The Surface Pro is entering its sixth year in existence, so it seems accordant for a “Surface Pro 6 model” to match. While the earlier calculation arrangement for the name has returned, the accouterments charcoal mostly the aforementioned as 2017’s Surface Pro, now dubbed the Surface Pro “fifth gen” by Microsoft.
Featuring a new jet-black blush advantage and a bang to Intel quad-core processors, the Surface Pro 6 may not be revolutionary. But it’s still the best at what it does.
About this Surface Pro 6 analysis
Microsoft supplied a loaner Surface Pro 6 for this review. The assemblage activated is atramentous with an Intel Core-i5 8250U, with 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of accumulator priced at $1,199. The amalgamation additionally included a atramentous Surface Pro Type Cover ($129) and atramentous Surface Pen ($99) for a absolute of $1,427. Starting bulk of the new Surface Pro 6 is $899 (platinum only) for a Bulk i5 with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of accumulator and it maxes out with a Bulk i7, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of accumulator for $2,299 in platinum (plus Type Cover and Pen).
New Surface Pro 6 with 8th Gen Intel Bulk CPUs.
The latest Surface Pro 6 now comes with quad-core 8th Gen Intel Bulk i5 or i7 CPU, bigger thermals, and a new atramentous blush option.
Microsoft Surface Pro 6: What’s new?
Compared to the 2017 Surface Pro, there are alone two notable changes in the Surface Pro 6.
New Intel 8th Gen processors – Jumping from dual-core to quad-core is a big accord for performance. With about bifold the multi-core executions, the new Surface Pro 6 is essentially faster (more than 67 percent faster, according to Microsoft) than aftermost year’s model. That’s acknowledgment to the Intel Bulk i5-8250U and Bulk i7-8650U processors now actuality used. Matching that is a new thermal band-aid to accumulate the calefaction at bay after active admirers too loudly.
Black blush arrangement – If you’re new to the Surface Pro, you may not apperceive that the aboriginal Surface Pro (2012) and Surface Pro 2 (2013) were alone accessible in black. Microsoft confused to “Surface grey” for Surface Pro 3, but now, a new all-black archetypal is aback for Surface Pro 6. Everything is blacked-out on the new Surface Pro 6 However, the approved platinum blush is still available.
There are some added baby changes including no $799 advantage for an Intel Bulk m3 or 4GB model. Instead, Surface Pro 6’s access archetypal starts at $899 but doubles the RAM to 8GB and all-overs to a stronger Bulk i5 processor. That archetypal still comes with 128GB of accumulator but is $100 cheaper than aftermost year’s agnate configuration, which was $999. Likewise, all the configurations are $100 cheaper than aftermost year’s Surface Pro.
Microsoft account the $100 bulk bead by switching to a accepted Windows 10 Home authorization for all models (except for academy or action purchases, which abide on Windows 10 Pro). Users can still advancement to Windows 10 Pro through the Microsoft Store for a $99 authorization purchase.
There additionally assume to be some slight lower-level tweaks to Surface Pro 6. For instance, the instant-on affection accumulated with Windows Hello facial acceptance is conspicuously faster. Likewise, the solid-state drive (SSD) speeds for accumulator accept additionally been essentially improved. To lath the new quad-core processors, Microsoft additionally redesigned the thermal solutions for both the Bulk i5 and i7 versions. Admitting the added bulk count, the i5 adaptation is still fanless and silent.
Due to Intel not authoritative any Iris Additional advantage for 8th Gen 15W processors, the Bulk i7 Surface Pro 6 appearance Intel Cartoon UHD 620 instead of the added able Iris Additional 640.
Finally, as of October 2018, Microsoft has not yet committed to a Surface Pro 6 with LTE support. For those who still appetite a Surface Pro with 4G LTE Advanced there is the Surface Pro (2017) with LTE, which became accessible in the bounce of 2018.
While the blueprint accept remained mostly banausic from the 2017 Surface Pro, the agreement options accept confused slightly.
Jumping from dual- to quad-core processors for the i5 and i7 models has been a trend aback backward 2017, which is aback Intel alien the Bulk i5-8250U and Bulk i7-8650U processors. That makes these processors allotment of the “Coffee Lake” era of Intel chips and not the hardly bigger “Whiskey Lake,” which are aloof now hitting laptops. The uptick is the drivers acclimated for these processors are actual mature, giving users a abiding experience. But the quad-core addition is massive, abnormally for such a attenuate accessory like Surface Pro.
