Microsoft recently unveiled the Surface Pro 9, leading many consumers to consider the new hybrid. That also means many consumers will begin to look at the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 vs. 8 as an option, considering they are cheaper, but with comparable specifications. Both of these 2-in-1 systems have been well-received, although one is a clear winner in several key areas.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 vs. 8: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Surface Pro 7||Surface Pro 8|
|Launched||October 2, 2019||September 22, 2021|
|Display||12.3-inch PixelSense Display||13-inch PixelSense Display|
|Resolution||2,736 x 1,824||2,880 x 1,920|
|Processor||Intel Core i3, i5, i7||Intel Core i3, i5, i7|
|GPU||Intel UHD, Intel Iris Plus, Iris XE||Intel UHD, Intel Iris XE|
|RAM||4GB, 8GB, 16GB||8GB, 16GB, 32GB|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB|
|Front Camera||5MP 1080p||5MP 1080p|
|Rear Camera||8MP 1080p||10MP 4K|
|Operating System||Windows 10 (upgradable)||Windows 11|
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 vs. 8: 4 Must-Know Facts
- The Surface Pro 7 is the first Surface with a USB-C port for power delivery.
- You can remove the SSD from the Surface 7 Pro+.
- The first Surface Pro was released on February 9, 2013.
- Microsoft’s Surface Neo is a canceled dual-touchscreen version of the Surface.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 vs. 8: What’s the Difference?
Microsoft may not release smartphones anymore, but each year we generally see a refresh to their popular Surface line. The Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro 8 may look the same but once you dig into the tech specs, you’ll begin to notice some dramatic differences.
Microsoft has made plenty of fans with their PixelSense displays on the Surface line. While the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro 8 both utilize that technology, the newer model has a larger panel with a higher resolution.
The Surface Pro 7 has a 12.3-inch display with a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824. It’s the same resolution found on the Surface Pro 6, but not quite as sharp as the panel on the newer model. The Surface Pro 8 still has a PixelSense display although the resolution has increased to 2,880 x 1,920.
That may not seem like much, but you’re getting the uptick on a larger display 13-inch display. That puts the Pro 8 closer to a small laptop than a slate. The bezels are smaller on the Surface Pro 8 and the new display only increased the weight on the 2-in-1 slightly.
The new display also has a higher refresh rate than the Surface Pro 7. You can set the display at 60Hz or 120Hz, and the panel is brighter as well. Between the increase in size, brightness, and refresh rate, the Surface Pro 8 clearly has a better display.
Comparing the hardware between the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 vs. 8 is tricky considering each is available in a variety of configurations. That means you can choose from an Intel i3, i5, or i7 processor and select how much memory or hard drive space you need.
With the Surface Pro 7, there is the Core i3-1005G1, Core i5-1035G4, and the Core i7-106G57. Each of these chips is newer in the Surface Pro 8, so you’ll find the 11th gen Core i7-11885G7 in place of the previous processor. As you can see from these benchmark results, there is a notable difference in performance. You can expect the same bump from the i3 and i5 processors as well.
There’s also a difference in memory and storage between the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro 8. The Pro 7 comes with 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB of RAM, which doubles with each configuration on Microsoft’s newer model. Storage options stay the same with both models at 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB although you can now get the Core i5 configuration with a larger hard drive on the Pro 8.
Graphics are still integrated on these 2-in-1 systems but slightly upgraded on the Surface Pro 8 thanks to the newer processor. When it comes to performance, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is the winner across the board.
Microsoft didn’t add any new features to the Surface Pro 8, but they did improve some things. Both devices largely have the same connectivity options including dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The USB-A and microSD card slot have been replaced on the Surface Pro 7, however.
On the Surface Pro 8, two thunderbolt ports have replaced the integrated slot on the older model. Both have 5MP front-facing cameras with Windows Hello, so you can log in with your face. The rear camera on the Surface Pro 7 uses an 8MP while the new model has an upgraded 10MP camera. 2MP may seem insignificant, but it’s not when you consider video.
The front-facing cameras on these 2-in-1s can shoot video at 1080p, and the rear camera on the Surface Pro 7 shoots at the same resolution. With the upgraded rear camera on the Surface Pro 8, you can take video in 4K – a significant step up. Upgraded face-tracking tech is another bonus of the new slate
Manufacturers have managed to increase battery life on smartphones and smartwatches in recent years. That becomes more challenging when dealing with power-hungry laptops and 2-in-1 devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro.
Battery life on the Surface Pro 7 was listed at around 10 hours, but closer to 6-8 during average usage. That was a downside to the older model, and something Microsoft said they improved on the Surface Pro 8. According to the company, users will get up to 16 hours per charge from this hybrid.
Based on real-world usage and reviews, the Surface Pro 8 battery life is actually around 8-10 hours. That’s a far cry from 16 hours, but you will be able to use the new model for longer without looking for a power outlet.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 vs. 8: What’s the Same?
If you’re familiar with Microsoft’s line of Surface 2-in-1s, you’ll have no trouble recognizing the Surface Pro 7 and Pro 8. The company has done a great job of keeping the design language the same over the years, although there are some slight differences with the Surface Pro 8.
While these devices may look the same from a distance, the Surface Pro 8 has a little heavier than the previous generation. That’s due in part to the larger display although both models still have built-in kickstands and rounded corners.
You’ll find the same sensors on both models including an ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer. Other similarities include LPDDR4x RAM, the operating system, and pricing which is comparable given the bump in specifications.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 vs. 8: Which One is Better?
Consumers debating on the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 vs. 8 should have an easy decision on their hands. The Surface Pro 8 is faster, has a larger display, and can shoot 4K video from the rear camera. The battery life is also a little better, and while you’re losing the SD card slot, you’re gaining a thunderbolt port.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Sompetch Khanakornpratip/Shutterstock.com.