20th and arrived on store shelves in June, just like what this report is claiming will happen with the Surface Pro 4.
It is worth noting that the Digitimes has a somewhat checkered past with leaking information. In the past some of the information it has provided about unreleased products proved accurate. However, often reports that originate from the outlet turn out to not be true.
Today’s report doesn’t include any additional information about the Surface Pro 4. There’s no mention of price, compatible accessories or any changes in the form factor buyers have adopted in droves over the past year. According to the report, Microsoft sold 12 million Surface devices since launch and plans to hit 15 million sometime this year.