The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is a worthy successor to Microsoft’s venerable tablet line
It’s been a few years since Microsoft introduced a completely new Surface Pro model, and even longer since there was a significant overhaul. The Surface Pro 8 is a departure from the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, having a more streamlined design and a larger display than the Surface Pro 7.
The new thin-bezel 13-inch screen makes it much more appealing, but the basic functionality remains unaltered. In terms of design, this is still a best-in-class detachable 2-in-1, and when combined with the upgraded 11th Generation Core i7.
However, the $1,099.99 starting price is significantly higher than the Surface Pro 7’s $749.99, making the lower-end options less appealing. And the Pro 8’s pricey peripherals raise the price regardless of configuration, with the keyboard being required if you want to use it as a laptop replacement.
Despite losing its value play, the Surface Pro 8’s improved performance, smart redesign, and new stylus make it an object of envy once more, and a repeat Editors’ Choice winner among Windows tablets.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8: Design
Let’s begin with the size. This narrow chassis measures 0.37 with the aid of using 11. three with the aid of using 8.2 inches (HWD) and weighs 1. ninety-six pounds (without the keyboard). The Pro 7 measured third with the aid of using 11. five with the aid of using 7. nine inches and weighed 1.7 pounds, hence the remodel does now no longer lessen the general size.
What important is that it retains the appearance of a sleek, high-quality design that is both sturdier and more premium than many Windows tablets. In comparison to the Surface Pro 7, it has a more modern, rounded appearance and is quite pleasant to the touch. The Pro 8 is a more appealing machine from the first minute you set eyes on it, thanks to the larger display (more on that later).
The Surface Pro 8 is available in a classic Platinum color scheme as well as a new Graphite color scheme, which is the colorway of our review sample. At first glance, it appears to be black, but it’s actually a dark grey.
Another significant improvement is the switch to a peak 120Hz display refresh rate rather than the normal 60Hz. Gaming laptops often have refresh rates above 60Hz, but other devices (particularly several major smartphones) have adopted higher refresh rates as well.
When the screen refreshes more frequently, scrolling, web browsing, and digital drawing all seem smoother, which is a good feature for a tablet with a large touch screen and a suitable pen. The default setting is 60Hz (which saves battery life), but you may alter it to 120Hz under the Windows 11 display options.
The native resolution of 2,880 by 1,920 pixels is not particularly popular, given the 3:2 aspect ratio used by all Surface products. Many regular users of this type of equipment, on the other hand, will never need the nitty-gritty: The display is bright, clear, and has a 10-point touch screen.
The Pro 8 has a connector on the bottom for magnetically attaching the Surface Pro Signature or Surface Pro X keyboards. The new device’s display is 11% larger than the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 thanks to thinner bezels. When seated on your desk, the Surface Pro 8 feels robust and looks excellent.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8: Surface Slim Pen 2 and Keyboard
The haptic feedback on the Slim Pen 2 is great. Surface Pro 8’s signature keyboard seems like a natural extension of the device. Both peripherals are available for purchase individually. The Surface Slim Pen 2 and Surface Pro Signature keyboard, both optional, are required to get the most out of the Surface Pro 8.
The Surface Slim Pen 2 has haptic motors that make it seem like you’re writing or sketching on paper. Although digital artists are unlikely to swap their Wacom tablets for a Surface Pro 8, Microsoft’s tablet isn’t a bad tool for them to utilize. The pen isn’t as sensitive as I’d like, but it’s better than writing or drawing with your fingers.
My review unit also came with the Surface Pro Signature keyboard and I found it an indispensable peripheral. I’m not knocking the tablet’s built-in keyboard interface. It’s snappy, responsive, and doesn’t take up much real estate on the screen (though you’re free to enlarge the keyboard’s size if you want).
Nonetheless, I preferred the attachable keyboard. When pressed, keystrokes generate a pleasing click, but I wish they were more resistant. The Signature keyboard doubles as a screen cover and charges the Slim Pen 2 wirelessly.
The fact that these accessories are supplied separately is their biggest disadvantage. Even if you choose the $999 Surface Pro 8, adding the Surface Slim Pen 2 for $129 and the keyboard for $179 is a pain. The tablet should have come with these two essential tools.
Price and Configurations
The rest of the Pro 8’s improvements are internal, primarily on the CPU front, although let’s be clear: the hardware isn’t a great jump forward. Consider the base model before delving deeper into the details.
The Pro 8 has a Core i5 processor, 8GB of main system memory, and a 128GB SSD for $1,099.99. The lowest Graphite configuration (mysteriously) starts at $100 more, with double the capacity, therefore this model is in the Platinum color. There are a couple of better SKUs for the same price in each color after that, but the top two models are only available in Platinum.
The Intel Core i5-1035G4 processor in the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 we reviewed at the time of its release has been replaced by a Core i5-1135G7 processor in the Pro 8 base model. That’s a slight improvement over the Pro 7, but the Surface Pro 7+ for Business’s mid-gen upgrade already included the same i5-1135G7.
If you possess an older Surface Pro, the upgrade is justified; however, Pro 7 owners should consider whether they require this, and Pro 7+ owners will not receive a CPU upgrade.
