Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Plus: The Future of Laptops
The Surface Pro 7 plus is a new Windows tablet. It is powerful because of its specifications. When Microsoft named it the Surface Pro 7 plus, people may have thought it was a minor upgrade from the previous one.
We don’t typically see such big changes in CPU and GPU performance, battery life, or without a fan when these devices are released. The Surface Pro also includes an LTE connection and silent design.
We had to make some tough choices. We wanted the Surface Pro to have an integrated microSD slot and LTE, but we couldn’t put it in because Thunderbolt isn’t here yet either.
But even though this tablet has flaws, you will still see that it is a very good tablet for Windows. It is much better than other tablets on the market.
Specs and Features
When comparing the specifications of the Surface Pro 7 plus, make sure you are looking for it in a retail store. It is not available online.
The name “Surface Pro 7 Plus” or “Surface Pro 7+” are also acceptable, but the full name is the best to use when writing about it: Surface Pro 7 plus. Windows 10 Professional is included onboard and it has more management and security features than Windows 10 Home Edition.
The Surface Pro 7 plus has a lot of different models. Every model is well-equipped. The most basic model is $900 and it comes with a Core i3, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage space.
But the Surface Pro 7 plus doesn’t rely on just RAM for memory as some competitors do.
- Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7
- Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
- RAM (as Tested): 16 GB
- Boot Drive Type: SSD
- Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested): 256 GB
- Screen Size: 12.3 inches
- Native Display Resolution: 2736 by 1824
- Touch Screen: Yes Panel
- Technology: IPS
- Variable Refresh Support: None
- Screen Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
- Graphics Processor: Intel Iris Xe
- Wireless Networking: Bluetooth, 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
- Dimensions (HWD): 0.33 by 11.5 by 7.9 inches
- Weight: 1.7 lbs
- Operating System: Windows 10
- Tested Battery Life: 14:54 Hours
- Improved performance with Intel “Tiger Lake” processors
- Long battery life
- A well-implemented kickstand and quality design
- New business features include a removable SSD, LTE option
- Includes 1080p webcam, USB-C
- Pricey keyboard still sold separately
- Just two ports, and no Thunderbolt support
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 had not changed since it was first released. It is a tablet with a kickstand that can go almost flat and is like three things in one: laptop, drawing pad, and tablet.
The Surface Pro 7 plus is a computer made of a metal structure. It lets the device stand up, and it helps with the heat. The magnesium helps too. There are holes in the metal to let air in.
The i3 and the i5 do not have fans to make them work better without them being noisy or hot.
The Surface Pro 7 plus has a bright and beautiful screen. It has “Enhanced” and sRGB color modes. The screen is surrounded by large bezels on all sides.
They are helpful when people use the Surface as a tablet, so you won’t touch the screen by accident.
When I think about my recent trip, I remember how useful it was to have a tablet. When you use the tablet, the screen isn’t covered and you can see it better. For example, when we were in the kitchen and we didn’t want to cover the window with our hands.
A company representative says that the screen is 400 nits. The battery is 50.4Wh, which means it can last for a long time. (According to Windows, the battery is smaller than what Microsoft claims; it’s 48.9Wh.)
It is an unfortunate situation that Microsoft has refused to change its connector choices.
A keyboard and a mouse can be used with the integrated USB-A connection. The Surface Connector can be used as either a charging port or as a link to the Surface Dock 2 by Microsoft.
The Surface Connector is old. It does not work as well as it used to. A USB-C port has a lot of different USB-C hubs, but it can’t be used with Thunderbolt 3 docks like laptops do these days.
To the Surface Dock 2, you will need to use the Surface Connector for any display output which works well for driving two 4K displays at 60Hz each.
The technology is still old and only works with Microsoft devices.
There are two changes on the back of the cover. The LTE choices have a little cubby that can hold a nanoSIM card. It should take priority over the microSDXC slot, which is for Wi-Fi-only models.
This is not how it works for other Surface Pro tablets before 2017. Microsoft put an LTE slot next to a microSDXC port on those Surface Pro tablets, so you could have both options at the same time.
