Microsoft news: Surface Pro 7 preview. Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro X

15
Microsoft News: Surface Pro 7 Preview. Surface Laptop 3 And
Microsoft News: Surface Pro 7 Preview. Surface Laptop 3 And

The new Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 are on sale today, products of the Surface range that focus on the Microsoft tradition by introducing various innovations and refining proposals that have been successful on the market in recent years. These are flanked by Surface Pro X, the ultra mobility product developed in collaboration with Qualcomm

After 20 days from the official presentation to the public on 2 October, Microsoft today also presents the new Surface family products on the market in Italy. we find Surface Pro 7, the latest evolution of the popular detachable 2-in-1 model that has achieved wide market success thanks to the rear kickstand, which supports it when used to produce content as well as simply to consult it.

Surface Laptop 3Microsoft’s traditional clamshell with touch screen reaches the third generation by splitting into two versions: the first with a 13.5-inch screen, the second larger with a 15-inch display. External design and 3: 2 ratio between the sides of the display remain the same, with the big news given by the use of AMD Ryzen processors with integrated GPU for the 15-inch versions intended for the consumer public.

To close the news Surface Pro X, which will debut on sale only from November 19 in our market but which among all the models is certainly the one with the greatest load of novelties. Based on a chip developed by Microsoft and Qualcomm, it is a product that aims at extreme mobility ensuring high autonomy and integrating a keyboard that also includes a pen inside.

We got to try these 3 new products in person, waiting for our detailed review with our typical tests conducted in the editorial office. From this first contact we made some initial impressions that confirm the attention to quality and user experience with which Microsoft develops its Surface family products.

Surface Pro 7: an evolution more inside than outside

It is not easy to revolutionize a product that has been maturing for several generations, however Microsoft Surface Pro 7 manages to bring some interesting innovations to the market. It is probably still not worth abandoning your Surface Pro 6 (or even the previous Surface Pro) for the new model, but the innovations are there and promise greater versatility and a better user experience in general. Within the same chassis as the previous models, the new Surface Pro 7 hides a renewed hardware components, especially as regards the processors (now Intel Core of the tenth generation), and some small additional precautions intended to meet the needs of the modern computer world and of the technology sector in general.

We refer for example to the presence of a new microphone system with far-field technology capable of detecting the voice more reliably even from a distance, allowing the user to issue commands without having physical access to the Surface Pro 7. This is an aspect, promised Microsoft, which will be taken care of on all systems Surface from now on in response to a new need born with Smart Speakers and voice assistants in general. We then have support at Bluetooth 5.0 et al Wi-Fi 6, the latter still a niche feature in the mobile sector. Surface Pro 7 is not only one of the first ultra-portable with Wi-Fi 6, but it is also one of the first systems ever to boast the presence of 10th Gen Intel Core processors.

Specifically, we find three processor families, differentiated according to the performance and price range: Intel Core i3-1005G1 for entry-level; and, to rise, Intel Core i5-1035G4 is Intel Core i7-1065G7. The basic variant is offered with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space, but the new Surface Pro 7 can also be configured with 256GB, 512GB and 1TB of storage space, always on PCIe SSD, and with 8 or 16GB of RAM memory . As usual the intermediate solutions are more balanced, e the variant with Core i5-1035G4 equipped with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage can represent the right compromise for a large majority of professionals.

The different variants have different GPUs, depending on the version, all however integrated into the CPU package: the variants with Core i3 are supplied with the Intel UHD GPU, while those with Core i5 and i7 with one Intel Iris Plus GPU. Do not forget, among the main novelties, the presence of a USB Type-C connector, which replaces the Mini DisplayPort present up to the Surface Pro 6 model. The new port offers an additional level of versatility compared to its predecessors, with the possibility of connecting not only an external monitor, but also USB pendrives or charging the integrated battery with a power bank.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7
OS
Windows 10
CPU
Intel Core 10th Gen.
Core i3-1005G1 Dual-Core
Core i5-1035G4 Quad-Core
Core i7-1065G7 Quad-Core
GPU
Intel UHD (Core i3)
Intel Iris Plus (Core i5, Core i7)
memoirs
4 – 8 – 16GB of RAM
128GB – 256GB – 512GB – 1TB (SSD)
Display
12.3 “PixelSense IPS LCD
2736 x 1824 px (267 PPI) 3: 2
Touchscreen 10 points
Cameras

