Microsoft Surface Pro 8: What to expect?
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is expected to be released later this year as the coronavirus pandemic seemingly pushed the release date past 2020. As of now, there aren't many rumors circulating, but those that have been released give us a good picture of what the Surface Pro 8 will be all about.
Before the pandemic, Microsoft used to released the new Surface Pro tablets every 1.5 years, a release in October and the successor in June of the next year, and so on. That cadence ended last year with the Surface Pro 7, which was released in October about a year after the Surface Pro 6.
Microsoft have maintained the 12.3-inch display on the Surface Pro for a while now, but it might be expanded with the Surface Pro 8, especially if the bezels are reduced. It's possible Microsoft will opt for the same 13-inch, 2880 x 1920-pixel panel on the Surface Pro X, but again, we're only speculating.
The Surface Pro 8 is expected to come with the latest Intel 11th Gen (Tiger Lake) Core-U series processors and Iris Xe graphics. Rumors hint at 8GB of RAM for the base model, an upgrade from the measly 4GB available in the previous version. We've also seen reports of a Core i7 model with up to 32GB of RAM.
Alternatively, Microsoft might choose to delay its launch for the next-gen CPUs, although it might not make sense to. Intel's own CFO George Davis said Tiger Lake (10nm+) will be "less productive" than 14nm chips, and that the 7nm processors in 2021 (assuming they arrive this year given the massive worldwide chip shortages) are the ones to look out for.
Regardless of whether the Surface Pro 8 will pack Tiger Lake chips or something even newer, we can expect to see Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 variants of the CPUs.
We also need to talk about AMD. There aren't any rumors about AMD coming to Surface Pro, but Microsoft took a risk last year by relying on AMD processors for its Surface Laptop 3. We think Microsoft jumped the gun but that AMD's new 4000-series CPUs present a real opportunity for mobile devices like the Surface Pro 8.
Alongside the CPU, the Surface Pro 8 will likely start with 4GB of RAM and go up to 16GB. Storage on the Surface Pro 7 started at 128GB, but we'd like to see Microsoft take after Apple and ramp it up to a 256GB SSD. We'd be surprised if 1TB wasn't the maximum storage amount.
It seems that all Surface Pro 8 SKUs will come with Intel Tiger Lake-U series processors. An engineering sample that sold on eBay suggests that the Core i7 chipset will be the Core i7-1165G7, which Microsoft will probably complement with the Core i5-1135G7 and Core i3-1115G4. Microsoft is not expected to release an AMD version of the Surface Pro 8, though. Quandt claims that Microsoft will price the Surface Pro 8 as follows in the US:
Core i3/8 GB/128 GB US$899.99
Core i5/8 GB/128 GB US$999.99
Core i5/8 GB/256 GB 1,299.99
Core i5/16 GB/256 GB US$1,499.99
Core i7/16 GB/256 GB US$1,599.99
Core i7/16 GB/512 GB US$1,999.99
Core i7/16 GB/1 TB US$2,399.99
Core i7/32 GB/1 TB US$2,799.99
Core i5/8 GB/128 GB LTE US$1,149.99
Core i5/8 GB/256 GB LTE US$1,449.99
Core i5/16 GB/256 GB LTE US$1,649.99
Core i5/8 GB/128 GB (Educational) US$899.99
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