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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Should you get a Surface Pro 8 or a Surface Pro X?

Big update

Surface Pro 8

From $1,100 at Microsoft (preorder)

Pros

Same larger display as the Surface Pro X
Latest generation Intel processors
Thunderbolt 4
Supports new Slim Pen
Wi-Fi 6 and optional LTE

Cons

Pricey
Still requires extra purchase for keyboard

The Surface Pro 8 is the biggest redesign to the Surface Pro lineup in a number of years. It now combines the sleek, improved form factor of the Surface Pro X with powerful internals, optional LTE and finally, Thunderbolt 4.

ARM-powered

Surface Pro X

From $900 at Microsoft (preorder)

Pros

Adreno GPU is pretty potent
LTE connectivity standard
Two USB-C ports
Thin and light
Smart design with Surface Slim Pen

Cons

No Wi-Fi 6 connectivity
Still requires extra purchase for keyboard
No 3.5mm audio jack

The Surface Pro X is powered by a custom SQ1 or SQ2 CPU with Adreno 685 or 690 graphics (GPU) for ARM power and good battery life. The redesign to the Surface Pro 8 overshadows it, though.

Surface Pro 8 vs. Surface Pro X: Tech specs

While the Surface Pro 8 has seen a significant hardware bump over its predecessor, the Surface Pro X has remained mostly identical, with the only really noticeable change being the availability of a Wi-Fi-only version.

Category
Surface Pro X (late 2021)
Surface Pro 8

OS
Windows 11 Home on ARM
Windows 10 Home on ARM (LTE)
Windows 11 Pro on ARM (commercial, LTE)
Windows 11 Home
Windows 11 Pro (commercial)
Windows 10 Pro (commercial)

Processor
SQ1
SQ2
Consumer:
11th Gen Intel
Core i5-1135G7
Core i7-1185G7
Commercial:
11th Gen Intel
Core i3-1115G4
Core i5-1145G7
Core i7-1185G7


8GB, 16GB
LPDDR4x
8GB, 16GB, 32GB
LPDDR4x

Graphics
SQ1 Adreno 685
SQ2 Adreno 690
Intel UHD (i3)
Intel Iris Xe (i5, i7)

Storage
128GB, 256GB, 512GB SSD
Upgradeable
128GB, 256GB SSD (Wi-Fi, LTE)
512GB, 1TB SSD (Wi-Fi)

Display
13 inches
2880×1920
267 PPI
3:2 aspect ratio
Touch
13 inches
2880×1920
267 PPI
3:2 aspect ratio
Up to 120Hz (60Hz default)
Touch

Ports
Two USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2)
Surface Connect
Nano SIM (LTE model)
Two Thunderbolt 4
Surface Connect
3.5mm audio

Audio
Dual 2W speakers
Dolby Audio
Dual far-field studio mics
Dual 2W stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos
Dual far-field studio mics

Connectivity
Wi-Fi 5
Bluetooth 5.0
Snapdragon X24 LTE
Nano SIM, eSIM support
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.1
Snapdragon X20 LTE
eSIM support

Camera
IR camera
Front-facing 5MP (1080p)
Rear-facing 10MP (1080p, 4K)
IR camera
Front-facing 5MP (1080p)
Rear-facing 10MP (1080p, 4K)

Keyboard
Surface Pro Signature keyboard
Surface Pro keyboard
Not included
Surface Pro Signature keyboard
Not included

Touchpad
Precision
Precision

Pen
Surface Slim Pen 2
Not included
Surface Slim Pen 2
Not included

Security
Firmware TPM
BitLocker support
IR camera
TPM 2.0
IR camera

Battery
Up to 15 hours
Up to 16 hours

Dimensions
11.3 x 8.2 x 0.28 inches
(287mm x 208mm x 7.3mm)
11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches
(287mm x 208.3mm x 9.4mm)

Weight
From 1.7 pounds (774g)
1.96 pounds (891g)

Color
Platinum
Matte Black
Platinum
Graphite

Surface Pro 8 gets its biggest upgrade in years

As much of a game-changing device the Surface Pro has proved to be for the Windows ecosystem, every year there has always been something missing. With the Surface Pro 8 that finally goes away, as the device has seen its biggest upgrade in some years.

