Unlock more possibilities than ever with the Pro designed for a Pro like you. The first consumer laptop-to-tablet PC designed on the Intel Evo platform⁹ and designed to light up the best of Windows 11, Surface Pro 8 combines the power of a laptop with the flexibility of a tablet, and every angle in between. Do great things with a larger 13” touchscreen, faster connections with Thunderbolt 4 ports, and extra speed when you need it.
Surface Pro 8 combines the power of a laptop with the flexibility of a tablet, and every angle in between, with the iconic Kickstand and larger 13” touchscreen.
Windows 11 brings you closer to what you love
Family, friends, passions, music, creations – Windows 11 is the one place for it all. With a fresh new feel and tools that make it easier to be efficient, it has what you need for whatever’s next.
13” PixelSense Flow Display with 2880 x 1920 resolution
Immerse yourself in the high-res 13” PixelSense Flow touch display, with up to 120Hz refresh rate for a smoother, more responsive touch experience.
16GB internal storage
Plenty of space for music, movies, photos and more.
Dual HD cameras for photos and face-to-face chat
Built-in 5.0MP 1080p front-facing camera – automatically adjusts to lighting conditions and to more accurately reflect natural skin tones.
Do it all with the Intel Evo platform
The first Surface Pro built on the Intel Evo platform, Surface Pro 8 is designed to light up the best of Windows 11.
Surface Signature Keyboard
Next-level versatility in the perfect, premium Keyboard, with large glass trackpad, and luxurious Alcantara.*
Our most advanced display in a Pro
Immerse yourself in the high-res 13” PixelSense Flow touch display, with up to 120Hz refresh rate for a smoother, more responsive pen and touch experience.
Thunderbolt 4 ports for the ultimate desktop
Create your ultimate productivity setup with multiple 4K monitors, always have large creative files on hand with an external hard drive, or create a dream gaming setup with an external GPU.*
Focus on the big ideas, not your battery life
Stay connected to what matters all day with up to 16 hours of battery life¹ and Fast Charging to go from low battery to full faster.
You won’t forget this password
Securely unlock with facial recognition and improved Windows Hello camera.
Seriously good sound
Dual front-facing speakers with Dolby Atmos deliver immersive sound for your favorite films or games.⁴ Dual far-field Studio Mics ensure crystal-clear video calls.
Mark up, edit, or create at any angle
The industry-leading Kickstand adjusts nearly 180 degrees effortlessly – it's like magic.
*Some accessories and software sold separately. Surface Pen 2 sold separately. Surface Pro Signature Keyboard and Keyboards are sold separately. Only Surface Pro Signature Keyboard has Surface Pen 2 storage and charging capabilities.
**Pen storage and charging available on select Keyboards.
**Certain features require specific hardware. Chatting via SMS is available in limited countries and will be made available to other geos on a rolling basis. Please refer to this page for more details Internet access required, ISP fees may apply.
¹Battery life varies significantly based on usage, network and feature configuration, signal strength, settings and other factors. See aka.ms/SurfaceBatteryPerformance for details
²Weight not including Surface Pro Type Cover or Surface Pro Signature Type Cover.
³Available colors for accessories, Type Cover (sold separately), and Surface Pro 8 may vary by market and configuration.
⁵Requires Dolby Vision encoded content and video. ⁶Requires Dolby Atmos encoded content and audio.
⁶Comparison of viewable content on Surface devices with 3:2 aspect ratio v. laptops with 16:10 or 16:9 aspect ratio.
⁸During the device support period provided by Microsoft Surface.
⁹Select SKUs built on the Intel Evo Platform.
Tactile signals with Surface Slim Pen 2 can be experienced on some applications on Surface Pro 8 running Windows 11. Surface Slim Pen 2 sold separately.
Surface Pro 8
Quick Start Guide
Safety and warranty documents
2880 x 1920
Intel 11th Gen Core i7-1185G7
Total Storage Capacity
Windows 11 Home
Surface Pro 8 – 13” Touch Screen – Intel Evo platform Core i7 – 16GB Memory – 256GB SSD – Device Only (Latest Model)
Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Year of Release
2880 x 1920
Built for Windows Ink (Active)
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Intel 11th Gen Core i7-1185G7
Total Storage Capacity
System Memory (RAM)
Type of Memory (RAM)
Windows 11 Home
Operating System Compatibility
Battery Life (up to)
Front Facing Camera Megapixels
Front Facing Camera Video Resolution
Rear Facing Camera Megapixels
Rear Facing Camera Video Resolution
Certifications & Listings
Windows 11 Home, Preloaded Microsoft 365 Apps⁴, Microsoft 365 Family 30-day trial⁵, Preloaded Xbox App⁵, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate one month trial³
The vast majority of our reviews come from verified purchases. Reviews from customers may include My Best Buy members, employees, and Tech Insider Network members (as tagged). Select reviewers may receive discounted products or points for an honest, helpful review.
