Microsoft is back with its Surface Pro 7 , with the aim of conquering the hybrid PC market. Powerful but fine in its lines, this all-in-one tablet may well land soon at your home. Equipped with a tilting stand on the back and comes with a stylus, it becomes easy to write, draw and surf the web from a single device. Presenting itself as being very versatile, we decided to find out more about this hybrid tablet.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7: our complete test
This tablet PC is available in several versions. As part of our test, we will talk about the i5 version . Note, however, that we will have a few points to discuss on the other versions during this test and we will then mention it when the time comes.
The Surface Pro is attractive because of its small format, its practicality and its ergonomics. But is it really worth its price? What is its hardware performance worth? Is it a good machine for everyday use? We strive to answer these questions in our test, as clearly and transparently as possible.
Quick overview of the device
Microsoft is calling itself the Surface Pro as a next-generation computer. Indeed, the all-in-one side of the Surface Pro brings a real plus compared to conventional laptops. The tablet mode of the device combined with the power of a computer makes it a very versatile and complete machine. However, it is not intended for gamers , the latter needing different hardware performance, especially with regard to the graphics card. On the other hand, this “tablet pc” will probably be a very good base for a consumer who wants a compact hybrid computer but above all who does not row!
Lightweight and solidity
One of the great advantages of this surface pro 7 remains its weight, which is below the 800 gram mark . In order to produce a featherweight tablet PC, Microsoft has revised the design of its machine by purifying the lines of the latter. The product is very thin, compact and slips into a small pocket without the slightest hassle. We like the design aspect of the chassis as well as its robustness.
A beautiful image and high resolution
Microsoft hits hard on the Surface Pro by offering a beautiful 12.3-inch panel in 2K resolution ( 2736 x 1824 ). The display is magnified and the details are sharp. Note that in order to obtain a 2K touch screen, the display technology is proprietary to Microsoft and is based on PixelSense.
The customizable keyboard
Regarding the input mode (the keyboard and the mouse pad) Microsoft innovates on both the good and the bad side. Indeed, the Surface Pro is delivered without a keyboard since it can be used entirely by touch. It is therefore possible to buy the keyboard and its integrated touchpad separately, as well as the Surface Pen for drawing addicts. In addition, this keyboard also serves as a “cover”: it folds down and protects the screen of the Surface Pro. The good side of this innovation lies in the fact that it is possible to choose the color of its keyboard / cover and to easily change it in the event of a problem (the classic glass of water spilled on the keyboard will no longer be a problem ). What we find a little less pleasant is that this keyboard is not included as standard with the Surface Pro. It will therefore be necessary to hand over the wallet to acquire one and take full advantage of the computer.
In order to lighten the device but above all to gain in finesse, the choice was made to mainly integrate USB-C ports . Note, however, the presence of a USB-A port (“normal” size USB), in order to be able to connect any USB device to the Surface. It is a bet towards the future that Microsoft is taking since more and more peripherals work on the USB-C standard. We also see more and more external screens offering this transmission protocol.
Here we can see the USB-C and USB-A port as well as the fast charging port
Here we can see the slot for a micro-sd card
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the Microsoft Surface Pro is offered in several versions. These differ in their internal components. While the panel will always be the same, the performance will not be similar. You should know that one of the versions is offered with an Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM. We voluntarily chose not to address it in our test, because of the weak configuration: this makes it a limited and not very powerful machine that we do not recommend.
Here are the respective components of the two models that we have selected for this test.
Surface Pro 7 Intel Core i5 B07X8NL7MW:
- Intel Core i5-3470 processor
- 8 GB RAM (DDR3)
- 128 GB SSD
- Windows 10 Home
- 12.3 inch screen
- Weight 776 grams
This configuration is well balanced and will be suitable for office use , surfing the web, watching movies, taking notes at university, etc. We regret that the internal SSD drive is not a little larger in terms of storage space.
Surface Pro 7 Intel Core i7 B07X8NKP3H:
- Intel Core i7-8650U Processor
- 16 GB RAM (DDR3)
- 256 GB SSD
- Windows 10 Home
- 12.3 inch screen
- Weight 789 grams
In this configuration, the hybrid pc is powerful and ready to attack resource-intensive tasks such as photo editing for example (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, etc.). The i7 processor as well as the 16 GB of RAM support the power given to these tasks while the SSD disk improves the speed of writing and reading information resulting in a stable and efficient system overall.
A little light autonomy
For any purchase of a tablet pc computer, we generally expect a lot from the autonomy of the latter. These computers being dedicated to use in mobility, by the fact that they are easily transportable, Microsoft is expected at the turn concerning the autonomy of its machines. The promise is not entirely kept since the Surface will have to be recharged every 10.5 hours of use in “normal” mode . In fact, in office automation and web searches, the autonomy turns out to be slightly lower than the theoretical values indicated by the manufacturer. That said, the Surface Pro manages the fast charging mode , allowing you to gain 80% charge in just 1 hour!
Excellent heating management system
With good hardware performance, what about the cooling system of this computer? It turns out that the machine does not make any noise in use . We tried to push the i5 version to its limits by performing video editing tasks. The temperature didn’t seem to rise and the chassis didn’t feel hot compared to other products from different brands.
Sound system quality
We didn’t expect the Surface Pro audio system to perform miracles. We must not forget that we are on a hybrid and compact computer. This means that there is less room for the loudspeakers and therefore less resonance for the bass acoustics, leading to a loss of depth in listening to the music. However, Microsoft says the built-in speakers deliver 1.6W stereo sound . For our part, we do not note either exceptional quality or poor quality. That’s about average for this kind of hybrid system.
Strengths and weaknesses
- 2K screen
- Fast charge (80% in 1 hour)
- Does not heat up
- Good hardware performance
- Keyboard not included in the package (also used as protection)
- Autonomy a little low
Our final opinion on the Microsoft Surface Pro 7
With the Surface Pro 7, Microsoft has been able to target a wide audience. To do this, the firm has declined its product on different hardware configurations. One is suitable for office automation and normal computer use, while the other is intended for somewhat more advanced use. With a balanced hardware configuration (processor, RAM and SSD) but also a good general finish, we definitely recommend the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 in both i5 and i7 versions. On the other hand, we still issue a reservation on the i3 version that we advise against, still for the same reason (lack of power).
Note: Light weight and solidity.One of the great advantages of this surface pro 7 remains its weight, which is below the 800 gram mark . In order to produce a featherweight tablet PC, Microsoft has revised the design of its machine by purifying the lines of the latter. The product is very thin, compact and slips into a small pocket without the slightest hassle. We like the design aspect of the chassis as well as its robustness.