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Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Is Way Prettier, More Powerful

Microsoft Surface Pro 8
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

If you thought the Surface Pro was getting stale, it's time to check it out again. The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 sports a full redesign, making it the biggest change to the device since the Surface Pro 3 put the lineup on the map.

The Surface Pro 8 is far and away a more beautiful device than its predecessors. The 13-inch screen has thinner bezels than ever before, and the chassis is no longer magnesium, but rather a sleek anodized aluminum that comes in either platinum or graphite colors. Frankly, it looks like the ARM-based Surface Pro X, just with ventilation. It's thinner than before, with rounded corners, and it just looks so much nicer than the previous chunky versions. The Pro 8 measures 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches and weighs 1.96 pounds. 

CPUIntel Core i5-1135G7 or Intel Core i7-1185G7
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe
Display13-inch PixelSense Flow, 2880 x 1920, 3:2, up to 120 Hz
StorageUp to 1TB SSD
RAMUp to 32GB LPDDR4x
Webcam5MP 1080p with Windows Hello, 10MP rear-facing
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6, 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1, optional Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 LTE modem
Ports2x USB 4.0 with Thunderbolt 4, Surface Connect, 3.5mm headphone jack
Starting Price:$1,099.99

There's still a kickstand, this one going to 165-degrees, and you still attach the keyboard magnetically. Yes, it's still sold separately -- some things don't change. But in almost all senses, the Surface Pro 8 has caught up the Surface Pro X in design. The big difference is that the Pro X, which runs on an ARM-based processor, is fanless.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Microsoft brings big changes internally, too. A representative told me that while the previous Surface Pro was developed with a 15-watt thermal envelope, this Surface Pro 8 moves that up to 23W. So sustained performance should get a solid boost.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Like the new Surface Pro Studio, the Surface Pro 8's display goes up to 120 Hz (though it's set to 60 Hz by default) for a smoother experience. The 13-inch panel has a resolution of 2880 x 1920 and a 3:2 aspect ratio. Microsoft's screen uses a custom G6 chip, which works with the company's $129.99 Surface Slim Pen 2, to provide haptic feedback using a motor in the stylus. Microsoft claims that the new display is 12.5% brighter, 11% larger and has a 10.8% higher resolution. 

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The consumer version of the Pro 8 uses 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 or i7-1185G7 processors, while the commercial version offers up three options: the dual-core i3-1115G4, or quad-core Core i5-1145G7 or Core i7-1185G7. The business model will also have LTE options on the Core i5 and Core i7 versions. Microsoft is promising up to 50% higher sustained CPU performance and 74% faster graphics.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The removable SSD ranges from 128 GB to 1TB, though Microsoft continues to caveat that users aren't supposed to replace these themselves, but instead take them to Microsoft-authorized repair technicians. 128GB and 256GB drives will be in both Wi-Fi and LTE models, while 512GB and 1TB drives are restricted to the Wi-Fi version.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 8

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Microsoft Surface Pro 8

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

This is also the first Surface Pro that supports Thunderbolt 4. There are two USB 4.0 Type-C ports on the left side, with Thunderbolt 4, while the right side has proprietary Surface Connect for charging and docking, as well as a headphone jack. This version of the Pro has ditched USB Type-A entirely, unless you get an external dock. 

Microsoft's new type covers for the Surface Pro 8 are different in that they can house and charge the Surface Slim Pen, like the Surface Pro X's covers do. In fact, the covers are interchangeable between the two devices.

Microsoft will sell consumer models of the Surface Pro 8 with Windows 11 Home. Commercial customers will be able to pick between Windows 11 Pro and Windows 10 Pro.

Microsoft's other announcements today include the Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Go 3, Surface Duo 2 and a Wi-Fi version of the Surface Pro X.

The Surface Pro 8 will start at $1,099.99 and is available for pre-order today. We hope to be able to get a more extended look soon and get a chance to benchmark and test the machine. But what do we know from our limited time with the device so far? It sure is pretty.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.

  • deesider
    I was hoping it would be more efficient with better battery life, rather than more powerful.

    Disappointed there is no Ryzen model - AMD seem to have an edge in compute efficiency, but maybe not in tablet form factor?
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    With the Surface Pro 3 (i7 model) I made my first, and last, foray into the world of Surface. It has -no- GPU power, and the new model is no exception, which is a major detriment to a world of increasing reliance on the GPU for even basic tasks, such as internet browsing, and even worse it requires over $250 in additional purchases (pen and keyboard) to fully function on top of the $1100 starting cost.

    $1350 can buy a lot of laptop, especially the ASUS ProArt series which comes -much- better equipped, and all you lack is the thinness.
    Reply