Page 1 Showing 1-8 of 337 reviews
Design, Display, Keyboard
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Beauty and a Beast
Whether you’re looking for a laptop or tablet, the new Microsoft Surface Pro 8 can meet both of your needs. The Surface Pro is compact, powerful, portable, tablet and a laptop all in one. The model I tested out for this review came with the intel 11th Gen Core i7 Processor, with 16GB of ram and 256 GB SSD storage and came pre-installed with the new Microsoft Windows 11 Home edition with Dual HD Cameras, 2 thunderbolt 4 ports with 120Hz refresh rate, responsive touchscreen and arguably the best laptop/tablet combination that I have tested. In this review we will go over the features, Pros and Cons of the all-new Surface Pro 8.
Even though the model I tested out was not the top of line mode, it still performed admirably in most the tasks that I performed with it. I have been using the Surface Pro 8 for a few days for my office work, letting the kids work on it, and my wife with her photoshop and video editing and all in all it has performed well in all aspects.
Processor – The Surface Pro 8 comes in two processor variations. You can get the intel 11th Gen Core i5 and Core i7. The i7 is an 8 Core processor with 16 mb of Cache memory and the clock speed of 3 GHz. This processor is great for multitasking, running photoshop, media creation software and even gaming.
Memory – The Surface Pro 8 also comes with multiple options for memory as well. You can get yours in either 8, 16 or 32GBs of memory. The unit I tested came with 16GB of memory and it was more than enough for me to pretty accomplish all my tasks. I was able to run games, video editing software and multitask with no issues. One major issue with this unit is that you cannot upgrade the memory on your own afterwards if you decide to upgrade your ram without destroying your unit, you will have to send it to Microsoft or their certified repair shop for an upgrade so it would be better if you go with more than what you would need to avoid the hassle in the future.
Storage – You have multiple options available for storage as well but the best part of that is you can upgrade your storage on your own when feasible. I really loved this option and I believe Microsoft should have done with same with the Memory as well.
Graphics – Now, this is where the Surface let me down a bit. This unit comes with Intel Iris Xe Graphics card, and even though the graphics card is not horrible, but it does not really make for an amazing gaming experience but at the same time Surface is not built for gaming, it still holds it own. I would not recommend any running any graphics and processor heavy games because the fans do start to get a bit loud, but overall, I was able to achieve 60 fps on some games. Not bad.
Keyboard and Stylus – Even though the on-screen keyboard on the surface pro 8 works well, the optional Signature Keyboard and the slim pen is amazing and, in my opinion, a must buy. The keyboard clips on to the bottom of the Surface with magnets. I have always loved and have been amazed by the pen and keyboard combo from Microsoft. They keyboard is nice and firm, and the keys are responsive and can be lifted a bit to provide a better tying angle. The keyboard also has built-in storage and charger for the pen. They keyboard has a beautiful Alcantara finish and a large and responsive touch pad. The Slim Pen 2 also got some upgrades from the previous model. The pen is slimmer and a bit more tapered at the tip, so it provides for better handling. The pen also provides haptic feedback when used on the screen which was cool and just works so well with the screen. The pen can be used to write notes, feels so much better then writing on paper, or even just have fun and be artistic, (if my 7-year-old can do that on that with the pen, imagine what you can do, see picture) and serves as a screen protector for your tablet/laptop when not in use.
Ports- The Surface pro has two thunder bold 4 ports which can be used for multiple things, such as connecting an external SSD, external displays, and even charging, which I have been doing. Microsoft does provide a charging brick, but it’s a bit bulk and looking at how portable this thing is, it just makes sense to carry a nano charger with you. The surface also has a proprietary surface port which is used for charging with the provided charging brick and one of my favorites, an audio jack. Most companies have been doing away with them, but I honestly love them.
WIFI 6 and Bluetooth – No complaints, fast, and reliable connection.
HD Cameras: Front facing camera is 5 megapixels 1080p and the rear is 10 megapixels 1080p. The front facing camera worked great. I used them for a few of my meetings and the image quality was amazing, compared to my current laptop.
Windows 11 – Windows 11 will take a bit of getting used to. I love how it looks and how somethings have become accessible, it seems others are a bit hard to find. I have upgraded my other laptops to windows 11 but it was much easier to use to tablet design laptop with the touch screen. The icons are centered in the middle, you can add widgets, you can run multiple desktops, but it will take some time to find everything and discover all its features.
