The Surface Pro is Microsoft's high-end 2-in-1 PC. It was refreshed every year between 2013 and 2019, but it's been all change since then.
The Surface Pro 7+ then arrived in January 2021, adding 11th-gen Intel processors and LTE connectivity. However, it was very much an iterative update, and specifically designed for business and education customers.
Almost two years after the Pro 7 launched, we finally have a genuine successor for everyday consumers. Predictably, it’s known as the Surface Pro 8, but there are several changes that make this a significant upgrade. Here’s everything you need to know.
When will the Surface Pro 8 be released?
- Announced on 22 September
- Available to buy in the US as of 5 October
- Available to pre-order in the UK, releases 28 October
The Pro 8 was officially announced at Microsoft’s Surface event on 22 September, alongside the Duo 2, Go 3, Pro X (2021), and the all-new Laptop Studio.
In India, the Surface Pro 8 is expected to release in early 2022, though a specific date hasn't been revealed yet.
How much does the Surface Pro 8 cost?
- Starts at £999/US$1,099.99
- Top-spec model (32GB RAM/1TB SSD/Core i7) costs $2599.99 but exclusive to US
The Surface Pro 8 starts at £999/US1,099.99 - that's an increase of around £100/US$100 on the equivalent i5 Pro 7 configuration, although the cheapest i3 model has been ditched.
As usual, this price doesn’t include any of the Type Cover keyboard cases, such as the new Signature Keyboard. The updated Surface Slim Pen 2 is also an optional extra.
The more affordable Surface Go 3 is also available to buy in the UK and US as of 5 October – here's where to pick one up.
Surface Pro 8 design & features
To help justify that higher price tag, the Surface Pro 8 includes a host of upgrades over the Pro 7.
- Bigger display - now 13in
- 120Hz refresh rate
First up, display. Microsoft has persisted with largely the same design since 2014’s Surface Pro 3, but that’s finally changing this year.
The display has increased from 12.3in to 13in, but significantly narrower bezels mean the total footprint of the device is much the same. In order to maintain its 3:2 aspect ratio, there’s also a new resolution: 2880x1920.
However, the biggest change here is refresh rate – the Pro 8 can now hit 120Hz. This takes advantage of Windows 11’s new Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR) feature to automatically adjust depending on what you’re doing. You will need to manually enable the 120Hz setting, though, as 60Hz is set as the default.
- 16 hours claimed battery life
- Just over 1hr for 80% charge
This is presumably to conserve battery life, but that's another area to have seen upgrades. Microsoft claims the Pro 8 will get you up to 16 hours from a single charge, although that’s based on basic everyday usage with the brightness set to 150 nits. Still, it sounds like a significant improvement on the claimed 10 hours you’ll get from the Pro 7.
When it comes to charging, Microsoft says the 24W adapter included in the box will get you from 0-80% in just over an hour.
- 11th-gen Intel CPUs
- Removable SSD up to 1TB
Elsewhere, the internals have also been upgraded. As expected, the Pro 8 moves to Intel’s latest Tiger Lake CPUs – consumers get a choice between the Core i5-1135G7 and the Core i7-1185G7. These have been designed on the Intel Evo Platform, the chip maker’s dedicated category for premium portable PCs.
There’s some slight variation on commercial models, with the Core i5-1145G7 joined by i7-1185G7 and entry-level i3-1115G4. The first two configurations here are the only across the full Pro 8 lineup to support LTE connectivity.
Only the i3 models use UHD integrated graphics, with i5 and i7 models stepping up to Iris Xe. You can also choose between 8, 16 and 32GB of DDR4x RAM
One key feature borrowed from the Surface Pro 7+ is a removable SSD – 128 and 256GB options are available on all configurations, but 512GB/1TB are limited to Wi-Fi only devices.
- 10Mp rear camera with 4K video support
- 5Mp front-facing camera with Windows Hello support
There’s one other change of note, and it comes to the rear camera. This is now a 10Mp sensor, up from 8Mp on the Pro 7, and now supports 4K video recording. The front-facing 5Mp camera is unchanged, and can still be used for Windows Hello face unlock.
We discussed the Pro 8 in episode 84 of our weekly podcast, Fast Charge:
But will these changes be enough for the Surface Pro 8 to secure top spot in our best Microsoft Surface guide? Or will it be able to compete with some of the best 2-in-1 devices you can buy? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, check out our guide on everything else Microsoft announced at the 22 September event. For more in-depth coverage, see our separate articles on the Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Duo 2, Surface Go 3 and Surface Pro X (2021).