During its latest Surface occasion, Microsoft launched the biggest improve of its flagship Intel-powered Surface Pro lineup in years: the Surface Pro 8. The new 2-in-1 machine boasts a 120Hz show, Thunderbolt 4 help, and new processors, however all of these enhancements come at a price — actually. Whereas the Surface Pro 7 starts at $549.99, the Surface Pro 8 begins at $1,099.99, that means it’s almost double the value. And that’s additionally earlier than you think about the price of Microsoft’s new stylus and removable keyboard, two add-ons which can be extra like requirements in case you intend to make use of the 2-in-1 as marketed.

With all that stated, is it value upgrading or selecting up the Pro 8 over the last-gen mannequin when it launches on October fifth? To assist make your resolution just a little simpler, we’ve put collectively the comparability beneath based mostly on specs and our preliminary impressions of the Surface Pro 8.

What’s improved on the Surface Pro 8?

  • Two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports
  • You can double the refresh charge from 60Hz to 120Hz
  • Eleventh-gen Intel quad-core Core CPUs, beginning with i5 as an alternative of i3
  • 10MP rear-facing digicam, with 1080p and 4K video
  • Larger, 13-inch show with increased 2880 x 1920 decision (up from 12.3-inch)
  • Double the RAM on the bottom mannequin (8GB)
  • Microsoft says the battery ought to last as long as 16 hours
  • New sensor that adjusts the show temperature based mostly on ambient lighting
  • LTE help for enterprise customers
  • Preloaded with Windows 11

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

The new Surface Pro 8 is Microsoft’s greatest improve in years. The forthcoming 2-in-1 touts Thunderbolt 4 help, a 120Hz show, a greater digicam, and a extra trendy look.

The Surface Pro 8 is extra than simply an incremental replace. Microsoft’s latest slate includes a modernized look with slimmer bezels, making it the Surface Pro’s largest visible redesign in years. Like the Surface Pro X, the Surface Pro 8 includes a 13-inch show versus the 12.3-inch discovered on the Pro 7. In his latest hands-on take, my colleague Dieter Bohn additionally remarked that the Pro 8 feels barely nicer to carry, given the corners are softer. And if coloration issues to you, the touchscreen machine can be now obtainable in graphite as an alternative of black, which is a colorway nonetheless obtainable for the Pro 7.

Spec-wise, the show on the Pro 8 is considerably higher in comparison with its predecessor, given there’s now an choice to ramp up the refresh charge from 60Hz to 120Hz, which may enhance scrolling and make utilizing the stylus simpler. Gaming may actually be extra satisfying on the Pro 8, too, particularly given the machine comes preloaded with the Xbox app and a one-month trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. In addition, the newest Pro helps Dolby Vision and is the primary Surface machine to come back with an ambient coloration sensor, which robotically adjusts the show’s coloration temperature and brightness based mostly on the encompassing lighting situations. The new Pro 8 additionally boasts a 3:2 show and 2880 x 1920 pixels versus 2736 x 1824, though, technically, each share the identical 267 pixels per inch. Regardless, the expanded dimension nonetheless affords you just a little extra space for, say, multitasking.

The Surface Pro 8 is supplied with a bigger, 13-inch touchscreen and narrower bezels.

The Pro 8 additionally seems to be superior to the Pro 7 in relation to efficiency and battery life. The new 2-in-1 is out there with both a quad-core, Eleventh-gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor, and with as much as 32GB of RAM. The Pro 8 additionally comes with a detachable SSD in one in every of 4 configurations: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB, one thing you could possibly beforehand solely discover on the Pro 7 Plus. It’s essential to notice, nonetheless, that Microsoft says the SSD ought to be repaired or changed by a skilled Microsoft-authorized technician — they’re “not user removable.”

The Pro 7, in the meantime, comes with a dual-core, Tenth-gen Intel Core i3 or a quad-core, Tenth-gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7, and with as much as 16GB of RAM. It’s obtainable in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities. Overall, Microsoft says the Surface Pro 8 exhibits a 40 p.c enchancment over the Pro 7 in relation to sustained CPU efficiency; it’s additionally 74 p.c sooner on the graphics facet, in keeping with Microsoft.

Battery life on the Pro 8 is, a minimum of on paper, higher as nicely, with Microsoft claiming it could last as long as 16 hours on a single cost. The tech large additionally says it could cost from 0 to 80 p.c in just a little over an hour. The Pro 7 was supposed to last as long as 10.5 hours on a cost compared, although, in our overview, we famous it lasted 7-8 hours or much less when working with graphically intensive apps and pages. We don’t anticipate Microsoft’s battery claims relating to the Pro 8 to carry up in real-world utilization, although, particularly with a 120Hz show.

The last-gen Surface Pro 7 options older, Tenth-gen Intel processors and lacks Thunderbolt ports.

The Pro 8 moreover stands out in some methods in relation to connectivity, relying in your wants. Instead of a USB-A port and the built-in microSD card slot featured on the Pro 7, Microsoft went with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, permitting the pill to help both two 4K shows with a 60Hz refresh charge or a single 8K monitor at 30Hz. The Core i3 and Core i7 fashions may also be configured with LTE, although the characteristic is barely obtainable to enterprise clients.

The Pro additionally boasts higher cameras than its successor. The new mannequin’s rear digicam is a 10MP shooter versus an 8MP, and the rear digicam on the Pro 8 can even seize 4K video. The Pro 8’s new face-tracking tech may additionally enhance video calls by holding you in focus whilst you stroll round and discuss. Microsoft says the Windows Hello digicam has been upgraded, too, and it pairs with Microsoft Studio mics for audio.

