When Microsoft’s pioneering Surface range of tablet computers first hit the market, they created a wave. Never had we seen such a powerful machine in such a slim touchscreen format. The optional pen worked tremendously and started a long love affair with many digital artists and writers. The Microsoft Surface range of computers has been continuously evolving, and now we are staring down the barrel of another new Surface.
The Pro series of Surface tablets have become the most popular in the range, with sleek lines, configurable hardware, and that brilliant Surface Pen, the Pro represents the best value, ironically, for the average consumer. The Surface Pro 7 is the newest Pro model, and it’s brimming with the same magic that kick-started the world’s obsession with the Surface range.
The Surface Pro 7 ticks all the right boxes and makes all the right moves, and as a result, we have, predictably, an almost perfect PC. Configurable up to an Intel i7 with 16gb of ram and 1TB of SSD storage, the Surface Pro 7 can be built into quite a beast, but can it replace your laptop?
Is it hot in here?
Well, that depends on what you expect from your computer. An artist will adore the Pro 7’s touch screen and pen combination. At the risk of sounding corny, it’s the closest thing to drawing on paper, and its indescribable how good the experience is. For a content creator, the tablet form factor works well for some programs and not at all for others, but its main problem is lack of space, space to fit more efficient cooling system or fans.
A computer gets hot, especially if its running draining programs like video editing software or games with detailed graphics. A tablet is not as thermally efficient as a laptop, a problem compounded by the screen sitting in the same housing as these hot components. If you are looking to cut a movie or push the limits of graphics, the Pro 7 is not for you.
That’s not to say it can’t be powerful, in upgraded forms, the Pro 7 is quite capable of running image editing suites like Photoshop, and play the occasional game. Still, the tablet runs into problems when applications are GPU intensive, lacking a more powerful GPU because of heat limitations.
Not my type.
The Pro 7 is a fantastic piece of hardware for those who need a dependable machine for work and play. For the travel bugs amongst us, the Pro 7 could easily replace your laptop. If you find your self out of the office all day, it’s hard to compete with the portability and power of a Surface Pro.
Another big benefit of buying a Surface Pro 7 is the range of accessories available. Microsoft produces many of these accessories, but a standout is the type cover. The type cover is a cleverly designed case that protects the Surface Pro while housing a tactile and responsive keyboard. The type cover is a nifty accessory, but it can be expensive and isn’t to everyone’s taste.
If you are a serious writer, the Surface type cover can be finicky and not as stable as one would hope. This keyboard cover is a nice all In one solution for everyday users, but if you type for a living, the Pro 7 is not going to replace your laptop anytime soon.
So, the question of whether the Surface range of tablets can replace your laptop remains partially unanswered. If you are a designer or artist, the Surface Pro 7 would be my first recommendation. For travelers and everyday users, the Surface range is hard to beat. For serious Pros, however, I don’t foresee these machines replacing the stability and typing experience of a laptop.