We had hoped that the release of the Surface Pro 7 would address all the problems associated with its predecessor, the Surface Pro 6. Regrettably, not much has been done to improve the tablet and make it one of the top devices on the market.
This should have been an ideal opportunity to get the product line back on track, but this update fails to live up to its expectations. Alternatives such as convertible laptops may remain more favorable options.
The Surface Pro 7 certainly has some improvements that make it an attractive buy; it boasts a USB-C port, plus some upgraded components.
Unfortunately, it still falls behind the competition in terms of specs and price, meaning it is hard to truly recommend this device.
Ideally, you would opt for the newer Surface Pro 8, as it offers a better overall experience and more features. Although it may cost more, the extra money is definitely worth it in comparison to the slightly outdated Pro 7.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is an example of Microsoft’s ability to make an excellent portable device; however, when compared to the Surface Laptop 4, it falls short.
Despite this, the Surface Pro 7 may still be worth considering for those on a limited budget and who want a budget laptop for podcasting or other purposes. The release of the newer model may enable shoppers to find discounts and good prices for the Surface Pro 7.
MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 7 Review And BreakDown: PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Surface Pro 7 series is available at the same price point as its predecessors – kicking off at $749 / £799 / AU$1,249. Note that this rate doesn’t include the Type Cover ($129, £149, AU$249) and Surface Pen ($99, £99, AU$139). This cost remains consistent with other models in its class.
The Surface Pro 7 featured in this review comes in at a price of $1,199 in the US, without the add-ons of the Surface Pen and Type Cover which Microsoft provided for reviewing purposes.
However, for the full Surface Pro experience you’re likely looking at spending close to $1,460 in the US.
Although this may seem like a considerable amount to pay, keep in mind that you’re investing in a robust, powerful device that comes with an array of features to help you make the most of your digital experience.
Apple’s pricing strategy for their iPad Pro devices has been criticized for years, as these products are already expensive in their own right.
For example, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 256GB of storage, the Smart Keyboard Folio, and the second-generation Apple Pencil originally cost around $1,480 in the US.
However, this cost was further exacerbated by Apple’s decision to also sell these accessories separately, which many believe should have come as part of the package.
This has undoubtedly contributed to the relatively high cost of the device, and it reinforces the notion that Apple’s profits are prioritized over their customer’s satisfaction.
Microsoft’s pricing isn’t outlandish, yet its tablet option is still quite expensive. Nevertheless, you’re getting a complete mobile PC with this purchase.
Microsoft has taken an evolutionary approach to the design of its Surface Pro series of devices. The current 7th model looks almost identical to its predecessors, with only subtle changes to the exterior, such as the all-black color of the Surface Pro 6.
If you put all four of the last generations together and looked at them, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference apart from the inclusion of the USB-C port on the Surface Pro 7.
This shows just how successful Microsoft has been in refining the hardware and making incremental improvements over the years.
Overall, the magnesium-alloy build and design of the device is pleasing, lightweight, and highly portable. Measuring 0.33 by 11.5 by 7.9 inches and weighing only 1.7 pounds, it is a sleek machine that won’t weigh you down while on the go.
It’s reassuring to know that such power and performance are packed in such a small and light frame a definite advantage when you need to take your device somewhere with you.
Comparing the XPS 13 2-in-1 with the Pro 7, the former is much more compact, coming in at 0.51 by 11.7 by 8.2 inches and 2.9 pounds, with a more established laptop build.
The Pro 7, however, sports a distinctly modern, platinum-colored industrial finish, a departure from the Pro 6’s traditional black paint job.
Despite this, the Pro 7’s thick bezels feel somewhat dated compared to today’s slim laptops, many of which feature remarkably thin bezels.
The tablet’s touchscreen remains at a large 12.3 inches with a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824 and a pixels per inch (PPI) of 267. The 3:2 aspect ratio has been consistent since its release, making for a sharp, vibrant, and responsive experience for users.
Despite the impressive specs and user experience, an upgrade has been a long time coming, and sorely needed.
Technologies such as HDR and extended color gamut coverage could be easily added to make this model even more impressive. And the bezels feel particularly too thick for a high-end tablet of this price in 2019.
After releasing iterative versions of its Surface Pro tablet for two consecutive years, it appears Microsoft has either exhausted the possibilities of the design, or has simply lost interest in the device itself, resorting to only superficial alterations, namely to the Surface Pro X.
Given the potential this device has, it’s unlikely that the technology giant has reached its peak in terms of innovation, leading to speculation that Microsoft could have something else in the pipeline.
Microsoft appears to be significantly more inspired by their upcoming dual-screen devices, with success or failure helping them determine the future of hardware design.
Surface Pro 7 is finally embracing the USB-C standard with the arrival of USB 3.1, which offers a great degree of versatility but not the maximum throughput of Thunderbolt 3.
Unfortunately, the speed and performance gains of Thunderbolt 3 are still missing but you can still access the latest USB-C ports to connect a variety of devices.
