Microsoft’s Surface Pro Lineup and the word “renewal” rarely shared a sentence. These laptop-tablet hybrids have largely survived over the years with new processors and minor hardware upgrades. The new Surface Pro 8 isn’t exactly a reconstruction of what you expected, but it’s somewhere between a small and a big refresh.
The 2-in-1 is no different from its predecessor, but its upgrades make it suitable for anyone looking for a new machine. It has a large touchscreen display with a 120-Hz screen refresh rate, good performance and it is pre-loaded with Windows 11. The company has also nixed the Core i3 processor model, so the Base Surface Pro 8 comes with a Core i5 and starts at $ 1,100. It may seem like a big leap from the Surface Pro 7’s $ 749 price, but it’s technically only $ 200 more when compared to the same configuration (although it’s still worth it).
It is a machine that feels like it has reached the highest peak in terms of innovation. I really enjoyed using it last week. Well, mostly. Like the new Surface Go3, you need to keep the charger close at hand.
Biggest and brightest of all
The most visible change from the Surface Pro on is the large touchscreen display, which ranges from 12..3 inches to 1 13.
It’s very sharp, with a slightly higher 2,880 x 1,920-pixel resolution, and a built-in ambient color sensor that automatically matches the color temperature of the screen with the light around you, unlike True Tone on Apple’s MacBooks. The screen also became brighter than before. All of this makes it a little easier to look at the Pro 8, no matter what environment you’re in.
Like the new iPhone, the screen has a 120-Hz refresh rate, which doubles the number of frames you see per second. You can read more about the technology here, but it basically feels incredibly smooth, from scrolling through Twitter in Chrome to messing up notes with Slim Pen2. Unfortunately, it is Really This affects battery life much later – which is why it is set to 60 Hz by default. To toggle it you need to dig through the settings menu.
A 1080p webcam just above the screen (with Windows Hello Face authentication for signing in) which is quite good even in low light. I see crisp and clear in my zoom calls, towards some insecurity. And unlike the iPad or older Dell laptops, the webcam isn’t in an awkward place, which means there’s one less thing to worry about.
Surprisingly, the connection options are thin. The Pro 7 had the convenience of a USB-A and a USB-C port on the right side of the display, but now you only get two USB-Cs (both Thunderbolt 4). Depending on the accessories you plug in, that is good or bad. The worst thing is that Microsoft has closed the microSD card slot, although this may not be too much of a problem because it is easy to upgrade the solid state storage drive whenever it is full. Fortunately, the headphone jack remains.