Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Plus: A business 2-in-1 that will make IT people happy
The latest version of the popular two-in-one adds new security and setup features, plus LTE.
Dan AckermanEditorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications.
"Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
ExpertiseI've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever.Credentials
Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
CES 2021 is just starting, but many PC companies have already announced new
and two-in-one PCs.
doesn't typically introduce new computer hardware during CES, but it's jumping into the mix this year with the Surface Pro 7 Plus.
This is a business and education version of the Surface Pro 7, which I reviewed in October 2019. In the meantime, we've seen the Surface Laptop Go and a new Surface Pro X, but not another flagship Surface Pro.
This naturally raises a question: What do you call the "pro" version of your product, when the regular version already has Pro in the name? Microsoft's solution is to append a plus symbol, indicating that this is more than a Surface Pro 7, but not quite a Surface Pro 8.
A handful of features and upgrades separate the Pro Plus from the plain old Pro. First, the Surface 7 Pro Plus gets built-in LTE mobile data options, something the Surface Pro 7 lacked. No, it's not 5G support, but that's true of most of the mobile-broadband-ready laptops from 2020 and so far in 2021. That's yet another data point that 5G just isn't a big deal yet for many system shoppers and PC makers.
Also new are 11th-gen
Core processors (the regular Surface Pro 7 has 10th-gen chips), plus up to 32GB of RAM, doubling the previous 16GB limit. Both the Surface 7 Pro and 7 Pro Plus top out at 1TB of internal storage, if you're willing to pay for it. Microsoft claims the new processors can be up to 2.1 times faster than the previous model, with 15 hours of battery life, up from about 11 hours.
The new Surface Pro Plus has a few extra features to appeal to the business and education crowds. IT departments will appreciate the new emphasis on remote deployment. With Windows Autopilot, for example, devices can ship directly from Microsoft to employees, already configured with your company's
settings and software, so an IT person won't have to unbox each Surface, image it, rebox it and send it on to the employee. The new surface 7 Pro Plus also has a removable SSD drive for extra data security.
The Surface Pro 7 Plus starts at $899 ($1,149 for LTE versions), with preorders starting now and products shipping by the end of this week. That's about £670 or AU$1,170 converted.