Extremely Portable, Lightweight – Weighs only 2lbs.
Great for multitasking, office work and getting creative
Love the pen and the keyboard combo
Thunderbolt 4 ports – multi-purpose
13in Beautiful and responsive touch screen
Expandable Storage Option
Amazing Sound Quality
Overall, The Surface Pro 8 is an amazing machine, that is extremely portable, versatile, and a powerhouse. This is a great option for school, office, gaming and even just letting your creativity loose with the slim pen. The Surface pro series is the best laptop/tablet combo I have used. Microsoft has done an amazing job fitting a laptop into a tablet design, giving us the best of both worlds. I would highly recommend you give this perky little device a shot.
I’ve had quite a few 2-in-1 Windows computers over the years (none of which were an MS Surface) and they’ve always left me wanting. They worked fine as laptops but “tablet mode” in Windows 10 never impressed me as it felt disjointed, like I was using a completely different computer. With the advent of Windows 11 I decided to try a Surface Pro 8 and experience Microsoft’s direct take on what the Windows “tablet” experience should be. It’s not perfect, there are plenty of “Windows” apps and experiences that don’t intuitively translate to a touch/pen interface IMHO. However, with the combo of Windows 11 and this Surface Pro 8 I can confidently say that this is the first time I’ve felt a Windows computer could be productive without a physical keyboard, though add the keyboard/pen case and you get the best of all worlds. An obvious comparison, as I was asked repeatedly while using this out and about, is how does it compare to an iPad Pro. To me, the main difference is that an iPad Pro is a tablet trying very hard to convince you it can be a computer, while the Surface Pro 8 is a full computer doing its best to convince you it can be a tablet. Tastes will vary, having used both side-by-side I much prefer the Surface Pro 8.
The Surface Pro 8:
Right to the point, where the Surface Pro 8 excels is in portability. It’s so thin and light I can slip it into a secondary backpack compartment without hardly any thought at all about space or weight. Battery life is respectable enough to get me through a day of on-again/off-again campus computing -- I’d take this to a day of college classes and it got me through everything fine so long as I stuck to note taking, web, documents, and some light personal use between classes. I’d be down to 30-40% when the school day was done -- it packed enough juice that I never felt like I needed to carry the power adapter and stay near an outlet to get through my day.
This is my first MS Surface computer so I came into it with no specific expectations save that I expected Microsoft to “get it right” when it came to hardware and design for their own OS. The Surface Pro 8 didn’t disappoint, right out of the box it came across as a clean and clever device and I repeatedly found myself liking each aspect of it “more than I expected”. The display is suitably high-res @ 2880x1920 and up to 120Hz, though it’ll be 60Hz out of the box so if you want that extra bit of smoothness (at the cost of some battery life) you’ll want to go into the display settings and bump it up. The internal display also supports HDR / Dolby Vision video, though this is the one aspect that actually fell short of my expectations in practice.
I also got and recommend the Surface Pro Keyboard + Slim Pen. Though I found the Surface Pro 8 was pretty usable without a keyboard, for most activities, these round out the experience for full on document writing. When not using the keyboard, Windows 11 provides a decent onscreen keyboard and/or handwriting recognition mode -- both slower than a physical keyboard but they’ll get the job done for light writing.
As a tablet, this is probably as big as I’d want to go. I’ve had 15” and even 17” 2-in-1 PCs before and that’s just too big to use as a “tablet”, but at 13” and a 3:2 ratio the Surface Pro toes that line quite nicely. Or, kick out the backstand and flip the keyboard to the front to go into “laptop” mode which worked much better on my actual lap than I expected, and on a desk or table it’s downright comfy, the Surface Pro 8 physical keyboard is frankly pretty outstanding.
For video the Iris Xe graphics are remarkably adequate for light gaming. I’d not recommend anyone get a Surface Pro 8 FOR gaming, but at low to medium settings the Surface Pro 8 can pull it off in a pinch if it’s what you have on hand.
Audio -- I’ll just say that the internal mic and speakers blew me away for this form factor. The built-in speakers are surprisingly rich and full, possibly better than even on any full-size laptop I’ve ever owned. Though you’re not going to “shake the walls”, sitting right in front of it in a normal viewing position for movies or music it sounds… remarkably good. And for when you can’t use speakers the Surface Pro 8 still pays respect to the tried-and-true 3.5mm jack, or plug in a pair of USB-C headphones or go Bluetooth if you’d rather. For recording audio, the internal mics pick up lectures and ambient sound quite well. Technically the mics are stereo, at least that’s how they show up in Audacity, but in practice I think they are recording mono as there was no hint of actual stereo recording when I walked circles around it while recording myself practicing a lesson presentation. But the audio the mics picked up sounded great, capturing clear and accurate audio of me and the people and spaces around me.