8MP (Full HD Video)
5MP (Full HD Video – Windows Hello)

Connectivity
1x USB Type-C
1x USB Type-A
1x Surface Connect
1x door for Cover with keys
1x microSDXC card reader
1x 3.5mm audio jack
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Other
2 far-field microphones
Dolby Audio Premium
Surface Dial compatibility
Ambient light sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Magnetometer
Battery
Up to 10.5 hours in duration
dimensions
292 x 201 x 8.5 mm
Weight
775 gr (Core i3, Core i5)
790 gr (Core i7)

All the novelties are enclosed within the same shell (in magnesium alloy with perimeter ventilation) of the latest models, therefore the dimensions remain unchanged: the variants with Core i3 and i5 weigh 775 grams, while those with Core i7 processors go up at 790 grams. Colors available at launch: Platinum is Satin black, the latter exclusive for some mid-range and high-end variants. The (excellent) display of the predecessors is not changed, at least as regards the numerical specifications: we have a 12.3 “PixelSense at 2736×1924 pixel resolution, with 267 PPI definition, 3: 2 aspect ratio and touchscreen support for all models for up to 10 points.

Two cameras, 8 Megapixel (rear) and 5 Megapixel (along the front) with Windows Hello support for the latter, and both are capable of recording Full HD video at 30 fps. We still have, as per tradition, the rear support which allows you to use the display in different angles, the USB Type-A port, the 3.5mm audio jack, a port for Surface Connect and the port for the cover with integrated keyboard. In the rear, under the support, there is a microSD memory card reader. The new model also enjoys the Instant On functionality, which allows you to wake up the system faster, almost as if it were a tablet, compared to its predecessors.

Based on our first preview we can say that the impressions we had at the launch remain: Surface Pro 7 it is a product that unquestionably renews itself with respect to its predecessor, without revolutionizing it and without making the latter obsolete. The presence of the 10th generation processors is interesting, to be tested in the laboratory in more depth, and the presence of the USB Type-C port is a clear advantage. There remains an age-old problem of the Surface Pro family products, namely the lack of an internal 4G LTE modem that expands the possibilities even on the move, while the design (albeit of very high quality) begins to be seen especially after trying Surface Pro X .

Prices do not hide big surprises: starting from € 919.00 for the variant with Intel Core i3, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space, difficult to recommend if you intend to make a professional use, while to start serious you need to reach € 1,399 for the variant with Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of integrated storage. A figure that is certainly important but which we do not feel to condemn, since in its market segment Surface Pro 7 continues to have few rivals in terms of performance and build quality. Below are all the prices of the various versions:

  • Intel Core i3 CPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage: 919 € (Platinum)
  • Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage: 1,069 € (Platinum)
  • Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage: 1,399 € (Platinum or Black)
  • Intel Core i5 CPU, 16GB RAM, 256GB storage: 1,599 € (Platinum)
  • Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 256GB storage: 1,699 € (Platinum or Black)
  • Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage: 2,099 € (Platinum or Black)
  • Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 1TB storage: 2,549 € (Platinum)

Surface Laptop 3: now in two versions, also with AMD Ryzen GPU

We wrote a little above, with reference to Surface Pro 7, how it is not easy to revolutionize a product that has been maturing for several generations. Similar dynamics, albeit with some specific differences, applies to the new family Surface Laptop 3: this is the traditional notebook from Microsoft, equipped with a touch screen and enhanced in the previous version by one Alcantara finish of the upper area around the keyboard. This finish continues to be present but is offered as an alternative to a traditional aluminum, material used for the entire construction of the body.

