The Surface Pro 7 Plus is a versatile 2-in-1 that can be used for both work and play
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ is a super-portable detachable that’s easy to use on the go, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure.
For $1,649, you can purchase a 2-in-1 tablet configured like our review unit, which has superb cameras, a bright 12.3-inch display, and outstanding speakers. To top it off, this Surface Pro 7 Plus tablet allows you to replace or update your SSD with the touch of a button.
Highs, on the other hand, are followed by lows. The battery life on the Surface Pro 7 Plus might be better, and I really wish the screen bezels were thinner to give the screen a wider view. Furthermore, the number of ports is restricted. What frustrates me the most is that the Surface Pro Type Cover, which includes a real keyboard, is sold separately from the tablet for an extra fee.
The Surface Pro 7 Plus isn’t quite up to the task of making our list of the best laptops. The Surface Pro 7 Plus, on the other hand, is a fantastic 2-in-1 detachable if you’re ready to spend the money.
You can also check out our reviews of the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and Microsoft Surface Pro 8.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+: Price and configuration
The Surface Pro 7 Plus we examined had an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 12.3-inch touchscreen display with 2,736 x 1,824 pixels, and 4G LTE connectivity. On Microsoft’s website, this model costs $1,649 with the LTE option.
A non-Plus version of the Surface Pro 7 2-in-1, on the other hand, is available from shops like Best Buy for roughly $899. The non-Plus version of the Pro 7 tablet lacks LTE, the ability to remove the SSD, and the better thermals found in the Plus edition.
The Surface Pro 7 Plus also comes with a variety of customization choices from Microsoft. Platinum and Matte Black are the two color options available. However, Matte Black has fewer possibilities for the specs, so keep that in mind.
The Surface Pro 7 Plus’s base model is only available in Platinum and costs $899. This one has an Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD, and can only connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. Meanwhile, the more expensive model is only available in Platinum and comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and can only be used through Wi-Fi. That variant will set you back $2,799.
The Surface Pro 7 Plus also includes a variety of peripherals, including the Surface Pen for $99, the Surface Headphone 2 for $249, and the Surface Arc Mouse (starting at $59 and rising to $79), and the Surface Pro Type Cover for $159. Each one also comes in a range of colors.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+: Design
The Surface Pro 7+ has only one notable design change: a small rectangular door hidden beneath the kickstand.
Using simply a SIM card eject tool, you may effortlessly remove and replace the bundled M.2 SSD. Insert the needle’s tip into the tiny hole and the small door will open. If you run out of storage, you can replace the SSD, or your IT staff can swap it out for another or repair it if necessary.
For better or worse, the Surface Pro 7+ is essentially the same as the Surface Pro 7. The detachable tablet is made of a sleek pearlescent silver magnesium alloy chassis with clean lines and a striking chrome Microsoft logo on the back.
It features a boxy design with right-angled corners and a small space for ventilation between the body and back panel. Volume and power buttons are on the top, and a magnetic six-pin connector for connecting the keyboard attachment is on the bottom (sold separately).
The kickstand, which Microsoft deems the Pro 7+’s coup de maître, is located at the bottom of the back panel. However, I have conflicting sentiments regarding the controversy.
To begin with the positive, the kickstand extends a full 165 degrees, allowing you to adapt the tablet to your desired viewing angle. You can lean the tablet back into sketching mode or configure it to stand precisely upright. I discovered that the hinge could bear the pressure of my palm when I sketched on the screen.
When using the Surface Pro 7+ on anything other than a flat surface, the kickstand fails as a concept. On soft or uneven surfaces, the Pro 7 lacks stability due to the limited point of contact on the bottom of the kickstand. It’s great to use the tablet on your thighs when sitting, but it’s a nightmare to use it on your stomach while laying down.
Another flaw in the design is the ugly bezels that surround the screen. Those thick black bars need to be trimmed at the barbershop. With the Surface Pro X, Microsoft has already delivered a tablet that looks identical to our dream numbered Surface Pro, so let’s hope the Surface Pro 8 receives the same approach.