On a related note, I found Windows 11 itself to be intuitive and quick to pick up on coming from Windows 10. I never liked “tablet mode” in Windows 10 anyway and Windows 11 doesn’t even have it as an option, which I consider a good thing. Otherwise Windows 11 seems very much to me like Windows 10 tidied up and better organized. Well played Microsoft, well played.
It’s a bit expensive, at almost $2000 for the full package with the keyboiard/pen combo, but if you want/need an outstanding full-PC ultraportable this is hands down the best device in that category I’ve seen or used.
Hi Stephen – Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feedback on your new Surface Pro 8. We're glad that you're a fan of its versatile design. We hope it continues to serve you well. Erica, Microsoft Outreach Team
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Great device with a battery life compromise
Owned for 3 weeks when reviewed.
Love everything but the battery life. Fast, great screen, great build quality, 120hz is very noticable, surprisingly thin for the specs, great pen input, but I'm lucky to get 4-5hrs of constant use before it dies, which is 1000% ok for my use case but could be an issue for others. USB-C charging makes it much less of an issue, my car charger works fine& I'll probably just buy a power bank if I want to take it on a flight
I would recommend this to a friend
Design, Display, Ease of use
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
The Real Pro: Best of both worlds-Tablet and a PC!
Microsoft just launched the pro 8 series that comes preloaded Windows 11. It boasts several upgrades over the previous generation Pro models along with much awaited thunderbolt 4 ports and new keyboard with stylus. I was super excited and couldn't wait to test the Surface Pro 8 which is a major upgrade for me from my Surface Pro 6. Pro 8 is their most laptop + tablet combo (2 in 1 PC) with redesigned keyboard that stores and charges the slim pen/stylus in a slot. The Pro X model has Gigabit LTE option which is nice for people on the go and was hoping that Microsoft will bring that option to Pro 8 model, may be in the Pro 9 model ?
• 13 inches display with 8/16/32 GB Memory options along with 128/256/512/1000 GB storage options.
• Platinum i5 or Platinum i7 line of processors.
• Redesigned Surface Pro Signature Keyboard with Slim Pen 2 which costs an additional $279
• Has 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports along with their dedicated charging port! No USB ports.
• Preloaded Windows 11 that has bunch of new features such as widgets, redesigned windows menu, etc.
• Configurable screen refresh rate 60 Hz or 120 Hz.
• Touch display with 2880 x 1920 resolution that is perfect for gaming or streaming movies. The ambient Color Sensor on the display automatically adjust brightness and color.
• All day battery life. The battery life was a little short with 120 Hz refresh rate.
• Surface Slim Pen 2 with storage on the keyboard that also charges the pen.
• HD cameras ( Built in 5.0 MP 1080p front-facing camera and 10 MP 4K rear-facing camera) and Studio Mics (2W stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos), headphone jack.
• For Geeks - It has Accelerometer, Gyroscope, and Magnetometer.
• Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 technology.
Coming to the real functions on my Pro 8 that has the i7 processor with 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD
• Superlight (1.96 lb), powerful with a thinner bezel compared to the previous gen. Adjustable stand that can keep the tablet almost flat, nothing new on this kickstand design.
• I love the fact that it comes with 120 Hz refresh rate and can pair it with my 4k, 120Hz monitors for gaming and watching movies. Seamless and smooth scrolling when browsing or working with endless excel sheets with 120 Hz refresh rate. You can notice that when using it in a tablet mode and scroll through web pages without a lag!
• The 16GB RAM is powerful enough for me to multitask and run several programs simultaneously. I was running MATLAB simulations and was simultaneously using PowerPoint and Visio and didn't see any performance issues at all. I heard the fan kick-in to cool the processor, was clocking 70% usage on the CPU and 90% usage on the memory with several applications running simultaneously . I can tell this was faster than my Dell workstation that I typically use for processor/memory intense applications. This is definitely the most powerful laptop + tablet that I ever owned.
