During one of the busiest weeks in tech of the year, Microsoft has announced a new Surface Pro. Called the Surface Pro 7 Plus, the device improves in certain areas of the standard Pro 7 to justify its higher price tag and “Plus” moniker. The downside? It’s only shipping to businesses and schools.
Microsoft says this new Surface Pro 7 Plus keeps the same form factor as the standard Pro 7 but focuses on the inside of the device to host all the changes. Headlining the list of tweaks is the inclusion of 11th-generation Intel processors. You can configure the device with an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7. Up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage are also available, but only on the i7 model.
Across the lineup, Microsoft lets you replace the SSD which wasn’t possible on past Surface Pros. It works the same way as the Surface Book 3 and Surface Pro X and should help businesses keep devices around for longer.
The company is also upgrading connectivity. Whereas the standard Pro 7 only has Wi-Fi, the Pro 7 Plus is available with optional LTE thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X20 LTE modem. Unfortunately, you won’t be getting 5G in this case, but I assume that’s because Microsoft is saving it for a future Surface product like a Surface Pro 8.
Battery life is also seeing an upgrade on the new Surface. Microsoft says the new device can last up to 15 hours on a single charge opposed to 10.5 hours on the Pro 7. The company also retains most of the other specs from the Pro 7 with the Plus model, which means the same 12.3-inch PixelSense display, USB-C and USB-A ports, Surface Connector, headphone jack, and 1080p cameras are still present. There’s also a new nano SIM slot on LTE models which replaces the microSD card slot on others.
All of these changes would be great on a consumer-grade Surface Pro, and hopefully we’ll get them all in the future. It doesn’t seem like Microsoft will ever sell the Surface Pro 7 Plus as a consumer device, so you’ll have to sit and be patient until they put out something similar for average people.
Microsoft will start the Surface Pro 7 Plus at $899 and $1,149 if you want LTE. The company says retailers in Asia, Europe, and North America are taking orders now with shipments going out next week.