Surface Pro 8 vs. Surface Pro 7: Is Microsoft’s latest 2-in-1 better than before?

Microsoft introduced its newest premier two-in-one, the Surface Pro 8, as a part of a virtual event on Sept. 22. The Floor Professional hasn’t acquired a full replace since Oct. 2019 when the Professional 7 was launched, which looks like eons in the past, and even then it did not change a lot from the Surface Pro 6. Earlier this 12 months, Microsoft did introduce the Surface Pro 7 Plus for Business. Nonetheless, it has the identical design because the Professional 7 however with Eleventh-gen Intel processors and Home windows 10 Professional. There’s additionally the 13-inch Surface Pro X that makes use of a customized Arm-based chipset from Microsoft as a substitute of an Intel processor. With Windows 11 on its way in October, although, this can be a good time to replace it inside and outside, and that is what we acquired. 

Whereas the Floor Professional 7 is not within the lineup, you will nonetheless have the ability to purchase one — likely at a discount — till retailers promote via their inventory. Microsoft is maintaining the Floor Professional 7 Plus round and can have a consumer version of it with Windows 11 Home for many who desire a “traditional Floor Professional.” 


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Greater, higher show

The Surface Pro 8 is basically a mashup of the Pro 7 Plus and Pro X; it is the same-ish physique of the 13-inch Professional X with the processors of the Professional 7 Plus. The Professional 8 is thicker and heavier than the Professional X however not by a lot. For the reason that Professional 7 and Professional 7 Plus are constructed round a 12.3-inch show, the 13-inch Professional 8 is bigger than that mannequin, too. 

Though the Floor Professional 8 show is identical dimension and determination because the Professional X, the Floor Professional 8’s display screen has a refresh fee that goes as much as 120Hz, which ought to make writing and drawing on the show a smoother expertise. When the additional pace is not wanted, it may possibly drop to 60Hz to avoid wasting battery life. 


Floor Professional 8 Floor Professional 7 Plus (2021) Floor Professional 7 (2019) iPad Professional (12.9-inch, 2021)
Worth Begins at $1,100, £999, AU$1,649 Begins at $900, £909, AU$1,349 Begins at $650, £639, AU$1,149 Begins at $999, £199, AU$1,649
Optionally available keyboard $180, £160, AU$260 $129, £125, AU$200 $129, £125, AU$200 $329, £329, AU$549
Optionally available stylus $130, £120, AU$190 $99, £60, AU$140 $99, £60, AU$140 $119, £119, AU$199
Show 13-inch PixelSense show (120Hz), 2,880×1,920 (267 ppi) 12.3-inch PixelSense show, 2,736×1,824 decision (267 ppi) 12.3-inch PixelSense show, 2,736×1,824 decision (267 ppi) 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR True Tone with ProMotion show, 2,732×2,048 decision (264 ppi)
Processor Eleventh-gen Intel Core i5, i7 Eleventh-gen Intel Core i3, i5, i7 Tenth-gen Intel Core i3, i5, i7 M1
RAM 8GB / 16GB / 32GB 8GB / 16GB / 32GB 4GB / 8GB / 16GB 8GB / 16GB
Storage 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB
SIM card help for mobile mannequin None Nano-SIM, eSIM None Nano-SIM; eSIM; 5G help (sub-6 GHz and mmWave)
Wi-fi 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.1 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.0 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.0 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0
Ports USB-C (2; USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4), Floor Join, Floor Sort Cowl port, 3.5mm headphone jack USB-C, Floor Join, Floor Sort Cowl port, MicroSDXC, USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack USB-C, Floor Join, Floor Sort Cowl port, MicroSDXC, USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack USB-C with Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 help
Cameras Entrance: 5-megapixel with help for Home windows Hey, rear: 10-megapixel Entrance: 5-megapixel with help for Home windows Hey, rear: 8-megapixel Entrance: 5-megapixel with help for Home windows Hey, rear: 8-megapixel Entrance: 12-megapixel TrueDepth; 1080p video, rear: 12-megapixel f/1.8 extensive, 10-megapixel f/2.4 ultrawide
OS Home windows 11 Dwelling Home windows 10 Professional or Home windows 11 Professional Home windows 10 Dwelling iPadOS
Dimensions (HWD) 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches 11 x 8.5 x 0.25 inches
Weight 2 lb., 0.9 kg 1.7 lb., 0.77 kg 1.7 lb., 0.77 kg 1.5 lb., 0.68 kg
Battery life As much as 16 hours As much as 15 hours As much as 10.5 hours As much as 10 hours

