Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8 hasn’t been officially announced yet but there’s good reason to think it will be soon, as it’s been two years since the Pro 7 shipped and there’s a new Intel chip ready to be included in the new model.
Microsoft has gone a step further by releasing the Surface Pro 7 Plus (pictured above) for businesses, but so far the company has remained tight-lipped about the future of the Surface Pro.
Having said that, we have some news that gives us good reason to suspect the new Surface Pro will ship before the end of 2021.
No matter when the product arrives, you can expect us to compare it to the Surface Pro 7, checking to see if its battery life issues are resolved. Our own Surface Laptop Go review shows that Microsoft is still struggling with durability.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 latest news, leaks and rumors (updated August 13)
A new patent has been discovered that features a Surface tablet with a floating stand similar to the ‘floating hinge’ of the iPad pro. However, this one might offer the Surface Pro 8 a much larger viewing angle. Microsoft is still considering a design change for the Surface Pro 8. In January, the Surface Pro 8 appears to be on the verge of release, subject to FCC approval.
Our Surface Go 2 review shows that Microsoft can still get reliable longevity from the entry-level Surface, but our Surface Book 3 review doesn’t give us more confidence.
Hopefully, the Surface Pro 8 will take some lessons from each to make it onto our list of the best laptops.
The Surface Pro is in the best place in the Microsoft Surface lineup. This is more affordable than the Surface Book, more energetic than the Surface Go and more agile than the Surface Laptop.
In 2019, Microsoft added a new member to the family with the Surface Pro X, which promises great battery life and a luxurious design. Frustratingly, performance issues and poor compatibility with the wide world of Windows 10 apps are major drawbacks.
Hopefully the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 can help the company make 2021 a better year than 2020. Here’s everything we know (and want to know) about the Surface Pro 8.
Microsoft Speculates Surface Pro 8 release date
Windows Central suggested that an H1 2021 release date was expected, but that didn’t pan out. Instead, Microsoft opted to release the Surface Pro 7+ in January, which suggests that we probably won’t see the Surface Pro 8 until late 2021 or possibly 2022.
Since the last Surface Pro was released in October 2019, that means Microsoft has gone more than a year without a hardware refresh–something it hasn’t done since 2016. But given that COVID has ravaged the world, including manufacturing supply chains, it’s no surprise that the Surface Pro 8 has had to. pushed back. Those ongoing supply chain issues, such as those that have plagued the iPad Pro 5G, could further cloud Microsoft’s schedule and contribute to the release of the Surface Pro 8.
possible price of Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Thanks to the relatively stable price over the years, the price of the Surface Pro 8 isn’t too hard to predict, even without any leaks (unlike the price of the Surface Book 3 which leaks a lot).
Let’s start by checking out the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro 6. The former starts at $749 for the Core i3 model, and the latter starts at $799 with the Core i5 CPU.
So, let’s say the Surface Pro 8 is likely to start at around $800. But we’d be more inclined to recommend the unit with the Core i5, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD model, which usually makes the price jump to $1,199.
(Image credit: IT Admin Manual)
Unless we hope pressure from Apple changes that. The entry-level 2020 MacBook Air packs a 256GB SSD by default for $999, so maybe the Core i5 model we mentioned above could drop to $1,099 or even $999?
Of course, the price of the Surface Pro 8 doesn’t stop there, as most will customize a tablet into a laptop. It costs at least $129 (Basic Type Cover) and over $159 (Signature Type Cover). Digital artists can give an additional $99 for the Surface Pen.
We expect all of the prices above to stay the same as last year, although we do expect the prices to drop a bit (Surface Pro 7 surpasses the $2,000 mark when fully adjusted). Maybe Microsoft can lower the price by giving AMD the option, but other than that, or a drop in the price of the SSD on top, the Surface Pro 8 is expected to be just as expensive as its predecessor.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 design and features
Since the prototype that was supposed to be the Surface Pro 8 leaked on eBay, we’ve been disappointed to hear that the tablet’s chassis will be the exact same as the Surface Pro 7–limiting the possibility of hardware upgrades to internal components.
