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Microsoft announces Surface Pro 7+ for Business: 4G LTE, 32GB of RAM, and 11th Gen Intel

Surface Pro 7plus
Surface Pro 7plus (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Surface Pro 7+ is for enterprise and education markets.
  • Surface Pro 7+ features 4G LTE options, 32GB of RAM, removable SSD, and Intel 11th Gen processors.
  • Shipping starts later this week.
  • We could see Surface Pro 8 for consumers later this fall.

A lot has changed in the world in the last year, especially with how we work. As a result, Microsoft is shaking things up a bit with its "classic" Surface Pro laptop. Instead of introducing a Surface Pro 8 for consumers, it is refreshing Surface Pro 7 with a new "plus" edition for enterprise and education markets.

So, what is different about Surface Pro 7+ for Business, and can regular consumers buy one? Here is what is new for Surface Pro 7+ for Business and how it differs from Surface Pro 7 for Consumers.

Surface Pro 7+ What's different

Surface Pro 7plus Ssd

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

The most exciting changes for Surface Pro 7+ start with the SSD. Following the designs of Surface Pro X and Surface Laptop 3, Microsoft is introducing a removable SSD design for Surface Pro 7+.

Just like Surface Pro X, users can pop off the rear door using a SIM tool and with a single Torx T3 screw swap out the drive for security reasons or upgrades.

What's new Surface Pro 7+
CPU | Intel 11th Gen
GPU | Xe Graphics
RAM | Up to 32GB
SSD | Removable; Up to 1TB
Connectivity | 4G LTE
Markets | Commercial, EDU
Availability | This week

We recently did a how-to on swapping the SSD in Surface Pro X, detailing the procedure.

Next is the introduction of Intel 11th Gen processors. Intel's latest CPUs bring up to a 30 percent boost in processor performance and nearly 80 percent in GPU thanks to the new Iris Xe graphics. Microsoft claims that Surface Pro 7+ is now "2.1 times faster" than before.

Options for Core i3, Core i5 (both without fans), and Core i7 will be available.

Besides improved performance, Intel 11th Gen also brings significantly better battery life. Microsoft is now claiming Surface Pro+ can achieve up to 15 hours of battery life, and it can recharge up to 80 percent in just under an hour. The older Surface Pro 7 based on Intel 10th Gen was only rated up to 10.5 hours of battery life for comparison.

CategorySurface Pro 7+
Operating systemWindows 10 Pro
Display12.3-inch PixelSense, 3:2 aspect ratio, 2736x1824 (267 PPI)
Processor11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 (Wi-Fi)
11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 (Wi-Fi or LTE)
11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 (Wi-Fi)
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics (i3)
Intel Iris Xe Graphics (i5, i7)
Memory8GB or 16GB LPDDR4x (Wi-Fi or LTE)
32GB LPDDR4x (Wi-Fi)
Storage128GB SSD or 256GB SSD (Wi-Fi or LTE)
512GB SSD or 1TB SSD (Wi-Fi)
Rear camera8MP autofocus (1080p)
Front camera5MP (1080p)
SecurityTPM 2.0
Windows Hello face authentication camera
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax
4G Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem (optional)
PortsOne USB-C
One USB-A
One microSDXC
One Surface Connect+
Surface Keyboard connector
3.5mm headphone jack
BatteryUp to 15 hours (Wi-Fi)
Up to 13.5 hours (LTE Advanced)
Size11.5" x 7.9" x 0.33" (292 mm x 201 mm x 8.5 mm)
Weighti3, i5: 1.70 lb (775 g)
i7: 1.74 lb (790 g)
ColorsPlatinum
Black
PricingStarts at $899 (opens in new tab)
AvailabilityMid-January 2021

Another significant shift is for the first time, you can order Surface Pro with 32GB of RAM. That version won't be cheap as it is only available with a Core i7 and 1TB of internal storage, bringing the price to $2,800.

The other change is the option for 4G LTE. Microsoft's last Surface Pro with LTE was announced in 2017 (but didn't ship until early 2018). That model is only available in platinum with a Core i5, 8 or 16GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage.

Battery life is rated at 13.5 hours for the LTE model versus 15 hours for Wi-Fi only.

