Surface Pro 7 Laptop Review

About Surface Pro 7

The Surface Pro 7 is part of the line of Microsoft Surface Windows computers. It starts at $749.99 and is just .33 inch thick and weighs 1.7 or 1.74 pounds, depending on the Intel processor inside; one of Microsoft’s Type Covers adds .2 inch and .68 pounds. Because Windows 10’s on-screen keyboard occupies much of the 12.3-inch, 2736x1824 touchscreen, you should count on purchasing a type cover ($129.99 and up when purchased separately, although the covers are discounted when purchased with a Surface Pro 7).

Because the Microsoft Surface’s solid-state drive (SSD) storage starts at just 128 gigabytes (GB), which most people will quickly exhaust in Windows, you should also budget for extra storage. Microsoft offers 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 terabyte (TB) drives. Higher-capacity drives require buying faster Intel processors, so upgrading storage pushes the overall price past $1,000. Microsoft estimates up to 10.5 hours of battery life.

The Surface Pro 7 includes a microSDXC card slot, one USB-A and one USB-C port, and a Surface Connect plug for Microsoft’s proprietary, quick-detach charger. There is no Thunderbolt 3 port. It also features Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity for wireless peripherals; Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking; a 5 megapixel, 1080p video camera; and an 8 MP camera on the back.

Surface Pro 7

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 is a 2-in-1 detachable Windows laptop that’s more of a tablet. Its core components reside behind its 12.3-inch touchscreen, allowing you to detach the keyboard and use the device like a tablet, including writing on it with the Surface Pen. You don’t even have to buy a Surface with one of Microsoft’s magnetically-attached Type Cover keyboards, although that’s highly recommended unless you want to confine your typing to Windows 10’s large on-screen keyboard. Like earlier versions of the Surface that Microsoft introduced in 2012, the Surface Pro 7 features a kickstand on the back to hold it upright, which can make it tricky to use on your lap. In addition, it only has two ports: one USB-C and one USB-A.

Surface Pro 7

Buy it now on - Amazon or Microsoft

Surface Pro 7 Review

The Surface Pro 7 is 12th in our Best Laptops of 2021 list, fourth on our list of the Best Cheap Laptops of 2021, No. 5 in Best 2-in-1 Laptops, and No. 5 in Best Laptops for College. It draws many of the same compliments from reviewers as the first Surface. Users still like its trim lines and light weight; almost no other Windows laptop is as light, even after you add a Type Cover. The Surface Pro 7’s addition of a port for USB-C devices, which you can also use to charge the laptop in place of the Surface Connect, means owners are no longer stuck if they lose the charger that came in the box.

But the Microsoft Surface's battery life is now on the low end for Windows laptops, while Microsoft’s prices for extra memory and storage are on the high end. It’s also a generation behind Intel’s current processors, which costs it a bit in performance.

Finally, the detachable design of the Surface Pro 7, in which the kickstand on the back holds up the computer as you type, makes it problematic for use on your lap or a small table or desk. If the back of the kickstand slides off that perch, you will need to catch it quick before it tumbles to the floor.

Is the Surface Pro 7 Right for Me?

Best for those who:

✓ Want the lightest possible Windows laptop

✓ Install relatively few Windows apps

✓ Like Windows 10’s touch interface

Not recommended for those who:

- Need a lot of storage space

- Want maximum battery life

In a market full of lookalike laptops, the Surface Pro 7 stands apart both by virtue of the company behind it and its basic design. These can be points in the Surface Pro 7’s favor, on top of its exceptional portability. But this also means you’ll have to learn new habits, especially if you haven't before used a touchscreen Windows laptop.

Other Products Offered By Microsoft

Microsoft has been shipping software for personal computers since the 1980s, but it waited until 2012 to join the market for PC hardware. In addition to the Surface Pro 7, its computer lineup includes two tablets along the lines of the Surface Pro 7 (the compact and affordable Surface Go 2 and the LTE-broadband-equipped Surface Pro X); two 2-in-1 detachable laptops (two sizes of the Surface Book 3); and two more traditional laptops (the Surface Laptop Go and the Surface Laptop 3 in its two sizes). It also offers one high-end desktop, the all-in-one Surface Studio 2.