• Love the redesigned keyboard with the pen storage option. Microsoft took into consideration the previous complaints and recommendations from its users on losing their pens, and came up with keyboard storage option for the pen that also charges it. No more batteries! The magnet in the pen storage is very powerful and there is no way the pen is going to fall off if you leave it in the keyboard slot and walk around with the tablet in hand. Also, the redesigned slim pen is amazing, no lag in the response at all and has a real feel to it when using it for notes taking. I am a big fan of One Note and love taking notes with my pen and definitely loved the new design and how responsive it is when you take notes or draw on the screen. Also, it has Haptic feedback which is not that noticeable unless you pay close attention to it. I had it turned all the way up in the settings. Haven't noticed any apps supporting the Haptic feedback on their menus yet. The signature keyboard itself is made of different material (carbon fiber ?) and is lot more stiff than the older generation keyboards and doesn't bend when you put pressure on it. The keys itself has the feel of a real keyboard that I am used to, so definitely a major improvement in the keyboard design. One major fix (that I disliked in the previous gen) is the keyboard doesn't cover the taskbar anymore when in raised position, so I can still use my fingers or pen to tap on the taskbar icons.
• Has upgraded cameras with amazing resolution for live streaming or attending web meetings. Also, the screen has thinner bezel compared to previous generations and feels a little compact from the Pro 6 version that I have.
• Battery life has been promising so far, lasted 6+ hours when I had it running at 120 Hz refresh rate with several program running simultaneously.
• Used a dock station to connect to two 4k monitors via the Thunderbolt 4 port. It also charges my laptop and I didn't have to worry about using the charging port.
• Love the windows 11 so far, still learning its capabilities. Has widgets (instead of the classic life tiles), redesigned menus, shortcut menu that shows different virtual desktops, etc. I like the new Team chat app that lets you chat with cell phone users running native messaging apps and the redesigned settings menu. It also has options to split (snap layout options) your screen into several windows 2x2, 4x4, etc. I am still exploring the Windows 11 features, waiting on updates that boosts the gaming performance on PCs' running this OS so I can upgrade my gaming desktop.
• Oh, the best part is that you can swap or upgraded the SSD in under a minute. It's as easy as swapping a sim on a cell phone! It has a slot behind the kickstand that lets you swap SSD if you are looking to upgrade your storage.
Overall, I love the powerful Pro 8 which has all the latest specs needed to use it as a PC or a tablet. I wish it came with LTE option so I can use it as a tablet on the go!
I've been thinking about getting a Surface Pro for several years, but was always conflicted on just how I would use it. Is it a laptop replacement? Is it a tablet? Can it be both? The Surface lineup fills an interesting niche in the Windows PC market -- one that takes the most important elements from the laptop and tablet experiences and combines them into a slim, portable, and powerful device. The Surface Pro 8 is the result of several years of refinements by Microsoft and appears to be the best Surface Pro device yet.
=== DESIGN & CONNECTIVITY ===
- Microsoft has based the Surface Pro 8 design on the Surface Pro X. Compared to the Surface Pro 7, the Pro 8 is almost identical in size but has a 13-inch display (compared to the previous 12.3-inch panel). The bezels around the Pro 8's display are much slimmer, allowing for a larger screen without increasing the overall dimensions of the device. The bezels on the left and right sides of the display (in landscape mode) are quite slim, but those on the top and bottom are quite thick compared to high-end tablets.
- The Surface Pro 8 now comes in a new graphite (black) color. It looks great and pairs nicely with the black keyboard (sold separately), but it is definitely a fingerprint and smudge magnet. I imagine the platinum (silver) color would not show as many fingerprints or smudges.
- If you've never used a Surface Pro device, the kickstand takes some time to get familiar with. Having exclusively used standard laptops and iPad Pros with Magic Keyboards for the past several years, I often find myself forgetting to open the kickstand before I flip up the Surface Pro from the keyboard. Of course, if you forget to open the kickstand, the devices falls straight back onto your table. The kickstand also makes the Surface Pro a bit of a pain to use as a true laptop. You can use it on your lap if you're in just the right position, but this device is really meant to be used on a flat surface/desk.
- There are only three ports on the Surface Pro 8: two Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports and the proprietary Surface Connect port, all on the right side of the device. The volume buttons and headphone jack are on the left side. While I wish there were one or two more USB-C ports, it hasn't yet been an issue in the couple of weeks I've used the Surface Pro 8. However, some users will certainly miss the microSD card reader that was present on the Pro 7. So, you might have to carry some adapters with you and make sure to pair as many accessories as you can via Bluetooth to keep the USB-C ports free.
- The Surface Pro 8 comes with a charging brick that connects via the proprietary Surface Connect port. The Surface Pro 8 can also be charged via one of the USB-C ports with a charger capable of delivering at least 65W. The proprietary charging brick isn't too large, but it's just one more thing to carry around. I prefer to charge via USB-C since I always have a capable USB-C charger with me, but the downside is that this takes up one of the two precious USB-C ports.