The Bulk i5 Surface Pro 6 is fanless admitting accepting a added cogent processor, while the i7 adaptation still needs one due to the added performance.
The abridgement of Iris Additional graphics, which doubles the pipelines to 48 (compared to 24 in the UHD 620) is a bummer, but Microsoft had little best actuality – Intel does not accomplish Iris Additional cartoon for its 8th Gen processors. Nonetheless, the Intel Cartoon UHD 620 acclimated is actual good, abnormally at the i5 level.
Nothing has afflicted for architecture aback comparing the Surface Pro 6 to Surface Pro (2017). That is accomplished as Microsoft all but said the 2017 Surface Pro, which was rebuilt from the arena up, was absolute in its design. Those changes backpack over to Surface Pro 6 including a restructured anatomy with smoother and added angled edges, thinner adorable vents with a new “whisper quiet” thermal system, a kickstand that now tilts aback a abounding 165 degrees, and blacked-out Windows Hello IR lenses that bigger alloy into the bezel.
One new advantage admitting is the adeptness to get the Surface Pro 6 in black. The action to accomplish the Surface Pro atramentous does not absorb anodizing, but instead, there is a “thin, tough” bowl oxide band that Microsoft tells us is “grown anon on the magnesium metal enclosure.” On top of this bowl layer, Microsoft adds assorted coats of atramentous finish.
The accomplishment makes Surface Pro 6 hardly thicker at the micron akin (1 micron =0.001 millimeters) acute a custom atramentous asylum to accomplish abiding all the genitalia fit together, but it’s almost noticable. Additionally, all the ports and ons are absolutely blacked-out too. The aftereffect is stunning. The atramentous is matte and is decidedly actual acceptable at afraid fingerprints. While it’s too aboriginal to acquaint if the atramentous will scratch, Microsoft assures us the aloft action is meant to aegis durability.
For ports, annihilation has changed. Microsoft had been accepted to jump to USB Type-C 3.1 instead of application its old mini DisplayPort, but that didn’t happen. Users will accept to accomplish do with USB Type-A and mini DisplayPort. Microsoft cites advancing abashing and action assurance on Surface Connect as affidavit to not go to USB Type-C – or the added able Thundert 3 – but the alibi is starting to arena alveolate in backward 2018.
Microsoft keeps the 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1824 (267 PPI) Pixel Sense affectation for the Surface Pro 6 with a 3:2 aspect ratio. It is an IPS LCD with ten-point multi-touch and bright edge-to-edge glass.
There are two blush profiles including Enhanced (default) and sRGB, which has beneath adverse but is added blush accurate, authoritative it ideal for photography and media editing. Blush accurateness is accomplished at 99 percent Adobe sRGB and 76 percent Adobe RGB according to a blush arrangement analysis beneath the sRGB blush profile.
There is no bawdiness for LED hot spots (or “edge bleed”) in this analysis assemblage (while LCD will additionally ache from some ablaze arising at the bend aback in Windows 10 and circadian use, there is annihilation discernable). The affectation bezels are the aforementioned as the Surface Pro (2017) – not to0 thick, but not radically attenuate either.
Overall, the Surface Pro 6’s awning is excellent. It’s near-perfect for blush accuracy, blow works well, and the affectation accuracy is outstanding with a aiguille of about 470-nits in the affectation center.
If you appetite to use agenda ink on the Surface Pro, you charge to carapace out an added $99 for the Surface Pen (although there are cheaper alternatives.
The pen still has the aforementioned 4,096 levels of pressure, supports tilt, rotation, and Bluetooth. Activation force – the bulk of burden appropriate afore the pen activates – is nine grams. Microsoft additionally maintains aloof 2.1 milliseconds of inking cessation from aftermost year’s archetypal due to the inking co-processor that’s allotment of the Surface Pro 6 display. That co-processor connects the GPU to the screen’s digitizer and helps acceleration up pen calculations.
Microsoft has steadily bigger both the firmware for Surface Pen and fabricated bigger apps with added cogent support, such as Microsoft To Do, OneNote, and Sticky Notes 3.0.
Unless you appetite a authentic book acquaintance with Surface Pro 6, which is not recommended, buyers will charge to grab a Surface Pro Type Cover.
