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Microsoft Surface Pro 8 for Business review

Strong Points

  • portability
  • LTE connection
  • battery life
  • price

Cons

  • random performance issues
  • Heavy for a dedicated tablet

Over the last few years, I’ve written about how I spend a lot of time on ZDNet. Working on iPad ProThe ideal work machine for writing, triaging your inbox, and navigating between Slack and Discord.

But while the iPad has been a staple in my workflow for the past decade, I’m starting to get tired of using powerful hardware with software that hasn’t yet reached its potential.and even if Initial Experience as a Stage Manager The combination with an external display was very promising, but since then bugs and performance issues have led Apple to remove major features such as external monitor support. I remain confused about the future of the iPad.

review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 5: Not angry, just disappointed

Earlier this year, I embarked on a quest that mostly involved trying out different devices. windows laptopto find what to replace my ipad pro. of Surface Laptop Studio The is fast, powerful, and fun to use, but it lacks LTE and is bulkier than the iPad Pro.i used Surface Pro X The form factor is ideal, but performance suffers as Microsoft’s move to ARM is not fully supported by third-party apps.

As part of my journey, I Surface Pro 8 with LTEAlthough it’s not listed in Microsoft’s main Surface store, the company does indeed make an LTE version of the Surface Pro 8. shop. In fact, it’s also called the Surface Pro 8 for Business. The business model can be ordered from him at one of Microsoft’s listed retailers. this pageinclude verizon wirelessor directly from microsoft business.

A new-looking Surface… kind of

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

When Microsoft Surface Pro 8 announced in September 2021, it revealed a completely new design for the Surface Pro lineup. Well, it wasn’t exactly new.It’s actually the same overall design Surface Pro XPut the Pro X next to the Pro 8 and the only difference is that the Pro 8 is thicker than the Pro X. Other than that they look the same.

The Pro 8’s PixelSense display has a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, is touch sensitive, and works with Surface Pen.

The built-in kickstand works just like the original Surface, allowing you to change the viewing angle of the Pro 8’s display. This includes laying it almost flat on a table. slim pen 2.

On the right side of the Pro 8’s housing is a Surface Connect port and two Thunderbolt 4 ports for connecting external displays, hard drives, and using USB-C accessories. Just above the Pro 8’s two ports is the power button. On the left side of the housing is a 3.5mm headphone jack and volume up/down buttons.

Also: How Microsoft Surface’s shaky start led to reinvention of the PC

Above the display is a 5-megapixel camera and all the hardware needed for facial recognition to unlock the Pro 8 and sign into apps using Windows Hello.

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

With the kickstand open, there’s a small door in the bottom left corner of the Pro 8’s housing. To remove the cover, you’ll need to use a SIM card tool or paper clip to push it through a small hole. Underneath is the Pro 8’s SSD storage (which you can swap out and replace yourself) and a SIM card slot.

The Pro 8 is eSIM-enabled, so there’s no need to use a physical SIM card, but since I frequently switch between the Pro X and iPad Pro, I had a dedicated SIM card and data-only plan associated with it. . .

Also: eSIM vs SIM: What’s the difference?

The box contains the Pro 8 and a charger that uses the Surface Connect port. If you don’t want to carry the included charger, you can use the USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 port to charge your tablet.

Not included in the box is any kind of stylus or keyboard. Instead, you’ll have to purchase them separately. Longtime Surface users have bad news. Older Surface keyboards will not work with the Pro 8.

There are three different options for attaching a keyboard to your new tablet and converting it into a 2-in-1.you can pick up $179 Surface Pro Signature Keyboard, $199 Surface Pro Signature keyboard with fingerprint reader (currently on sale for $169), or get the combo kit for $279 Surface Pro Signature Keyboard with Slim Pen 2.

I already had a combo kit, so that’s what I was using during testing.

No matter which keyboard you choose, there’s a slot for the Surface Slim Pen 2 above the keyboard. When folded, the pen rests against the bottom bezel of the Pro 8. Wirelessly charges the pen so it’s always ready to go.

Overall, I like the design of the Pro 8. I actually found myself using it more as a tablet than an iPad Pro, just because the kickstand is built into the housing. There is no separate cover or case that I have to manage. amazing.

But can it replace the iPad Pro?

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Inside, the Surface Pro 8 I’ve been testing has an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, and a 256GB SSD. It was running Windows 11 Pro out of the box.

Prices for the LTE option range from $1,349 for an Intel Core i5, 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage to the build I tested. It normally retails for $1,849, but currently sells for $1,599. Again, these prices do not include the keyboard.

The remaining specs include Wi-Fi 6 support, Bluetooth 5.1, and battery life from 16 hours up to 14 hours for Wi-Fi-only models.

