Microsoft Surface Pro (5th Gen), 256 GB

Last updated: October 2, 2020


We looked at the top Laptops and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Laptop you should buy.

Product Details

In our analysis of 108 expert reviews, the Microsoft Surface Pro (5th Gen), 256 GB placed 7th when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Better than ever, the new Surface Pro is the most versatile laptop we’ve ever built. Completely redesigned from the inside out with all new custom parts, Surface Pro delivers more battery power, more performance, and a superior display. The stunning PixelSense display supports pen and touch, while the refined design provides 68% more battery life and 2.5X the performance of Surface Pro 3. A powerful Intel Core processor runs full desktop software with ease, ensuring a smooth, productive workflow. *Up to 13.5 hours for video playback. Testing conducted by Microsoft in April 2017 using preproduction Intel Core i5, 256GB, 8 GB RAM device. Testing consisted of full battery discharge during video playback. All settings were default except: Wi-Fi was associated with a network and Auto-Brightness disabled. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage, and other factors. *3DMark 11 Overall score comparison; Surface Pro i7 vs. Surface Pro 3 i7. *Applies to i5 & i7 with understanding that m3 is 2g heavier.

Expert Reviews


What reviewers liked

When you consider that Microsoft managed this while still upping battery life by up to 20%, it’s quite impressive, indeed.
Fifth generation model with a slim, modern design that makes it easy to take along wherever you go. Weighs less than two pounds. Responsive touchscreen. Great for light personal use.
As an incremental update to the Surface Pro 4, the new Surface Pro undoubtedly succeeds. It’s faster, lasts longer, and looks better than the model it replaces.
Microsoft is using a 45 watt-hour battery in the Surface Pro, which is an increase from the 38 watt-hour battery that was packed into the Surface Pro 4.
It's the longer battery life that impressed me most, jumping to eight hours and 15 minutes in the 2017 Surface Pro, versus only about five hours in the 2015 model.
-
Battery life has long been a pain point for the Surface line, so Microsoft focused on providing much longer stamina than before.
The Pro is completely fanless. It was never a loud machine, but now it's a silent one.
- Wired
The most noticeable difference between the old Surface Pro 4 and the new Surface Pro 2017 is the latter’s improved battery life: more than 12 instead of 7 hours in our Wi-Fi test.
The Surface Pro packs in Intel's seventh-generation CPUs, which, in addition to being faster than the last model, also add new features like hardware 4K video decoding.
These look great and add a certain softness to the Surface's look - making it ultimately similar to the look of the Surface Laptop.
Iris Plus GPU gives it the graphics oomph of a discrete GPU.
The cooling vents are less noticeable, too, and the Core m3 and i5 versions don’t have a fan so run silently.
Once you get past these flaws, the Surface Pro is a beautifully designed thing.
- T3
That's notable, considering the Surface Pro's excellent benchmark results and its higher-resolution screen, both of which tend to negatively affect battery life.
One additional change I noted is a beefier power supply, offering 15V and 2.58A of output, which is 25 percent greater than the previous Surface Pro charger.
- ZD Net
It's a great, little, lightweight, touchscreen Windows 10 laptop that's perfect for road warriors and creative types.
In fact, despite the older generation CPU, it wouldn't be a stretch to state that the Surface Pro 4 was still the top of its category, with the best display, good battery life, and great performance.
Battery life is all-day now and doesn't deplete in stand-by.
Microsoft has tweaked the kickstand hinge to enable the Surface Pro to lie almost flat when set in Studio mode, making the device a little more comfortable to draw on than the Pro 4.
The new Surface is the fastest model yet, and it purports to have a longer battery life than ever.
It gets a set of new Kaby Lake processors, potentially longer battery life, and both the Type Cover and Surface pen have been revamped.
The Surface Pro boots up crazy fast, needing only 15 seconds to reach Windows home screen.
Microsoft Surface Pro line-up is designed for new age mobile workforce. It is build to offer high-end PC performance without restricting you to one place.
- Gizbot
The keys are satisfyingly bouncy. I had no problem using it all day to type (and typing is 95% of my job).

What reviewers didn't like

While Microsoft pulling the Surface Pen out of the box appears to indicate that the Surface Pro 2017 costs more to produce than its predecessor, a unit purchased with both the Pen and Type Cover would surpass the price of a comparable Galaxy Book by only $100.
Pre-installed features eat lots of the 128GB available RAM. Can only run 3 apps at a time.
It’s expensive.
Microsoft is late to the party when it comes to adopting the increasingly ubiquitous USB-C connection.
The oddball long, narrow power connector remains the same, too. It's awkward to use, but at least it has a magnetic connection that pops out if you trip over the cable.
-
Microsoft has stated its reasons for not moving to USB Type-C for power, peripherals, and displays as much of the industry — most notably Apple — has already done.
I wish it had USB-C because then I wouldn't have to lug the proprietary charger around with me.
- Wired
The Surface Pen or the Signature Type Cover is not included, and will cost you $100 and $130 extra, respectively.
Even worse, it's more expensive than the last model at $100.
The absence of the keyboard in the box feels limiting.
Pen is no longer included, now costs $99 extra
In reality, it’s actually a lot more expensive because the new Surface Pro doesn’t come with a Pen in the box.
However, I have another take on this, which is that as a keyboard, per se, it is really pretty poor.
- T3
These are identical specs to the Surface Pro 4, and the lack of USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 is disappointing.
The story is slightly more complicated with the new Surface Pen. It too has a higher price tag than its predecessor.
- ZD Net
Like the Pro 4, the Surface Pro sports only one built-in USB port. And the Surface Pro doesn't sit neatly in your lap, even with the official Surface Pro Type Cover keyboard accessory attached, thanks to its reliance on its kickstand.
The flip side to that however is that the one accessory that was included with previous Surface Pros, the Surface Pen, is no longer included.
Type Cover and Pen not included — gets expensive quickly.
My only complaint is that the left- and right-click buttons are the bottom corners of the touchpad, rather than being separate.
Rather surprisingly, it doesn’t have a USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, while we can hope to have it in future generation, I still can’t understand why Microsoft opted to make such a fatal (intentional or not) omission.
With only a single USB-A 3.0 and a microSDXC card reader, connectivity is limited.
Microsoft shared the new Surface Pro along with the new accessories with us and here's what we have to say about the new pricey 2-in-1.
- Gizbot
There’s still no em dash keyboard shortcut. What the hell!
View our Laptop buying guide for in-depth advice and recommendations.

From our partners