Buh-bye USB-A, good day Thunderbolt 4

With the transfer to Eleventh-gen Intel processors, Microsoft added not one, however two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports. This makes it simpler than ever to attach exterior shows on to the Floor Professional, in addition to supplying you with high-speed information transfers and extra growth choices with a dock or hub. And although Microsoft nonetheless makes use of its proprietary Floor Connector for the ability adapter, you may cost the Professional 8 by way of the USB-C ports. 

In fact, with the addition of the USB-C ports, one thing needed to go: There is no such thing as a extra good ol’ USB-A port on the Floor Professional 8. Microsoft additionally did away with the microSD card slot for increasing storage. The 2-in-one does supply a detachable SSD possibility, although it’s a brief M.2 2230 drive. Nonetheless, it is an possibility down the highway in the event you want extra bodily storage.

Learn extra: Here’s what the Surface Duo 2 needs to succeed. Plus, try how the specs stack up between the Surface Duo 2 and Surface Duo, and a few cool camera tricks the Surface Duo can do.


The brand new Slim Pen 2 magnetically shops and costs on the prime of the keyboard cowl.

Richard Peterson/CNET

New keyboard, new pen; neither are included

As you would possibly anticipate, the elevated display screen dimension of the Floor Professional 8 means the keyboard cowl from the Professional 7 will not match. When you’re upgrading to the Professional 8, you will want a brand new keyboard cowl, too. Microsoft did develop a brand new one for the Professional 8 that has a spot on the prime to carry and cost the brand new Surface Slim Pen 2

Like previous Floor Professional fashions, the keyboard cowl is not included with the Floor Professional 8. Neither is the pen. They don’t seem to be low cost. The keyboard alone is $180, the pen is $130 and bundled collectively they’re $280. No less than the kickstand is constructed into the physique of the Professional 8 so you do not have to purchase a separate cowl for that operate.

Much more time to work, create and play

Whereas the Eleventh-gen Intel Core processors will definitely enhance efficiency over the Floor Professional 7’s Tenth-gen chips, it will additionally offer you significantly better battery life. True, it helps that the Floor Professional 8 additionally has a bigger battery pack. However, in response to Microsoft’s numbers, the Professional 7 Plus, utilizing the identical dimension battery because the common Professional 7, will get as much as 15 hours of battery life in comparison with the Professional 7’s 10.5 hours. The Professional 8 will run for as much as 16 hours. 

Richard Peterson/CNET

The Floor Professional 8 has a bigger, sooner show, new processors to enhance efficiency and lengthen battery life, Thunderbolt 4 for larger versatility and a brand new keyboard and pen. It’s, nevertheless, nonetheless dear, and the keyboard, which is just about essential, is not included. Neither is its lively pen. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Simply because there is a newer mannequin does not imply the predecessor is not value contemplating. Microsoft instantly dropped the costs on its remaining Floor Professional 7 fashions. A bigger show is sweet, however in the event you’re primarily utilizing it as a pill, the smaller Professional 7 is a greater possibility. Battery life and efficiency won’t be nearly as good because the Professional 8 however you will be saving cash. And if you would like the smaller dimension with the advantages of Intel’s Eleventh-gen processors, it seems like you’ll get that with the Surface Pro 7 Plus minus the additional price for the business model. | Floor Professional 8 vs. Floor Professional 7: Is Microsoft’s newest 2-in-1 higher than earlier than?


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