Again, annihilation is new actuality compared to aftermost year. If users appetite the atramentous Surface Pro Type Cover, it will amount $129 extra. That’s not cheap, but it is beneath big-ticket than the Surface Pro Signature Type Covers that affection the bendable Alcantara fabric. Those $159 keyboards appear in cobalt, platinum, or bittersweet colors and all attending abundant with the atramentous Surface Pro 6. To be clear, the atramentous Type Cover does not accept Alcantara fabric.
Everything you charge to apperceive about Alcantara
The keys are three-stage backlit with 1.3mm of travel. The trackpad is Microsoft Precision and still one of the best begin on any Windows 10 PC. Those advance from Surface Pro 4 can reclaim their accepted Type Cover, but the redesigned ones from 2017 affection committed keys for the affectation brightness.
Microsoft is still baron of the onboard camera for tablets and laptops. The 8.0MP rear camera is acceptable abundant for snapping a pic of a whiteboard or presentation. The front-facing 5.0 MP camera is calmly the best on the bazaar for any laptop or PC. It’s sharp, colorful, and is absolute for Skype.
Flanking the front-facing camera are the Windows Hello bittersweet sensors for facial recognition. The technology charcoal the same, but Microsoft charge accept tweaked the accomplishment and resume times for Surface Pro 6. It takes aloof two abnormal now from the moment you hit the ability on until you are logged into Windows 10 – which is appreciably fast.
Qualcomm and its ARM-based Windows PCs accept accustomed the instant-on feature, but it’s bright Microsoft is authoritative huge strides with Intel-based systems. This acceleration advance is account advertence because I begin it abnormally apparent compared to the Surface Pro (2017), or any added Windows 10 PC.
The big accord about the Surface Pro 6 is the jump to quad-core processors from the antecedent dual-core ones in above-mentioned Surfaces. Intel bumped its bifold U-series processors (found in Ultrabooks) in backward 2017, and Microsoft is now aloof accepting on board.
*We accept aback added the Surface Pro Bulk i7 Geekbench array to this review.
For constructed benchmarks, the Bulk i5-8250U is outstanding, about assault aftermost year’s agnate Bulk i7 archetypal for single-core and obliterating the i7’s multi-core performance.
A reasonable cessation is that this year’s 15W Bulk i5 Surface Pro 6 is aing to 2017’s 45W Bulk i7-7700HQ – a arresting achievement.
While not as able as the Iris Additional 640 , the Intel Cartoon UHD 620 is admirable.
The after-effects may be surprising, but at atomic on Geekbench’s OpenCL test, the Surface Pro 6 UHD 620 outperforms the Iris Additional 640 from aftermost year.
Raw SSD speeds accept never been a backbone of the Surface line, and they tend to abatement in the aloft boilerplate ambit but are never top performers. That’s still the case in 2018, but the Surface Pro 6 does conspicuously advance aloft aftermost year’s model.
Note that the speeds for Surface Pro 6 were with a 256GB SSD which was archetypal SK Hynix BC501. The 512GB and 1TB models are acceptable to accept bigger after-effects due to accepting added channels (NAND beam chips) that run in parallel.
Testing the 512GB advantage for Surface Pro 6 yields agnate apprehend speeds as the 256GB model, but address did go up from 814 MB/s to 1,095 MB/s.
Looking at PCMark Home Accelerated (where it uses the GPU) – which is an all-embracing accomplishment analysis – the new Surface Pro 6 additionally does well.
As expected, this year’s Bulk i5 Surface Pro 6 beats out aftermost year’s Bulk i5 archetypal for PCMark Home Accelerated. But, due to the abridgement of Iris Additional the new Bulk i7 (3,451) avalanche abaft aftermost year’s i7 (3,746).
For accidental gaming, the Surface Pro 5 with Iris Additional gets about 52 frames per additional (FPS) against the Surface Pro 6 (Core i5) at 33 FPS. Still, comparing this year’s Bulk i5 Surface Pro (33 FPS) to aftermost year’s Bulk i5 (25FPS), we can see a notable improvement. Finally, the new Bulk i7 Surface Pro 6 managed 42 FPS, which is a big bang from the i5’s 33 FPS, but still abaft aftermost year’s i7 at 52 FPS.
Overall, the Surface Pro 6 – alike at the Bulk i5 akin – is a abundant performer. The quad-core addition is ample advancing aing to what the Dell XPS 15 Bulk i7 accomplished aloof 18 months ago. Cartoon are bigger as able-bodied over aftermost year’s model, and the SSD is abundant faster.
All these improvements add up to a actual fast, lag-free, and agreeable acquaintance with the Surface Pro 6.
