With the Surface Pro 8, Microsoft finally took the maturing design of the Surface Pro schedule and wholly modernized it. This is the most significant change we have seen on this front runner device in years, presenting some long-overdue design improvements like thinner bezels, spherical sides, and the addition of the Thunderbolt 4.
The Surface Pro 8 is still recognizable as a section of Microsoft’s core line of Home windows tablet computers. At the same time, it seems like a brand-new generation with these design changes and some of the fastest equipment ever seen in a Home windows tablet computer. And, although we are lamenting the loss of some traditional sports, this is the very best Surface Professional we have obtained in years. And, it also comes with the new Windows 11 is pre-installed.
Sadly, all those much-needed improvements come with a cost increase. With its price of an entrance at $1,099 / £999 / AU$1,649, the Surface Professional 8 is also one of the most expensive – a great deal greater than its precursor, the Surface Professional 7, that began at $749 / £799 / AU$1,249 – which makes it harder to sell. Still, Surface Professional users who’ve been waiting for many years for an appropriate upgrade finally have one that is well worth updating for.
SPEC SHEET Of Surface 8 Pro
Here’s the Surface Pro 8 setup sent out for review:
CPU: 3.0GHz Intel Core i7-1185G7 (quad-core, 12MB Intel Wise Cache, up to 4.8GHz with Turbo Boost)
Video: Intel Iris Xe Video
RAM: 16GB LPDDR4x
Screen: 13-inch QHD (2,880 x 1,920) touch
Storage space: 256GB SSD (PCIe, NVMe, M.2)
Ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 4, combi sound jack, Surface Connect port
Connection: Wi-Fi 6; Bluetooth 5.1
Video cam: 1080p IR Web cam
Weight: 1.96 extra pounds (891g)
Dimension: 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 in (287 x 208 x 9.3mm W x Decoration x H)
Price and availability
The Surface Pro 8 is available today, beginning at $1,099 (£999, $1,649). That will get you an Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD.
It is a pretty big bump from the Surface Pro 7, introduced at simply $749/£799/AU$1,249. However, that was for a setup with simply a Core i3 CPU and 4GB of RAM. But the Pro 7 setup with a Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD introduced for $899/£899/AU$1,499, which is a complete $200 less expensive in the US. It is a pretty massive price distinction.
Of course, if you want a more powerful Surface Pro 8, you can pay to update it. You can upgrade the Surface Professional 8 completely to an Intel Core i7 CPU, 32 GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, which will set you back $2,599 in the US.
In the UK and Australia, the Surface Professional 8 peak at 16GB of RAM, but with the exact specifications or else, which top-end specification will set you back £2,059 / AU$3,299.
That makes the Surface Pro 8 the same price as the 12-9-inch iPad Professional to begin, and we’re uncertain that is a contrast Microsoft desires, at least when it comes to performance. In our testing, the Apple M1, which remains in both the iPad Professional and some Macs, definitely wipes the flooring with 11th-generation Intel U-series CPUs. Microsoft has some pretty stiff competitors with its earliest rival.
The Surface Pro 8 schedule started to stagnate for the last pair iterations. The Surface Pro 6 and Surface Pro 7 were simply specification updates of the Surface Pro 2017. That had not always been a poor point; like four years back, the Surface Professional was a pretty new device. Now it needs a pretty substantial revamp, particularly in the face of the new iPad Professional, which Microsoft has practically laid off since its intro.
The Surface Pro 8, fortunately, brings some much-needed design improvements to the table. The new graphite color is the easiest one to notice, which looks fantastic. At the same time, it looks like Microsoft was concentrating on lighter tones for its devices recently, the darker shades with this year’s schedule appearance excellent.
The framework is also refined, with more spherical sides that appear much more comfortable to prevent lengthy periods, rather than the level sides with sharper edges.
Bezels are also smaller compared to ever, and this is that last point that makes the Surface Pro 8 resemble a brand new device rather than a relic from the early 2010s. It makes the screen appear a lot larger and makes the device look more premium than ever – which readies because it’s also more expensive than ever.