With this connectivity option, you will be able to easily transfer larger files or connect to an external display.
Microsoft has improved the device’s studio microphones to provide more precise accuracy when using Cortana with your voice. Although this is a slight improvement, it can be incredibly helpful for those who frequently use their voice commands.
In Microsoft’s favor, the Type Cover keyboard has had a significant improvement in terms of depth and feel when typing. It offers a much more flexible, springy movement as you glide across the keys.
Although it may take some time for longtime Surface Pro users to adjust, it’s definitely an upgrade that makes the typing experience more enjoyable.
The Type Cover’s touchpad is unchanged and it is still as smooth and responsive as ever which gives a seamless navigation experience.
The Alcantara fabric is back, making this Type Cover appear and feel much more finely braided than ever before.
Microsoft touts this new design as being more resistant to staining, and we are very much looking forward to witnessing its ability to stand the test of time.
Not only does its unique aesthetic elevate the look of the Type Cover, but its practicality also makes it a meaningful addition. In addition to being an attractive feature, we believe this fabric will make the Type Cover much more reliable.
The Surface Pro 7 offers a more versatile USB-C port in place of a DisplayPort connection, but it is still essentially the same Surface Pro that users have become familiar with over the years.
It’s a shame that Microsoft didn’t drop the original USB-A for another USB-C and make other improvements to the product in order to retain the same price point.
As such, it’s understandable why many people are not impressed with the Surface Pro 7’s design and feel.
The Surface Pro 7 was a revolutionary device in that it was the first to use an Intel 10-nanometer (nm) processor across all configurations, and its success is evident when you analyze the figures.
In other words, you can expect a device with much faster performance in comparison to its predecessors while completing daily tasks and more. Plus, the Intel Iris Plus graphics are now superior than an Intel UHD graphics processor (GPU).
The inclusion of this technology should result in improved media streaming at higher resolutions and a broader gaming profile.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 saw a huge improvement under the hood with the implementation of a 14nm Intel Core CPU.
This chipset was certainly capable of completing the necessary tasks, but was surpassed by the new 10nm Intel Core CPU that was featured in the late 2019 model.
Not only does the decrease of the transistor size bring about more transistors in a smaller overall die space, but it also results in better performance.
And, as expected, the new 10nm processor has certainly delivered in this respect by offering greater speeds, increased power, and longer sustained battery life.
For instance, the Surface Pro 7 recorded an impressive 25% growth in Geekbench 4 multi-core test scores compared to the Surface Pro 6. Similarly, it also earned a 15% improvement on Cinebench graphics tests over its predecessor and was able to reach 60 frames per second.
The Surface Pro 7 promises smooth 1080p gaming from its Intel CPUs, however it wouldn’t be our first choice for gaming. While it may be possible to play Fortnite at 1080p, it would be better to invest in a proper gaming laptop for the same price.
The battery life wouldn’t be up to scratch to power a reasonable game session and you’re much better off investing elsewhere if gaming is your priority.
This tablet is ideal for anyone who needs a powerful yet portable computer. It has a tremendous amount of computing power, easily managing everyday tasks and even enabling light gaming during lunch.
Its formidable graphics capabilities make it great for digital artists. In short, it features an impressive and noticeable increase in performance for power users. The average consumer, however, would be unlikely to notice the difference.
Despite the same overall design, having a Surface Pro allows you to enjoy both laptop-like and tablet experiences. If this particular device line is still unfamiliar to you, let me break it down for you.
The built-in rear kickstand on Microsoft’s latest model continues to showcase its renowned construction, and it has been widely imitated since its initial debut.
With an adjustable hinge, you can recline the screen through 165 degrees, ranging from nearly flat to fully upright.
This “free range” system is a noteworthy advancement, as previous Surface models only featured a hinge with predetermined adjustment points.
Its added flexibility produces a variety of helpful outcomes, especially when it comes to interactive tasks such as sketching and note-taking via the stylus.
The kickstand, although essential to transforming the Surface Pro 7 into a laptop, is only part of the story. It’s the Surface Type Cover, a unique and coveted detachable keyboard, that truly completes the job.
Magnets allow the keyboard to firmly attach to the base, creating a seamless transformation from tablet to laptop.
Over the years, the simplicity and effectiveness of the Type Cover has inspired countless copycat designs, though none quite as popular as the original.
The inclusion of the Type Cover with the Surface Pro has long been a point of contention: while it is available separately, the cost of this added extra could add an uncomfortable premium to the overall price.
Microsoft sent us the more expensive Signature Type Cover to review, which retails for $159.99. The standard type cover is slightly cheaper, but at $129.99, it is still an unwelcome added cost to a device that is already quite expensive.
It would be nice if Microsoft threw in the Keyboard with the Pro, but as of yet, it appears unlikely that will change so make sure to budget for it if you’re planning on getting a Surface Pro.
