Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7, the latest in the company’s excellent Surface Pro series, continues the tradition of being a durable, dependable tablet for the ages. It’s measurably better this time around, too, with an internal upgrade to Intel’s 10th-gen, 10nm Ice Lake chip and a nod to the future, a USB-C port. There are many good reasons why the Surface Pro 7 won our Editor’s Choice award, as you’ll see in our review.

Granted, it’s a lot easier to be the best game in town when rival Windows tablets are few and far between. At this point, the field consists largely of Microsoft’s Surface Pro models, the Surface Pro X, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Tablet, monstrous tablet workstations like the HP Zbook X2, and our longstanding favorite, the Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 520. There’s a definite gap between these and $300-ish Atom-powered tablets from names like RCA and iView, which we wouldn’t necessarily recommend. If you’re looking for a full-fledged computer that’s extremely portable and can even work as a tablet, the Surface Pro 7 is your best choice.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 virtually requires the a Type Cover of some sort, transforming it into a lightweight laptop.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 basic specs

The Surface Pro 7 is a full-fledged PC made superportable. You won’t get discrete graphics, but you will get CPU choices up to a Core i7, and generous RAM and storage options. Here are the full specs: 

  • Display: 12.3-inch PixelSense display (2736×1824)
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-1005G1, Core i5-1035G4, Core i7-1065G7 (as tested)
  • Graphics: Iris Plus 940
  • Memory: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB LPDDR4x (as tested)
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB (as tested), 512GB, 1TB SSD
  • Ports: 1 USB Type C, 1 USB Type A, MicroSDXC reader, Surface Connect, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Camera: 5MP front-facing, 8MP rear-facing, w/1080p video
  • Battery: 43.2Wh (reported)
  • Wireless: WiFi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home, version 1909
  • Dimensions (inches): 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches (8.5mm)
  • Weight: 1.74 pounds, 2.42 pounds with Signature Type Cover, 3.04 pounds total with charger
  • Colors: Platinum, Black
  • Price: $1,399 MSRP as tested, $1,199 at Microsoft; prices range from $675 to $2,099
  • Optional accessories: Surface Pro Signature Type Cover ($160 on Amazon), Surface Pen ($100 on microsoft.com).

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Mark Hachman / IDG

Yes, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is indeed a tablet.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 offers the same tablet experience as in years past: Prop it up with its iconic kickstand, connect the “optional” Surface Signature Keyboard (that you’ll want unless you’re seriously tablet-centric), and get to work. A Surface Pen, as always, is optional. Though it’s among the most portable of Microsoft’s Surface offerings, the tablet isn’t quite the mobile-forward design that you might have hoped—that’s left to the Surface Pro X ($900 on Amazon), though that tablet ships with its own set of issues.

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Our Surface Pro 7 test unit shares an Intel Core Ice Lake processor with the Surface Laptop 3 (for Business), a substantial improvement in processing power from the prior generation. Traditionally, this has been what’s separated one Surface Pro from its predecessor. 

Versus a modern laptop or Android tablet, the Surface Pro 7’s bezels are relatively ginormous: about a half-inch along the left and right bezel of the device, and slightly less along the top and bottom. They’re a necessary evil for enjoying the Surface Pro 7 as an actual tablet, and holding it by its edges. Still, the large, chunky bezels give it a rather dated look.

The built-in, glossy 2736×1824 display remains unchanged from previous models, slightly less than the true 3,000×2,000 resolution of, say, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet (3rd Gen). Microsoft hasn’t moved to OLED technology yet, unfortunately. The 396 nits of brightness that the display puts out is in line with that of previous Surface tablets, and not too far out of line with rival notebooks and tablets. It’s still not bright enough for working in full sunlight, though, especially as the glossy display is very reflective. Inside my somewhat dim basement office, though, the Surface Pro 7 was a pleasure to work upon.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Mark Hachman / IDG

After a decade or so, the Surface Pro’s kickstand might be taken for granted. Don’t—it’s still a key part of the Surface Pro 7’s value. The power button and volume rocker are on the top of the tablet.

By the way, while Microsoft claims that users may be able to open the Surface Laptop 3 and upgrade the SSD, the Surface Pro 7 is decidedly sealed



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