The Surface Pro 7+ is around the same size as the original edition (1.7 pounds, 0.3 inches) and the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable, weighing 1.8 pounds and measuring 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.3 inches (1.7 pounds, 0.3 inches). The MacBook Air (2.8 pounds, 0.6 inches) is, as expected, heavier and larger. The Surface Pro X (1.7 pounds, 0.3 inches) is, on the other hand, smaller and thinner.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+: Display
Despite its unusual number of pixels, I adore the Surface Pro 7 Plus’s 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824-pixel display — but hey, it doesn’t matter if it’s excellent. The picture was amazingly crisp while viewing the teaser for Space Jam: A New Legacy, with every detail exploding on screen.
The close-up view of LeBron James’ face in the elevator with his son was so sharp that I could see the curled strands of hair in his beard, the furrows in his brow, and even the pores on his nose. The purple, orange, and blue hues of the various worlds exploded against the background like confetti as James traveled across the server-verse.
The Surface Pro 7 Plus scored 106 percent on our colorimeter for the sRGB color spectrum, somewhat higher than the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (99 percent), but neither is as good as the iPad Pro (114.9 percent ).
However, our testing revealed that the Surface Pro 7 Plus’s panel was not the brightest, with a brightness of only 358 nits. That’s brighter than most laptop displays, but it’s not as bright as the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (488 nits) or the 12.9-inch iPad Pro’s mini-LED display’s remarkable brightness (1,251 nits).
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+: Ports
There aren’t many ports on the Surface Pro 7 Plus, but I’m glad it has a USB Type-A port and a headphone jack at the very least.
The tablet’s right side contains a USB Type-C port, a USB 3.0 Type-A port, and a magnetic Surface Connect port for charging while it’s horizontal. The left side, on the other hand, just features a 3.5mm headphone connection.
A SIM card slot for 4G LTE connectivity is positioned under the kickstand, directly opposite the SD card door. To enable you to access both, the tablet comes with a SIM tool in the box. The keyboard is also connected to the underside via a magnetic connection in the center.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+: keyboard and touchpad
The keys on the removable Type Cover keyboard are delightfully comfy to type on, effortlessly bouncing my digits from one letter to the next. They’re so amazing that I can type faster and more correctly on them than on most other laptop keyboards and even mechanical gaming keyboards.
The combination of nice spacing, bouncy keys, and a relatively modest actuation force that produces a pleasing click with every letter or number you hit makes this a great keyboard. Apart from the left Tab, the keyboard is similarly backlit, and there are no significantly small keys. I especially appreciate the soft-touch palm rest, which provided my weary wrists some relief.
Before I go on too much about how great it is, keep in mind that the keys are a little small for those with larger hands, and the non-rigid structure means it functions best on a stable surface.
On the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I typed at 124 words per minute with a 98 percent accuracy rate, which is among the highest I’ve ever accomplished and well above my regular 109-wpm average.
Because the touchpad is only 4 x 2.1 inches, users with large fingers will need to make precise movements. The surface’s satin-like gloss and outstanding responsiveness, as well as its Precision drivers, will be appreciated by everyone else. Gestures in Windows 10, such as three-finger swiping to one side to switch programs, were simple to use.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+: Performance
The Surface Pro 7+ boasts a performance edge over its consumer-focused predecessor thanks to an 11th Gen (Tiger Lake) Intel CPU. On the previous model, I had no difficulty running my demanding workload, and I haven’t had any problems with the new one.
The Pro 7+, equipped with a Core i5-1135G7 CPU and 16GB of RAM, effortlessly handled 20 Google Chrome tabs, a few Edge windows, a few 1080p YouTube movies, and a Champions League match on Paramount+. There was no stuttering or lag during my testing, showing that the Pro 7+ is capable of handling all but the most demanding workloads.
