Microsoft is enjoying a nice little renaissance buoyed by its exceptional commitment to cloud computing. That’s not what this article is about, but it’s nice to see that the company’s cloud success is leading to improvements across the board. Which brings us to the Surface Pro Seven, the latest iteration of Microsoft’s tablet/PC.
This is the flagship model, and its previous success has led to evolution as opposed to revolution. The main upgrade is Intel’s “Ice Lake” processor, which speeds things up a noticeable bit. There are also now USB-C ports, which adds much needed compatibility for connecting.
The rest of the package appears very much the same. Same magnesium-alloy design, which certainly is a good thing to carry over to this next generation. The bezel is still a little thick, which causes the design to appear somewhat dated next to the competition, but this is more of an aesthetic issue than a functional issue. The display is still very sharp and the touch response is very good.
Other successful features that have been carried over include a very usable kickstand and outstanding battery life. There will, doubtless, be comparisons with the Surface X, but keep in mind that device, while having a more modern feel, is more comparable to an iPad and not a fully feature PC. One of the best features about the Surface Pro Seven is that it continues to be a fully featured Windows PC.
One problem with the Surface Pro Seven, that is somewhat related to the fact that this is a legit PC with a great touchscreen, is the keyboard. For some reason, this is not included in the price, and never has been with previous models. So, while it works well and attaches easily to the bottom of the screen via magnet, there is still a $160 premium that has to be paid on top of the computer price. You get a lot for this price, including a nice key travel, backlighting, and an integrated touchpad. The point is that you really need this accessory (or something like it) to complete the PC experience. Otherwise, this is just an iPad that runs Windows, and not a real PC.
Putting aside that criticism, which really comes down to packaging, the Surface Pro Seven is a terrific experience. The new chip is a success and everything that we liked about the old device is still part of the product. If you want one device that integrates with your Windows systems at work, but allows you the convenience and versatility of a large tablet, the new Surface Pro Seven really can do it all.