Surface Pro 5 spec rumors have been surprisingly light, but one of our first semi-concrete updates has arrived via the well-known German Microsoft blog, Dr. Windows. Sources close to the publication say the Surface Pro 4 successor will support eSIM for its assumed release in March.
The main focus of the story is that Microsoft has partnered with Transatel, a global mobile provider, to sell eSIM packages on the Microsoft Store. The curious facet of this story is that specific devices must support eSIM for these plans to be useful. Neither the Surface Pro 4 nor Surface Book feature the hardware.
That being said, the publication suggests “Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book 2 will have an eSIM, provided that my (in the past accurate) source is correct.” Dr Windows is a premiere tech outlet that’s known to have journalists with insider connections.
For those not so aware of how eSIM works, there are plenty of benefits it could have for mobile contracts. While it’s taken some time to catch on, the purpose of eSIM is to standardize SIM cards in mobile devices based on hardware. In the long term, this unity would allow consumers more freedom and less obligation when choosing a data provider.
For a Surface Pro 5 the perks would be twofold. Firstly, it allows internet connection without having to tether to a hotspot. The second upside relates to how eSIM helps with international travel. Because the cards are universal, it means you don’t have to buy a second SIM when spending time overseas. Possible roaming charges are avoided between two plans because eSIM automatically switches to the plan in the country where the user is located. These advantages may not be worth it for the average consumer, but they could be a boon for the business professionals Microsoft products often attract.
Beyond that there’s not much we know about the Surface Pro 5. Considering it won’t release this year, the assumption is that the 2017 tablet will include the latest Intel Kaby Lake CPUs alongside possible modern accoutrements like USB-C.
Back in October, insiders with Windows 10 preview builds noticed many passing references to “Windows 10 version 1703.” Following typical Microsoft naming convention, the current belief is that the so-called Creators Update, formally known as Redstone 2, is planned to launch on March 17, 2017. In relation to a hypothetical Surface Pro 5, Redstone 2 was supposedly delayed so it could support “the next wave of Windows 10 devices.” That would most notably allude to new Surface tablets. Ergo, while messy, the dots seem to connect to a March or spring 2017 arrival.
Until then, the Surface Pro 4 is available now.