How Does The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Compare To Pro 7+?
During its annual Surface event last year, Microsoft unveiled the long-awaited update to its Surface Pro lineup called the Surface Pro 8, the latest premier 2-in-1 that delivers significant changes since the Surface Pro 3. Featuring 11th generation Intel Core chipsets, Windows 11 on board, and many updates that address the concerns of Surfaces past, the Surface Pro 8 is set to push Microsoft and Windows' hardware and software to new heights. But for the average professional or business organisation, is this new model truly worth upgrading from its predecessor, the Surface Pro 7 Plus?
Read on as we go over the main features of both devices and let you decide if it is worth the investment.
Design & accessories
When placed side by side, the Surface Pro 8 certainly sports a newer design than the Surface Pro 7 Plus, thanks to its slimmer bezels, which we shall discuss more later. Of course, this slimmer screen profile means a few changes for its accessories, particularly its dedicated Surface Signature Type Cover, which now has a slot for the newest Surface Slim Pen 2. This little space offers a more intuitive way to charge when not in use. Moreover, it is wholly more convenient than the previous iteration, which required an external charging cradle or AAAA batteries for the Slim Pen or standard Surface Pen, respectively.
The Surface Pro 8-exclusive Slim Pen 2 also comes with integrated haptic engines, making the writing or drawing experience more pleasant as you receive feedback from it while sliding across the screen. Overall, both the Surface Pro 7 Plus and Surface Pro 8 are made out of the same anodised aluminium, weigh under 3 pounds, measure less than half an inch in thickness, and feature the very same slim, light 2-in-1 profile of the Surface lineup.
The most noticeable change on the Surface Pro 8 is its more extensive, sleeker, and faster display. It is now 13-inches in size, and the bezels have been slimmed down on all sides, giving it an 11% increase in display area compared to the 12.3-inch Surface Pro 7. However, the standard display specs remain at 2880x1920 with a 267 pixels per inch (PPI) resolution.
The brightness department has also received an upgrade, making it 12.5% brighter than the previous model. And for those that appreciate high-refresh displays like those found on many smartphones these days, the Surface Pro 8 now also supports a 120Hz refresh rate (which dials down to 60Hz when the extra speed is not needed), making web browsing and drawing on the tablet a much smoother experience.
Fundamentally, both the Surface Pro 7 Plus and Surface Pro 8 use the same 11th generation Intel Core processors, but with some slight differences. The most significant change is that the Surface Pro 8 no longer comes available with an entry-level model equipped with a Core i3 processor and instead jumps right into the mid-range Core i5 for its base model.
Another feature exclusive to the Surface Pro 8 is its support for Thunderbolt 4 technology in its dual USB-C ports, which lacked in the Surface Pro 7's single USB-C port. With this addition, the Surface Pro 8 can now be hooked up to dual monitors for greater productivity and used with an external GPU for creative production or even gaming. All in all, these much-needed options, along with faster transfer speeds via USB-C, are excellent additions suited for power users.
Furthermore, the Surface Pro 8 comes with the same remote deployment feature that made the Surface Pro 7 Plus quite compelling to IT departments. This feature is called Windows Autopilot. Microsoft defines it as their cloud-based deployment technology that lets organisations remotely deploy and configure supported devices with a zero-touch process right out of the box.
This portability section focuses mainly on the two models' ports, cameras, and battery life. To start, the Surface Pro 8 comes with dual USB-C ports with Thunderbolt support as mentioned before, a Surface Connect Port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. In contrast, the Surface Pro 7 Plus features one USB-C port, one USB-A port, a Surface Connect port, a MicroSD card reader, and the headphone jack. The lack of USB-A and a MicroSD slot on the Surface Pro 8 means users will have to rely on dongles for storage expansion and whatever additional accessories they may wish to use.
Next up is the cameras, wherein the Surface Pro 8 now boasts a significant upgrade to 1080p compared to the 720p quality of the Surface Pro 7 Plus and previous models. This resolution improvement should make users look clearer and better during video calls. Last but not least is battery life, and it is no surprise that the Surface Pro 8 comes out on top in this category with its rating of up to 16 hours on all models, a subtle yet welcome increase from the 13.5-hour rating of the Surface Pro 7 plus. In addition to longer battery life, the Surface Pro 8 also charges relatively quickly, achieving 80% charge in just an hour.
The Microsoft Surface continues its promise of seamless productivity at the office with its latest Surface Pro 8 model. With its slew of improvements and the most essential features retained from its predecessor, the portable Surface Pro 8 is truly a powerhouse of a device that fits right into today's remote-working world.
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