Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen

Last updated date: May 15, 2019

DWYM Score
8.3

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We looked at the top 1 Microsoft Surface Tablets and dug through the reviews from 9 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Tech Radar, Pocket-lint, The Verge, Trusted Reviews, CNET, Digital Trends, PC World, Anand Tech and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Microsoft Surface Tablet you should buy.

Overall Take

The Microsoft Surface Pro 5 offers noticeably enhanced battery life to power a high-resolution screen, improved graphics, faster processor and much more. It boasts full PC performance packed into a thin and light design. It's so thin, though, the tablet can bend if not protected properly. The useful accessories, like keyboard covers and the stylus, can also add up quickly. In our analysis of 92 expert reviews, the Microsoft Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen placed 3rd when we looked at the top 8 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 15, 2019:
Checkout The Best Microsoft Surface Tablet for a detailed review of all the top microsoft surface tablets.

Expert Summarized Score
8.3
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.0
600 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Great oversized and high-res screen, magnets hold onto the stylus when not in use, compatible with tons of accessories including a dock
- BestReviews
Hugely improved battery life
- Tech Radar
March 25, 2018 | Full review
Great screen resolution and brightness.
- Pocket-lint
October 2, 2018 | Full review
Full PC performance in a thin and light design.
- The Verge
June 15, 2017 | Full review
Most sensitive Surface Pen to date
- Trusted Reviews
September 26, 2018 | Full review
The Surface Pro gets better performance and battery life from its CPU update, and most models are now fanless. The excellent kickstand is even more flexible.
- CNET
Excellent notebook performance in a tablet format
- Digital Trends
Iris Plus GPU gives it the graphics oomph of a discrete GPU
- PC World
With the launch of the Surface Pro this year, they’ve now moved onto the latest Intel CPUs, which offer both improved performance and thermals.
- Anand Tech
June 15, 2017 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Some users complain of light bleed around the edges, which can be distracting. It's ultralight, which is great for portability, but many have found that it bends too easily
- BestReviews
Surface Pen pulled from package
- Tech Radar
March 25, 2018 | Full review
Can get mighty expensive - to the point a laptop might make more sense
- Pocket-lint
October 2, 2018 | Full review
Pen is no longer included, now costs $99 extra.
- The Verge
June 15, 2017 | Full review
My only complaint is that the left- and right-click buttons are the bottom corners of the touchpad, rather than being separate. This may sound a minor issue, but the lack of such buttons makes it a little easier than I’d like to mis-press and send the cursor flying, which is very annoying when you’re in the middle of editing a document.
- Trusted Reviews
September 26, 2018 | Full review
Minimal redesign leaves out USB-C and Thunderbolt options. The Surface Pen stylus is no longer included by default, and new keyboard covers are more expensive than ever.
- CNET
Signature Type Cover and Surface Pen are costly add-ons
- Digital Trends
Battery life is nowhere near promised 13.5 hours
- PC World
It would be nice to see a more solid mechanical device to hold the pen to the Surface, since the magnets are strong but still allow the pen to be dislodged in a bag.
- Anand Tech
June 15, 2017 | Full review

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.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 18
2. Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Tablet
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 6
3. Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 9
4. Microsoft Surface 3 Tablet
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 11
5. Microsoft Surface Go
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 14
6. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 10
7. Microsoft Surface RT
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 8
8. Microsoft Surface 2
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 7

An Overview On Microsoft Surface Tablets

It’s been just over six years since Microsoft introduced the original Surface tablet. Flash forward to today, and Microsoft has a full range of Surface PCs that appeal to all kinds of buyers and budgets.

If you’re in the market for a versatile, portable Windows 10 machine, then there’s sure to be a Microsoft Surface device to fit your needs. While there have been plenty of upgrades, the Surface tablets launched in the last few years are each useful and versatile machines in their own right.

If having the latest and greatest model is a high priority for you, then look no further than the Surface Pro 6. It is ultra-light and faster than ever. It features the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processor as well as the full Windows 10 Home experience. It also happens to be the top value pick of the Microsoft Surface collection as well.

Similarly, the Surface Pro 5 is another excellent choice. It not only offers full PC performance in a thin and light design, but also boasts a high-resolution, oversized screen. Plus, it’s compatible with a variety of accessories, including a dock. One surprising downside is the thin, lightweight design makes it prone to bending if you’re not careful while handling or transporting this tablet.

Earlier variations, including the Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3, still remain solid machines today.  Both can easily convert into laptops with the proper accessories and can handle a full day’s work. Plus, the Surface 3 has a 10.8-inch display with the uncommon resolution of 1920 x 1280p, which is 200 pixels taller than the standard 1080p.  As a result, on-screen images appear colorful and sharp.

Keep an open mind, and consider laptops in addition to versatile tablets like the Microsoft Surface models. While laptops may be a bit pricier, they offer the convenience of a built-in keyboard for getting work done. In addition to the Microsoft Surface tablets, there are many tablet variations from manufacturers like Google, Apple, Amazon and more that offer unique options worth considering.

DYWM Fun Fact

Microsoft Surface Tablets had a bit of a rocky beginning. When they first debuted in 2012, people loved the hardware design but were baffled by the software. Since then, Microsoft has launched new software to better match the spot-on hardware.

The hybrid-PC style hardware was truly innovative and many other companies have copied its smart design. The built-in kickstand and add-on keyboard, still part of the newest Surface models, are industry standards now.

What started as one tablet has morphed into a full Microsoft Surface family of computers. The range includes tablets, standard laptops and oversized desktops. Quite frankly, the Microsoft Surface options have never been as diverse as they are today.

The Microsoft Surface Tablet Buying Guide

  • Check what comes with each tablet standard carefully before clicking purchase. Not all come with the accessories needed to make the most of the tablet, like the Surface Pen and keyboard cover.
  • Understand what ports and connections are compatible with your Microsoft Surface tablets. Microsoft continues to use USB-A and its magnetic Surface Connect charger. Unlike other manufacturers, it has not transitioned to the USB-C and Thunderbolt 3.
  • There are budget-friendly financing options available directly through Microsoft. If you come in to a physical retail location, you can buy a new Surface on an installment plan, for as little as $25 per month. The payment plan also includes Office 365 for the two-year duration of the installments.
  • The Microsoft Complete extended warranty is a smart add-on to any device. The plan starts at $149 and features additional warranty coverage and accidental damage protection. It includes a total of two accidental damage claims, with a $49 deductible.