Mid-Cycle Refresh

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Plus

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Lacking A Few Features

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Surface Pro 7

The Surface Pro 7 Plus gets a mid-gen refresh for Enterprise and Education, though anyone can buy it from Microsoft or select resellers. 11th Gen Intel CPUs, removable and upgradeable SSD, optional 4G LTE, up to 32GB of RAM, and better battery life make this a great stop-gap between the Pro 7 and the forthcoming Pro 8.

From $900 at Microsoft

Pros

  • SSD now removable/upgradeable
  • 11th Gen Intel processors
  • Better battery life
  • Up to 32GB RAM
  • Optional 4G LTE

Cons

  • Still no 5G
  • Only available at select retailers

The Surface Pro 7 is still a fantastic 2-in-1 PC available more readily at more retailers. It doesn't have the latest Intel CPUs, it caps out at 16GB of RAM, it has no LTE capabilities, and its SSD is stuck inside, but it remains a powerful device with a full eight hours of battery life and excellent performance.

From $750 at Microsoft

Pros

  • Same high-end design
  • All-day battery life
  • Instant On and Resume
  • Excellent performance
  • Costs less

Cons

  • No LTE
  • Maxes out at 16GB RAM
  • 10th Gen Intel CPUs
  • No removable SSD

The Surface Pro 7 Plus is a mid-generation refresh that adds Intel's 11th Gen Intel Core processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics, 4G LTE connectivity, removable or upgradeable SSD, configurations with up to 32GB of RAM, better battery life, and the same stellar design you love. This is a "business" laptop intended for the Enterprise and Education sectors, but anyone can buy one by shopping straight from Microsoft or other select resellers. Let's take a look at what sets these two devices apart and why you might want to buy one or the other.

Surface Pro 7 Plus vs. Surface Pro 7 tech specs

Surface Pro 7 Plus Surface Pro 7
OS Windows 10 Pro Windows 10 Home
Processor 11th Gen Intel
Core i3-1115G4
Core i5-1135G7
Core i7-1165G7
10th Gen Intel
Core i3-1005G1
Core i5-1035G4
Core i71065G7
RAM 8GB, 16GB, 32GB
LPDDR4x
4GB, 8GB, 16GB
LPDDR4x
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD
Display 12.3 inches
2736x1824
3:2 aspect ratio
Touch
12.3 inches
2736x1824
3:2 aspect ratio
Touch
Graphics Integrated
Intel UHD (i3)
Intel Iris Xe (i5, i7)
Integrated
Intel UHD (i3)
Intel Iris Plus (i5, i7)
Ports USB-C 3.1
USB-A
3.5mm audio
Surface Connect
microSD card reader
Nano-SIM
USB-C 3.1
USB-A
3.5mm audio
Surface Connect
microSD card reader
LTE Snapdragon X20 4G LTE No
Biometrics IR camera IR camera
Battery Up to 15 hours (Wi-Fi)
Up to 13.5 hours (LTE)
Up to 10.5 hours
Dimensions 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches
(292mm x 201mm x 8.5mm)
11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches
(292mm x 201mm x 8.5mm)
Weight From 1.70 pounds (770g) From 1.70 pounds (770g)

What's new with the Surface Pro 7 Plus?

Surface Pro 7plus SsdSource: Microsoft

A mid-generation laptop refresh isn't out of the ordinary, and instead of a full Surface Pro 8 release, Microsoft has gone with a Surface Pro 7 Plus for Enterprise and Education markets. Worry not, because even regular consumers can buy the new Pro 7 Plus. So what's new, and why did Microsoft go this way? Executive Editor Daniel Rubino points this out in his Surface Pro 7 Plus announcement:

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 a 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.

It seems Microsoft wanted to get the new Intel processors (CPU) into the Pro lineup, as well as add LTE for those who need it without going with a more in-depth redesign.

Compared to the Pro 7 with its 10th Gen Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 CPUs, the Pro 7 Plus with 11th Gen chips should be considerably faster. Intel itself claims up to a 30% increase in processing power and an 80% increase in graphics power thanks to integrated Intel Iris Xe. Do note that the Core i3 models are still using Intel UHD graphics; if you'd like the extra graphics performance, you'll have to stick with 11th Gen Core i5 or Core i7 models. Up to 32GB of LPDDR4x is now configurable, up from 16GB in the Pro 7.

On top of a nice performance bump, the efficiency of the newer CPUs should extend battery life. Whereas Microsoft claims about 10.5 hours of life from the Pro 7 (realistically about eight hours as tested in our Surface Pro 7 review), the Pro 7 Plus is pegged at about 15 hours for Wi-Fi models. That number will differ, but it's still a large boost from the previous generation.

Surface Pro 7plusSource: Microsoft

Like the Surface Pro X and Surface Laptop 3, the Pro 7 Plus now has a small door on the back of its chassis for easy access to the solid-state drive (SSD). Whether you're looking to access it for security or for an easy upgrade, it's a welcome addition to a laptop that has traditionally been difficult (read impossible) to upgrade after purchase.

For anyone who is always on the move, the addition of a Snapdragon X20 LTE modem is no doubt exciting. This allows for constant connectivity whether or not you're within Wi-Fi range, though expect the battery to take a slight hit when using a data connection. The 4G LTE feature is available on Core i5 models only.

Overall, this is mostly an internal redesign, and those waiting for things like slimmer bezels, new ports (like Thunderbolt 4), and 5G connectivity will have to wait for future models. And rest assured, your old Surface Pen and Type Cover will work with the Pro 7 Plus.

Surface Pro 7 Plus pricing and where to buy

Surface Pro 7plusSource: Microsoft

The Surface Pro 7 Plus is available for anyone to buy from the Business side of the Microsoft Store. There you can configure models as you see fit and check out as you would on the consumer side of the store. Prices start at about $900 and climb from there with plenty of configurations available.

Here is a quick breakdown of the models available.

Surface Pro 7+ Wi-Fi Commercial

Category Features
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

Category Features
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

Category Features
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

If you're not keen on buying straight from Microsoft, you can also check out several local resellers who may or may not have stock and the configuration you're looking for.

Surface Pro 7 Plus brings 11th Gen Intel CPUs, LTE connectivity, and more

The big differences between these two devices are on the inside, with new 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs, 4G LTE modem, up to 32GB RAM, and removable SSD coming to the Pro 7 Plus. Battery life gets better, you can stay connected everywhere, and you can upgrade storage after purchase. If neither of these are what you're looking for, be sure to check out our collection of best Windows laptop options for more great devices.

Mid-Cycle Refresh

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Plus

A refresh to the Pro 7 brings more powerful CPUs, better battery life, removable SSD, and 4G LTE connectivity. It's classified as a "Business" laptop, but anyone can get their hands on one.

Old But Gold

Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

The Pro 7 is still a great device, and you should be able to find one at a cheaper price compared to the Pro 7 Plus. As long as you don't need the new CPUs, removable SSD, or 4G LTE connectivity, it remains one of the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy.

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