Microsoft's Surface Pro 7 finally adds USB-C

Microsoft's Surface Pro 7 remains largely the same as before, but USB-C is a nice touch.

Credit: Microsoft

The new Surface Pro 7 is a little more than “another year, another iterative Surface Pro update.” In an event brimming with hot new reveals, the Surface Pro 7 added a much-needed upgrade to its familiar formula and little else—and that’s a good thing. Microsoft sold enterprise customers on the Surface Pro’s reliability and wide array of supporting hardware (such as the Surface Dock and various Type Cover keyboards), so the physical dimensions of this tablet-but-really-a-laptop can’t be rejiggered too vigorously.

Most notably, the Surface Pro 7 finally jumps on board the USB-C bandwagon, with the versatile modern connection joining the device’s USB-A and Surface Connect ports. It’s still a fairly limited port selection, but one that finally unlocks a world of accessories. Microsoft spent a big chunk of the presentation showing off a versatile workflow that tapped into the Surface Pen, a Type Cover, and various Microsoft programs that support the supplementary hardware—including Excel now. (Huzzah!) 

surface pro excel Microsoft

See the handwritten note in Excel? It converts to text after you scribble it down.

Yeah, the focus here is definitely on business.

The Surface Pro 7 also includes a new studio microphone configuration. Microsoft says that they’ve been “placed perfectly and tuned for what’s coming from your mouth” rather than picking up ambient noise. The tablet also supports fast charging now, capable of filling your battery up to 80 percent in an hour.

Curiously, Microsoft didn’t detail any under-the-hood upgrades for the Surface Pro 7. The new Surface Laptops received a bump to Intel’s 10th-gen Core “Ice Lake” processors, though, and we’re hoping the Surface Pro got the same treatment.

Intel’s previous 8th-gen Core processors gave the older Surface Pro 6 a huge upgrade in processing power, and Ice Lake could do the same for the graphics performance of Microsoft’s slate. Check out our Ice Lake performance preview for more details, but here’s the bottom line: Ice Lake’s integrated graphics are “a generational performance uplift over UHD graphics and might just be the surprise killer feature of the CPU.” These chips would be a great addition to the Surface Pro 7.

In Australia, pricing for the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 starts at AU$1249/ Preorders start from today ahead of an October 22 launch-date.

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Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
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