Technology

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 for Business: A true love letter

Over the past few years here at , I’ve been writing a lot on my iPad Pro. This is my work machine for writing, sorting incoming mail, and switching between Slack and Discord.

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But even though the iPad has been a staple in my workflow for the past decade, I’m tired of using overly powerful hardware with software that has yet to live up to its potential. Hopefully the announcement of iPadOS 16 next month will add at least true external display support and improved accessory support.

I have been trying different devices over the past few months, mostly Windows laptops, trying to find something that could replace my iPad Pro. The Surface Laptop Studio is fast, powerful, and enjoyable to use, but it lacks 4G technology and is bulky compared to the iPad Pro. I’ve used the iPad Pro intermittently since its release, and the form factor is great, but the lack of full support for Microsoft’s slow move to ARM by third-party apps results in poor performance.

Then I tested the Surface Pro 8 4G. In fact, this model is more specifically called the Surface Pro 8 for Business.

Surface’s new look… in a way

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Jason Cipriani/

When Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 8 in September 2021, the company showed off a brand new design for the Surface Pro line. It’s not really a new design, but the same general design as the Surface Pro X. Placing the Pro X next to the Pro 8, I immediately see the only noticeable difference, which is that the Pro 8 is thicker than the Pro X. Otherwise they are identical.

The PixelSense Pro 8 display has a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, is touch sensitive and can be used with the Surface Pen.

The built-in kickstand lets you change the viewing angle of the Pro 8’s screen, including laying it almost flat on a desk—ideal for drawing or writing with the Surface Pen.

On the right side of the Pro 8 chassis is a Surface Connect port and two Thunderbolt 4 ports for connecting external displays, hard drives, or using any USB-C accessory. Right above the two ports on the Pro 8 is the power button. On the left side of the case, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack and volume up/down buttons.

Above the screen, you’ll find a 5MP camera, as well as all the facial recognition hardware you need to use Windows Hello to unlock the Pro 8 or sign into apps.

surface-pro-8-for-business-4.jpg

Jason Cipriani/

When you open the kickstand, you will see a small door on the bottom left corner of the Pro 8 case. You will need to use a SIM tool or a paperclip to press down on the small hole to pop the cover out. Under the cover is a Pro 8 SSD that you can change and replace yourself, as well as a SIM card slot.

You don’t need to use a physical SIM thanks to the Pro 8’s eSIM support, but since I frequently switch from Pro X to iPad Pro, I already had a dedicated SIM.

The box contains a Pro 8 and a charger that uses the Surface Connect port. If you don’t feel like carrying the included charger with you, you can use one of the USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports to charge your tablet.

What you won’t find in the box is a stylus or a keyboard. Instead, you will have to buy them separately. If you’re a longtime Surface user, I’ve got bad news for you: previous Surface keyboards won’t work on the Pro 8.

You have three different options for equipping your new tablet with a keyboard, turning it into a 2-in-1 device. You can choose between the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard (€177), the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard with Fingerprint Reader (slightly more expensive), or the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard with Slim Pen 2 combo (€230).

I already had a combo kit so I used it while testing.

Whichever keyboard you choose, they all have a Surface Slim Pen 2 slot above the keyboard. When folded, the stylus rests against the bottom of the Pro 8. The stylus charges wirelessly, so it’s always ready to use.

Overall, I like the design of the Pro 8. In fact, I’ve used it as a tablet more than the iPad Pro, simply because the stand is built into the case. There is no other cover or case that I have to deal with. It’s incredible.

But can it replace the iPad Pro?

surface-pro-8-for-business-1.jpg

Jason Cipriani/

Inside the Surface Pro 8 I tested is an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory and a 256GB SSD, and it ran Windows 11 Pro right out of the box.

One of the first things I did after setting up the Pro 8 was to enable a 120Hz refresh rate instead of the default 60. Overall, I’m not sure this is absolutely necessary for the Pro 8. Yes, it’s useful, but it happens. due to battery life.

I haven’t hit the 14-hour battery life estimate yet, even using the Pro 8 on Wi-Fi only. However, the Pro 8’s battery lasted as long as my iPad Pro, which is usually an 8-hour workday, plus or minus. take an hour.

One thing that surprised me after using the Pro X and iPad Pro and switching to the Pro 8 is the fact that the Pro 8 still has a fan. The Pro 8 is much thicker than the Pro X to make room for the cooling system. The fan is not noisy, but spins a lot, especially when the Pro 8 is connected to an external display.

surface-pro-8-for-business-5.jpg

Jason Cipriani/

Speaking of which, I connected the Pro 8 to a monitor for most of the tests. With the addition of Thunderbolt 4 support, I was able to use every Thunderbolt 4 port I had on hand.

Being able to connect my tablet to an external display and have it work the way it’s meant to be is a huge boost to my productivity. I could open apps like Slack and iCloud messaging on the Pro 8 screen and write in iA Writer on the large external display with several Edge tabs open.

When I work on my iPad Pro connected to the display, everything that happens on the iPad screen is reflected on the big screen. There are a few apps that use Apple’s rudimentary external display API, but that’s not very good.

Also, I have to resort to many workarounds to perform certain tasks on the iPad. For example, in order to post content on , I often have to remotely connect to my MacBook Pro and use Chrome to add images to an article, otherwise the content management system crashes. Honestly, this is a Safari issue that also exists on Mac. However, I can use the real version of Chrome on the Mac, not the version of the WebKit renderer that Apple forces developers to use on the iPhone and iPad.

I know the Pro 8 runs the full OS running Windows 11 and the iPad Pro runs the Mobile OS running iPadOS, but the devices are relatively the same size and designed for the same type of user. Even the prices are close enough to warrant a comparison.

The total cost of the Surface Pro 8 with 4G, as well as the Signature Keyboard Case with Slim Pen, is around 2,000 euros. The iPad Pro with 5G, 16GB storage, 1TB storage, Magic Keyboard of Appeal with trackpad and Apple Pencil costs more than 2,500 euros.

iPad Pro is still much better

I confess, so far I’ve written something like a love letter to the Surface Pro 8, but that’s because it really deserves it. It’s a fantastic 2-in-1 that I really enjoyed using, but in some areas, the iPad Pro is simply better.

I prefer using the Apple Mail app with my personal iCloud+ domain rather than Thunderbird or the iCloud website to access email. I also really enjoy writing on the iPad because there are far fewer distractions when only one app is open and visible. I need to experiment more with fullscreen Windows apps and Focus Assist to recreate a similar experience on Windows. It is also the best tablet thanks to the touch interface.

Another thing I love about my iPad Pro is that its performance is solid and consistent. When I used the Pro 8 with multiple apps open, there was sometimes a slight delay or pause before the app reappeared after it was minimized. This issue was not specific to one application; I have come across this a lot in Thunderbird, Discord and Slack.

Finally

A few weeks later, with my iPad Pro sitting on the shelf, I started using it as my primary device again. But I already miss some of the features and things that I could do on the Surface Pro 8 that I can’t do on the iPad Pro – like connecting a webcam to live stream an event over 4G (which I recently did for my family members). who were unable to attend). the funeral).

So, iPad or Surface Pro 8? For me, it will depend on what iPadOS 16 brings to the iPad or not. But for everyone else, if you’re torn between Surface Pro 8 and iPad Pro, I’ll say this: you can’t go wrong with either device. They are both fantastic in their own way.

You end up with a full PC with a Surface Pro 8 and currently 80% of PCs with an iPad Pro.

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  • Marketplace Cdiscount

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Source: “.com”

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