Additional security has also been added to Surface Pro 7+ to protect against "common and sophisticated malware." Microsoft goes into detail in a separate blog post (opens in new tab) on the new abilities.

When combined with a removable SSD, Intel 11th Gen Core i5, and the Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem Surface Pro 7+ should be a killer convertible tablet. Other than those changes, nothing else is different with Surface Pro 7+ compared to Surface Pro 7.

Surface Pro 7+ Why only businesses?

Surface Pro 7plus

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

The obvious question is why Microsoft is doing a mid-cycle refresh to Surface Pro 7. The answer is evident when you consider how much enterprise and schooling have shifted due to the pandemic.

Instead of waiting for a Surface Pro 8, Microsoft revamped Surface Pro 7 for its business partners and customers who have been asking for these changes. Microsoft tells us, "we have had differentiated consumer and commercial SKUs for several years to allow us to best meet the needs of each customer," and that prioritizing "Surface Pro 7+ for commercial and education customers is an extension of this strategy."

In a blog post on the announcement, Microsoft added more about the need for Surface Pro 7+:

Across industries, the shift to remote and hybrid productivity was a tipping point to redefine the future of how we work, collaborate, and learn outside physical office spaces or classrooms. We have seen a significant increase in the reliance on technology to keep organizations connected. In the past year, Surface usage within enterprise organizations nearly doubled, driven by strong growth in the use of collaboration and productivity apps to maintain business continuity.

Microsoft is also getting in on being more environmentally conscious by reducing the overall weight of the packaging for Surface Pro 7+, which is now "23% lighter than the previous generation and is made from 99% natural fiber-based material, of which 64% is post-consumer recycled content."

Here are a few more questions you may have:

Will Surface Pro 7 continue to be sold?

For consumers, Surface Pro 7 is the one that will continue to be available. It is not being discontinued. But for enterprise (commercial) and EDU markets Surface Pro 7+ does replace Surface Pro 7.

Can consumers (regular people) buy Surface Pro 7+?

Yes. Surface Pro 7+ "can be purchased by business customers - including freelancers - through a Surface Commercial Authorized Device Reseller or via the Microsoft Store Business Desk."

That means you probably cannot one through Best Buy but will be able to order it through Microsoft and other channels similar to getting the Intel version of Surface Book 3 (15-inch).

Why no 5G?

Microsoft is notoriously shy about introducing new features, and according to the, 5G is not something their business customers have been asking for just yet. Microsoft will do 5G when they think it is ready for more mainstream customers but now is not that time.

What about Thunderbolt 4?

Unfortunately, there is no Thunderbolt 4 with Surface Pro 7+. Maybe we'll see it with Surface Pro 8.

Does the LTE version support eSIM?

Yes. Both eSIM and a removable nano SIM are supported. As usual, Surface Pro 7+ is SIM unlocked and supports the following global LTE Bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 38, 39, 40, 41, 66.

Surface Pro 7+ pricing, models, and availability

Surface Pro 7plus

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

With the inclusion of LTE, up to 32GB of RAM, and both black and platinum colorways, there are quite a few configuration options for Surface Pro 7+. Here are all of them broken by category.

Surface Pro 7+ Wi-Fi Commercial

CategoryFeatures
11th Gen Intel Core i3, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB, Platinum$899
11th Gen Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB, Platinum$999
11th Gen Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB, Platinum/Black$1,299
11th Gen Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB, Platinum/Black$1,599
11th Gen Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512 GB, Platinum$1,999
11th Gen Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB, Platinum$2,399
11th Gen Intel Core i7, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB, Platinum$2,799

Surface Pro 7+ LTE Commercial

CategoryFeatures
11th Gen Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB, LTE, Platinum$1,149
11th Gen Intel Core i5, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB, LTE, Platinum$1,649

Surface Pro 7+ Wi-Fi Education

CategoryFeatures
11th Gen Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB, Platinum$899
11th Gen Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB, Platinum$1,199

Pricing starts at $899 for the Core i3 with 8GB and 128GB of storage (platinum) and peaks at $2,800 for Core i7, 32GB, and 1TB of storage (platinum). Education models are $100 cheaper, only come in platinum, and do not have an LTE option.