The keyboard is a crucial part of making the Surface Pro the useful and versatile 2-in-1 device that it is. Microsoft understands this, frequently highlighting and touting the Type Cover as an essential part of the complete system.
Without it, the Surface Pro is simply a great, albeit expensive, tablet. The Type Cover offers a fantastic level of usability compared to its surprisingly thin size, providing good key travel, adjustable backlighting, and great comfort when typing. Although the keyboard is extremely thin, it occasionally can feel a little flimsy when used.
The Surface line has provided an innovative solution to finding the most comfortable typing angle with its foldable keyboard feature.
The magnates which hold the keyboard against the screen make using it much easier and provide a pleasantly usable difference. Plus, the touchpad tracks very smoothly giving the user a great experience.
Although the keyboard may be a bit pricey, it is worth it for its blissful typing experience-especially on a sturdy surface. All in all, when considering the combined price of the hardware, the value is still great.
Although we appreciate the convenience of the Surface Pro 7’s 10th generation Intel processors, it falls short in terms of lasting power when compared to the battery life of the previous-generation Surface Pro 6 and its 14nm Intel Core CPU.
In our tests, the Pro 7 ran for 6 hours and 14 minutes of our local battery rundown test an appalling two hours and thirty-one minutes less than the Pro 6 achieved during the same test.
This is an area of obvious concern, as the staggering battery life that we experienced with the Pro 6 easily extended our work days and everyday tasks. The Pro 7 clearly needs some tweaking to harness its full battery potential.
Comparably, the Surface Pro 7 missed its mark on the PCMark 8 battery test by more than 45 minutes whereas the Pro 6 endured 4 consecutive hours.
Traditionally, one would anticipate extended battery life when transitioning to a more efficient processor architecture. Unfortunately, Intel’s Core i5 and i7 CPUs made great strides in graphical performance at the cost of decreased battery life.
For the past 5 years, hardware manufacturers and software makers such as Microsoft have been taking advantage of Intel’s 14nm silicon and optimizing their products around it.
However, they have only had a small window of time to make the necessary adjustments to Intel’s 10nm chips, which likely explains why the battery life of the Surface Pro 7 is worse than its predecessor.
In order to alleviate this issue, hardware and software makers must continue to innovate and refine their products to ensure that the most cutting-edge components and technologies can be taken advantage of.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a great option if you’re looking for a laptop with extended battery life, as it offers significantly better performance than Surface Pro 7.
Although the Surface Pro 7’s battery life could be improved via patches and firmware, the Surface Pro 6’s superior battery life makes it a more attractive option at this point in time.
Of course, this could change if Microsoft releases updated firmware that increases battery life on the Surface Pro 7.
SOFTWARE AND FEATURES
The Surface Pro 7 is a great example of a device that’s user-friendly, efficient, and free of bloatware. Boasting an impressive array of features, such as long-lasting battery life and amazing performance, the Surface Pro 7 just won’t disappoint.
Plus, since it’s issued directly from Microsoft, you won’t have to worry about any extra software slowing your device down; the Surface Pro 7 is practically devoid of any unnecessary applications and runs incredibly smoothly.
In other words, the Surface Pro 7 is ideal for anyone who’s looking for an uncomplicated, stress-free experience.
The Surface Pro packs an impressive number of security features that make it a great choice for business professionals.
One notable pro is the Windows Hello facial recognition which is enabled by an infrared camera near its webcam.
This system is incredibly fast and accurate, allowing you to log in to Windows 10 almost instantly just open the Type Cover, and you’re in! Plus, the tablet provides superior instant-on performance that helps you start using it quickly and efficiently.
Although the Microsoft Surface Go 2 has a limited selection of distinctive software and features, it has great compatibility with Windows 10, providing access to all the same features as other Windows 10 devices.
This includes the useful Your Phone feature, which conveniently enables the user to sync an Android phone with the computer, allowing them to view and reply to text messages, amend calendar arrangements and even make phone calls, directly from the tablet.
Despite the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 being one of the most powerful tablets from Microsoft, it appears to suffer a shortcoming in battery life. All things considered, this trade-off for power needs to be carefully weighed before purchase.
If you’re tech-savvy enough to take advantage of the latest and greatest from the Surface, then go ahead and purchase the updated model. However, be aware that such technological advancements come with trade-offs namely a lower battery life.
That’s not to say you won’t still experience a good level of endurance from this device, but it’s worth noting that if all-day efficiency is what you’re looking for, you may want to think twice about making the purchase. Even then, you’ll be sacrificing some of the unique technological advances the updated model is offering.
For those who don’t mind compromising on battery life, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is sure to provide a reliable and rewarding computing experience.
The answer to whether or not it’s right for you depends on how much portability and performance you need. At the end of the day, it’s up to you decide which device is the right fit.
This concludes our overview of the Microsoft Surface Pro 7’s battery life and features, as well as some advice on whether or not it is the best option for you. We hope that this article has helped to inform your decision-making process when it comes to choosing a tablet.