While there’s been speculation that the Surface Pro 8 could include wild features that Microsoft has patented, including a stand adorned with solar panels, it’s unlikely they’ll be coming this time around. Maybe on the Surface Pro 9, or Surface Pro 10?
What it can still do is a new floating stand on the Surface Pro 8 laptop cover. Microsoft has patented a mechanical design that works similarly to the iPad Pro’s ‘Floating Hinge’, though it uses a mechanical system instead of magnets, and offers a much greater angle range.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Specifications
Recent leaks suggest that the new Surface Pro 8 may come with an Intel 11th Gen processor, up to 32GB of RAM and Iris Xe integrated graphics. Optional LTE will also be covered.
Two separate leaks from WinFuture Roland Quandt also claim that the Surface Pro 8 will get LTE, but only on the Core i5 variant. However, almost as a compromise, the Core i7 variant will get up to 1TB of storage and 32GB of RAM. The newer of the two leaks also includes an 8GB, Core i3-powered Surface Pro 8 for the first time.
This is the configuration supposedly coming to Europe:
Core i3 8GB RAM/128GB storage Core i5 8GB RAM/128GB storage (with optional LTE) Core i5 8GB RAM/256GB storage (with optional LTE) Core i5 16GB RAM/256GB storage (with optional LTE) Core i7 16GB RAM/256GB storageCore i7 16GB RAM/512GB storage Core i7 16GB RAM/1TB storage Core i7 32GB RAM/1TB storage
However, it’s not clear if this will be the same option coming to the US. We’ll just have to wait and see what Microsoft has planned, but in the meantime we can safely assume that at least most of these will also be available this side of the Atlantic.
We hope Microsoft sees how the industry trend towards thinner bezels, and can find a way to give us a screen that’s bigger than the 12.3-inch display on the current Surface Pro, without changing the chassis or making it bigger. That doesn’t appear to be the case, with an eBay leak revealing that it’s still the same 12.3-inch screen in the same chassis as before.
(Image credit: IT Admin Manual)
Next, let’s think about how much of a speed boost the Surface Pro 8. Pro 7 will feature a 10th Gen Intel Ice Lake (10nm) processor, which has been replaced by an 11th generation “Tiger Lake” CPU.
Since the Tiger Lake chip is already here, it makes sense for Microsoft to include it in the Surface Pro 8. After all, since the tablet could potentially launch as early as 2021, there’s no reason not to use the newest and best chip you can get your hands on.
The question is whether Microsoft also allows buyers to choose AMD processors. The company allowed it for the Surface Laptop 3, but the laptop was disappointed with its performance. Hopefully, the gains in the latest AMD chips will give you more performance to enjoy. The eBay prototype suggests Intel graphics are still to come, but a lot could change between now and launch. However, the prototype is not final yet.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 changes we wanted
Additional hours of battery life: The Surface Pro 7’s biggest downside was its seven-hour and 52-minute score on our web browsing (over Wi-Fi) battery test. That’s a big drop from the Surface Pro 6’s 9:20 time. The more affordable Surface Go 2 beat it by more than 2 hours, clocking in at 11:39. It’s also less than 9:31 the time we saw from the MacBook Air 2020 and 12:39 we saw from the 1080p Dell XPS 13.
More stable: We keep seeing reports of Windows 10 update failing, and one recent update sent the Surface Pro 7 into a series of random shutdowns across potentially hundreds of users. The Surface Pro is Microsoft’s flagship device and should be reliable.
Shrinking bezel: It’s not about what I want, but more about where the industry is going. Take a look at the XPS 13’s InfinityEdge display, and the smaller (but still present) bezels on the 2020 iPad Pro. If the Surface Pro was still considered an industry leader, it would look like a device released today, unlike the model. last released in 2015.
Stronger sound: As we mentioned above, the patent on the amplifier in the buffer is certainly interesting. The Surface Pro 7’s sound output didn’t impress anyone, and I really hope Microsoft can catch up on volume.
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