You won't have to wait long to order one either. Business and education customers in select markets across Asia, Europe, and North America can order Surface Pro 7+ through their local resellers (opens in new tab) today, with shipping beginning at the end of this week.

Surface Pro 7+: Quick analysis

The good news is Microsoft is not calling this Surface Pro 8. That leaves room for that device to come out perhaps, later this year and with it more significant changes.

Interestingly, Microsoft didn't see the need to bring Surface Pro 7+ to the consumer market, even though that seems like it would have been an logical strategy. But in doing so, some customers who buy Surface Pro 7+ may feel burned if Surface Pro 8 comes out late in the fall and with it an expected updated design. The positioning of Surface Pro 7+ for Business gets around that issue.

The enterprise (and EDU) markets care less about thinner bezels or the latest in consumer delights. That makes Surface Pro 7+ with its removable SSD, LTE option, and latest Intel processors an easy sell. And we can't fault Microsoft in wanting to meet the demands of this market considering the big role PCs now play at work.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that Surface Hub 2S 85-inch, as expected, is starting to ship this month too. Customers interested in Surface Hub 2S 85-inch can connect with an authorized Surface Hub reseller (opens in new tab) for more info.

Need more on Surface? See our "Expectations, predictions, and what we want to see for Surface in 2021" list on what we know.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

