Microsoft just announced the Surface Pro 7 Plus (or Pro 7+), a business version of its popular detachable. Instead of introducing a Surface Pro 8, the company is releasing a refreshed version of the Surface Pro 7 called the Pro 7 Plus for the business and education markets.
There aren't too many differences between the consumer and enterprise models, but the newest Pro 7 Plus does have some advantages for business users. The most important being the new 11th Gen Intel vPro chips with Iris Xe graphics and optional 4G LTE, a feature previously only available on the Surface Pro X.
Price: $899 (staring)
CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 vPro
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB
Storage: Up to 1TB
Display: 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1824-pixel (3:2 aspect ratio)
Battery: 15 hours (rated, LTE); 13.5 hours (LTE)
Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.3 inches
Weight: 1.7 pounds
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While the design is largely unchanged, the Surface Pro 7 Plus now allows you to easily remove and replace the SSD, similar to the Surface Pro X and Surface Laptop 3. These may be small tweaks, but they are changes that business users will appreciate.
We haven't received a Surface Pro 7 Plus to review, but if the 11th Gen chips can improve the battery life of the consumer model, then this "Pro" edition could be a compelling option for business users and everyday consumers alike.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Plus price and release date
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Plus will be available on January 15 in the US with a starting price of $899. It will also launch in the UK and other European countries.
While the starting price is well below $1,000, the higher-end model with a Core i7 CPU, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD costs a hefty $2,800.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Plus design
One quick glance at the Surface Pro 7 Plus shows that the design hasn't changed much over the years. That's both good and bad. We like the stylish, simplistic design language and the premium materials of the Surface Pro 7+. However, those display bezels are still distracting and the kickstand, while flexible, isn't great for using the tablet on your lap.
Microsoft did make one upgrade to the Surface Pro 7 Plus by adding a removable SSD to the rear of the device. Using a SIM tool and a single Torx T3 screwdriver, you can now painlessly replace your SSD if it runs out of capacity or stops working.
At 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.3 inches and 1.7 pounds, the Surface Pro 7 Plus is the same size and weight as the Surface Pro 7. It is available in Platinum and Black color variants.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Plus security
Microsoft hates passwords, and with the Surface Pro 7 Plus, you won't ever need to remember yours. The tablet comes with an IR camera for Windows Hello facial recognition. You can use this feature to log in or authenticate certain apps (sorry, no fingerprint sensor).
Also on-board the Pro 7 Plus is a TPM 2.0 chip, which ensures that every bit of data being transferred to and from the device is encrypted.
For ports, you get one USB-C input, a USB-A port, a microSD card slot and a Surface Connect+ port.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Plus display
There's not much to say here. The Pro 7 Plus has the same display as the consumer-focused Surface Pro 7, and that's fine by us.
It's a 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1824-pixel PixelSense display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and a 267 pixels per inch density. If it's anything like the one on the Pro 7 (and it really should be), the panel will be vivid, bright and detailed.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Plus performance and specs
Powered by 11th Gen Intel Core vPro chips with Iris Xe graphics, the Surface Pro 7+ should get a nice speed bump over its 10th Gen-wielding sibling. Perhaps the most significant upgrade will be in graphics performance; as we've seen in other laptops with 11th Gen chips, the integrated Iris Xe graphics are capable of running AAA games at decent frame rates, albeit at lower graphics settings.
The specific processors available on the Surface Pro 7+ are Core i3-1115G4, Core i5-1135G7 and Core i7-1165G7 CPUs. Microsoft says the Surface Pro 7+ is "2.1x faster" than before.
Accompanying the new chips are either 8GB or 16GB of RAM for the Wi-Fi and LTE versions or up to 32GB of RAM in the Wi-Fi-only edition. Storage goes up to 1TB on the Wi-Fi version but maxed out at only 256GB on the LTE model. Along with LTE, connectivity support includes Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.
Unfortunately, there is no 5G support and the USB-C input is not Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4.
On the rear of the Surface Pro 7+ is an 8MP, 1080p camera while a 5MP webcam is found on the front. Microsoft's products have some of the best webcams in the business so expect a sharp image during video conference calls.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Plus battery life
Microsoft rates the Surface Pro 7 Plus' battery life at 15 hours for the Wi-Fi version and 13.5 hours for the LTE model. That is a significant improvement over the 10.5-hour rating for the Surface Pro 7, although we'll need to do our own testing to see how long the Pro 7 Plus lasts during real-world usage.
The Pro 7 Plus can apparently charge to 80% capacity in just under an hour, so you won't be tethered to an outlet for very long.
It isn't the overhaul hoped for but the Surface Pro 7 Plus appears to be a welcome improvement over the Surface Pro 7. It brings faster performance thanks to Intel 11th Gen vPro chips along with a removable SSD and LTE support.
What we'll be keeping a very close eye on is battery life. The Surface Pro 7 struggled in this area with lower runtimes than its predecessor. If the Surface Pro 7 Plus can stay powered for 10+ hours on a charge, it could put this popular series of detachable tablets back on track.
With the Surface Pro 7 Plus launching in less than a week, you should expect our full review of the new 2-in-1 device soon.