Microsoft has today announced the Surface Pro 8, which marks the most significant upgrade to the Surface Pro range of devices since the Surface Pro 3. Though you've probably long forgotten such dates (and rightfully so), that was all the way back in 2014.
The Surface Pro 8 brings heaps of new features to the hybrid laptop party, including thinner bezels and a silky smooth 13inch 120Hz display, as well as finally adding Thunderbolt 4 support for nippy data transfer speeds. To be clear: this looks to be a portable powerhouse and one that Microsoft is no doubt relying on to secure rave reviews heading into the festive period.
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The addition of Thunderbolt support is great news for the Surface Pro and its users. Why? Surface Pro currently relies on USB-C and its native Surface port for data transfer; it's fairly sluggish and pales in comparison to Thunderbolt 4, which provides immensely faster data transfer speeds. Its inclusion in the Surface Pro 8 will be a real boon to users who wish to externally connect the best graphics cards for gaming, alongside any other devices that necessitate faster speeds and bigger bandwidth. Thunderbolt 4 should easily meet these needs and beyond.
The Surface Pro 8 also gets the much-needed 120Hz display treatment, which will facilitate far smoother display motion over older Surface screens like, say, that of the Microsoft Surface Go 2. The recently announced iPhone 13 also got upgraded with a 120Hz display, with critics' reviews quick to point out that this is now the expected standard for brands' flagship devices. When used in concert with what Microsoft calls 'PixelSense Flow Display', the 13-inch display should pack a real punch, with higher resolution and added support for Adaptive Color Technology and Dolby Vision.
Design-wise, the larger display slims down the bezels on each side of the Surface Pro 8, which gives the device a sleeker, more ergonomic silhouette. Separately, the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard now comes with the Surface Slim Pen 2. You'll never be short of charge as the Surface Slim Pen 2 charges inside the keyboard base and a built-in haptic motor unit supposedly gives users the sensation of writing on paper when using the stylus, according to Microsoft.
It's a serious round of updates and one that is well overdue, bringing the Surface Pro more in line with some of the best 2-in-1 laptops like the Asus ZenBook Flip S 13. It'll be interesting to see how it performs in person, and whether the new stylus setup gives users the desired illusion of pen on paper. The Surface Pro 8 will ship with Intel’s 11th Gen quad-core processors, as well as up to 32GB of RAM, and is available from October 28 starting at £999.00.