The modern enterprise workforce is a mobile workforce. Devices designed for that workforce have to be mobile as well, but still provide a level of performance that can match a conventional workstation. This balance between mobility and power is what distinguishes one notebook computer from another.
Microsoft's entry into the lighter, thinner, yet still powerful notebook market is the Surface Pro 6. This TechRepublic cheat sheet describes the specifications of the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, who its designed for, and why it matters.
SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)
- What is the Microsoft Surface Pro 6? The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a highly mobile and convertible notebook/tablet hybrid computer ranging in price from $899 to $2,299 depending on the configuration.
- Why does the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 matter? The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a prime example of a powerful hybrid notebook computer designed from the ground up to be used by a modern mobile workforce.
- Who does the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 affect? Any enterprise dependent on a mobile workforce needs to supply that workforce with the best and most powerful tools.
- When will the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 be available? The Surface Pro 6 is available for preorder now.
- How do I get the Microsoft Surface Pro 6? The Surface Pro 6 is available from the Microsoft Store and is offered in several configurations.
What is the Microsoft Surface Pro 6?
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a notebook/tablet hybrid running Windows 10. With configurations ranging from 128 GB of solid-state storage running an Intel Core i5 CPU ($899) all the way up to 1 TB of storage running an 8th generation Intel Core i7 ($2,299), chances are good that there is a configuration that will work for you and your mobile workforce.
In addition to the preset Surface Pro configurations for storage capacity, RAM, and CPU, the Microsoft Store website allows you to customize your Surface Pro with choices for covers, input devices, docks, and installed software. To keep the machines light in both weight and power usage, only solid-state storage options are available. The Surface Pro 6 has improved technology that allows the device to have a battery life of 13.5 hours.
A Microsoft Surface Pro 6 can be used as a tablet, which takes advantage of its touch screen interface, or as a notebook using the keyboard attachment, which doubles as a cover for the display, or in studio mode, which enables the use of the Surface Pen and Dial. The Surface Pen gives users another interface option, allowing freehand note-taking, sketching, drawing, and painting. The Surface Dial gives users, particularly artists, more control over the input parameters in terms of brush size, style, color, etc., all without leaving the canvas to use the keyboard.
- Microsoft Surface Pro 6 starts at $899 with 8th-gen Intel CPU, available Oct. 16 (CNET)
- Photos: Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (CNET)
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 2: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Microsoft Surface Studio 2: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Windows 10 S: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
What are the tech specs for the Microsoft Surface Pro 6?
Why does the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 matter?
According to Microsoft's often repeated business strategy mantra, enterprises operate in a cloud-first, mobile-first world. To successfully compete in that business environment, enterprises must equip their employees with mobile-ready, flexible, and powerful tools. With its ability to morph into either a notebook, tablet, or studio device, the Surface Pro 6 provides the flexibility and the performance required, without sacrificing mobility.
The Surface Pro 6 also establishes a baseline Windows 10 and Office 365 device in the Microsoft ecosystem. Other third-party manufacturers can use the Surface Pro 6 as a basis for their cloud-first, mobile-first devices.
- Microsoft's Surface All Access a bet that hardware as a service can work (with an Office 365 assist) (TechRepublic)
- Windows 10 October 2018 Update: What you need to know (TechRepublic)
- Microsoft Surface Go: What the pros need to know (TechRepublic)
Who does the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 affect?
Competitive advantage dictates that every business enterprise with a modern workforce made up of knowledge workers on the go will need to supply those workers with powerful, yet mobile, computing tools. The Microsoft Surface Pro 6, with its hybrid notebook/tablet design, is a prime example of just such a tool.
- Working from home: Success tips for telecommuters (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
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What are competitors to the Microsoft Surface Pro 6?
Competition in the hybrid notebook/tablet market is complicated by the fact that so many vendors are selling devices running Microsoft Windows 10 and Office 365. While those vendors (HP, ASUS, Lenovo, Dell, etc.) sell competing and comparable devices, they are really Microsoft partners.
However, notebook computers sold by Apple, such as the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro, compete directly for market share in the hybrid space. The Chromebook line of computers from Google are also considered competition in the hybrid space. Competition from the Apple and the Google products revolves around their respective ecosystems—Windows vs. Mac OS vs. Android. The ecosystem is where the real competition is taking place.
- Microsoft's new Surface PCs are the Macs I want Apple to make (ZDNet)
- Most Microsoft Surface laptops regain recommendations from Consumer Reports (ZDNet)
- Apple's MacBook Pro 2018 updates: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Chromebooks: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Photos: The best business laptops of 2018 (TechRepublic)
When is the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 available?
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is available for preorder now, with units set to ship by October 16, 2018.
- Microsoft's refreshed Surface Pro, Laptop and Studio: New specs, pricing, availability (TechRepublic)
- Microsoft will sell consumer and business versions of Surface Pro 6, Laptop 2 (ZDNet)
- Microsoft Windows 10 October Update can already be downloaded, if you're feeling brave enough (Download.com)
- How to enroll in the Windows Insider Program (TechRepublic)
How do I get the Microsoft Surface Pro 6?
All configurations of the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 are available for preorder from the online Microsoft Store.
- IT hardware procurement policy (Tech Pro Research)
- Hardware purchasing task list (Tech Pro Research)
- Windows 10 mobile desktop: Transform your Surface Pro with this portable stand (ZDNet)
- Brydge 12.3 keyboard hands-on: Turn your Surface Pro into a more capable Surface Laptop for $150 (ZDNet)
- Five apps to make use of your Microsoft Surface pen (TechRepublic)
- Microsoft Cortana: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.