One of the first things I did after setting up the Pro 8 was to up the refresh rate from the standard 60Hz to enable a 120Hz refresh rate. I could notice a difference while scrolling and playing casual games, but overall I’m not sure it’s entirely necessary with the Pro 8. Yes, it helps, but it also sacrifices battery life will be

Even if you’re using the Pro 8 on Wi-Fi only, you still haven’t hit the 14 hour estimate. But the Pro 8’s battery lasted as long as my iPad Pro’s battery (which normally runs his 8 hours a day) takes his 1 hour.

One of the things that surprised me after switching to the Pro 8 after using the Pro X and iPad Pro is the fact that the Pro 8 still has a fan. I believe the Pro 8 is much thicker than the Pro X to make room for the cooling system. The fan isn’t too loud, especially if you have the Pro 8 connected to an external monitor.

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Speaking of which, I had the Pro 8 connected to a monitor for most of my testing. With the added Thunderbolt 4 support, I was able to use whatever Thunderbolt 4 port she had. Belkin’s Pro Thunderbolt 4 Dockthere are enough ports for my use.

The ability to connect my tablet to an external display and actually do what it’s supposed to does is a huge productivity boost for me. I was able to open apps like Slack and iCloud Mail on the Pro 8 screen, and write to iA Writer on a large external monitor with multiple Edge tabs open.

When working on an iPad Pro connected to a monitor, whatever is displayed on the iPad screen will be mirrored onto the larger display. There are some apps that use Apple’s rudimentary API for external displays, and it’s not great.

Also, there are many workarounds to complete certain tasks on your iPad. For example, publishing content on ZDNet often requires remotely accessing a MacBook Pro and using Chrome to add images to stories. Otherwise, errors will occur in the content management system. To be fair, this is a Safari issue that also exists on Mac. However, while you can use the true version of Chrome on your Mac, you can’t use his version of his WebKit rendering engine, the skins that Apple forces developers to use on his iPhones and iPads. So Edge, Chrome, Brave, etc. are all basically skinned versions of Safari.

The Pro 8 runs a full-fledged operating system with Windows 11, while the iPad Pro runs a mobile-first operating system with iPadOS, but the devices are relatively the same size and can be used by the same type of users. is targeting Even the prices are close enough that a comparison is warranted.

The combined price of Surface Pro 8 with LTE and Signature Keyboard Cover with Slim Pen is $2,128. An iPad Pro with 5G, 16GB of memory, 1TB of storage, Apple’s Magic Keyboard with trackpad, and Apple Pencil is $2,449.

There are still many things the iPad Pro does better

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Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

I’ve certainly written the equivalent of a love letter to the Surface Pro 8 so far. But because it really deserves it.It is amazing 2-in-1 device I thoroughly enjoy using it, but there are some areas where the iPad Pro is just the right device for me.

I prefer using Apple’s Mail app with my iCloud+ personal domain to access my email, rather than either Thunderbird or the iCloud website.Me too Love I’m writing on my iPad because having one app open and looking at it has far fewer distractions. I need to do more experimenting with how to recreate a similar experience on Windows using Windows apps in full screen and using Focus Assist. It’s also a great tablet thanks to an interface designed for touch first.

Also: Want a touchscreen MacBook? This portable monitor lets you do just that

Another thing I love about the iPad Pro is its reliable and consistent performance. When using the Pro 8 with multiple apps open, there was sometimes a slight delay or pause before the apps appeared after being minimized. It wasn’t specific to any particular app. Well experienced with Thunderbird, Discord and Slack.

Conclusion

After sitting my Surface Pro 8 on the shelf for a few months, I’m back to using it as my main device. I’m enjoying using multiple windows again for multitasking and not having to worry about extra workarounds. It also maintains complete and complete portability.

So iPad or Surface Pro 8? With so much uncertainty about the future of iPadOS, I’m not as confident about the future of Apple’s high-end tablets as I used to be. That said, Apple continues to make the best tablet-only devices you can buy.

Also: iPadOS 16.1 Stage Manager Multitasking Basics

If you’re wondering whether to choose between the Surface Pro 8 and the iPad Pro, here’s what to say. You can’t go wrong with either device as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into. The iPad Pro can do many things, but only a few do it really well. On the other hand, the Surface Pro 8 can do a lot of things very well, but it also has its fair share of flaws and issues.

But in the end, I got a complete computer with the Surface Pro 8, and now I’m getting 80% of one computer with the iPad Pro.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-surface-pro-8-for-business-review/#ftag=RSSbaffb68 Microsoft Surface Pro 8 for Business review

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