- Build quality is excellent, with minimal flex and no squeaking. I do worry that the graphite finish might easily scratch or chip if not property protected. Otherwise, this is a very solid and lightweight design.
=== DISPLAY & SPEAKERS ===
- New to the Pro 8 is a screen with a 120 Hz refresh rate, though Windows 11's default refresh rate out of the box is 60 Hz. To change this, you'll need to navigate into the system's advanced display settings. This was likely done to conserve battery life out of the box, but it also means that you'll have to constantly change this refresh rate setting manually if you want to take advantage of the feature while maximizing battery life. Unlike other high-end tablets, the refresh rate is not adaptive -- you either always have 60 Hz, or always have 120 Hz. The benefits to 120 Hz are immediately noticeable once it's enabled, which much smoother scrolling and fluid animations.
- The display has a resolution of 2880 x 1920 and supports Dolby Vision. According to Microsoft, it can achieve a brightness of about 450 nits. In my experience, the display gets plenty bright in both bright and dimly-lit rooms.
- The display also features a technology called Adaptive Color, which adjusts the display's color tone to the ambient light around you. It works quite well and can be easily disabled as needed via the display settings menu.
- Unlike other high-end devices, this display does not support the full DCI-P3 color gamut, which may be a turn-off for content creators. However, to my eyes, the display looks great. Colors are vivid and contrast is very good with excellent black levels.
- The speakers of the Surface Pro 8 are hidden behind the top bezel of the device. Overall, the speakers are pretty good, but not great. Most content at medium volumes sounds clear with no distortion, but the speakers really suffer at higher volumes with noticeable distortion. The speakers are just fine for casual listening, but audiophiles will want to use headphones or an external set of speakers.
=== PERFORMANCE & BATTERY LIFE ===
- My particular configuration of the Surface Pro 8 is equipped with a quad-core Intel Core i7-1185G7, 16 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of storage. For the vast majority of users, this configuration of the Pro 8 offers ample performance for almost any task. I've used the Pro 8 for two weeks for a variety of tasks including photo editing in Photoshop, intense web browsing with dozens of open tabs, and word processing/spreadsheet creation with dual 1440p monitors via the Thunderbolt 4 ports. The Surface Pro 8 has not missed a beat and has powered through all of these tasks with no issues.
- Since I'm a nerd, I ran the Geekbench 5 benchmark on the Pro 8, where it achieved a single-core score of 1,308 and a multi-core score of 5,405. These scores are right in line with (and in some cases, higher than) most high-end 13-inch Windows laptops from the likes of Dell and HP. Long story short: the Surface Pro 8 is no slouch and will provide great performance for quite some time. Gamers and video editors may want to look elsewhere.
- The 256 GB SSD in this model is fast enough, but it is certainly not the fastest SSD I've used. A benchmark from CrystalDiskMark shows sequential read speeds of about 2200 MB/s and sequential write speeds of about 1000 MB/s. Certainly fast, but most mid-level M.2 SSDs achieve speeds at least 20-30% faster than this.
- With the screen brightness set to about 50% and the refresh rate at 60 Hz, I was able to squeeze about 8.5 hours of battery life out of the Surface Pro 8 during my testing. That's decent, but pales in comparison to a dedicated tablet like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Battery life will suffer a bit more with 120 Hz enabled.
- The Surface Pro 8 gets pretty warm on the back under heavy loads, especially towards the top of the device (above the kickstand). It's probably a good idea to keep the device propped up with the kickstand during intense tasks.
=== SOFTWARE AND OTHER THOUGHTS ===
- The front-facing webcam shoots 1080p video and doubles as a Windows Hello (facial recognition) camera. The camera is perfectly fine for basic video calls, but it does tend to wash out colors (at least to my eye). The Windows Hello feature works very well, and Windows almost instantly recognizes my face at the log-in screen. The rear camera seems a bit better, but I don't see myself using the rear camera very often.
- The device ships with Windows 11 installed. It is very similar to Windows 10, except for the start menu. I use an app called Start11 to change the start menu back to the Windows 10 style.
- Out of the box, my particular unit installed a ton of Windows and firmware updates. Be sure to set aside at least a half hour after you first turn on the device to get all of the initial updates installed.
- The SSD is user-accessible and upgradable, but it is a rather obscure size (M.2 2230) and may be challenging to find an upgraded SSD that will fit.