Little changes outside: the main novelty is theintegration of a USB Type-C port long awaited, which joins the traditional Type-A that continues to remain present. The screen always has a ratio of 3: 2 which we particularly appreciate for the superior level of productivity it allows to obtain; the keyboard maintains the excellent characteristics of the previous model while the touchpad with 20% more surface facilitates interaction with gestures.

The novelty of the Surface Laptop 3 range is given by the second model: next to the 13.5-inch diagonal solution Microsoft offers a larger proposal with a 15-inch screen. Nothing changes as regards the design and arrangement of the components: everything is slightly larger in the 15-inch model, with more space left on the side of the keyboard. The two proposals differ not only in size but also in choices under the shell: for the 13.5-inch model, Microsoft uses 10th generation Intel Core processors from the Ice Lake family, built with 10 nanometer production technology. The 15-inch screen version is based on the AMD Ryzen processor, in the Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 declination: these are models developed specifically for Microsoft Surface Laptop, called Microsoft Surface Edition for this reason and characterized by a greater number of Compute Units of the GPU component than those of the traditional AMD Ryzen CPUs of this family.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
OS
Windows 10
CPU
Intel Core 10th Gen.
Core i5-1035G7 Quad-Core
Core i7-1065G7 Quad-Core
Microsoft Surface Edition
AMD Ryzen 53580U
AMD Ryzen 7 3780U
GPU
Intel Iris Plus (Core i5, Core i7)
AMD Radeon RX Vega 9 (Ryzen 5)
AMD Radeon RX Vega 11 (Ryzen 7)
memoirs
Surface Laptop 3 13.5 ”: 8 – 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM
Surface Laptop 3 15 ”: 8 – 16GB of DDR4 RAM
128GB – 256GB – 512GB (SSD)
Display
13.5 “PixelSense IPS LCD
2256 x 1504 px (201 PPI) 3: 2
Touchscreen 10 points
15 “PixelSense IPS LCD
2496 x 1664 px (201 PPI) 3: 2
Touchscreen 10 points
Cameras

5MP (Full HD Video – Windows Hello)

Connectivity
1x USB Type-C
1x USB Type-A
1x Surface Connect
1x door for Cover with keys
1x 3.5mm audio jack
Wi-Fi 6 (13.5“)
Wi-Fi 5 (15 ”)
Bluetooth 5.0
Other
2 far-field microphones
Dolby Audio Premium
Surface Dial compatibility
Ambient light sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Magnetometer
Battery
Up to 10.5 hours in duration
dimensions
308 x 224 x 14.5mm (13.5“)
340 x 244 x 14.5mm (15“)
Weight
1.288gr (13.5 ”)
1.542gr (15“)

The Surface Laptop 3 continues to lack an accessory that is present in the Surface Pro 7 family and that we believe to be very useful: an SD or Micro-SD memory slot, which can be used to expand local memory in a practical and economic way, leaving a always inserted card of the slot. The presence of a USB Type-C port, which can also be used to recharge the batteries, only partially compensates for the lack of this accessory. As already for Surface Pro 7 also in Surface Laptop 3 Microsoft has implemented a fast charging device: 80% of the charge is reached in just 1 hour, proving to be very useful and practical for those who work often disconnected from the power outlet.

Compared to the predecessor Surface Laptop 3 is refined in a mirror way to what has been seen for Surface Pro 7, however introducing a new option thanks to the 15-inch diagonal screen. For this version, the novelty is represented by the AMD Ryzen processors, which bring a GPU component of the Vega family that does not allow Surface Laptop 3 to be indicated as a gaming notebook in all respects but that certainly it offers far more than you usually find in Intel’s CPU-based thin notebooks in terms of performance and fluency with games. More than in this area the Vega GPU comes to the aid of professionals, a real target for Surface Laptop 15: a chip of this type comes in handy with those applications such as photo editing and video editing that can delegate some specific processing to the GPU, freeing the CPU for other tasks.

