So much for the titillating albeit unlikely fanless Broadwell design speculation.
One of the reasons Redmond stretched the upgrade cycle of its surprisingly successful Surface Pro laptop replacement family is very easy to guess. Technically, the fourth-gen full Windows-powered “laplet” was “supposed” to follow in the footsteps of last year’s model in May or June.
That’s when the Pro 3 turned one, but Win 10’s imminence probably kept the Pro 4 on the sidelines. The recent launch of a humbler yet robust and silky smooth non-Pro Surface 3 most certainly had something to do with Microsoft’s stall as well.
Finally, it’s possible Satya Nadella & co. put off the highly anticipated business refresh in order for Intel to wrap up Skylake CPU R&D and therefore ensure a paramount speed enhancement for Pro 3 owners on the fence.
Remember, the 12 incher unveiled midway through 2014 is equipped with Intel Core i3/i5/i7 Haswell processing power, which will soon be two generations behind the times. Of course, that means the Surface line may skip over the “tick” Broadwell renovation of the archaic Haswell microarchitecture altogether. Unless perhaps the non-Pro Surface 4 abandons Atoms next year.
First things first though, let us underline Surface Pro 4’s use of Skylake chips is far from official. It’s not even a particularly believable insider theory at the moment, since its origin point is Digitimes and the Taiwanese publication’s hit-and-miss “sources from the upstream supply chain.”
Assuming the hearsay is legit, component shipments will reportedly ramp up in September for a commercial debut of the 2-in-1 tablet going down the following month. The only other features “known” right now include pre-installed Windows 10 goodies (duh), plus “the same ultra-thin form factor, bezel size and large-size display as the predecessor model.”
One final interesting tidbit revealed by Digitimes involves Surface sales, which sat at 200 – 250K monthly units in Q1 2015, then leapt to 300,000 once the Surface 3 entered the picture and are further expected to rise to 500,000+ after Pro 4’s rollout. Not bad in an overall collapsing market segment.