Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Review
So goodness, gracious weve had just about a decade of these and im kind of known as the surface lady, because i liked them before everybody else kind of started to fall in love with them, but they havent been doing much in the last couple of years. They kind of look the same iterative. You get the idea so finally, theres quite a few changes, including a redesign. I mean the basic idea and form factor are the same, but you get a bigger screen. You get smaller bezels, you get more powerful graphics and thunderbolt 4 yay. We are going to look at it now so its available in your choice of platinum, which is silver or graphite, which is matte black, but this time theyre using anodized aluminum, no more magnesium alloy. Whatever so it doesnt show fingerprints as much the black mall, which is pretty nice, that used to be a problem. It got a little bit heavier compared to last generation, though 1.96 pounds tablet only versus 1.7. The metrically inclined can see on screen the metric weights. There still under a kilogram in weight, though so on the light side and also still, as always, with the surface pro family. The complaint here is the keyboard and the pen are not included. They are an extra spend ill, get into whinging about the prices soon thats. You know one of the few things i really fault, microsoft for or complain about fault them. I dont know so much, but these are not inexpensive products.
However, they are solid usable products that can stand in for a laptop given the physical design in most ways and have the same horsepower as a 13 or 14 inch ultrabook in a more diminutive size and thats, pretty darn. Appealing and goodness knows, theres been enough clones from no name clones aplenty to dell has a latitude thats. Basically, a knock off of this lenovo has a thinkpad. That is basically a clone of this. That speaks to the fact that people so do still like this design. The design is a lot more like surface pro x, which was a better looking tablet, with smaller bezels that nice matte black look and a bit of a curve around the edges so easier to hold, looks a little nicer besides, but most especially it doesnt dig into Your hands so thats nice, because i could never personally be a surface pro x person because the whole canoodle of dealing with arm and compatibility and performance wasnt. So much for me, and also i like the bigger screen on the surface pro x and now weve got a 13 inch. Instead of that, 12.3 inch display its still ips its still what they call pixel sense at microsoft, ppi stays the same as last generation resolution is 2880 by 1920, so its certainly high enough resolution, given the size of the display. Obviously it supports touch and the new slim pen too, which is that carpenter, pencil kind of like design so theyve updated it ill talk about that, its actually pretty cool.
You can get with a core i5 or a core i7. These are quad core ultrabook cpus, which means 15 to 25 watts. Anomaly and performance, in fact, is like any other ultrabook with an intel, 11th gen, cpu and intel iris, xc graphics. The intel iris, xc graphics, gives you a nice boost over the old intel, uhd graphics. We have low power, ddr4x ram solder on board. Dual channel starts at eight gigs this time, no more four gigs for the consumer models anyway or you can get with 16 or you can get with 32 gigs of ram and for ssds you can go anywhere from a 128 to a 256 to a 512 gigabyte. Ssd or even a one terabyte, and that is a socketed m.2 2230, so its the half height harder to find ssd theres the gotcha with that. But it joins a surface pro x and service laptop three and four for having well. You can actually at least upgrade or replace the storage on this. If you want to speeds on the storage on our model, which is a 256 gig core i5. Okay, nothing impressive, pcie, three speeds here: it is nvme but not class, leading and for the prices they charge im a little miffed at that. Yes, i am even if most of you probably wont notice the difference so much there about having the fastest ssd or not. What missed me a little bit more is the display, which is actually quite nice, to look at if you sit back and start testing it by watching movies, youll go down the rabbit hole.
This looks really nice. I want to keep going so take it with a grain of salt, its not that bad either. Resolution is fine on this. It is a glossy display stool, so there is some glare on it, but um the color gamut on this we have full srgb were pushing into the 80s for p3 and adobe rgb, and for this price and given the fact that this is marketed in part to Creators i would like to see full p3 coverage should be competitive with some of the higher end displays. Would it be neat if this could be oled or mini led, like the 12.9 inch ipad pro? Should it be for this price? I kind of think so. I do while were talking about pricing. It starts at 10.99 called 1100 and it gets you a core i5 with 8 gigs of ram and 128 gig ssd, which is a darn small ssd by todays standards. We used to see it start at cheaper, like 750, with a core i3, but now only the business line is getting that option there, probably because it was kind of underpowered and most consumers probably didnt, buy that model anyway, im not going to miss the core. I3 configuration we have the core i5, with eight gigs of ram and the 256 gig ssd, which is twelve hundred dollars and for twelve hundred dollars. Im kind of a little annoyed that im only getting eight gigs of ram and a 256 gig ssd, which sort of sounds like im talking about mac laptops.