The smaller sized bezels do more significant than simply appearance great; however: they allow for an 11% bigger display. The Surface Professional 8 currently has a 13-inch PixelSense display with 2,880 x 1,920. That is right in the middle of 1440p and 4K. However, a 13-inch display is gorgeous. What makes this display also better is that together with the larger dimension, it also has a 120Hz revitalize rate. This is not a video gaming device, but take it from us – once you use a high-refresh display, also for daily computing, you are not most likely to want to go back.
The display is set up to 60Hz from the package, mainly at the rate of the passion of increasing battery life, but you can enable it at any moment by entering into your display settings.
The Surface Pro 8 display hits 103% of the sRGB range and has a top illumination of 467 nits, making this incredibly gorgeous display. Everything we have watched on this point, whether Bob’s Burgers in bed or the green text on the black history of our regulate prompt, has looked fantastic.
This is doubly important for a gadget like the Surface Pro 8, as this schedule is particularly popular with musicians that will need color accuracy to obtain their work done. It is simply kind of a bonus that consuming content appearances is tremendous, too.
Sound quality isn’t quite just comparable to what the Surface Prof 8 offers visually, but it’s much from the awful sound we have listened to on a laptop computer. Paying attention to ‘Comfort In The Grave’ by Vision Video clip, the highs are clear, but the bassline kind of gets shed behind the scenes.
There is not truly a great deal of realty available for audio speakers, however, so they’re genuinely better compared to what we’d anticipate. However, you will still be better off with a set of earphones.
Usually, Microsoft sets the introduction of a brand-new Surface Pro with an entirely new lineup of Surface devices, like a brand-new pen and Type Cover. This time around, however, Microsoft is sticking with the same Kind Cover introduced with the Surface Pro X and has been extremely popular. That means you might not need to buy a brand-new Kind Cover if you update, which readies because Microsoft still doesn’t have it in the package.
Microsoft has also finally changed the ports. The Redmond company has chosen not to use Thunderbolt for many years, mentioning security concerns. However, it must have found a way around them because the Surface Pro 8 has the full support of Thunderbolt 4. This means an entirely new world of devices and peripherals are finally available to the Surface Pro 8, consisting of external GPUs, which are a massive boon to the innovative experts that are probably to buy a Surface Professional, to begin with.
The Surface Professional 4 has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 3.5mm earphone jack, and the Surface Connect port. It does shed the USB 3.0 Type-A port that the Surface Pro 7 had, but we’re acceptable keeping that – it’s a tablet computer, besides.
However, it is not all glowing here. Microsoft still firmly urges on selling the Kind Cover and Surface Pen individually, which is ridiculous provided the more excellent price this time around. We get the Surface Pen being optional, but we cannot imagine ever buying this tablet computer and getting the Kind Cover.
The Kind Cover itself is still great, as it is the same one as Microsoft debuted with the Surface Pro X, which means it has a proper little cordless billing location for the Surface Pen – but, once again, that is sold separately.
Essential travel is intense for how thin the keyboard is, and the wide spacing on the keys means you’re constantly comfy inputting. The just place the Kind Cover drops apart is its touchpad, which is mediocre at finest. But considering that this device excels so long as a touch device, it is not that big of an offer.
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With a gadget meant to be as mobile as the Surface Pro 8, efficiency is constantly a challenging balance to strike. You want it to be fast, but you do not want to push it so hard that battery life decreases in the bathroom and becomes too warm to handle.
Microsoft has put a great deal of initiative into re-engineering the internals of the Surface Professional 8, and it enabled the company to set up the CPU with a greater TDP compared to previous variations of the tablet computer – increasing it to 23W rather than the 15W of the Surface Professional 7’s CPU.
That is not most likely to be a night-and-day distinction, but combine that with simply how much faster Tiger Lake, compared with the low-power Ice Lake, contributes to the last laptop computer, and Microsoft is declaring up to a 2x efficiency increase. That is a pretty bold presumption, and unfortunately, the Surface Pro 8 disappoints that note.
That does not imply that it is not much faster; in fact, in Cinebench R15 – an examination we have retired and replaced with Cinebench R23 – the Surface Professional 8 is nearly 50% faster than the Surface Professional 7, which is a pretty incredibly generational increase. The distinction isn’t as plain in GeekBench 4, but it’s still significantly much faster.
However, what is more, outstanding is how the Surface Pro 8 prices versus its big sibling, the Surface Laptop computer Workshop. The tablet computer is simply 12% slower than Microsoft’s supposed innovative workstation in Cinebench and just 5% slower in GeekBench. This is all despite that the Surface Pro 8 is fifty percent as thick as the Laptop computer Workshop and nearly fifty percent the weight.
