Microsoft (MSFT) has announced its new Surface Pro 8. The latest version of the company’s flagship 2-in-1 portable, the Surface Pro 8 represents the most dramatic upgrade to the laptop-tablet hybrid in years.
Available for pre-order starting at $1,099, the Windows 11-powered Surface Pro 8 gets a dramatically improved and larger display, faster performance, and up to 16 hours of battery life. The Surface Pro line is easily Microsoft’s most impressive piece of hardware, capable of going toe to toe with any premium laptop or tablet on the market. And the Surface Pro 8 should make it even more of a heavyweight.
The biggest change for the Surface Pro 8 is its new display. At 13 inches, the PixelSense touchscreen panel offers more real estate than the prior generation’s 12.3-inch screen. Microsoft has also pumped up the refresh rate for the Surface Pro 8 to 120Hz, meaning the screen will refresh 120 times per second for smooth scrolling and gaming. That refresh rate will also help make writing on the screen with the new Surface Slim Pen 2 feel far more natural with little to no input lag.
Of course, the Surface Pro 8 works with Microsoft’s detachable Surface keyboard and can be stood upright or lean back thanks to its built-in dynamic kickstand.
From a performance standpoint, the Surface Pro 8 meets the requirements for Intel’s (INTC) new Evo platform recognition, meaning it offers more than 9 hours of battery life, wakes in less than one second, and offers Wifi 6 for high-speed connectivity.
Inside Microsoft has set up the Surface Pro 8 with your choice of 11th-generation Intel Core Core i5 or Core i7 processors. There’s also the option for 8GB, 12GB, and 32GB of RAM. And available storage ranges from 128GB to 1TB depending on the configuration you choose.
In terms of port, Microsoft has finally done away with the older USB A connection and now uses two USB C ports with Thunderbolt 4. That means you’ll be able to connect directly to an external monitor and get high-speed data transfer capabilities.
Curiously, Microsoft gives you the option for either Wifi or LTE versions of the Surface Pro 8, but not 5G, which looks like a pretty big omission from the company’s latest and greatest portable.
Still, based on what Microsoft has on offer, the Surface Pro 8 looks like it should be another winner for the company.
Surface Go 3 and Surface Pro X
It’s not just the Surface Pro that’s getting improvements. Microsoft is also launching new versions of its Surface Go and Surface Pro X devices. The new Surface Go, dubbed the Surface Go 3, now runs on Windows 11 and gets your choice of an Intel Pentium chip or 10-generation Intel Core i3. There’s also the option for 4GB or 8GB or RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage. Microsoft says the upgrades make the 2-in-1 60% faster than its predecessor.
The Surface Go 3 is a pint-size laptop-tablet hybrid that shrinks down the Surface Pro’s design to a 10.5-inch display. Like the Surface Pro, the Surface Go has a built-in hinge and detachable keyboard. The Surface Go 3 can also utilize the Surface Pen for writing and drawing and features optional LTE connectivity, though no 5G. Battery life is rated for about 11 hours.
The tablet is available for pre-order starting at $399 for the Wifi model. The LTE version will be available in the coming months.
Then there’s the 13-inch Surface Pro X. Available for pre-order today, the Pro X starts at $899 and is designed to be an always connected laptop-tablet hybrid with improved power and touchscreen capabilities.
Powered by an ARM-based Microsoft SQ1 or SQ2 chip, the Windows 11-powered Surface Pro X can be had with 8GB or 16GB of RAM and 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB or storage. Microsoft also says that it will be able to run even more apps on the Surface Pro X, something that has been an issue in the past since the system runs on an ARM architecture.
Apple’s own ARM-based M1 processor found in its MacBooks and Macs have given developers more of an incentive to make their apps compatible with ARM processors.
With 15 hours of battery life, the Surface Pro X should easily get you through a day of work. But interestingly, the 2-in-1, like its stablemates, doesn’t support 5G connectivity.
We’ll find out more about the Surface Go 3 and Surface Pro X when they hit store shelves in the near future.
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