The price lists of Surface Laptop 3 reflect the price values ​​of the previous generation, with a difference between the two screen versions that must also take into account the type of processor used. It starts from € 1,169 for the 13.5-inch version with Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB of storage, but it is the € 1,499 version with 256GB storage that represents a more prudent choice considering the storage needs of operating system and programs . The price rises with increasing system memory and storage space, also thanks to the move to the Intel Core i7 CPU.

For the 15-inch versions intended for the consumer public, Microsoft offers Ryzen CPUs with integrated Vega GPU, in the two versions Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7. It starts from € 1,399 for a model with 128GB of storage and as already indicated for the smaller model the suggestion to give is to opt for a cut of at least 256GB for the SSD with the model from € 1,699. With an outlay of € 200 more you double the memory, going from 8 to 16GB, with a processor upgrade which is the Ryzen 7. Also in this case it is possible to go further, reaching up to 32GB of system memory with storage from 1TB. Microsoft, we remind you, offers Surface Laptop 3 in the 15-inch screen version also to the public of companies: in this case the hardware platform is that based on Intel Core CPU of the tenth generation, identical to that of the 13.5-inch model.

  • 13.5 inch screen, Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB memory, 128GB storage: 1,169 €
  • 13.5 inch screen, Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB memory, 256GB storage: 1,499 €
  • 13.5 inch screen, Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB memory, 256GB storage: 1,799 €
  • 13.5 inch screen, Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB memory, 512GB storage: 2,249 €
  • 15 inch screen, AMD Ryzen 5 CPU, 8GB memory, 128GB storage: 1,399 €
  • 15-inch screen, AMD Ryzen 5 CPU, 8GB memory, 256GB storage: 1,699 €
  • 15-inch screen, AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, 16GB memory, 256GB storage: 1,899 €
  • 15-inch screen, AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, 16GB memory, 512GB storage: 2,349 €

Surface Pro X: the platform for ultra mobility

Surface Pro X is the real star of Microsoft’s recent announcements, if you exclude the dual-screen products that will arrive in late 2020. Although at first glance it may seem very similar to traditional Surface Pro, in concrete terms the new model “X” embodies an approach radically different taking the concept of mobile work to the extreme. As can be seen from the name, the target is the same, the professional, but with Surface Pro X you want to explore slightly different usage scenarios. To do this, Microsoft collaborated with Qualcomm in the development of a new custom CPU, called Microsoft SQ1, based on the American partner’s Snapdragon technology also with regard to the integrated GPU in the package, the Adreno 685.

(HWUVIDEO = “2823”) Surface Pro X, the anti iPad Pro also arrives in Italy: here it is in preview (/ HWUVIDEO)

The basic architecture is of ARM, as happens on tablets, for a product that wants to offer the typical form factor of the products of the Apple iPad Pro family combined with the versatility of the Windows operating system. On the software side, in fact, we find Windows 10 Home which can be updated to the Pro version, just like on a real laptop. According to the manufacturer, the strength of the new 2-in-1 from Microsoft lies in the synergy between hardware and software, now both developed in synergy to create a hyper-optimized user experience capable of responding to the needs of the professional who carries out a large part of his activity on the move, away from power outlets.

Another strong point of Surface Pro X is in fact the battery life: that declared by Microsoft is 13 hours, therefore 2.5 more than Surface Pro 7, with the guarantee of ending the entire working day with a charge reserve for emergencies. It is early to say whether Microsoft’s new 2-in-1 can guarantee autonomy and performance as promoted on paper, and to offer an exhaustive answer it would be necessary to test the device for a long time in real-life scenarios. The premises are excellent, this is undoubted, for a form factor that will undoubtedly be refined over the next few years with the ultimate goal – perhaps – of proposing itself as real alternative to traditional Surface Pro models.

For now, in our opinion, both families have a sense of existence and can coexist by offering different answers to similar, but not identical, needs.

