Surface Pro 2017
PRICE $ 3299 www.microsoft.com
Looking at the trajectory Microsoft’s ubertablet has taken since the first Surface hit the market in 2012, it’s certainly reasonable to think that, one day, it will be capable of doing anything a gamer could possibly want.
With this, the latest and most expensive Surface Pro yet, that day has not yet arrived. Iris Plus 640 is an excellent onboard GPU, and it can run your GOG library and your indie collections no problem. But coupled with the Surface’s 2736x1824 display, this GPU still can’t run the latest stuff. But perhaps you expected that.
Perhaps as little as 15 years from now, every PC will be a shiny slab of pure computronium that can fling 8K graphics to whatever smart surface you’ve had sprayed on your wall. But for now, the Surface Pro is a perfect demonstration of how GPU tech has advanced… differently… to the rest of a PC.
Because apart from graphics, the i7-7660U Surface that Microsoft provided is an absolute beast. It’s less than a centimetre thick (including the stand), but it runs a CPU that can boost to 4.0GHz, it has 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD. Solder all that to a custom motherboard and you get a lot of grunt.
Of course, you have to pay a lot of money for this. Without the $199 Type Cover, the i7 Surface Pro costs $3299. That hurts.
Without a do-anything GPU, not buying an i7 Surface Pro is a fairly easy choice. But if you need a portable machine for, well, whatever, then the $1600 i5 version with 128GB of storage is very tempting.
Also Microsoft, time to get with the future and add some USB-C ports, yeah? ANTHONY FORDHAM