NFL teams will be getting an improved tablet to use for games and strategizing this season.

Microsoft has developed the Surface Pro 4 device that provides bigger, lighter, faster, and brighter displays to best handle the difficult and sometimes harsh environments of NFL sidelines. Among the upgrades are enhanced daylight readability of photos and notes thanks to a brighter and higher contrast display; a thinner yet more rugged case; stronger batteries that last longer; more functional pen and tether storage; and a variety of applications to further help in game planning.

“The Surface Pro 4 will also continue to provide features that improve sideline collaboration and decision making,” says Jeff Tran, director of sports marketing and alliances at Microsoft, “like annotation with the pen, and the new whiteboard feature that NFL franchises are continuing to utilize to diagram in-game plays.”

Non-game tablets used by the clubs can have their team logo on the covers, a new development that Microsoft is making available to the public, too. The Type Covers transform the tablets into the form of a traditional laptop for use away from the field. That should ease the chore for players and coaches taking notes in meetings, or for scouts’ reports or front office work.

“We’re extremely proud to provide Surface as a solution to enhance game play and overall productivity for players and coaches,” Tran says. “And this year, we’re excited to help fans personalize their own Surface devices with the debut of special edition NFL Type Covers for Surface Pro 3 and 4, which are now available for all 32 teams.

Similar to last year, Microsoft and the NFL are using in-game video playback during preseason games, but it has not been approved for the regular season. Owners will further discuss use of video at their meetings in the fall and winter.


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