In brief: As working and studying from home remain the default way of getting things done, consumers and prosumers are in for a new treat from Microsoft, as the company has updated the Surface Pro 7 with beefier internals, a removable SSD, and optional 4G connectivity.
On Monday, Microsoft’s Surface family of devices gained a new member in the form of the Surface Pro 7+, a model designed specifically for schools and business customers and based on the successful formula of the original Surface Pro 7 from 2017.
The overall design hasn’t changed, as the Redmond giant says it “made a commitment to commercial customers on continuity of form factor.” That means everything down to the placement of the microphone, magnets, card reader (microSDXC), and ports (a USB-C w/o Thunderbolt 4, a USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, and a headphone jack) is the same. However, Microsoft upgraded the internals with the latest 11th generation Tiger Lake-U processors, which Intel introduced last September, featuring Xe graphics and AI acceleration.
The Surface Pro 7+ is configurable with anything from an Intel Core i3-1115G4 paired with 8GB of RAM to a Core i7-1165G7 equipped with 32 GB of RAM. An even more practical CPU configuration is the Core i5-1135G7, which has optional LTE connectivity and eSIM support for over 180 countries. It’s also worth noting that only the i7 model has a fan, while the others should be perfect if you need to keep noise at a minimum.
The base model starts at 128 GB of SSD storage, while the maxed out configuration comes with 1 TB of storage. More importantly, the SSD is removable just as it is with the ARM-based Surface Pro X. The Surface Pro 7+ should be user-upgradeable since it is an M.2 2230 module. Other notable features include a larger battery that can provide up to 15 hours of use and a 1080p front-facing camera optimized for dim environments, such as those found at home.
As is the case with Microsoft products designed for business and education, it’s not clear when you’ll be able to grab one yourself, but we do know the prices start at $899 for the Core i3 model with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD and $1,149 for the Core i5 with LTE models. The top model sporting a Core i7 processor, 32 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of storage will run you $2,799. Microsoft is planning to ship these starting January 15 to customers in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zeeland, and the EU.