Despite the acceleration of cores and a massive access in performance, we can achieve two things about the Surface Pro 6 aback anon comparing to the aforementioned agreement in Surface Pro (2017):
PCMark’s array briefing analysis aggressively loops through assorted tasks application the CPU and GPU including video conferencing, accidental gaming, web browsing, and chat processing. Affectation accuracy was kept at fifty percent for both Surface Pros:
For those anxious that these numbers assume low, accumulate in apperception that the PCMark analysis is actual absolute at application the CPU and GPU. Accidental acceptance with chat processing, web browsing, and watching movies will crop decidedly best results. An antecedent cessation is that the Surface Pro 6 should crop an added 60 account of array compared to aftermost year’s model. That should put accidental acceptance able-bodied accomplished the eight-hour mark depending on awning brightness.
For thermals during the PCMark array briefing test, the Surface Pro 6 was consistently about four degrees Fahrenheit (F) acknowledgment than the Surface Pro (2017). The Surface Pro 6 never acquainted hot with a aiguille temperature of 84 degrees F (29 degrees C) on the back, against 89 degrees F (32 degrees C) for the Surface Pro (2017).
Considering both machines are fanless and await on acquiescent cooling it is axiomatic Microsoft did an accomplished job at adjustment the thermals for Surface Pro 6.
For admirers of the Surface Pro, it is accessible to aish the sixth bearing as a change of aftermost year’s archetypal with an advantage in black. That’s a fair assessment, but it additionally misses the beyond point that the CPU and GPU accomplishment in the Surface Pro 6, accumulated with the bigger array activity and faster resume times, aftereffect in a astonishing experience.
But let’s alarm out the albatross in the room: those ports. Microsoft absent an befalling to accompany the Surface Pro 6 into the approaching with USB Type-C. Putting a the added able Thundert 3 controversy, a Type-C anchorage would aloof accept been added advantageous than mini DisplayPort as it can handle charging, data, and display. Microsoft alike acclimated the anchorage on the Surface Go and Surface Studio 2.
Does the abridgement of Type-C matter? For some users, it is a accord breaker. For others, it’s abundant ado about nothing. Ultimately, that’s up to you
However, application the Surface Pro 6 is fantastic. The array life, performance, and all-embracing acquaintance – like instant-on and no fan – are excellent. Plus, the atramentous blush looks tremendous.
Those with a Surface Pro (2017) will accept actual little acumen to upgrade, but if you did you would acknowledge the accomplishment and array improvements. Of course, rumors are that Microsoft will do a added abundant afterlight to Surface Pro ancient in backward 2019 – acceptable including Type-C and added – authoritative this year’s acquirement a tougher sell.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a accessory upgrade, but the absolute amalgamation is a above winner.
For best users, your best bet is to buy the archetypal activated actuality ($1,450 with pen and keyboard). The Bulk i5 is perfect, and 8GB of RAM with 256GB of accumulator is accomplished for best bodies (there’s microSD for expansion). Students, casual-to-moderate users, businesses, and alike pros will be actual admiring with the fanless Bulk i5 choice.
For $899, Microsoft sells the Surface Pro 6, but alone in platinum, not black. If you appetite black, you charge to get the $1,199 model, which doubles accumulator from 128GB to 256GB. That’s a $300 exceptional for an added 128GB of storage, which is crazy. Also, if you like the atramentous Surface Pro 6, you can alone get up to 512GB of accumulator – there’s no 1TB advantage (right now).
You could additionally complaining the decline to Windows 10 Home for Windows 10 Pro, but I don’t anticipate that’s a big deal. Users who charge Windows 10 Pro should pay for the authorization instead of Microsoft authoritative anybody abroad angel the cost.
4.5 out of 5
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a accessory upgrade, but the absolute amalgamation is a above winner. Those who appetite the best flexible, powerful, and bluntly fun PC about will be adamantine apprenticed to acquisition annihilation better. Aftermost year, I said the Surface “is the acme of the antecedent releases with annihilation but improvements all around. It’s astonishingly beautiful, reliable, and adorable to use.” That account is added accurate than ever.
Give me a Type-C anchorage and add LTE aing time, and the Pro will be perfect.
New Surface Pro 6 with 8th Gen Intel Bulk CPUs.
The latest Surface Pro 6 now comes with quad-core 8th Gen Intel Bulk i5 or i7 CPU, bigger thermals, and a new atramentous blush option.
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