30 Comments
  • I guess I will have to keep waiting. I was hoping to get a Surface Pro 8 in January to replace my Surface Pro 3. I will keep limping along. I feel like a user replaceable SSD should have always been an option.
  • exactly the same boat! Pro 3 is... OK, but my battery lasts only an hour on a Skype video chat. Was looking forward to a redesigned and modern Pro... and looks like Pro8 will still be this, I hope... so... only another 9/10 months to go...
  • I'm in the same boat. I've been biding my time with a cracked screen on my Pro 5 for over a year. What's another year?
  • Same for me too. Cracked screen on my Pro 4 and really wanting to upgrade as it's showing it's age and I was really hoping to upgrade with this month's announcement. Unfortunately was REALLY hoping to move up to 512 GB of storage (256 GB is starting to feel cramped) and I STRONGLY prefer the look of the black chassis over the platinum. According the the article, black is only available on the 256 GB versions though, otherwise Microsoft could have my $2,000 right now. Guess I'll hold out for the fall and see what they deliver. I am really impressed with the battery life increase though. At 5 years old, my battery life is almost non-existent so to have literally all-day batter life would be a welcome improvement. Looking forward to that in the fall.
  • For more storage, why not use the microSD card slot behind the kickstand? Nothing protrudes and not as fast but you can get much bigger storage that way for significantly less money (will save you $350 or so). Or now that the SSD is upgradeable. maybe there's a way to get the 512GB size somewhere and upgrade yourself on the black model.
  • A new 512GB SSD (Toshiba BG4 for that extra speed) should only be around $85 via eBay. See my Pro X how-to article for links and details. So, you could just get the 256GB model + $85 and be set. Swapping the drive and reloading Windows 10 should only take 30 minutes.
  • Why not just put in a MicroSD? I have the 256GB SP4, with a 256GB MicroSD, and you can even install programs on the MicroSD and it works fine. I just got my hands on a 512GB MicroSD right after Christmas. It'll be perfect for such use.
  • A proper NVME SSD is a lot faster than a MicroSD and it has longer longevity too. A lot of programs like Visual Studio can't be installed to anything other than the root drive, at least not without hacks like hard links.
  • That is true but programs themselves are usually not that big in size. So place the programs on the fast SSD and part of the content that is big in size (images, videos, 3d models, games) on the MicroSD. Of course it depends a bit on someone's exact workflow if a MicroSD card is enough, e.g. I have not tried running VS project from a MicroSD card.
  • "An expected updated design" for the consumer version? Interesting. So I guess the reporting from WC about the SP8 was actually about this business/edu model, not the next consumer iteration. For all those consumers waiting for the SP8, I'd say just go get an SP7, particularly if you don't need the power of 11th Gen Intel. It's an amazing device and you can get great deals these days.
  • On the other hand the Pro 7+ is a bigger upgrade than the Pro 7 was over the Pro 6. We now get bigger battery, replaceable SSD, more efficient cpu and much better integrated gpu. Like besides no changes to the design, this is a very nice upgrade.
  • Wow this is really nice, it takes care of my number one gripe which was the horrible battery life of the SP7. I'll still hold out hope for the SP8 taking some design cues from the SP-X, but in the meantime this is a really nice upgrade. Anyone know how they improved the battery life? Is it all just increased efficiency from the new procs, or is there a larger battery, or a combination?
  • 16% larger battery & CPU efficiency improvements. Also I think there were software improvements (that also applies to SP7 I think).
  • Check the video in the article to see how a thinner display made room for a thicker battery.
  • Switched from the Surface Pro 4 to the Razer Blade Stealth and with the optional eGPU have the best of both worlds, great portability and graphics power when back at my desk.
  • Since I already have a 16GB machine, I'd like to go for a 32GB version. But I also want (minimum) LTE or 5G.
    I assume that the LTE version also comes with wi-fi (some news stories say "wi-fi or LTE"...). So if I want the LTE version, I guess I have to accept 16GB/i5. I guess I can upgrade the disk from 256GB to 1TB??
    --
    Most likely, I'll wait. The new HP Dragonfly models look interesting, but sadly 16:9 format. The Dell Latitude 9420 also looks interesting.
  • "I assume that the LTE version also comes with wi-fi "
    lol yes, LTE versions also have Wi-Fi 6/BT 5.0. re: the rest, correct you can manually add a 1 TB drive, but not get an i7.
  • Daniel, I like this machine but it’s so frustrating that you can’t get top of the line machine with all the best components - meaning LTE with i7 and 32 GB RAM. You can get LTE with any version of an IPadPro. I would pay my money for that but will now sit with my SP5Lte. Also why don’t they add eGPU support???
  • So, my Surface Pro 4 is pretty much dead. Swelling battery has pushed the screen out from the frame by about 3-4mm in the last week. I'm trying to back everything up off it so it can be disposed of. I've been following news of the Surface Pro 8, including discussions of the device passing FCC certification last week, and then pricing coming out yesterday. Is *that* device the Surface Pro 7+? I mean, it was discussed as having the Tiger Lake chip, and this Surface Pro 7+ seems to match those characteristics. I know some people have been waiting for a redesign more akin to the Surface Pro X. I actually don't care about that form factor, as I *like* the looks even of my Surface Pro 4. I had held off until now, not wanting to buy into the Surface Pro 7, when it was already a year into its lifecycle. If this device appears to be what's been getting leaked the last few days, I'm 100% fine with it.
  • "Is that device the Surface Pro 7+? "
    Yes. There is no imminent Surface Pro 8. Maybe later this fall in Oct/Nov.
  • Guess I have to try to get my hands on one then.
  • I'm assuming that the Microsoft Store Business Desk hasn't updated their website yet? I just tried looking, and did not see it it there, even though the Surface Hub 2S *is* there.
  • Not on the UK business store either yet, just the regular Pro 7.
    I will be buying this for business and was hoping to go through the store. Does anyone know if you can still accrue Microsoft points on business store purchases? Plan to also get the Surface Duo next month so would be great to put the point towards it!
  • UPDATE: MS tell me it will be available to purchase from the UK store this Friday (15th Jan)
  • No mention of improvements in cooling design or pen response/performance?
  • so happy this wasn't labeled the Surface Pro 8! can't wait to see the real Surface Pro 8. hopefully with AMD.
  • The bigger battery was kind of unexpected, that alongside the replaceable SSD is actually very useful. Tiger Lake should also prove to be a bigger upgrade than Ice Lake was. I do think the Pro 8 will be bring a redesign, otherwise this one would not have been called 7+ by MS.
  • Any idea if the pro 8 will be significantly different than the pro 7+?
  • Will probably get a big chassis redesign to integrate PCIe Gen4 motherboard and ports, and to improve cooling system for housing more powerful processors. It might be worth the wait.
  • I'm considering upgrading from a Pro (5th gen) Core i5. Will the Pro 7+ Core i5 project to 4k at 60Hz? Currently I'm only able to project at 30 Hz.