- Windows just isn't designed as a "tablet first" operating system. A keyboard and mouse are almost a necessity to fully utilize the Surface Pro 8, yet Microsoft does not include its Signature Keyboard with the Surface Pro 8 - it is a $180 accessory. I would not recommend the Surface Pro to those looking for a tablet as their primary experience. The Surface Pro is stuck somewhere between a laptop and tablet -- but the limitations of Windows mean that the best experience will always be had with a keyboard and mouse/trackpad.
=== OVERALL ===
The Surface Pro 8 is an excellent device and sits in its own category of Windows PCs. It has the performance paired with an excellent display to replace a traditional laptop. Its thin, lightweight design and kickstand make it arguably the most versatile Windows device on the market. However, I still struggle to see the appeal of a Surface Pro as tablet-only device. In my mind, the Surface Pro 8 (when paired with the optional keyboard) is a very capable and versatile Windows laptop with some tablet features that are nice to have when you need them. Maybe you'll detach the keyboard once in a while to watch videos, write notes, or draw something. But the fact remains that this device is severely neutered without the addition of the Signature Keyboard, and for this price, it should have been included. Microsoft has priced the Surface Pro 8 as if it were a full-fledged laptop, but then failed to include the most vital accessories (keyboard + trackpad) in the box. Regardless, if you can stomach the cost of the Pro 8 and the keyboard, you will be rewarded with a 2-in-1 device that doesn't sacrifice on design or performance.
I would recommend this to a friend
Ease of use
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Owned for 1 week when reviewed.
Great product! Easy to use, very responsive, and quick to setup. Only downside is Surface Pro Signature keyboard does not work with it unless the keyboard is physically attached to the tablet. Some photos on Bestbuy website and Microsoft website have the keyboard detached and nearby, leading me to believe it was wireless. Upon reading the tech spec for the keyboard I discovered the interface is actually magnetic. I guess it’s my own fault for not reading more carefully. Still love the new tablet though!
I would recommend this to a friend
Design, Display, Keyboard
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Sleek, thin design; powerful performance
In previous generations of the Surface line, the popular opinion seemed to be that people liked the design of the Surface Pro X, but wanted the beefier processor of the Intel version such as the Surface Pro 7. Well, thankfully, the Surface Pro 8 features the best of both worlds: the slim, sleek design of the “X” with the power of an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor.
The Surface Pro 8 features an aluminum exterior available in a new graphite color of which I’m a big fan. The kickstand is still located on the back and works great when using the Surface Pro 8 on a desk, but it’s less ideal for using on your lap since you need to keep your legs in the proper position to support the stand.
The power of the Intel Core i7 processor in the particular model I’m reviewing is definitely noticeable. Applications and web pages open in a flash and even ad-heavy websites don’t seem to bog down Edge or Chrome. The 16GB of RAM included in this model handles multiple browser tabs and applications with ease. Microsoft Word only takes about 1 second to load! The built-in 256GB SSD should be sufficient for most people, but note that it only had about 190GB of space available out of the box.
The display on the Surface Pro 8 is simply gorgeous. It has a 2880 x 1920 resolution with vivid colors and even features a 120Hz refresh rate, which can be reduced to 60Hz to prolong battery life. So while the display is not quite 4K, movies and videos still look great on this screen.
You’ll likely want to get the keyboard for the unit, so figure on adding a couple extra hundred dollars to the cost of the unit. The Surface Pro Keyboard with Slim Pen 2 is comfortable to type on, although it feels somewhat delicate due to its thinness, so if you need to write an angry email, don’t take it out on this keyboard. The built-in trackpad is responsive and works well for pointing, scrolling, and tapping. The keyboard also includes a space to store the Slim Pen 2 in the section that normally faces up against the tablet, so you can be sure the pen doesn’t fall out. The Slim Pen 2 works well for doodling or marking up a PDF, and there is an adjustable tactile engine for the pen that can make it “feel” like you’re writing on paper (although, I had to adjust the tactile feedback to the max of 100 to really notice it).
Even the webcam and microphone perform much better than your typical Windows laptop, which is important in this day and age of the hybrid work environment. Webcam images look sharp (and support Windows Hello for fast logins) and the microphones pick up my voice well while doing a decent job of filtering out background sounds.
## Windows 11
The Surface Pro 8 includes Windows 11 out of the box… sort of. It seems there is an early release version installed on the tablet as the initial setup process requires a long download and installation to finalize Windows 11. Therefore, be aware that you’ll need a good internet connection to initially set up the device.
