Note:Microsoft just unveiled a newSurface Pro 9tablet and aSurface Laptop 5assembling a newSurface Studio 2+all-in-one desktop. Keep that in mind as you shop, because new hardware makes you eligible for last year''s models at a discounted rate. Keep an eye on our full review!
If you''re having a difficult time picking a Microsoft Windows tablet, a Surface Pro 8 vs Surface Pro 7 comparison will come in handy.
Microsoft''s Surface Pro 8 has been unveiled as a flagship Surface product alongside Windows 11, and it is still a solid performer. Like its Windows 10 predecessors, the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro 7 Plus, the Pro 8 is a slick Windows tablet that doubles as a decent laptop when you attach the (optional) keyboard.
Microsoft''s Surface Pro 2-in-1 tablets are usually well-designed, portable, and capable of accomplishing everything you need on the go. However, they are also quite expensive when you include the keyboard, and the battery life hasn''t been great, which tends to keep the Surface Pro from appearing on our list of the best 2-in-1 laptops.
What do Microsoft''s Surface tablets stack up year-on-year? We''re deep into this Surface Pro 8 vs Surface Pro 7, which you''ll see.
Surface Pro 8 vs Surface Pro 7: Price
The Surface Pro 8 is available at a starting price of $1,099 (opens in a new tab) and you may pay an additional $179 for the detachable Surface Pro Signature Keyboard and $129 for the new Surface Slim Pen 2 stylus.
The Surface Pro 7, which may also be equipped with a detachable keyboard cover and the Surface Pen for $159 and $99 extra, is priced at $159 and $99 per pair. That means that the fully kitted-out Pro 7 with keyboard and stylus costs a bit more than the base Pro 8 costs today.
Despite the fact that the Pro 8 now has a double the RAM of the entry-level Pro 7, and the base Pro 8 now has a new 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, whereas the base Pro 7 now has a less powerful 10th Gen Core i3 processor.
Surface Pro 8 vs Surface Pro 7: Specs
|Surface Pro 8||Surface Pro 7|
|Starting price||from $1,099||from $749|
|Display||13-inch touchscreen (2880 x 1920 pixels)||12.3-inch touchscreen (2736 x 1824 pixels)|
|CPU||11th Gen Intel Core i5-i7||10th Gen Intel Core i3-i7|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe Graphics||Intel UHD or Iris Plus|
|RAM||8-32 GB||4-16 GB|
|Storage||128-256 GB (LTE), 128 GB - 1TB (Wi-fi only)||128 GB-1 TB SSD|
|Ports||2 x Thunderbolt 4/USB 4, 1 x Surface Connect port, 3.5mm headphone jack, Surface Type Cover port||1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A, Surface Connect port, 3.5mm headphone jack, Surface Type Cover port, microSDXC card reader|
|Cameras||5 MP front-facing camera (1080p video), 10 MP rear camera (1080p/4K video)||5 MP front-facing camera (1080p video), 8 MP rear camera (1080p video)|
|Size||11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches||11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches|
|Weight||1.96 pounds||1.6 pounds|
Surface Pro 8 vs Surface Pro 7: Design
Microsoft''s Surface Pro 8 is slightly improved in both small but meaningful ways. It''s about the same size (only 0.4 inches thick) and is slightly heavier (by less than half a pound) than the Pro 7, with a 13-inch display, which is a minor but positive improvement over the 12.3-inch screen in the Pro 7.
The Pro 7''s USB-A port and microSD card reader will be missed, but you can replace them with the right adapters. The Surface Pro 7''s single USB-C port has been upgraded to dual Thunderbolt 4.
While the Pro 8 is a substantial improvement, design-wise, it''s not quite the same: the Pro 8 has the same rounded, flat-edged appearance as its predecessor, thanks to a built-in kickstand and a removable keyboard that transforms the Pro into a serviceable Windows laptop.