The Surface Pro 7+ outperformed the Surface Pro X (3,077, Microsoft SQ2), the ThinkPad X12 Detachable (4,778, Core i5-1130G7), and the Surface Pro 7 with a score of 4,825 on the Geekbench 5.3 overall performance test (4,443). The MacBook Air outperformed these rivals with a score of 7,575, although the Pro 7+ did better than the premium laptop average (4,160).
Using the Handbrake program, the Surface Pro 7+ took 23 minutes and 41 seconds to transcode a 4K movie to 1080p HD in our real-world test. That’s ten minutes faster than the Surface Pro 7 (32:47), but only a few seconds slower than the X12 Detachable (22:56). This test was dominated by the MacBook Air (9:15), which outperformed the 16:48 category average.
In comparison to comparable products in this pricing range, the 256GB SSD in our Surface Pro 7+ is slow. A 25GB file took the storage device 1 minute and 17 seconds to convert, equal to a transfer rate of 348.3 megabytes per second. That’s faster than the Surface Pro X (267.2 MBps) but slower than the ThinkPad X12 Detachable (408.39) and the industry-standard (600.8 MBps).
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+: Graphics
The Intel Iris Xe Graphics chip in the Surface Pro 7 Plus isn’t the most reliable for playing games at high frame rates, but it will deliver you acceptable frames for games at lower graphics settings.
The Surface Pro 7 Plus received a score of 3,215 on the 3DMark Fire Strike Test, which is somewhat lower than the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, which received a score of 3,847.
The Surface Pro 7 Plus was able to run Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (Medium, 1080p) at 15 frames per second, which isn’t as impressive as the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, which managed 21 fps.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+: Battery life
When I think back on the Surface Pro 7, the most important thing I learned is that the next model needs to be more durable. The Pro 7+ does, but these tablets’ battery life is still a thorn in their sides.
On the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits, the Pro 7+ lasted for 8 hours and 49 minutes. The Surface Pro 7 shut down after 7:30, but the MacBook Air lasted an incredible 14:41. The Surface Pro 7+ failed to meet our 9-hour preference or the premium laptop average (10:05).
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+: Webcam
This 5-megapixel front-facing camera is excellent, perhaps excessively so. With this camera, the Pro 7 Plus wasted no time, which I enjoy for a business/educational laptop. Apart from COVID-19, who doesn’t use a webcam for meetings and classes?
Aside from a little trace of haziness along my hairline, there were few to no defects in the capture itself when I took a picture of my face. The color was beautiful, with vibrant tones in my cheeks, eyes, and hair. I adore it when photographs capture the green tinge in my eyes, which is my best feature.
The rear-facing camera, which is an 8-megapixel camera, is much better. I used my fiance as a model to test it, and other than a small haziness along his brow, there were no difficulties with the picture. The camera picked up his hair strands perfectly, and it was much crisper than the front-facing camera.
Should you buy it?
The Surface Pro 7+ is a good tablet that fixes some of the issues that plagued the consumer model. The tablet’s 11th Gen Intel processors provide faster speeds and greater graphics capabilities, and it lasts nearly an hour longer on a charge than previously. A bright, vivid display, a fantastic keyboard accessory, and good cameras round out the improvements.
The Surface Pro 7+ now has a swappable SSD, 4G LTE connectivity, and Windows 10 Pro OS, all of which are beneficial to business users.
I wish I could stop here, but the Pro 7+ has flaws, including bulky bezels surrounding the display, a sluggish SSD, and a lack of Thunderbolt connectors. While the battery life has increased this time, it still falls short of the competition. If I could look past the price, I’d still suggest the Surface Pro 7+.
The Pro 7+ is now substantially more expensive than the Surface Pro 7, which is available at a significant discount. Is the added value sufficient to warrant the price increase? It’s up to you or your IT administrator to make that decision. If I had to choose between the two, I’d go with the older device — or wait for the Surface Pro 8 if I didn’t.