Microsoft Surface Pro 7: Rumors, Release Date, Price and What We Want
Update on Sept. 16: German tech site WinFuture claims to have uncovered every Surface Pro 7 configuration starting with a Core i3 model.
When Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6 launched, we were blown away by its speedy performance, long battery life, vivid 12.3-inch display and comfortable keyboard. The device easily became our favorite detachable 2-in-1 laptop, but it’s not perfect. We would love to see a couple of improvements in the next generation.
The Surface Pro 6 just launched in October, but it's never too early to look forward at what the Surface Pro 7 may deliver. So, we’ve accumulated a list of speculations, wants and needs that may or may not come to fruition. Here’s everything we know so far about Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 – and what else we want from this line.
Surface Pro 7 Release Date and Possible Pricing
Microsoft sent invites to a special Surface Event that will take place on Oct 2. The company didn't confirm whether the Surface Pro 7 would make an appearance but we wouldn't be surprised if it did.
However, the next iteration of this beloved detachable might not be released until mid-2020. That projected date lines up with the company’s current release pattern, which is roughly every 1.5 years. The Surface Pro 4 launched in October 2015, followed by the Surface Pro 5 in June 2017 and then the Surface Pro 6 in October 2018.
As far as pricing goes, the new iteration will probably be in the same ballpark as the Surface Pro 6, which launched at $899. I imagine that the Surface Pro 6 will permanently drop to $799 or lower at some point between now and the release of the Surface Pro 7, as the tablet is often on sale for $799 on Microsoft’s website.
The upcoming Surface Pro 7's price could jump; the $899 Surface Pro 6 launched at $100 more than the Surface Pro 5. But if the Pro 7 does indeed make the leap to $999, it better come with a keyboard and pen.
The Surface Pro 6 starts with 128GB of SSD storage; upgrading to a 256GB SSD costs an additional $300, which is absurd. Either Microsoft needs to fix its upgrade pricing, or simply include a 256GB SSD in the starting configuration.
Surface Pro 7 Design and Specs
The Surface Pro 6 is pretty light and sleek at 1.7 pounds and 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.3 inches. We love its matte black design and how maneuverable the metal kickstand is. But we'd like to see additional color variants, similar to those found on the Surface Laptop 2.
While we typed with the Surface Pro 6 on our lap using Microsoft's Type Cover keyboard, we noticed that the tablet bounced around a bit. As such, we'd like to see an improved detachable design that’s more suitable to be used on a lap.
Speaking of typing, Microsoft's Type Cover keyboard has a wonderful 1.3-mm of key travel and features super-soft Alcantara fabric for palm rests. If Microsoft can somehow get that key travel to at least 1.5 mm (our ideal minimum), typing would be even more comfortable and responsive. The only real issue we had with the Surface Pro 6's design was its thick bezels, so hopefully Microsoft can slim them down on the Surface Pro 7.
The Surface Pro 7 might actually see a redesign of the keyboard. A Dutch blog called Windows United discovered a patent that indicates that the Type Cover could be thinner than it is right now, which may make it even more portable, but could affect the key travel.
The blog actually caught another patent that details the use of magnets to prevent the Type Cover from losing its grip. And in some of the new images, it's evident that Microsoft might be ditching the Surface Connect port for a USB Type-C port, which is exciting.
Recently, Windows Latest spotted a patent titled "Stylus Capsule," which describes a Surface Pen with a cylindrical housing that contains a removable capsule. In theory, with this stylus you could remove all of the electronics that are housed within the capsule, not just the nib and tip.
In terms of specs, we’re anticipating that Intel’s 10th Generation Ice Lake CPUs will be rolled into the Surface Pro 7, which would keep it competitive with other top 2-in-1s. And we may even see a Surface Pro 7 with a Core i9 configuration, which would considerably raise the price. Based on a report from german tech site WinFuture, the Surface Pro 6 will start with a 10th Gen Core i3 CPU with 4GB of RAM and go up to a Core i7 with 16GB. It appears the Surface Pro 7 will run on 10th Gen Comet Lake chips, not Intel's 10-nanometer Ice Lake variant. On the other hand, another leak claims the Surface Pro 7 will have a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor --- an Ice Lake chip --- but you should probably take that with some skepticism.
The Surface Pro 7 is also rumored to arrive with an ARM-based variant running on a Qualcomm 8cx SoC that is expected to be about as fast as a Core i5 CPU. That chip is said to be custom-made by Microsoft and will serve as a reference for other Windows laptop makers. Those rumors are from a report from IT tech site Petri, which also claimed that the Surface Pro 7 will have a familiar design when it's unveiled in October.
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The Surface Pro 6 has a 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1824 display that covered 136% of the sRGB color gamut and emitted 408 nits of brightness in our tests. That alone is excellent, so we're hoping the Surface Pro 7 delivers similar numbers.
What We Want from the Microsoft Surface Pro 7
USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 port: The time is now, Microsoft. We want to see some USB Type-C action on the Surface Pro 7, without losing the USB Type-A slot, which was the case with the Surface Go. Perfect the model; don’t give and take.
Faster SSD: We were especially disappointed with the speed of the 256GB SSD on the Surface Pro 6 (you know, the one that costs an additional $300). We would ideally like to see speeds above its category average, which is currently 327 MBps. I would personally love to see speeds of – at least – more than 500 MBps, especially since the MacBook Air's 256GB SSD (which starts at $1,199) offers speeds of 2,066 MBps on our tests.
Discrete GPU: The Surface Book 2 has a GTX 1050 GPU and is great for creative pros, but is pricey, starting at $2,499. It would be interesting to see the Surface Pro 7 outfitted with a tamer, discrete GPU, like the Nvidia MX230 or MX250. This would make the Surface Pro 7 a more appealing buy, especially for creatives and those looking to do a little light gaming.
Thinner bezels: Every year bezels are getting thinner and thinner; it's time for the Surface to embrace the trend. We want some barely-there bezels on the Surface Pro 7, to make the system's gorgeous, 12.3-inch panel pop even more than it already does.
Credit: Laptop Mag
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