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Surface Pro 8 – was it worth the wait?

The Surface Pro has undergone iterations every year since its debut in 2013, until 2019. And then… Nothing. Radio silence. Sure, Surface Pro X and the new Surface Laptop Go were released. Microsoft even satisfied some of the demand by releasing the Surface Pro 7+. But still no news on Surface Pro 8.

If you’ve been scanning the forums, checking the tech blogs or refreshing your email waiting for an email to announce its release – well, we are happy to announce that business models for the Surface Pro 8 have arrived and are currently being shipped.

Spoiler alert! The meaningful upgrades to the Surface Pro 8 have definitely made the two years wait worth it, particularly for our business and education customers.

As the dust settles on Surface Pro 8’s release, we’ve analysed the significant upgrade specs and taken the pulse of our team and customers, and brought it all together so we could share all that’s new with Surface Pro 8.

It’s been a while, so let’s start with a device refresher.

The Surface Pro line are powerful touchscreen devices featuring desktop, laptop, tablet, and kickstand modes, a built-in Surface Slim Pen, plus outstanding audio visuals for remote working. Their extreme mobility and powerful engine have made them a perfect fit for evolving hybrid workstyles.

The performance

Every new iteration gains power, and Surface Pro 8 is no exception. The last-gen Surface Pro 7 featured older, 10th-gen Intel processors; Surface Pro 8 takes the device to an 11th-gen Intel quad-core CPU, starting with i3 and includes up to 32GB of RAM.

One key feature that has captured the attention of our customers is Surface Pro’s removable SSD. In particular, our government and healthcare customers – or any business with sensitive information for that matter– will find this feature invaluable when minimising the risks of disposing of end-of-life equipment. Like the Pro 7+, Surface Pro 8 comes in four configurations 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB.

The display

The size of the screen is the most noticeable upgrade, up from 12.3in to 13in. While this might not sound like a lot, the difference is noticeable! On top of this, the bezels have been narrowed and there’s a new resolution to maintain the aspect ratio: 2880×1920. All in all, the total footprint of the device is much the same as Surface Pro 7, just with more screen real estate to play with.

 There is also an option to double the refresh rate from 60Hz to a massive 120Hz making the on-screen media amazingly smooth, improving scrolling and make the stylus easier to use. If you’re a gamer, you can expect a far better experience too.

The battery

Next up, battery life. Microsoft is promising up to 16 hours of battery life on the Surface Pro 8, enough juice to see you through the day and then some. But note that this is based on typical usage, so it’s not set in stone. The main battery-drain culprits are power intensive and non-native apps, so if you’re using these often expect your mileage to dip.

The audio, visual and communication mix

For teams to effectively collaborate across geographies, they need reliable connectivity. Surface Pro 8 provides support with LTE Advanced ensuring a secure, stable connection anywhere, anytime. In addition, the built-in audio visuals of Surface Pro have been getting progressively better with each new model. There’s a Windows Hello face authentication front-facing camera, as well as a 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p full HD video. There’s also a 10.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD (that’s up from the 8 MP back cam on the Surface Pro 7) and 4K video, dual far-field Studio Mics and 2W stereo speakers.

Together, these features provide all the pieces of the collaboration puzzle, ensuring crystal clear communications and seamless connections time after time.

The keyboard and digital pen

Surface Pro 8 has a Type Cover connector with magnets along the bottom allowing users to add an external Surface Pro Signature Keyboard – available in a choice of colors. The mechanical keyset, backlit keys and optimum key placement makes for a comfortable typing experience and a large glass trackpad allows accurate input. A kickstand allows users to adjust both the angle of the device and keyboard as needed.

The Surface Pro digital pen experience is pretty advanced with virtually zero lag. It’s called Surface Slim Pen 2 and it comes with haptic feedback that creates micro vibrations making it feel like you are authentically writing with pen on paper and, if drawing, it provides incredible pressure sensitivity. And when you’re done, you can slip the pen into the case holder to keep it safe while charging. It might sound gimmicky, but it is really very impressive and enjoyable to use.

Note that all accessories come separately, so it will add a little to the device cost if you choose to bundle them up.

The connectivity

Thunderbolt’s have been a frequently requested feature for the Surface Pro line, and thankfully the powers that be have listened. The Surface Pro 7’s USB-C and USB-A ports have been replaced with two Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 ports. This is important because one Thunderbolt 4 is able to support two external 4K external monitors for dual-monitor setups, and ultimately, multitasking. This still leaves a second port for external hardware like hard drives or USB hubs.

The verdict

As should be apparent, there’s quite a few reasons why so many customers have been patiently waiting for Surface Pro 8 to hit our sunny shores. More performance, longer battery life, bigger displays, better cameras, and connectivity options – it’s all in this latest model, and we expect Surface Pro 8 to fly off our shelves.

Ready to upgrade your Surface fleet?

If you would like to see how this device will enhance your current fleet, contact us to secure a demonstration unit today. Data#3 is your go-to partner for end-to-end support, maintenance and training for all your Surface fleet requirements.

Tags: Devices, End User Compute, Microsoft, Microsoft Surface, Mobility, Modern Workplace, The Anywhere Workplace

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