When i complain about such things, its not upgradable, ram either. So you know, i think a lot of people probably would like to have 16 gigs of ram to be up there with their what you can get for an xps 13 these days without blowing the bank and all that sort of thing. But if you want to get into those higher miles like a core i7 16 gigs of ram and a 256 gig ssd youre, looking at 1600, you can blow all the way up way over 2 000 with this, depending on how you want to configure. If you go for like a terabyte, ssd lte will be coming later this year, probably around december microsoft says so for right now, its wi fi only happily that wi fi is wi. Fi six intel is a x 201 car bluetooth 5.1. So for those of you who always hated the old marvel avistar wi fi adapter that they use with surface pros its gone, no more of those well were getting back to pricing for a little bit. Of course, this is a surface pro, so the price is never the price, because most people want to use this with the keyboard, so the type cover which is a new connector new design and its compatible with surface pro x, but not with surface pro 7. So you do have to go and get a new keyboard if you want to upgrade from a surface pro 7.
thats 179 bucks for the type cover, if you want it with the pen – and it has a neat little tray for charging the new pen thats 279. You get the pen and the keyboard if you buy the pen separately its 130. So if you got your heart set in the pen, you might as well just get the type cover with the pen bundle, obviously and theres still a fingerprint scanner keyboard thats 200. So your spend is obviously going to be around up to 300 more if you want the keyboard and the pen, in addition to the base price so theres that both the core i5 and the core i7 have fans. I have not really heard that much. So not an issue here and there is ventilation all around the edges. I havent felt hot air blowing on and holding it in my hands when doing things like using adobe photoshop to edit photos or to do drawings with many layers the things that would get a surface hot on the back. It gets warm it didnt get as hot. So the cooling is quite effective here, and the intel 11th gen cpu seems to be managing performance levels are pretty good on it again, its the same as any 13 inch laptop that youre going to buy these days from the intel side of the field in windows. Landso thats pretty good, and you know there is amd to consider too and apples m1, but just keep being intel right now.
Performance is good on this. I think for the target audience, which is mostly people looking for an ultra portable laptop, where they can use a pen and can take notes, youve got more than a horsepower. Now you can even do some occasional video editing if you want it, even though i prefer a mobile workstation, if youre going to be doing that a lot of the time, so this runs windows 11 out of the box. Now i never even did a video on windows 11, because mostly its just a facelift on top of windows 10., and i do like the look of it and you can do things like put the whole task bar back to the left, where it used to be. If you feel more comfortable doing that, instead of centered, like ive, done that the dialogues look a little bit more modern, the icons are quite flat. You get the idea, you can still go down and drill into certain settings and see things thats, probably date from the windows. 7 era. Almost you know, but mostly theyve done a good job with that, and i havent had any compatibility issues with games or adobe apps or any of the kinds of stuff that we run on our laptops these days, so that stuff is all good for ports. We have two thunderbolt four ports, so you know it used to be such a headache and there was that surface dock. That was always finicky if you wanted multiple external monitors and all that now, that stuff gets to be a whole lot easier.
So you want two external 4k displays. Yes, you can do that. You can have that without going crazy, you can hook it up to a thunderbolt 3 or a thunderball 4 dock. You can even use it with an egpu. Yes, that actually works. If you actually want to game on this um to me, this is not a hardcore gaming product by any means, but that certainly does transform what you could do with it, which is nice bad thing is, it is dongle life for you, theres, no, more usb, a Port, obviously the mini display port was whacked a while ago and was replaced by usbc with the surface pro 7, but yeah. You do still get a headphone jack, though the micro sd card slot, sadly, is gone creators. So the new type cover is quite good. Its now got carbon fiber inside i ive always liked the type covers some people do some people dont. I think most people are okay with them. Its decent key travel, its a white backlit keyboard, but its a little bit less noisy. Now, when you type you dont have that hollow kind of whack, whack whack thing going on that can really annoy folks around you, so theres, less of that the trackpad click and the microsoft precision trackpad is still on the loud side for those of you who click Instead of just tapping on it and its still not a very big trackpad, but it works really well now the pan, i was really surprised by the slim pen too.