The Surface Pro 7 plus is cool because it has a detachable SSD. You can take it off just like an SD card, but you do not have to worry about losing data. It is easier to remove the SSD with a SIM ejector tool that is partially magnetized.
This laptop has a way to open it with a Torx screwdriver. It would be better if it had the same thing that the Surface Pro X has which is like Batman Beyond’s vision of the Surface Pro series.
The Surface Pro 7 plus is not a 5G-ready device, but it does have an eSIM built-in. We used this to test LTE around town and see how the video advanced. It was 20Mbps downstream when I wasn’t close to a tower but jumped up to 158Mbps when within range of a tower. The video played fine.
Keyboard and Touchpad of Surface Pro 7 Plus
The Surface Pro Type Cover is an extra cost. This cost comes with the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet.
You might use Windows’ built-in on-screen keyboard, but a decent hardware keyboard is almost but not quite essential for optimum productivity on the Surface Pro.
The Surface Pro Type Cover is a cover for your tablet. It protects the screen when you are not using it. There are two versions: the $130 Surface Pro Type Cover and the $160 Signature Type Cover.
They both work well, but only one has Alcantara fabric and colors to choose from: The Signature Type cover comes with Alcantara fabric and colors of Platinum, Ice Blue, and Poppy Red.
On a laptop, the keyboard is not as comfortable and stable as a regular keyboard. But it is close. The keyboard is slanted slightly by Microsoft’s Surface Pro hinge, which connects the keyboard to it with a second Surface Connector that powers the backlight and gives wired I/O connectivity.
There are three light levels with no light bleed.
Microsoft has a new family of computers with the most keyboard travel. The Type Cover is thinner and wider but still works well for long-term use. Touchpad buttons are small but work for a long time.
The Surface Pro 7 and up have a better keyboard than other tablets, but it has one problem: it can’t type well on your lap. The kickstand is too thin and you can’t type as well when the tablet is reclined.
Other tablets might be better for typing on your lap, but they don’t have as good of a keyboard.
With their pen compatibility, Surface Pro tablets are good for being creative. You will need a Microsoft $100 Surface Pen and the somewhat forgotten Surface Dial to take advantage of it.
We experienced consistent performance with these two items in-house.
Audio and Webcam
The Surface Pro 7 and 7+ have two 1.6-watt speakers, and the Surface Pro 7 plus has Dolby Atmos controls. But I thought the sound of the speakers on this model was not as good as on previous versions.
The Surface series has had webcams for a long time but has not added privacy shutters.
The Surface Pro 7 plus comes with a great 1080p front-facing webcam, as well as an unexpectedly high-resolution rear-facing camera. The rear-mounted webcam was created for professional activities, such as taking pictures of whiteboards and reading papers.
You can also adjust the picture manually using manual white balance and exposure settings, as well as manual focus. Unusually, laptop or tablet manufacturers give these choices to you when you buy them today.
Microsoft’s newest Surface Pro 7 plus has a new 11th generation Core chip. The Tiger Lake family of chips is new, meaning the CPU performance is better. The GPU performance has also gotten better by 91%.
When you use your Surface, it will be plugged in. When you set the power performance to “best performance,” it will be faster. This is good if you are not using the battery. If the power performance is set to “maximum performance,” then it may run out of battery.
So make sure to plug in your Surface before searching for work on it too much!
The Surface Pro 7 plus has a good performance. It is not surprising, but it does so without the need for a fan. We did not notice any evidence of slowdown during long playtime because of thermal throttling.
At least in the Core i3 and Core i5 models, which are completely silent. But the Core i7 model limits fan speed and noise to demanding tasks only.
The new Surface Pro is much better than the old one. The old one was great for work, but this one has a much better GPU and can even play games.
I don’t like to play graphically demanding games like Microsoft Flight Simulator, but it is possible to play Forza Horizon 4 on the Surface Pro 7 plus.
If our comparison set is mostly Microsoft, you are right. Most of the tablets on the market now are made by them. But soon two new ones will be available- Lenovo’s ThinkPad X12 and Dell’s Latitude 7320.
But they won’t be coming out for a while yet. For more information, look at the gen-over-gen comparisons with some third-party devices as well as Microsoft’s Surface Laptops.