The setup we supplied for review is more powerful than any of the standard models. A Core i7-1185G7 processor with Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of memory, and a 256GB SSD is included in our $1,599.99 machine (without including the $279.99 keyboard and pen package).
Because of the increased CPU and RAM, this is better suited to professional workloads than everyday, ordinary use, but we’ll run the rule over the performance below.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8: Display
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 functions as a 13-inch PixelSense touchscreen show with a decision of 2880 x 1920 pixels and a refresh charge of 120Hz. It additionally functions Dolby Vision and Adaptive Color.
According to our tests, the display has an average brightness of 452.8 nits and reaches 444 nits towards the center of the screen. This is close to the 450 nits advertised by Microsoft for the Surface Pro 8. Both bright and poorly illuminated areas produce crisp images.
The Surface Pro 8’s screen reaches 103.7 percent of the sRGB color spectrum and 71.9 percent of the DCI-P3 color range, according to our colorimeter (the closer to 100 percent, the better). In streamed video content, video games, and just about everything else, colors pop, and small details are easy to see.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8: Ports
The right side of the Surface Pro 8 has a power button, two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C connectors, and a Surface Connect port. On the left side, you’ll discover volume controls and a 3.5mm headphone connector.
Monitors, external hard drives, and GPUs can all be connected to the Surface Pro 8. If you want to play games on the 2-in-1, you’ll want to take advantage of the latter option.
The lack of ports may appear to be a drawback at first, but in reality, the two USB-C ports and the Surface Connect port are all that is needed for everyday use.
You may pair gadgets like the Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse or any number of Bluetooth gaming controllers with Bluetooth connectivity. The ability to snap a Surface Pro Signature or Surface Pro X keyboard to the device’s bottom frees up USB-C ports as well.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8: Audio
The speakers of the Surface Pro 8 are hidden beneath the top bezel. Audio quality on mobile devices is hit-or-miss, sounding thin and flat in certain cases. While the audio on the Surface Pro 8 isn’t particularly outstanding, it is adequate for this type of tablet.
The audio from the Surface Pro 8 is crisp and clear when the volume is kept below 75%. Whether it’s a YouTuber speaking from their studio or a video game with loud explosions and soundtrack, this is true.
The bass isn’t bad, but it’s not great either. The audio quality degrades when it’s set to maximum, and everything becomes a jumbled mess. Most of the time, maintaining the audio volume between 50 and 75 percent is enough.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8: Performance
My evaluation unit consists of a quad-middle Intel i7-1185G7 processor and 16GB of RAM, in step with Microsoft, making it two times as speedy because of the Surface Pro 7.
During my testing, the Surface Pro eight by no means slowed down, whether or not I become surfing the web, looking at YouTube videos, or paying attention to Spotify. The 2-on-1’s extraordinary overall performance is certainly because of the integrated Windows eleven working system.
The Surface Pro 8 received a score of 5,347 in the Geekbench 5.4 overall performance test. This is lower than the Dell XPS 13, which received a score of 5,639, and nowhere near the 7,298 scores of the M1-powered 2021 iPad Pro.
Unfortunately, gaming on the Surface 8 Pro was not that enjoyable. I downloaded Scarlet Nexus (using the built-in Xbox software on Windows 11) with the hopes that it would be a simple game for the Surface Pro 8.
It wasn’t the case. The game struggled to attain 30 frames per second right away (FPS). Only by dropping the resolution to 1440p and setting all graphics to the medium was I able to achieve a consistent 60 frames per second.
During my testing, I was unable to use an external hard drive or GPU to play games. However, if you have the option, I recommend using those external devices.
While the Surface Pro 8 is great for regular work, it falls short when it comes to gaming. The Razer Blade 14 or the Alienware m15 R4 are better options if you’re searching for a specialized gaming laptop.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8: Battery life
Based on common utilization at one hundred fifty nits with auto-brightness and adaptive color deactivated, Microsoft claims the Surface eight Pro battery lasts as much as sixteen hours. By constantly browsing the net for nine hours, 6 minutes, and 33 seconds (at 60Hz), the pill lasts for nine hours, 6 minutes, and 33 seconds (at 60Hz).
During my initial test, I was able to get over 7 hours out of the Surface Pro 8 by browsing the web, viewing YouTube, listening to Spotify, and playing video games. Gaming, of course, consumed most of the battery life.
By performing all of the aforementioned things sans gaming, I was able to get close to 10 hours of use after charging the unit overnight.
Although 10 hours is an improvement over 7, it still falls short of the promised 16 hours. It’s advisable to have the Surface Pro 8 connected while using it if possible.
Should you buy it?
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 looks as if a next-era device because the most recent in Microsoft’s 2-in-1 series. Watching motion pictures on it’s far a pleasant way to its first-rate show quality.
When surfing the web, video chatting, or engaging in different not unusual place operations, the sturdy CPU assures that you’ll now no longer word great slowness. Windows eleven additionally feels as though it turned into designed in particular for the device.
The Surface 8 Pro’s gaming overall performance is lacking, and the battery’s existence isn’t always so long as Microsoft advertises. The Surface Slim Pen 2 and Surface Pro add-ons are superb partners to the pill, however, they arrive at a cost.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is a respectable 2-in-1 Windows eleven pill that is a welcome development over the Surface Pro 7.