Debugger

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Is Hard to Fault

Unless you’re comparing it to the Surface Pro X

Owen Williams
OneZero
Published in
5 min readApr 7, 2020

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Photos courtesy of the author

AAfter years of lugging around a 15-inch laptop, I was ready for a change. I started searching for an ultra-light, portable replacement and it didn’t take me long to discover that all roads lead to the Microsoft Surface line of devices.

Microsoft launched two new Surface devices in late 2019. The first, the Surface Pro X, which I recently reviewed, runs on a different type of processor than its predecessors and most other laptops. It’s impressive, but expensive — starting at $1,000 — and is not for everyone, especially since there are some apps that don’t yet work as well with the new type of processor.

The second device, the Surface Pro 7, is the most recent refresh of Microsoft’s half-tablet, half-laptop computer. Starting at $750, it’s a computer that will please just about anyone who is looking for something that’s more adaptable than a laptop.

The Surface Pro 7 is, to be clear, not a major departure from its predecessors. It’s an update to a hardware aesthetic that has been around since 2013 — which is when I last tried out and reviewed one of these devices. Unboxing it almost felt like pulling out that familiar old Surface from back then.

While the hardware design feels decidedly dated compared with the Surface Pro X, it’s a testament to how timeless the detachable keyboard design has truly become. That’s especially apparent given that Apple now offers its own detachable keyboard with a trackpad, years after the Surface did it first.

Sticking with the same design, and iterating on it over the years, is part of what makes the Surface Pro 7 so appealing. I’d previously written off Surface Pro devices for persistent annoyances like their lack of a USB-C port, a slow resume time, and a stand that made it awkward to set the device on your lap. But in this latest version, Microsoft has addressed all of my complaints. It has added the missing port, and a powerful processor that boots up instantly, rather than making you wait.

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Owen Williams
OneZero

Fascinated by how code and design is shaping the world. I write about the why behind tech news. Design Manager in Tech. https://twitter.com/ow