Surface Pro 8 brings one of the biggest visual redesigns in Microsoft’s six-year existence, but it’s not much different from the previous two iterations in other respects. We are here to help you find the differences and choose the right equipment for you among the Surface Pro 8 vs. Surface Pro 7+ vs. Surface Pro 7.
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As for the price, the Surface Pro 8 is the most expensive 2-in-1 in the family in recent times. Starts at $ 1,099 dollars, regardless of the Type Cover or Surface Pen. On the other hand, Surface Pro 7 is the cheapest device, starting at $ 749 dollars and in the middle the Pro 7+ at $ 900 dollars in the US.
At those prices, we are looking at the basic configurations. In the Pro 8, you get the latest and greatest 11th generation Core i5 processor from Intel, along with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. Storage is less important in the Pro 8, as you can buy a larger SSD and replace it later, a feature carried over from the Pro 7+.
Meanwhile, the entry-level Pro 7 features a slower 10th Gen Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. Finally, the Pro 7+ comes with an 11th generation Core i3, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD.
On all older Surface models, you can increase prices by upgrading to a Core i7 or Core i5 processor or adding more RAM and storage. If you’re on a budget and opt for an older Surface, we suggest the Pro 7+.
The base Pro 7+ model comes with 8GB of RAM instead of 4GB. However, for $ 100 more, you can also get the performance benefits seen in the Pro 8, as we’ll see as we go along.
On the Surface Pro 8, Microsoft no longer offers an entry-level model with a Core i3 processor. It jumped straight to a mid-range Core i5, offering the graphics advancements of Intel Ice Lake, as well as Thunderbolt 4 support.
You can “upgrade” to get a Core i5 or Core i7 on the Pro 7 and Pro 7+, but it would drive the prices up to $ 900 and $ 1,000 and you’d still be missing out on Thunderbolt. For that reason, we can’t suggest you buy the standard Pro 7 in 2021. It will be fine for most tasks, but it now uses Intel’s 10th Gen processors, which are 2 years old.
In fact, Microsoft mentioned that the Pro 8’s processor is more than 2x faster than the Surface Pro 7. It can also deliver 40 percent higher sustained performance and 74 percent higher sustained graphics performance. Quick.
On the Surface Pro 7+, meanwhile, you’ll get an 11th generation processor, making your device future-proof. It also has the same chip found in the Pro 8. However, we still suggest the Pro 8 as it is newer and the Pro 7+ is difficult to buy and find in the Microsoft Store.
But there is also another important fact. Surface Pro 8 supports Thunderbolt technology. This is one of its exclusive features along with the Laptop Studio. If you need to use an external GPU or connect it to two monitors and want faster transfer speeds, this is the Surface for you.
Among the three devices, the Pro 8 has the newest design, since together with the Surface Pro X, Microsoft has redesigned them. It’s still very thin, light, and made from anodized aluminum like its other cousins, but the front looks a bit different with thinner bezels.
Microsoft says the Pro 8 is 11 percent larger than the Pro 7. In fact, it’s true, as the Pro 8 has a new 13-inch screen. That’s a change from the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro 7+, which only come with a 12.3-inch panel.
However, despite the large screen, the thickness and weight have hardly changed between generations. All devices weigh less than 3 pounds and are less than half an inch thick.
Of course, the Pro 8 accessories changed with that slimmer screen. Now, the Surface Signature Type Cover on the Pro 8 has a slot for the new Surface Slim Pen 2. This allows you to recharge the pen while not in use.
Previously, on the Surface Pro 7 and Pro 7+, you had to use an external charging dock for the Slim Pen or go for a standard Surface Pen, which is attached to the side and runs on AAA batteries.
Importantly, the Slim Pen 2 also has haptic motors, so you can get feedback from the Pro 8 as you swipe it across the screen. We will talk about that later, as it is an exclusive feature of the new Pro 8.
The Pro 8’s larger screen also means some improved specs and room for some special haptics exclusive to Windows 11. The Pro 8’s on-screen resolution increases a bit compared to the Pro 7 and Pro 7+.
In the Pro 8, you get a display with a resolution of 2,880 x 1,920 pixels and 267 dpi. On the Pro 7 and Pro 7+, things maxed out at 2,736 x 1,824 pixels. The density remains the same, but now there’s a bit more room for multitasking on the Pro 8.
On top of that, Surface Pro 8 has its own support for haptics through the Surface Pen 2. It even has a refresh rate of 120 Hz. This is thanks to the integrated Microsoft G6 processor that can pick up “touch signals.”
Video and photo editing, as well as gaming and drawing, should feel smoother and more natural on the Pro 8 compared to the Pro 7 or Pro 7+, so if this is what you’re looking for, the Pro 8 is for you.
We will end by mentioning portability. On this front, we consider battery life, cameras, and ports. It’s pretty much a draw here with a few exceptions.
Surface Pro 8 has two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, as well as a Surface Connect port and a headphone jack. There is no expandable storage or USB-A port, so you will need a dongle.
The Pro 7+ has a USB-C port, a USB-A port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a Surface Connect port, and a MicroSD card reader. It’s like the Pro 7, which makes it a good option if you don’t want to use a dongle.
When it comes to webcams, the Pro 8 has gotten a big upgrade. Webcams are now 1080p, a change from 720p in Pro 7 and Pro 7+. This should make you look better on your calls.
Finally, there is the battery life. the Pro 8 wins on this front, lasting up to 16 hours. The Pro 7, meanwhile, gets 10 hours and the Pro 7+, 13.5 hours.
Surface Pro 8 wins out above all else here for a longer battery, Thunderbolt support, and improved webcams.
We don’t have one yet, but we can’t help but suggest the Surface Pro 8 to anyone looking for a new Surface. The device is much more modern, it comes with Thunderbolt 4 support, a larger screen, and support for haptics with a new Surface Pen.
Unless, of course, you are on a tight budget. The $ 300 price increase makes it a much more premium device, especially once you add the keyboard and stylus.
In that case, the Surface Pro 7+ is a good alternative, and the Surface Pro 7 is too outdated to get a recommendation from us.