Microsoft Surface Pro X
OS
Windows 10
CPU
Microsoft SQ1
GPU
Microsoft SQ1 Adreno 685
memoirs
8 – 16 GB of RAM
128GB – 256GB – 512 GB (SSD)
Display
13 “PixelSense IPS LCD
2880 x 1920 px (267 PPI) 3: 2
Touchscreen 10 points
Luminance max. 450 nit
Cameras

10MP (4K Video)
5MP (Full HD Video – Windows Hello)

Connectivity
2x USB Type-C
1x Surface Connect1x Surface Keyboard port
1x nano-SIM slot
Wi-Fi 5
Bluetooth 5.0
Q. Snapdragon X24 LTE modem
GPS with GLONASS
Other
2x far-field microphones
Dolby Audio Premium
Surface Dial compatibilityAmbient light sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Magnetometer
Battery
Up to 13 hours in duration
dimensions
287 x 208 x 7.3mm
Weight
774g

Surface Pro X also has one new Surface Slim Pen, which can be housed in the cover with a dedicated keyboard and, at the same time, be recharged wirelessly. This latter characteristic gives a whole new importance to the pen input method.

The new 2-in-1 tablet Microsoft is proposed with fewer configurations than the same generation Surface Pro: two system memory cuts, 8 and 16GB, while three storage cuts, 128, 256 and 512GB on SSD technology. The display is larger than that of the Surface Pro, and is crammed inside a body with a lower volume: in this case we have a 13 “IPS LCD with PixelSense technology and a resolution of 2880×1920 pixels. We have the same definition as the Pro models , equal to 267PPI, and the same aspect ratio, so the advantage is exclusively in the size of the panel (that of Surface Pro is 12.3 “).

Among the connectivity solutions offered by Surface Pro X we have two USB Type-C, and the full-size USB Type-A port is eliminated due to lack of space. The chassis is only 7.3mm thick, probably too little to insert a traditional USB port. It is made of anodized aluminum with an exclusive alloy and adopts a passive cooling system – therefore without fans – in carbon composite. At launch Surface Pro X will be sold only in satin black, and as physical buttons it only has the volume rocker and the power button.

The system is also compatible with Wi-Fi networks 5, supports the Bluetooth 5.0, and has no card reader for reading SD or microSD. On the other hand it offers a Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem with ability to reach Gigabit LTE speeds and support for nanoSIM (through a compartment available in the rear, under the desk support) and eSIM. The tablet also offers a GPS module for geolocation, compatible with GLONASS technology. Compared to Surface Pro it improves in the rear camera, whose sensor is 10 Megapixel and can record videos up to 4K Ultra HD resolution. The front naturally maintains support for Windows Hello technology, with face recognition being the only authentication system proposed by the new Redmond tablet.

In short, promoted or rejected? Impossible to give a definitive judgment so soon to a product that wants to introduce a whole new market segment. Microsoft has tried several times to make a tablet with Windows with acceptable compromises, and it has never succeeded. This time, however, it places a decidedly more concrete device compared to those of the past with Windows RT, which could battle in different areas on equal terms with the traditional Surface Pro (and probably even more versatile than the iPad Pro). While Surface Pro 7 might be easily preferable for jobs that require more computational power, Pro X doesn’t necessarily mean it for jobs where the computing power typical of an Intel Core processor is not required.

With the new model Microsoft pushes more on the Surface Pen (here in the “Slim” version), which now has its own compartment in the cover for transport and recharging, and on the creative works where he had dared only in the desktop category. More Surface Pro X will become the benchmark for a new category of products that could be much more interesting than that of the old Windows RT-based tablets, with the possibility of seeing on the market very soon different solutions with Windows 10 and ARM platforms that are really valid and exploitable, with all the pros and the cons of the case.

  • 8GB RAM, 128GB storage: 1,169 €
  • 8GB RAM, 256GB storage: 1,499 €
  • RAM 16GB, storage 256GB: 1,699 €
  • 16GB RAM, 512GB storage: 1,999 €