Surface Pro 7+ Review: Being able to change the SSD is great news, Intel Iris Xe graphics are even better news

If it works, do not touch it. That seems to have been the mantra of the Surface Pro family in recent years. There have hardly been any external changes to a device that is precisely why it seems increasingly difficult to differentiate from its past editions.

This is certainly the case with the Surface Pro 7+ , an edition that takes advantage of the new 11th generation Intel Core processors and offers more options when it comes to expanding your options. Whether that’s enough to justify your purchase is another matter.

Nothing changes in other key sections like the screen, although here it is difficult to improve: the Surface Pro have been showing off their panels for several generations , and both in format and resolution it is very difficult to put buts to this part of Microsoft’s convertibles.

There are no changes in connectivity either except for the option of models with 4G / LTE connectivity: in them we will have a slot for a traditional Nano SIM card .

The battery does not change in capacity, but according to Microsoft its autonomy is now much greater : from the 10 and a half hours of autonomy of the Surface Pro 7 we go to 15 hours of the 7+ model, a really remarkable figure that we wanted to test in our analysis and that logically it is not so high in a somewhat more intensive use of the equipment.

Along the way, yes, there is a hypothetical possibility of having Thunderbolt 4 ports , which may arrive in the next big review of these convertible teams.

We started the analysis by resorting to the well-known ” if it works, don’t touch it “, but the phrase is especially valid in the different models of the Surface Pro family.

All of them have shared the same common base over the years: their design has become a constant , something that perhaps is counterproductive when it comes to differentiating them but that shows that this design is really successful.

That does not mean that it cannot be improved, of course. Although the Surface Pro 7+ is still a convertible tablet, the on-screen frames are still somewhat excessive for a team that invites many times to be used as a laptop.

The weight and thickness of the equipment are also high, although here we must admit that reducing both parameters could lead to a clear decrease in battery life , one of the key values ​​of these equipment.

In this new model, however, there is a notable change. In the back we have a small hatch that will give access to the possibility of replacing the SSD unit, which makes use of small units in M.2 format. 2230 .

We have already seen this change in the Surface Laptop 3 and the Surface Pro X, and of course it is a change that is surely welcomed by all users: being able to access the option to change that SSD unit can be crucial to extend the useful life of the team.

In the case of having one of the models with 4G connectivity, we will notice that there is also a small tray to insert the nano SIM card . It is certainly well hidden in the same area where the SSD drive compartment is, and to access it comfortably it is necessary to unfold the support of the Surface Pro 7 as if we were going to rest it on the table to work.

As all our readers will know, the Surface Pro family is often shown in promotional images with the Type Cover keyboard cover ready to go into action, but those images don’t tell the whole truth , because that keyboard cover is not natively included in the equipment and must be purchased separately.

That remains an uncomfortable reality for users considering a Surface Pro: Microsoft sells them as great alternatives for any laptop, but in reality they are “lame” without that Type Cover .

In fact, a good part of the productivity is condemned without this peripheral , but we insist: it is necessary to purchase it separately and the price is not at all negligible, since part of the 149.99 euros in the official Microsoft store, which of course there will be to add to the cost of the Surface Pro 7+ we choose.

In our analysis we have had this key accessory – not the Surface Pen – and as with the rest of the design sections, there have been no changes in materials or key layout.

There are also no modifications in the touch of a keyboard that despite its low profile responds perfectly and is, we would say even a little too noisy. If we take advantage of that old ability to be magnetically attached to the screen to make typing somewhat more ergonomic, the keys will sound even louder than if we rest the keyboard entirely on the table.

The travel of the keys is very adequate, and the tactile response in resistance and in that peculiar sound – nothing to do with that of a mechanical keyboard, but certainly audible – is great. There is no fingerprint sensor, but we still have the biometrics section well covered with the IR camera with Windows Hello support in the upper frame of the Surface Pro 7+ screen.

The touchpad has not changed either: it is still modest in dimensions – the Surface Pro is compact and there is no room for much else either – but its behavior is still excellent, both in response and in touch and gesture support.

The arrival of the 11th generation Intel Core processors is certainly reason enough for manufacturers to update their equipment: many have done so in recent weeks, and we will surely see even more in the coming months.

The reason lies not so much in the performance improvements we get in the general-purpose processor or CPU, but rather those we get in its graphics chip or GPU .

This is where the new Intel Iris Xe chips come into play that even allow us to enjoy some last batch games if we are careful with the resolution and graphic detail at which we play them.

In the equipment that was given to us for this analysis we have had an Intel Core i5-1135G7 , a processor launched in the third quarter of 2020 manufactured (finally) with 10 nm lithography and that has four cores and eight threads of execution .

Its native working frequency is 2.4 GHz, but it can reach 4.2 GHz in intensive scenarios. Consumption can reach 28 W and supports DDR4 and LPDDR4X memory modules (like the ones in this equipment) up to 4,267 MHz.

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