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Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Vs. Surface Pro 7: Is It Worth Upgrading?
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is an impressive entry in the Surface lineup, but is it good enough for users to upgrade from the Surface Pro 7? Ever since the first Surface Pro launched in 2013, it’s been a critical entry in Microsoft’s hardware lineup. It delivers a full Windows desktop experience on a unique 2-in-1 form factor, allowing folks to have a legit computer and tablet in one device. That’s not to say every Surface Pro has been perfect, but they’ve continually been some of the most interesting gadgets in the Windows landscape.
In October 2019, Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 7 as its latest Surface Pro for that time. It delivered improved performance over the Surface Pro 6, but outside of that, it was virtually identical. It touted the same design, ports, and display — effectively making it a small spec bump and nothing more. The Surface Pro 8 is a considerably more exciting release — so much so that folks who already have the Surface Pro 7 may want to think about upgrading.
Let’s kick things off with the design. Right off the bat, Surface Pro 8 looks like a substantial leap forward over the Pro 7. The body is more rounded, the display bezels are thinner, and there are finally two USB-C Ports with Thunderbolt 4. That comes at the expense of the full-size USB-A ports found on the Surface Pro 7, but this is a change most people will absolutely benefit from. Those USB-C ports can be used for faster external storage, 4K displays, external graphics cards, and more — all things that aren’t currently possible on the Surface Pro 7.
Why Surface Pro 8 Is A Worthy Upgrade Over Surface Pro 7
Speaking of the hardware, the Surface Pro 8’s display is also a massive improvement over the Pro 7. It has a larger 13-inch panel instead of the old 12.3-inch one, a higher resolution, and a buttery-smooth 120Hz refresh rate. Whether someone spends their time browsing the web, watching movies, or photo editing, the Surface Pro 8 makes all of those tasks look better than before. The display defaults to 60Hz when it’s not in use, but whenever someone’s touching it or using a stylus, it ramps up to 120Hz for an ultra-responsive experience.
Another key advantage of the Surface Pro 8 is its improved performance. Intel’s 11th generation quad-core processors are at the heart of Surface Pro 8. Microsoft claims that’s up to a 42 percent increase in CPU performance and up to 75 percent better graphics. Other upgrades include a nicer webcam, up to 16 hours of battery life instead of 10.5 hours on the Surface Pro 7, and support for the new Surface Slim Pen 2 that delivers an upgraded drawing/writing experience.
In short, the Surface Pro 8 is one of the biggest Surface Pro upgrades Microsoft’s delivered in years. It has a refreshed design, more useful ports, a much nicer display, better performance, and longer battery life. That makes it a compelling purchase for anyone in the market for a new Windows machine — including folks with a Surface Pro 7. The $1,099 starting price isn’t for everyone, but if the generation-over-generation improvements sound exciting, the Pro 8 is well worth the upgrade.