Microsoft Surface Pro 8: Larger, faster and still doesn’t come with the keyboard – CNET

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The Surface Pro 8 uses a new 120Hz, 13-inch display.

Richard Peterson/CNET

The Surface Pro 8, announced at the Microsoft Surface event on Wednesday, brings Microsoft’s top two-in-one up to par with its competition just in time for Windows 11. Also announced at the event was the Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Duo 2, Surface Slim Pen 2, Surface Go 3 and some new accessibility features. The Surface Pro 7 hit the market in Oct. 2019 and it’s been one of the best in the category ever since. Even when it was announced, though, the design hadn’t changed much from the prior models. The Pro 8 is different inside and out. 

For starters, Microsoft scrapped the 12.3-inch, 2,736×1,824-resolution display and used a larger 13-inch, 2,880×1,920-resolution one. It also has a refresh rate up to 120Hz for a smoother inking experience. Microsoft also introduced the Surface Slim Pen 2 with haptic feedback to help you take advantage of it. The default is 60Hz, though, so you don’t drain your battery when you don’t need it. Battery life is up to 16 hours, Microsoft said in its announcement.

Read more: Here’s what the Surface Duo 2 needs to succeed. Plus, check out how the specs stack up between the Surface Duo 2 and Surface Duo, and some cool camera tricks the Surface Duo can do.

As for what’s inside, you’ll be able to get the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 with either an 11th-gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processor (commercial versions add a Core i3 option), up to 32GB of memory and 512GB or 1TB solid-state drive in the Wi-Fi version as well as removable 128GB or 256GB SSD options in the Wi-Fi or LTE models. 

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The new Slim Pen 2 magnetically stores and charges at the top of the keyboard cover.

Richard Peterson/CNET

With the Pro 8, Microsoft drops the USB-A port but you now get two Thunderbolt 4 ports and, while you’ll still find a Surface Connect port for charging and accessories, you can use the Thunderbolt for charging. Rounding things out is a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with 1080p video and a 10-megapixel rear camera for up to 4K-resolution video.

The Surface Pro 8 starts at $1,100 (£999, AU$1,649) and is available for preorder now. Also, as usual, this price is just for the tablet — the keyboard and pen are extra.

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Microsoft also announced a Wi-Fi-only version of the Arm-based Surface Pro X, which also lowers the entry price to $899 — $100 less than last year’s LTE-connected version. The Pro X uses the same 13-inch display as the Surface Pro 8 (minus the 120Hz refresh rate) but instead of Intel inside, it’s using Microsoft’s SQ1 and SQ2 Arm silicon. Windows 11 on Arm supports both x86 and x64 emulation and software support continues to grow including Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, Zoom, and Microsoft Office and Teams. 

The Microsoft Surface Pro X is available for preorder today in some countries.

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