I like the fact that Windows 11 appears to be more a cosmetic change than a complete overhaul of the operating system like Windows XP was. I haven’t noticed any major issues with any of my applications or drivers. While I primarily use macOS as my daily driver, having the icons centered in the taskbar helps me feel more at home on Windows. The windows have rounded corners and translucency is used throughout the operating system, not like Windows Vista, but more subtly.
I like having widgets and was somewhat sad when Vista’s “gadgets” were discontinued, but widgets are back in Windows 11 with a dedicated spot on the taskbar that is separate from the Start menu. However, the selection of widgets seems to be limited to those made by Microsoft at this time. Also, I wish the widget could “live” on the desktop instead of inside a dedicated taskbar icon. I could see a common use case where, when you’re closing all of your windows at the end of the day, it would be nice to see the traffic widget on your desktop so you know what your evening commute will be like.
## Battery Life
While Microsoft states you can get up to 16 hours of battery life, that might be a bit of a stretch. After about an hour of general web browsing and document editing, the battery dropped about 10%, so I would say you’re more likely to get 8-10 hours before you need to charge. This is still impressive and likely enough to get you through most of your workday, although meetings and video calls will presumably drain the battery faster.
I was happy to find the inclusion of two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the side of the unit, allowing me to connect the tablet to my Belkin USB-C hub to use my keyboard, mouse, and ultra-widescreen monitor while charging the Surface Pro 8, all with just one cord. Windows 11 seems to handle docking and undocking with ease and doesn’t completely make a mess of all of my open windows.
The Surface Pro 8 tablet features fast performance and a beautiful 13” display in a thin and sleek design. Two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports give you flexibility for docking with an external monitor and charging. Battery life should get you through most of your day. While the keyboard is comfortable to type on, be sure to factor in the extra cost as it is sold separately.
I would recommend this to a friend
Brand response from MicrosoftOutreachTeam
Hi – Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feedback on your new Surface Pro 8. We're delighted that you're enjoying its speed, and sleek design. We hope it continues to serve you well. Erica, Microsoft Outreach Team
Display, Ease of use, Speed
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Quite the step up from earlier versions
It's been a while since I last used a Windows based Tablet. The most recent one was a Dell model at my previous workplace. There's something about that convenience of having such a device to carry with you.
We did have some older Surface Pro models that were in the process of being replaced due to age much like any other computer. They were nice solid units.
Fast Forward to now and the new Pro 8 is quite the upgrade. From my daily usage, it really does what I need it to do throughout the day.
The screen is really really nice on this unit. It gets very bright and the biggest bonus is the refresh rate. If you've never used a display with 120hz, you're missing out. The vast jump and difference in terms of feel and responsiveness is truly life changing. It might not sound like much, but everything is much much smoother. Scrolling through websites, responsiveness of the Surface Pen, it all works together.
CPU, the new 12th Gen series processors make use of Intels new IGP the Xe series is such a massive step up over the previous Iris system. They're much better for 3D based tasks even enough to do some lighter gaming, whereas in the past, you really needed to have a dedicated Graphics Card. That's not to say you're going to be using one of these to play top tier AAA titles.
The resolution is nice and quite high so it makes multi-tasking and productivity a breeze. There's even HDR support which is a major plus if you want to take some time out and watch a movie or a tv show on the go.
Another quick thing to touch on is Windows Hello. The ability to unlock your tablet quickly without having to type anything is so great. It does have some limitations, so if you're wearing a mask like most of us are today, you'll need to remove it or use your pin/password. Aside from that, it's wonderful feature
The unit does get a bit warm when under heavy load. It does remain relatively quiet but you can definitely tell when the fans ramp up.
Performance is pretty darn good. As I mentioned earlier the new Intel Graphics are such a massive step up. That coupled with the responsiveness of the pen lends to an great usage experience.
Now for Windows 11. That is a bit of a mixed bag. It does still work similarly to Windows 10, but visually it's different. It can also feel overwhelming to use with the change. I'm not a huge fan of the new taskbar and "start" menu. Things are easier to find though from the start menu. You can at least move it to the left side, though my preference has been to have the taskbar at the top of my display. Only having a week to play around with it though would give a bit of a jaded experience with it. In time with more use I'm sure it will grow on me. I'm waiting on using it on my Desktop PC for a bit of time though. I imagine within 6 months we may get more customization with things like the start menu. Again, time will tell how it pans out. Here's to hoping that this doesn't end up as another Vista.
The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about reliability, touch screen, usability and size. Editors are less positive about price and battery. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 98/100 = Excellent quality.
TechRadarRating, 4.5 out of 54.5Jackie Thomas on December 8, 2021
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 reviewThe rebirth of the Surface Pro
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