Larger-screened Surface Pro 8 gets its biggest redesign since the Surface Pro 3

Andrew Cunningham

Ars Technica

  • [credit: Microsoft ]

Microsoft has officially announced the Surface Pro 8, and the rumors were pretty much on the money. The new tablet includes a larger screen with a 120 Hz refresh rate, updated internal hardware, user-replaceable SSDs, and a pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports that replace the USB-C and USB-A ports in the previous model. It's the most significant (and also: only) redesign that the tablet has gotten since the Surface Pro 3 back in 2014. The Surface Pro 8 is available for preorder today, and a version with a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage will set you back $1,100 (plus the cost of a keyboard cover and the $130 Surface Slim Pen 2, if you want either or both). The first preorders will begin shipping on October 5, the day Windows 11 launches.

The Surface Pro 8 adopts most of the design tweaks Microsoft first tried out in the Surface Pro X in 2019. In fact, the two tablets now share some of the same key physical specifications, including the 13-inch 2880×1920 display size and resolution and the exact same height and width. Like most laptops released in the last few years, the screen size increase comes from shrinking the display bezels rather than dramatically changing the size of the device. The Surface Pro 8's screen does support up to a 120 Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling, but the tablet will be configured to use the more typical 60 Hz refresh rate out of the box.

The Surface Pro 8 is about a tenth of an inch (or 2mm) thicker than the Pro X to make room for additional cooling, but the identical height and width means that the Surface Pro 8 and the Surface Pro X use the same keyboard cover, now renamed the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard. By the same token, the keyboard covers that worked with all Surface versions from 2014's Surface Pro 3 up to the Surface Pro 7 won't be compatible with the Surface Pro 8.

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