I’ve owned my Microsoft Surface Pro 6 for a year now and despite several concerns, I’ve come to appreciate it. However, upon hearing that Microsoft was going to hold a Surface event in New York City (still no invite from Microsoft) I started thinking about all the things I’d love to see them address on Surface Pro line-up. As such, I’ve come up with a few ideas that I’d love to see Microsoft implement on a new Surface. Some are sure to be present on the new Surface, while others are a wish list of sorts. Either way, once October 2nd gets here, we’ll finally see what’s new on the Surface.
Ditch the Surface Pro Connector
I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve left my home, Surface Pro 6 in hand. Only to remember that I’ve left my charger on my desk on in some other location other than where I need it at the moment. It’s time for Microsoft to drop the proprietary power supply and adopt USB-C. If Apple can do it with the latest update for the Apple Pro tablets, then surely Microsoft can do so on whatever new Surface line-up they’re about to announce. I was even tempted a few times to trade in my Surface Pro 6 for a 2-in-1 laptop because it did feature USB-C charging. I feel it’s time to switch it up. USB-C-C has matured, it’s more widespread than it was a few years back and pretty much everyone has a cable and charger you can borrow if you’ve forgotten yours. If Microsoft makes one change to the Surface, this needs to be it.
Better Battery Life
I have the i5 Surface Pro 6, and I’m lucky if I can get 5-6 hours of full use when I’m on the go. This is also with optimized settings, and not watching videos or playing games. The moment I take it off the charger, the battery just starts draining faster than it should. Even after taking it to the local Microsoft store, they said it was fine when it isn’t. Sadly, I’m part of a larger crowd who has been complaining about the life of this tablet for quite some time. A newer Surface with better battery life, say 7-8 hours, would be nice to see.
Rechargeable Surface Pen
Now, I know some people will disagree with me on this. However, including batteries in the Surface Pen is just dated. Not to mention there was this one time my batteries did die and I was in no position to run out and replace them. So I was stuck using my slightly less accurate finger for the project I was working on. I get it, batteries are a convenience and the pen lasts a long time. Though having a chargeable battery, possibly one that’s replaceable would be a nice upgrade to an already solid accessory.
Thinner Bezels and a Lighter Experience
There’s no denying that the Surface Pro 6 has thick bezels. I’d love to see the next Surface Pro reduce them to about half of what they are on the Surface Pro 6, and giving us back some real estate. The device is also pretty heavy coming in at 1.7 lbs, compared to the Apple 11-inch iPad Pro coming in at 1.03 lbs and the 12-inch model at 1.4 lbs, the Surface is bloated compared to them. By dropping a few grams this would make the Surface easier to carry and provide a more comfortable experience.
Don’t Take Away the Headphone Jack
This one is pretty obvious. DO NOT REMOVE THE HEADPHONE JACK. Apple’s done it, Samsung has done it and it seems that most companies are ok with taking away our precious headphone jack. Which has either rendered our headphones useless or requiring us to pay for a funky adapter or switch up to Bluetooth. The headphone jack is fine, it does its job and we simply want it to stay. Don’t take it away from us!
Better WiFi Solution
I’ll be blunt here, despite Microsoft using Marvell’s WiFi solution for years, it doesn’t change the fact that the solution is less than desirable. I’ve experienced terrible WiFi, even in controlled environments. In my home setup, and next to the WiFi AP, I tested the Surface Pro 6, iPad Pro, Note 9 and Samsung Tab 7. Guess which one had the worse performance average? These days I now use a USB WiFi adaptor as there were times there my connection would just tank using the default WiFI adaptor.
While we’re talking about connectivity, LTE is a must. We’ve been asked for this for a while now and it’s time for LTE to come to the Surface. Sure, many of us carry smartphones just about everywhere we go, but there are times when we simply forget about them. Or they’re dead or we’re talking on them while needed to do work at the same time. The Surface’s closest competitor, the iPad, has been rocking LTE since the 3rd generation iPad back in 2012. Time for Microsoft to catch up and finally give us another means of traversing the net without phone or hotspot in hand.
Simplified OS Experience
I have to be honest here, but after playing with iPad OS 13 on my wife’s iPad, I’m jealous. While I enjoy that the Surface runs on Windows 10 and not a scaled-down OS, Windows 10 simply is (and hasn’t been) a good tablet OS. Between switching back and forth from tablet mode, issues with the virtual keyboard not working on multiple applications and the UI complicating issues. I’d love if Microsoft went back to the mobile OS route, even though I know they’ve since moved on from that. The current state of Windows on the Surface just isn’t working for me and hopefully, Microsoft has a plan to make the user experience that much better.
Just a few things that crossed my mind. Are you Surface Pro owner or looking to make that plunge finally? If so, what are you looking forward to in the new Surface Pro or Book? Sound off in the comments below.