Surface Pro 7 Review: Microsoft Can Do Better

Like its predecessors, the new Surface Pro too offers little in terms of updates or changes, such as it has the same premium design as its predecessor. It’s not that the Surface Pro 7 totally lacks improvements. After all, it does have a faster processor, brighter display, super-comfortable keyboard and a USB-C port. So, is it an option worth considering? Let’s find out.

Price and Configuration options

For $749, the base model Surface Pro 7 comes equipped with an Intel Core i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD.

Apart from that you’ll have to separately buy the Surface Pro Type Cover ($159) to make the Surface Pro 7 a convertible, same is the case with Surface Pen which costs $99.

If you some extra dough, I’ll recommend that you go for the model with an Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD ($899).

If you need more power, you can buy the model with a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD that’ll cost you $1,499, or go for broke and pay $2,299 for the 1TB version.

Design and Display

As mentioned before, Surface Pro 7 features the same premium design as its predecessor (down to the dimensions), with the only difference of the USB-C port. And, this is the story with all the Surface Pro devices, they all look like, so if you’ve seen one of them it means you’ve seen’em all.

Now, for the design itself, well, it looks little dated but have a sturdy frame and a well-built kickstand that extends 165′ and allows you to easily and firmly prop the Pro 7 into laptop or tablet. Although, not a bad solution but I hope Microsoft can craft a more elegant mechanism in the future, as for now one have to extend the kickstand manually, which isn’t as easy as lifting the lid of a laptop.

Also, instead of chunky black bars surrounding the display, Microsoft could have gone for slimmer bezels, which would have easily modernize this aging design.

You’ll surely enjoy watching videos on this 12.3-inch PixelSense touch screen (which is the same as before). It still runs at a 2736 x 1824 resolution with a 3:2 ratio, but not only is the panel detailed and fairly vivid but it also gets super bright. Also, the touch screen is very responsive, which is good news for those who don’t intend on buying the detachable keyboard or a mouse.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The Surface Type Cover keyboard is also the same as before (and I’m thankful for that). Covered in the luxe Alcantara fabric, I think it’s one of the best detachable keyboard even if a little pricey.

The Type Cover’s backlit keys are large, well-spaced and have ample travel & springy feedback. As for the 4 x 2.1-inch glass trackpad, well it’s great for productivity and gives the Pro 7 a leg up on the iPad Pro. You’ll have no problems executing Windows 10 gestures, like pinch-to-zoom or two-finger scrolling.

Also, the keyboard snaps into the bottom of the Pro 7, with strong magnets keeping it in place, so, you wouldn’t have to worry about it coming detached from the tablet.

USB-C port

The new USB-C port is what makes me the most excited about Pro 7. Unlike the mini Displayport from older models, USB-C port is far more versatile, there are a whole lot of things that you can do it, you can use it to charge the device, connect a pair of headphones and so forth.

Improved microphones

The enhanced dual far-field studio mics will keep your voice crisp and clear on conference calls and will make it easier for your digital assistant to hear your requests.

Surface Pen

The thick stylus comes loaded with a number of features such as 4,096 pressure points, tilt for shading, and a rubber piece on the back for erasing. Also, it was very comfortable to hold.

Go for this $99 accessory if you need to take hand-written notes, draw pictures or do precise video or photo-editing.

Performance and Battery life

One thing that Surface Pro never fails at is on delivering excellent performance. Surface Pro 7 comes with updated 10th Gen Intel Core chips and is notably faster than the Surface Pro 6. Now, watch movies, write in Word, edit photos, message friends, play games and use social media, all at the same time and i guarantee the Pro 7 would not even hiccup.

Although, the Intel Iris Pro graphics chip of Pro 7 is better than the Pro 6’s UHD 620 card, but don’t expect it to kill at heavy games such as Battlefield. If you’re just looking to play something lightweight, like Stardew Valley, you’ll be fine.

Battery life is the only thing in which Pro 7 falls behind its predecessor. Microsoft gave a lower battery estimate of ten hours for the Pro 7 compared to the thirteen hours it offered for its predecessor, which i think is a major compromise.

Bottom Line

Although, it may not be something special but it’s still not that bad either and is especially good enough for those who want the portability of a tablet combined with the convenience of a laptop.

As mentioned many times before, Microsoft did not add as many improvements as it should have, the few new things that Pro 7 brings to the table (such as USB-C and 10th Gen processors) are good additions but not enough to make it a required upgrade if you already own the predecessor. In some ways, it is even a downgrade from Pro 6; as said before the battery life of this year’s tablet is worse than its predecessor.

All things considered, the Surface Pro 7 is still the best hybrid PC in the market but is overdue for a proper overhaul.