The Surface Slim Pen 2 with haptic feedback.

The new Surface Slim Pen 2 comes with haptic engines for a smoother inking expertise.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft additionally improved the Pro 8’s elective equipment. The new Surface Slim Pen 2 ($129.99) includes a sharper tip that permits for higher precision and a built-in haptic motor, which helps the stylus higher emulate the sensation of writing on paper and makes for a smoother inking expertise. You can even cost the pen inductively whenever you’re not utilizing it by way of the built-in slot on the removable Surface Pro Signature Keyboard ($179). The new keyboard can be stiffer due to a carbon-fiber core, however not heavier or thicker, which provides it much less bounce when typing.

What’s the identical on each fashions?

  • Both share an identical, flat-edged look
  • Each has a 5MP front-facing digicam for Windows Hello facial recognition that may seize video in as much as 1080p
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth help
  • Each is appropriate with each generations of the Surface Slim Pen
  • Each includes a built-in kickstand
  • Both are appropriate with an elective keyboard and stylus
  • Both have a 3.5mm headphone jack

Besides a bigger show and the brand new Thunderbolt 4 ports, the Surface Pro 8 is in any other case very related bodily to its predecessor. It has a rounded, flat-edged look, with a built-in kickstand on the again and bodily buttons for quantity and energy. You can even use each generations of the Surface Slim Pen with both mannequin, however word you gained’t have the ability to get pleasure from the brand new haptic performance afforded by the Surface Slim Pen 2 on the Pro 7. Although barely heavier at 1.96 kilos, the Pro 8 remains to be mild and measures lower than half an inch thick, very like the Pro 7. Both additionally come within the platinum (learn: silver) and a darker colorway.

The front-facing digicam and numerous wi-fi connectivity are additionally related throughout gadgets, along with choose ports. While the Pro 8 has a greater rear digicam, the 5MP front-facing digicam is rather like the Pro 7’s and may seize video in as much as 1080p. Both fashions additionally supply twin far-field studio mics, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth help, and every comes geared up with a 3.5mm headphone jack along with the same old Surface Connect port.

Finally, each supply help for Windows 11. While the newest mannequin ships with Windows 11, Pro 7 customers will have the ability to obtain the newest OS replace without spending a dime when it releases on October fifth. This means each gadgets will have the ability to reap the benefits of options like the brand new Start menu, widgets, and the working system’s deeper integration with Microsoft Teams. A brand new OS replace may also carry Android apps to Windows 11 subsequent yr.

The Pro 8 is appropriate with a removable keyboard and stylus, each bought individually.

Why you may wish to purchase the Pro 8

With a bigger show, improved efficiency, doubtlessly extra battery life, and higher-res cameras, Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 8 seems to be a notable step up from the Surface 7 in a number of key methods. The Pro 8’s help for Thunderbolt additionally means you’ll be able to join the machine to a number of displays, get pleasure from sooner switch speeds, and, theoretically, use the machine with an exterior GPU. That, together with the show’s 120Hz refresh charge, is useful in case you intend to make use of the pill primarily for gaming or as a artistic device. And whereas the beginning worth is increased, you’re getting double the RAM and an i5 CPU to start out, as an alternative of an i3. If you need closer-to-comparable specs within the older Pro 7, you’re beginning at $799.99 as an alternative of $549.99.

If you’re an enterprise buyer, the Pro 8 might also be value contemplating, as you’ll have the ability to profit from LTE help alongside the opposite aforementioned perks. The LTE mannequin isn’t obtainable but, nonetheless, and Microsoft says it gained’t arrive till subsequent yr.

Keep in thoughts that that is all based mostly on Microsoft’s offered {hardware} specs and our early hands-on impressions with the Pro 8. We gained’t know for sure how Microsoft’s newest 2-in-1 performs till we will spend some further time with it, so in case you’re contemplating the Pro 8, we advise ready for our full overview.

Why you might wish to keep on with the Pro 7

If you’re on a good funds and wish a Windows pill for informal use or on a regular basis duties, it might be higher to stay with the Surface Pro 7. The 2-in-1 additionally comes with a built-in microSD card slot for transferring knowledge and a USB-A port — a pleasant perk in case you proceed to work with older peripherals. The Pro 8 doesn’t have both.

Given the numerous enhancements in its internals and show, the Pro 8 is of course dearer and starts at $1,099 (with out equipment). Again, you’ll additionally must pay an additional $179 for the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard and $129 for the new Surface Slim Pen 2, although, if you need each equipment, they’re obtainable as a package deal for $280.

In distinction, the Pro 7 is currently on sale beginning at $549.99, whereas the Pro 7’s removable Surface Pro Type Cover keyboard — one thing the Pro 8 now not affords, by the best way — and Surface Pen begin at $129.99 and $67.99, respectively. Note, as nicely, that keyboard covers appropriate with Surface Pro 7 don’t work with the Pro 8, so you’ll be able to’t purchase your self a less expensive Pro 7 one.

When you do the mathematics, there’s nonetheless a distinction of about $600 between the 2, assuming you’re shopping for the bottom mannequin of every with its accompanying keyboard and stylus. The added expense is substantial, particularly in case you don’t look after Thunderbolt 4, a 120Hz show, and the opposite, extra premium options that outline the Pro 8.

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