On the outside, it now looks basically identical to the Surface Pro X. It’s a little thicker and a little heavier, but the display has been bumped to the same 13 inches as you find on the Pro X with the same super skinny bezels. The Surface Pro 8 also supports the newest signature keyboard cover and the Surface Slim Pen. And like the Pro X, it also comes in both Wi-Fi-only and cellular versions.

But one of the biggest omissions has always been Thunderbolt, which for a device with “Pro” in its name, felt like a mistake. That’s now finally been rectified, and Thunderbolt 4 is on the Surface Pro 8 for superfast data transfer. If you always wanted to use an eGPU, a Thunderbolt dock, or a Thunderbolt-enabled external display with your Surface Pro, now you can.

Thunderbolt doesn’t come at the expense of anything else, either. It retains the Surface Connect port so legacy docks and chargers can still be used.

Surface Pro X is now the cheaper option

With the addition of a Wi-Fi-only version of the Surface Pro X, it now becomes the cheapest option for a 2021 model Surface Pro. Starting at $900, removing the cellular connectivity drops $100 off the entry-level model and $200 off more expensive specifications.

By comparison, a Wi-Fi-only Surface Pro 8 starts at $1,100. Naturally, even the base model benefits from features the Surface Pro X doesn’t have, like Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4, but at $200 more expensive. If these features don’t interest you, then you stand to save a good chunk of change going with the Surface Pro X.

If price is important and you’re looking to get a new Surface Pro for the lowest possible price, then the Surface Pro X certainly has the edge.

Windows 11 out of the box (mostly)

Naturally, the newest Surface Pro devices will ship with Windows 11. Mostly. The new Wi-Fi-only model of the Surface Pro X will ship with Windows 11 pre-installed, though is currently saying that the LTE model will still ship with Windows 10 and that you’ll have to do the upgrade yourself.

It’s also worth remembering that the Surface Pro X will be running Windows 11 on ARM. Windows for ARM processors has come a long way, but it should still be remembered that you may encounter issues with compatibility. That said, if you mostly use Store applications, you should be OK.

The enterprise versions of the Surface Pro 8 are also available with Windows 10, but the upgrade to Windows 11 isn’t a difficult process if you do need to do it yourself.

Difficult but not impossible choice

With two devices that are extremely close to each other, choosing can be difficult, but not impossible. Ultimately you should consider a couple of things.

If you want to spend the least, the Surface Pro X is a perfect choice. It’s close enough to the Surface Pro 8 for the average user that you shouldn’t notice much difference in overall use. It supports the same keyboard and pen, looks the same, has similar battery life and is actually slimmer and lighter.

If performance is more important, as are features like Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4, then you’re better off with the Surface Pro 8.

Surface Pro 8

From $1,100 at Microsoft (preorder)

thinned the bezels and refined the design of its flagship 2-in-1 to make the Surface Pro 8. It’s more than twice as fast as the Surface Pro 7 as well.

Surface Pro X

From $900 at Microsoft (preorder)

The Surface Pro X didn’t get a design refresh or a spec bump. It did, however, gain an option for a model without LTE, which lowers the starting price of the device.

Big update

Surface Pro 8

From $1,100 at Microsoft (preorder)

Pros

Same larger display as the Surface Pro X
Latest generation Intel processors
Thunderbolt 4
Supports new Slim Pen
Wi-Fi 6 and optional LTE

Cons

Pricey
Still requires extra purchase for keyboard

The Surface Pro 8 is the biggest redesign to the Surface Pro lineup in a number of years. It now combines the sleek, improved form factor of the Surface Pro X with powerful internals, optional LTE and finally, Thunderbolt 4.

ARM-powered

Surface Pro X

From $900 at Microsoft (preorder)

Pros

Adreno GPU is pretty potent
LTE connectivity standard
Two USB-C ports
Thin and light
Smart design with Surface Slim Pen

Cons

No Wi-Fi 6 connectivity
Still requires extra purchase for keyboard
No 3.5mm audio jack

The Surface Pro X is powered by a custom SQ1 or SQ2 CPU with Adreno 685 or 690 graphics (GPU) for ARM power and good battery life. The redesign to the Surface Pro 8 overshadows it, tho…

Source : Windows Central – News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10, Windows 11, and all things Microsoft. Read More

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