The Surface Pro 8 cannot contend with graphics, as it uses the incorporated Xe video rather than the dedicated Nvidia RTX A2000, but still. There is practically no need to go for the Surface Laptop computer Workshop if you need CPU efficiency over the Surface Go 8.
Here is how the Surface Pro 8 performed in our collection of criteria tests:
Cinebench R23 CPU: 4,877 factors
3DMark Time Snoop: 1,722; Fire Strike: 4,666; Evening Raid: 16,998
GeekBench 5: 1,288 (single-core); 4,955 (multi-core)
PCMark 10: 4,361 factors
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 8 hrs 15 mins
Battery Life: 6 hrs 32 mins
Among the greatest downfalls of the Surface, Pro 7 was its battery life, enduring a paltry 3 hrs and 12 mins in the PCMark 8 battery test. We have since finished PCMark 10, but the Surface Professional 8 knocks that number from the park with 8 hrs and 15 mins; production this a gadget you can use to work all the time without requiring a battery charger.
This is probably mainly because of Microsoft’s choice to follow the Intel Evo program and limit the display’s revitalized rate to 60Hz by default. With how portable the Surface Pro 8 is, it is nice to know it’s not most likely to run out of battery within a couple of hours, as the battery charger can add extra bulk.
The numbers are slightly much less outstanding with our video clip playback test, where the Surface Pro 8 lasts simply 6 hrs and 32 mins, but that’s still a pretty lovely little Netflix binge.
Webcam and microphone
Unless you have been living under a shake, you have probably realized that video clip conferencing is more crucial currently compared to it has ever been, and having a laptop computer (or tablet computer) with a good webcam is a blessing, as all of us want to look great in our early morning conferences. And fortunately, the Surface Pro 8 has among the best webcams we have ever used in a mobile computing device.
In all the phone telephone calls we have absorbed our time with the device, both for work and for chats with friends and loved ones, we have come through perfectly plainly with no kind of distortion or problems with focus. And, the front-facing video cam is also Windows Hi suitable, so you can use it to visit.
But of course, because this is a tablet computer, it also has a rear-facing video cam. And, it is, well, fine. It is not just comparable to what you most likely carry your telephone, but it’s perfectly okay for taking a fast snap of an animal if you do not have your telephone handy.
The microphone is also fantastic, particularly considering the form factor. Our articulate comes through nice and clear with no distortion, and the tablet computer does a great job at filtering out history sound, so we do not also need to use earphones in phone telephone calls.
Software and features
Among the very best aspects of obtaining any Surface device, consisting of the Surface Pro 8, is obtaining a pure install of Home windows 11, with no kind of bloatware. Microsoft sets up an utterly pure variation of the os. Consequently, you do not obtain any annoying popups or useless programs opening up for no factor – unless you install them yourself.
Should I buy the Surface Pro 8?
You are a musician: The Surface Pro 8 is comparable to illustrators, visual musicians, and more, mainly if you set it with the Surface Pen. This is an essential device for any artist on the move.
You want a pure windows 11 experience: With Home windows 11 simply appearing, there are most likely to be a lot of new devices with the new os, but none are most likely to be as pure an experience as the Surface Pro 8. This truly is the way Microsoft’s os is meant to be skilled.
You want the supreme 2-in-1: While there are a great deal of 2-in-1 laptop computers out there, this is indeed the very best variation of a Home windows tablet computer that can morph into a laptop computer, mainly if you set it with the Kind Cover.
Do not buy it if…
Your idea the Surface Pro 7 was expensive: The Surface Pro 7 had not been the most affordable item out there, but the Surface Pro 8 is much more expensive, beginning at $1,099 (£999, $1,649). It is well worth it, but this might not be the device for someone on a stricter budget.
You do not want to spend money on essential accessories: The Kind Cover and the Surface Pen are essential to the Surface Pro 8 experience, but you need to fork over numerous bucks to obtain all the devices, adding to the currently significant price.
You will mainly be using it at a laptop computer: While the Kind Cover is incredibly comfy to kind on, the Surface Pro 8 isn’t the very best device for using on your lap.