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Surface Pro 8 vs Surface Pro 7: What are the new upgrades?

The Surface Pro 8 has been officially confirmed by Microsoft, but how does it compare to the Surface Pro 7 and is it good enough to justify an upgrade?

We’ve dug through the specs of both portable PCs in order to provide a full breakdown, so you know exactly which device is best for you. So without further ado, here are the biggest differences in the Surface Pro 8 vs Surface Pro 7 faceoff. 

The Surface Pro 8 offers 43% more compute power

Microsoft is packing the Surface Pro 8 with an 11th Generation Intel Core quad-core chip, which is a big improvement on the 10th Gen processor sound inside the Surface Pro 7. 

Microsoft claims this new chip offers 43% more compute power than its predecessor, while the integrated GPU performance has also been given a 74% boost thanks to Intel Xe. 

This means everything should run faster, from running apps to editing video. The max RAM option has even been pushed up to 32GB, just in case you want as much power as possible. 

A new 120Hz screen ensures smoother scrolling

The new Surface Pro 8 is confirmed to feature a 120Hz refresh rate, which matches the specs of Apple’s iPads. This means the tablet display will look smoother when scrolling down a page, while also presenting fast motion more clearly. 

Unfortunately, Microsoft currently restricts the Xbox Cloud streaming performance to 60fps, so you won’t be able to get a boost to video game performance. That said, it’s certainly possible that Microsoft could be raising the frame rate cap in the future, which would make the 120Hz upgrade even more useful. 

The Surface Pro 7 has a 60Hz screen, which is half the refresh rate speed as its new sibling. The 60Hz figure is by no means bad, as it’s the standard for productivity displays, but the Surface Pro 8 screen will certainly look better, despite having a similar resolution.

Improved battery life 

Microsoft announced that the Surface Pro 8 will have a battery life of up to 16 hours, which is a big improvement on the 10.5-hour stamina of the Surface Pro 7. 

This isn’t a big surprise, as Intel’s 11th Generation of processors have demonstrated improved power efficiency in multiple other laptops this year when compared to the 10th Gen processors. Nevertheless, it’s still a very welcome upgrade, especially if you plan on working on the go frequently. 

It has Thunderbolt support

Microsoft has snubbed the Thunderbolt technology for the last few years, which is a big disappointment since it provides faster data transfer than standard USB-C ports. Fortunately, Microsoft is making a U-turn this year, and adding Thunderbolt 4 to its Surface Pro 8 device. 

The inclusion of Thunderbolt also means you’ll be able to connect multiple external monitors simultaneously, and hook up external GPUs if you want a graphics performance boost. 

This may feel like a minor advantage over the Surface Pro 7, but you’ll be surprised by how useful this feature can be, especially if you like a multi-screen setup or like to use external storage solutions. 

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