The first test was PCMark 8 Creative. This is a test that you use for more than one thing. It includes photo and video editing, light gaming, and other common activities. The Surface Pro 7 plus did better than the competition in both of these modes.
This is a different test than PCMark 8. This test has more things in it, like web surfing, video conferencing, spreadsheet work, photo editing, and 3D rendering. Some devices can’t do this because of software incompatibility with the test. But the Surface Pro 7 plus did well on the comparison.
When you are using a computer, it can be hard to tell if it is doing well. There is a test called Cinebench that tells your task on the computer. The benchmark has two modes. The first mode is in default mode and the second mode is in performance mode.
It’s best to use the benchmark when you are testing how fast your computer does different tasks.
We also tested the Surface Pro 7 plus in a looped test. We looked at its performance and how it handled temperature. It did not drop by much, but we didn’t have data from other products to compare it with, so we can’t make a chart.
But we did see that powerful laptops dropped in performance by less than 10%.
The free program HandBrake is used to make videos for an Android tablet. The program can be hard on our computer’s CPU. Our test took 1-2 hours and the computer might slow down because of it.
We stayed with the old version of HandBrake since we wanted to see how it compared to other computers. The Surface Pro 7 plus has ranked at the top in all testing periods throughout this time as it did here too.
We use 3DMark to compare the new Iris Xe GPU in Surface Pro 7 plus’s CPU with the Sky Diver test from before. This is where the Surface Pro 7 plus truly shines: its graphics performance is almost twice that of the Surface Pro 7!
We compared the Surface Pro 7 plus to other similar laptops. We used the more recent Time Spy benchmark.
Do you think the Surface Pro 7 plus can handle games? Yes, it can. We played two real-world games: Microsoft’s own Forza Horizon 4, a visually rich, fast-paced racing game; and Troy: A Total War Saga, which takes a bird’s eye view of a battle simulator and features hundreds of distinct characters. Both titles tax both CPU and GPU equally.
The Gretsch Model 6 Context Custom Electric Bass is an electric bass guitar with a carved top and six pickup locations. The carved top and many pickup options allow this instrument to be more diverse and less expensive than others.
We used the “battle” benchmark from the Troy simulator to decide how well our Surface Pro 7 plus performed. We got a good 30 fps at 1280×1024 on Medium settings, but with some strange stuttering.
We would not use this as a substitute for a gaming laptop, but we have seen that it can do some serious gaming. All of this is done without any cooling fan!
We also tested the Surface Pro 7 plus battery life. To do this, we watched a video until the battery died.
We did this while keeping the screen brightness constant. The screen is thinner and has a bigger battery in it which gives you more time to watch videos before your battery dies, 12%.
Overall, battery life has improved. It’s good to have more than 10 hours. But it is also important to know that if you set performance to be the best, it will reduce the battery life by almost three hours.
This happened when we turned on Dolby Atmos for headphones: 2 hours less battery life.
Should I upgrade to the Surface Pro 7 plus?
We don’t know why the name of this tablet wasn’t changed to the Surface Pro 8. That’s how much it is better than the Surface Pro 7. The new Tiger Lake CPU seems to have had a big impact, so we’ll be looking at how the Surface Pro 7 plus compares with other tablets that use this new chip.
If you don’t want to buy anything right now, that is okay with us.
When you compare the Surface Pro 7 plus to other tablets, do not forget that it is also a laptop. If you are thinking about buying a new laptop instead of this tablet, then don’t make the same mistake we did.
There are many good laptops with Intel Core i5 processors. For example, there’s Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 9310 and Asus ZenBook Flip 13.
The Surface Pro 7 plus is a good tablet. It is better than other tablets because it has a big screen, and it does not have a fan. It also has LTE. The battery life is longer, too. There are many reasons to buy the Surface Pro 7 plus.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7+
12.3-inch Tablet (1NA-00001) Platinum, Intel Core i5-1135G7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 12.3-inch 2736x1822 Touch-Screen, Win10 Pro
Product Brand: Microsoft
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: $1,277.00
Product In-Stock: InStock