Best Surface Pro 7 Alternatives Windows Central 2021
The refreshed Surface Pro 7 from Microsoft promises 10th Gen Intel Core "Ice Lake" processor (CPU) options and a USB-C port but otherwise remains mostly unchanged from the last-gen Pro 6. If the Pro 7 isn't quite what you're looking for, we've rounded up a bunch of quality alternatives that should suit your needs.
- ARM-powered Pro: Microsoft Surface Pro X
- Ultraportable Surface: Microsoft Surface Go
- Last-gen Surface Pro: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
- Not for vegans: HP Spectre Folio 13t
- Business partner: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet
- Connected everywhere: Samsung Galaxy Book2
ARM-powered Pro: Microsoft Surface Pro XEditor's pick
The Pro X is powered with a custom SQ1 CPU (basically a beefed-up Snapdragon 8cx) and Adreno 685 graphics for excellent portable power. LTE connectivity, both with eSIM and physical Nano-SIM, allows you to stay connected everywhere. With a larger 13-inch touch display, the Pro X is ideal for designers and creatives, especially combined with the new Surface Slim Pen.
Ultraportable Surface: Microsoft Surface GoStaff pick
The Go is basically a miniaturized Pro, with a 10-inch touch display and optional Surface Pen or Type Cover, to turn it into a productivity machine. The Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y CPU won't match the performance of the Pro 7, but it's better cut out as a casual 2-in-1 you can easily take with you anywhere. Optional LTE connectivity helps you stay connected when out of Wi-Fi range.
Last-gen Surface Pro: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
The last-gen Pro 6 is still an awesome 2-in-1 despite the Pro 7's release, and it's physically nearly identical. It's using older 8th Gen Intel Core CPUs and doesn't have a USB-C port, but it can still easily be your daily driver, especially with Type Cover attached. Battery life is excellent, it has an IR camera for Windows Hello, and it's available in plenty of configurations.
Not for vegans: HP Spectre Folio 13t
HP's Spectre Folio isn't quite a true 2-in-1 since it doesn't entirely come apart, but it's too cool not to include. The chassis is made from 100% genuine leather for a professional look, and it can convert into three different modes, including tablet for easy inking on the 13.3-inch 4K display. Powerful internal hardware options and LTE connectivity allow it to easily be your number one device.
Business partner: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet
Lenovo's X1 Tablet brings a lot of what we love about ThinkPads to a 2-in-1, including a comfortable keyboard with TrackPoint system, fingerprint reader, performance ports, and durable black chassis. It has a 13-inch touch display capable of inking, with 3000x2000 resolution and boxy 3:2 aspect ratio. It's running Windows 10 Pro and includes a vPro Intel CPU, and you can add optional LTE connectivity.
Connected everywhere: Samsung Galaxy Book2
Before the Pro X was announced, the Galaxy Book2 was a great way to get your hands on an ARM-powered Pro clone. It's still a great choice, thanks to an S Pen and keyboard included in the price, as well as LTE connectivity, decent port selection, and excellent battery life. Rounding things out is an FHD+ 12-inch AMOLED touch display that is absolutely stunning.
If we're making some suggestions
Revealed alongside the Surface Pro 7, Microsoft's Surface Pro X builds on the positive changes we've seen over the last few generations of Pro devices. It has LTE connectivity — both eSIM and physical Nano-SIM options — and two USB-C ports for added connectivity, though it's missing a 3.5mm audio jack. In contrast, the Pro 7 has one USB-C port and no LTE, though it does feature speedier Wi-Fi 6.
The Pro X is thinner than the Pro 7 but has a nearly identical footprint. To enlarge the display to 13 inches compared to 12.3 inches on the Pro 7, the Pro X's bezel has been shaved down, resulting in an even more svelte look. The display has a 2880x1920 resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio, and it's capable of inking with the redesigned Surface Pen Slim. There's still a kickstand on the back to prop up the tablet, and you can add an optional Pro X keyboard to turn it into a notebook.
You're going to ultimately pay more for the Pro X than you will for the baseline Pro 7 models. Still, if you need something that can stay connected everywhere and you love the idea of a custom SQ1 CPU with Adreno 685 graphics (with two teraflops of power!), the Pro X is a great choice.
If the Pro 7 and its direct competitors are a bit too pricey for your taste, the Surface Go is likely quite appealing. It starts at a far lower price, and while it won't match up to the performance of the Pro 7, it's an awesome 2-in-1 for casual use. It will work for word processing, web browsing, and video watching, and optional LTE connectivity will help keep you connected everywhere.
The 10-inch display with 1800x1200 resolution is beautiful and works in tandem with a Surface Pen, and you can add a Type Cover for a notebook experience. USB-C 3.1, 3.5mm audio, Surface Connect, and a microSD card reader round out the port selection.
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