How to Choose Between Surface Pro X and Surface Pro 7

How to Choose Between Surface Pro X and Surface Pro 7
 
 
 
 

If you've decided that it's time for a new laptop or a new tablet and realized that you should opt for a two-in-one device like the Surface Pro, do you stick with Microsoft or go for one of their rivals? The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 tablet is an option. It runs Windows 10 Pro as does the Samsung Galaxy Book2. But neither rival should be considered. What you need to weigh up is whether to buy the Surface Pro X or Pro 7. That's a difficult one to decide on because both are great devices. If you're looking at price, go for the Pro 7. It's close to 250 dollars less but that doesn't tell you everything you need to know to make an informed choice.

Design

There's nothing to choose between when you check out their designs. Both have a similar look that follows the design ethos that Microsoft began with the first Surface device back in 2012. The Pro 7 is essentially unchanged. It comes with the same 12.3-inch PixelSense display as its predecessor so you get 2,736 x 1,824 resolution and 267 pixels per inch. The Pro X has a 13-inch display but it also ends up with 267 PPI. Both have a 3:2 aspect ratio.

Gadgets

There are a few minor gadgets that make the Surface Pro X more desirable than the Pro 7 but you'll have to work out if the following are justified by the $250 extra. The Pro X allows you to take out the solid-state drive. It's the first Surface device to offer that. The other difference worth noting is the type cover. While the Pro 7 uses the same type cover and pen as previous models, the Pro X comes with a new type cover and a new slim pen.

Power and performance

The differences between the two devices are clearest when you check out their performance. The Surface Pro 7 uses Ice Lake CPUs and comes with up to 16GB of RAM and a maximum of 1TB of memory. You get laptop-type performance. If you want something more, go for the Pro X. The new Microsoft SQ1 CPU, which was created in partnership with Qualcomm, runs up to 7 watts of power. When you consider that most processors can only handle 2 watts, you'll understand why the Pro X beats the Pro 7 for performance.

Portability

These devices are both thin and very light. You won't feel like you're carrying anything. The Pro X is much thinner but both weigh about the same. It's a different story when you check out the expected battery life. The Surface Pro 6 offered 13.5 hours of battery life. You'll need to buy the Pro X to get that sort of battery life as Microsoft estimate that the Pro X will last 13 hours but you'll only get 10.5 hours from the Pro 7.

Which one?

The choice is yours because the basic decision you have to make is whether to spend $749 or $999. The extra money does give you a device with a slight technical edge and one with a slightly bigger display and a longer battery life but you'll have to decide if these small advantages are significant enough to justify the additional cost.

To Consider Before Your Purchase

Don’t automatically go for the Microsoft device. Check out rivals from Samsung, HP and Lenovo.

Our Notes

  • The SQ1 CPU in the Pro X will fall behind Intel’s 10th-gen CPUs found in the Pro 7 on demanding tasks
  • The Pro 7 has one USB-C port while the Pro X has two.
  • The Pro X has a microSIM slot for LTE wireless connectivity.

What Do They Say on Other Sites

“Battery life closer than I was expecting honestly. I assume they can fit more battery in the X given less mobo space requirements.” (DougB541 on The Verge)

“I was fully expecting a 20+ hour tablet. 13 hours isn’t bad, especially if that includes LTE browsing, but it’s not the 20 hours that current ARM Windows systems get.” (P_Devil on The Verge)

Any thoughts? Let us know your comments!

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