Tablet similar to a Surface device
A character in the Alien: Covenant trailer "Meet Walter" appears to be holding a tablet similar to a Surface Device - Image: YouTube

Back in December 2016, reports surfaced that Microsoft might reveal the Surface Pro 5 in the first quarter of 2017. As we enter the final week of Q1 2017 (January 1-March 31), rumors about the highly-anticipated tablet are heating up.

Now, a new rumor has surfaced which implies that the Surface Pro 5 release date specs may feature an AMD chipset instead of a Kaby Lake by Intel. This rumor is based on the latest Alien: Covenant trailer, titled “Meet Walter”.

In the trailer, around the 45-second mark, we see one character holding a tablet that looks similar to a Surface device. Later in the video, the Walter Android is injected with an AMD chip which makes the creature come to life.

After the trailer’s release, 20th Century Fox revealed that all tech in the new Alien movie is powered by AMD Ryzen and Radeon.

Reasonable theory or just product placement?

Could this mean that the Surface Pro 5 will use Ryzen instead of Kaby Lake like everyone assumed? The “evidence” is far from conclusive, however, this could be a legitimate theory. Microsoft and AMD have a close relationship, with the two companies flaunting DirectX 12 graphics partnerships for Windows 10.

In addition, AMD collaborates frequently with Redmond on various Visual Studio APIs, while the Xbox One game console features an AMD chip.

On the other hand, product placement of new technology in high-budget movies is very common. In the latest James Bond films, Sony subtly advertised its new Xperia phones.

Toby Fitch confirms work on Surface Pro 5

Rumors surrounding the Surface Pro 5 have been surfacing for some time now, with Microsoft likely getting ready to announce the tablet. Back in February, a Microsoft contractor confirmed he is working on the Surface Pro 5 on his LinkedIn profile.

Toby Fitch, a Product Designer 2 at Microsoft, has been helping the company on hardware for a few months now. On his LinkedIn profile, it shows that since January 2016, he has been creating speech models for “devices of the future including but not limited to: HoloLens, Surface Pro 5, Xbox.

Microsoft tipster WalkingCat found the evidence and tweeted:

Possible Specs of the Surface Pro 5

Concerning the release date specs of the Surface Pro 5, several rumors have surfaced over the last couple of months. As mentioned above, everyone assumed Microsoft’s anticipated tablet will use an Intel Kaby Lake processor.

Others suggest that because Microsoft has demoed Windows 10 running on an ARM processor, the Pro 5 will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon system-on-chip (SoC). This rumor is based on the fact that a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC will allow the Surface Pro 5 to have better battery life.

The report mentioned above, based on manufacturing sources in China, also suggests that the Surface Pro 5 will come with a 2K screen but there will also be a more expensive, 4K model.

Surface Pro 5 Stylus

One of the stalwart Surface Pro features is the Surface Pen, a pressure-sensitive stylus. Microsoft introduced the Surface Pen back in 2012 with the original Surface Pro and it has been available for every new model ever since.

microsoft new surface pen gizmodo
The Surface Pen

The latest version of the Surface Pen comes with the Surface Pro 4 and features the following:

  • A top-mounted eraser
  • A customizable ‘magic-button’
  • The ability to launch Cortana remotely

Based on that, we would expect much the same from the Surface Pro 5. Several rumors have suggested that a possible improvement would be to increase the levels of pressure sensitivity on the Surface Pen. Currently, the Surface Pen manages 1.024 different levels, while the S-Pen of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 can recognize 4.096 different levels.

Microsoft Surface Pro 5 Price

If you search on the Internet hard enough, you will find plenty of Surface Pro 5 prices, but they are all almost certainly made up. That is because it is unlikely that Microsoft has even settle for a price internally.

In order to speculate, we should check the previous Surface Pro launch prices. Here are the previous Surface Pro launch prices for the UK: Surface Pro 4– £749, Surface Pro 3– £958, Surface Pro 2 – £719.

Based on these prices, we can assume that the Surface Pro 5 will likely start off at somewhere between £700 – £1,000, but that’s just speculation.

Surface Pro rivals

Microsoft is expected to release the Surface Pro 5 sometime in early 2017. Before the highly-anticipated tablet reaches the market, it has already gained an early rival in the shape of the Samsung Galaxy Book.

The Samsung Galaxy Book

On February 27, 2017, Samsung announced the 2-in-1 tablet at the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. Microsoft and the Seoul-based company worked together to design the Samsung Galaxy Book.

Microsoft is also dealing with more Surface Pro clones, like the crowd-developed Eve V, a high-end, 2-in-1 Surface Pro clone developed by Finnish startup Eve Tech. You might want to check out our interview with Eve Tech co-founder Konstantinos Karatsevidis from December 2016 which offers some interesting insights.

Eve Tech Eve V
The Eve V 2-in-1 device, developed by Eve Tech