I know it had haptic feedback and stuff like that. This isnt, like your phone vibrating in a dumb way, it actually tries to mimic and apps that support it like sketchable and microsoft journal, which is pretty cool. This is not a journal from 10 years ago. Go check it out its supposed to be coming to adobe fresco and more apps support for it. Now, what its supposed to do is actually make it feel like you are sketching or painting or whatever it is or writing on the glass and it actually works. Now, if you watch my channel, you know that i do a lot of tech for artists and i love to do art on ipads on wacom cintiqs and all that sort of thing. Surface pro has never been my favorite between the skatey pen on the glass and the kind of jittery like diagonal line, issues and stuff like that, and the lack of a good feel wasnt my favorite. Well, this has changed things. A lot. First, off diagonal lines have gotten a lot more stable. The slow diagonal line test, the fast ones are always fine. The feedback and the fact that the nib is now much more grippy. So youre not skating on the glass its much more grippy than an ipad pro, for example, with an apple pencil, really helps. And then you get this feedback and when youre using a paintbrush, it kind of feels like a sloshy slightly yet grabby feeling you switch to a pencil and its more like scratchy and you switch the eraser, you kind of feel its scrubbing.
You know the tactile feel makes it surprisingly much easier to do digital art when youre mimicking natural medias physical experience. Now the only time youll feel a haptic buzz. That kind of reminds your phone or something like that is in some apps. If you switch between tools, itll do a vibrate just like a to let you know that youve switched tools and there is a control panel that lets you set the amount of haptic feedback that you get from the pen. The default is 50. I, like it at about 75, depends on how sensitive your hands are to these things. I leave that up to you. This is a rechargeable pen again, so you just drop it in that slot on the keyboard and you can recharge it. Another thing that helps with the drawing and the writing experience is the new 120 hertz refresh display, so just like, we saw with apple and promotion if the screen is redrawing faster to follow what youre doing with your lines, because a lot of us do sketch fast Or right fast, it seems more immediate and more responsive, so thats a good thing, so thats another nice feature for surface pro 8.. Now the only thing is out of the box because they want you to get better battery life. I guess, and they have to make you work for it. If you want it, you actually have to go into display settings and then advanced display settings, which is where you then get to see more elaborate dialogues, and then you can switch it to 120 hertz.
Now microsoft said: variable refresh is coming so youre not wasting your screen refresh cycles, but that might not happen until maybe the end of the year with an update. The display, by the way, also supports dolby vision for hdr. We have dolby atmos sound. The speakers on this, given the size of the tablet are quite good, theres. Actually, some bass, you know dont expect it to rumble, because this is a under two pound tablet, but its pretty good its good enough to actually enjoy watching movies. On so how about battery life, the surfaces pros have never had the greatest battery life, not atrocious, but somewhere in between and now we have a 51.5 watt hour battery and it comes with the 65 watt charger yeah that and well battery life depends on whether youre At 60, hertz or 120 hertz, typically, you lose about an hour of battery run time by running at 120. Hertz again, if they get that variable refresh working, probably the hit will be less so running it. At 60, hertz, just like older surface pros, would have been ive, been averaging about eight and a half hours of battery life, with the display set at 200 nits of brightness, and obviously the display can go way brighter than that. So if youre, one of those people that likes to amp up the brightness, you might get shorter run times too, but im using it with a mix of light office and productivity tests just a little bit of photoshop.
So if you tend to be pretty light on stuff and not do anything using the intel iris, xc graphics, you might do better than that. Now i got seven hours running it at 120, hertz under the same scenario, so theres that so thats the microsoft surface. Pro 8 for 2021 and finally, a whole laundry list of improvements here, modernizations like thunderball, 4, 120 hertz display, which is something you dont usually see, except on gaming laptops. And now we have better pen performance to the point where i actually like it for drawing now. So thats a lot to like, i would say that the surface pro line is still a niche product, but a lot of people want them and buy them. So i dont think it really is that niche. This is really for people who are into note taking or art and who want something, really crazy, powerful that still might fit in a hotel safe. You know which many of your laptops are not going to do its really portable, as always the biggest caveat other than you know. You have to be okay with the kickstand digging into your legs. Sometimes is the price it aint cheap, but it never has been. So no surprise, not lisa from a whole tech review, be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel for more cool tech videos and hit the notification bell.