How Much Does the Surface Pro 7 Cost?

The $749.99 starting price for the Surface Pro 7 quickly rises if you add a Type Cover and/or extra storage. Type Covers have list prices of $129.99 to $159.99 but are often discounted, especially when sold as a bundle with a Surface Pro. Getting more storage than the entry-level 128 GB SSD requires also stepping up to a faster processor and doubling the 4 GB memory to 8 GB, a $400 expense compared to the base configuration. List prices max out at $2,299.99 for a model with an Intel i7 processor, 16 GB of memory, and a 1 terabyte SSD. A Surface Pen retails for $69.99

How to Buy a Surface Pro 7

If you don’t buy a Surface Pro 7 and a Type Cover together, you risk overpaying by a huge margin. But those bundles also limit your storage and memory options compared to what's available if you buy a Surface Pro 7 by itself. Third-party retailers might offer lower prices and/or faster delivery times than Microsoft's website. To buy a Surface Pro 7:

1. Pick a Type Cover. Most Surface Pro 7 users will want one. Microsoft sells three different kinds: the standard Type Cover or one with a backlit keyboard or fingerprint reader (you can’t get both features at once).

2. Assess your memory and storage needs. The 128 GB drive on the base model will be too small for most people, but buying more than 256 GB of storage gets expensive quickly.

3. Compare pricing at Microsoft and others, then buy.

Surface Pro 7 FAQ

What Is the Surface Pro 7 Warranty?

Microsoft offers a one-year warranty on the Surface Pro 7, which you can augment by purchasing Microsoft’s Accidental Damage Protection coverage; two years costs $149, three costs $219, and four costs $299.

How do I contact Microsoft customer service?

Microsoft offers tech support (free for the first 90 days) via a toll-free line. Alternatively, you can chat live with a support agent or request a callback to your phone.

Can the Surface Pro 7 be upgraded?

No. Nothing on the Surface Pro 7 can be upgraded, so choose a configuration that will meet your needs well into the future. Also, remember that the Surface Pro 7 has a limited set of ports for USB-C and USB-A devices.

Surface Pro 7 vs. the Competition

Which Is Better: Surface Pro 7 or the HP Envy x360?

- Among 2-in-1 laptops, HP’s Envy x360 comes closest to the Surface Pro 7’s starting price at $50 less. As with the Surface Pro 7, that price buys an inadequate 128 GB solid-state drive, so your real cost will escalate from there. But where Microsoft also requires you to buy the keyboard, the Envy x360 includes one that's permanently attached. HP’s 2-in-1 convertible design makes for a laptop better suited for extended typing, especially in an actual lap. For its part, Microsoft’s 2-in-1 detachable design allows you to have a much lighter, touchscreen-only device with the Type Cover detached.

Which Is Better: Surface Pro 7 or the Google Pixelbook Go?

- The Pixelbook Go’s traditional design looks more like a traditional Windows laptop than Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7. Both devices ship with small SSDs, but the Surface’s SSD will probably run out of room first thanks to the space taken up by Windows apps. Windows 10 itself is a higher-maintenance operating system than Chrome OS, but it's more useful and doesn't require a constant internet connection.

Which Is Better: Surface Pro 7 or Asus Vivobook S15?

- The Vivobook S15 looks positively old-school next to the Surface Pro 7 or any Microsoft Surface computer; not only does the Asus laptop’s screen not rotate 360 degrees or detach, but it also doesn’t respond to touch. The Vivobook also weighs almost twice as much as the Surface. But it includes far more storage, with a 512 GB SSD as the default, and it offers a wide variety of input/output options: three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, one HDMI port, and an SD Card slot. For longtime Windows users who don't need Windows 10’s touch controls, the Vivobook S15 is the better fit.


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