Surface Pro 8: A Grand Prix
Surface Pro 8 vs Surface Pro 7: Display
The Surface Pro 8''s 3:2 resolution has been increased, while the Pro 7 has the same 267 pixels per inch resolution.
The Pro 8''s screen is capable of being able to adjust a 60Hz or 120Hz refresh rate, which you may configure in Windows 11. While 60Hz is useful for day-to-day tasks, tweaking it to 120Hz should make the experience of using a stylus (like Microsoft''s new Surface Slim Pen 2) a little smoother and more enjoyable, since the screen can only respond to input as quickly as it can display a fresh image.
While playing games, the 120Hz display will also allow you to framerates greater than 60 frames per second, but you''ll have a difficult time accomplishing this with the Surface Pro 8''s integrated graphics chipset.
The Surface Pro 8''''s display is even more bright and colourful than the Surface Pro 7 panel (395 nits, 97%), with up to 453 nits of brightness and repurposing 104 percent of the sRGB spectrum.
Surface Pro 8 is the best-selling product for the year.
Surface Pro 8 vs Surface Pro 7: Performance
In our lab tests, the Pro 7 demonstrated a great performance in 2019, and the 10th Gen. Intel Core i5-powered model with 8 GB of RAM competed positively with the iPad Pro and contemporary 2-in-1 laptops.
The new Surface Pro 8 (which is supported by an Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor and 16GB of RAM) has even improved performance. For example, the Surface Pro 8 completed our video transcoding test in Handbrake in 13 minutes and 30 seconds, less than half of the 32:47 time experienced by the Surface Pro 7.
The Surface Pro 8 had no problems with the Windows 11, but gaming wasn''t as impressive as we wish. We had to turn Scarlet Nexus down to 1440p and medium graphics settings to reach 60fps, and Sid Meier''s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm was tested for 37fps at 1080p and 29fps at 1920p.
Surface Pro 8 is the winner.
Surface Pro 8 vs Surface Pro 7: Cameras
The Surface Pro 8''s cameras are a bit better than their predecessor, although as the Pro 7, it still features a 5MP selfie camera capable of capture video in up to 1080p. Windows Hello also allows you to connect to Windows 11 with your face.
The rear camera has received a larger upgrade, ranging from 8 MP back cam on the Pro 7, which should make any impromptu photos you shoot a little better, plus the Pro 8''s camera can capture video in up to 4K.
The Pro 8 offers you the option of upgrading past the Pro 7, although tourists are aware that most people do not take much of photos with their tablets; if you follow the instructions, the Pro 7 should still do you just fine.
Surface Pro 8 is the winner.
Surface Pro 8 vs Surface Pro 7: Battery life
Surface Pro 8 is the ultimate winner.
Scorecard and winner for Surface Pro 8 vs Surface Pro 7.
|Surface Pro 8||Surface Pro 7|
|Design (15 points)||13||11|
|Display (25 points)||22||20|
|Performance (30 points)||29||24|
|Cameras (10 points)||9||8|
|Battery life (20 points)||19||17|
Microsoft''s Surface Pro 8 appears to be a minor but significant improvement than the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro 7 Plus and throughout the whole system at that. It''s nice to see Microsoft increase the entry-level RAM allocation from 4 to 8 GB, and the larger, brighter 13-inch display should make using the Pro 8 much more immersive. A further advantage should be that tapping and doodling on the tablet''s touchscreen feel a bit smoother.
If you already own a Pro 7 or Pro 7 Plus, the Surface Pro 8 isn''t worth upgrading to unless you notice a significant slowdown. Yes, each capacity of the Pro 7 models has been upgraded, but the difference isn''t that significant in many people.
If you''re starting to notice performance limitations in your previous device and want to benefit from the Pro 8''s more powerful components, or if you use your Surface as a creative tool and want to benefit from the newer model''s enhanced 13-inch 120Hz display, it''s also appropriate to upgrade to the Pro 8.