I know, this is a language-learning and travel website, so a tech review might feel a tad out of place, but I'd still like to share my thoughts on two of the most recent Surface Pro devices as a everyman user. I bought Surface Pro 6 in October 2019 and I used it for around a month before upgrading it to Surface Pro 7 which I have been using until now. One of my main considerations in getting a Surface Pro after 7 years of being a Mac user is because of its amazing portability—it is definitely befitting for travel.
With Microsoft launching Surface Pro 7 a few months ago to succeed its predecessor, the Surface Pro 6, some of you may still be considering to get a Surface Pro 6. Or you might just be like me, someone who have been using a Macbook for years but is now looking for a change. Whatever the reason, I hope this review helps you decide on whether you should get a Surface Pro 6 or a Surface Pro 7.
(Intel i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage
(Intel i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage)
|Dimensions & Weight||
Evenly thin, relatively light, slips nicely in my backpack.
Sharp and clear resolution with touch-sensitive screens.
Incredible, usable as a tablet and a laptop with a full desktop operating system. Adjustable device angles and easily attachable to the Surface Type Cover.
A little laggy when loading some application-based websites, but ok for lighter webpages.
Loads application-based websites rather well and has a smoother performance overall.
(Device + Type Cover)
What makes Surface Pro devices different from other products?
One thing that distinguishes Surface Pro products from other laptop or tablet lineups is that it is a laptop-tablet hybrid that runs on Windows 10 (and Windows 10 S Mode, which is a basically a lighter, more secure version of Windows 10). Unlike other tablets in the market that only runs on simple tablet operating systems, a fully-installed Windows 10 OS makes Surface Pro products very flexible for many uses—you can easily use it to watch Netflix in an airplane, or as easily turn it into a portable workstation with a full desktop operating system ready to fire up and go.
Dimensions & Weight
Both Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and Surface Pro 7 have virtually the same sizes. Without the Surface Type Cover, they measure at 11.5" x 7.9" (292 mm x 201 mm) with a thinness of 0.33" (8.5 mm). I find its size and its evenly flat design very enticing as it slips into my backpack nicely and it doesn't take up too much space compared to my 13" Macbook Air.
Overall, Surface Pro 6 is 5 to 6 grams lighter compared to Surface Pro 7. The Surface Pro 7 that I currently own and the Surface Pro 6 I owned previously run on i5 processors, and I could barely feel the difference in their weights considering the rather minuscule difference.
- Surface Pro 6: 770 grams (i5 model), 784 grams (i7 model)
- Surface Pro 7: 775 grams (i5 model), 790 grams (i7 model)
Display & Flexibility
Surface Pro 6 and Surface Pro 7 boast a touch-sensitive 12.3" screen size, which I find perfect for travel, leisure, and work. It's not too big to carry into an airplane, and it's not too small either when you have to work with spreadsheets. Surface Pro products also have a built-in kickstand, meaning you can flatten the device or position it to an angle you are comfortable with. When you use it as a laptop, its touch screen capability also means you are not stuck with a trackpad in the event you don't have a mouse with you.
Microsoft Surface Pro 6 has a Intel®️ UHD Graphics 620 processor. Surface Pro 7 running i3 processors also uses this processor, however the ones running on i5 and i7 use an Intel®️ Iris Plus Graphics. As someone who Netflixes often, I do not find any noticeable differences between the quality of graphics between the Surface Pro 7 that I am currently using (which uses Intel®️ Iris Plus Graphics) compared to the Surface Pro 6 that I had previously. I find the screen quality on both devices are sharp, high in resolution, and all-in-all awesome.
As an everyman computer user, I do find Surface Pro 7 meaningfully faster and smoother when loading heavy, application-based webpages.
I tested loading iCloud Calendar and Google Sheets on both devices, and they tend to run much more smoothly on Surface Pro 7, but lag on Surface Pro 6. Lighter, non application-based webpages run pretty much fine on both devices.
Both Surface Pro 6 and Surface Pro 7 that I purchased are loaded with an Intel i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, with 128 GB storage. However, the i5 processor are of different generations: Surface Pro 6 runs on i5-8250U, whereas Surface Pro 7 runs on Quad Core 10th Generation Intel®️ Core™️ i5-1035G4.
Overall, I do honestly think that Surface Pro 7 is generally smoother in terms of its browsing performance. But if you are not doing browsing anything too heavy, such as the news and light articles, Surface Pro 6 isn't all that bad either. I did not try using Surface Pro 6 or 7 with i7 processors, so it is possible that Surface Pro 6 devices with i7 processors may run faster than Surface Pro 7 with i5 processors.
Ports and Cameras
Both devices have a MicroSDXC card reader, a 3.5 mm headphone jack (both devices supports Bluetooth headphones as well, of course!), and a Surface Type Cover Port, which connects to the Surface Type Cover (this is the name of the keyboard cover for Surface Pro devices).
Surface Pro 6 only has a USB 3.0 port, whereas Surface Pro 7 has both USB A port (which also connects to USB 3.0 devices), as well as a USB C port. There appears to be no upgrade in the cameras used in Surface Pro 7 compared to Surface Pro 6, both devices are similarly equipped with a 5.0 MP front-facing camera and 8.0 MP back-facing camera, all with 1080p full HD video capability.
Surface Type Cover is considered an accessory to Surface Pro devices and it is sometimes sold separately, but you can buy them as a bundle as well, meaning you would get both a Surface Pro device together with a Type Cover in one box. I would advise buying them as a bundle for economical reasons and for a more complete experience that you can get with the Surface Pro devices. Not getting the Type Cover will render your usage of the device as a tablet, and you won't get the full laptop experience.
Another amazing thing about Surface Pro devices is that you can easily write on it. To do so, you can purchase the Surface Pen as an accessory, which is usually sold separately.
You can get new Surface Pro products from Amazon, and depending on what you are getting and where you are, if you have Amazon Prime, you may be able to get ahold of the devices within two business days! Here I have included links for Surface Pro 6 and Surface Pro 7 which are bundled together with the Surface Type Cover.
(Device + Type Cover)
If you want to save some extra bucks, you can also consider buying renewed Surface Pro devices from Amazon Renewed. Amazon Renewed products are refurbished and/or pre-owned products which are inspected, tested, and covered by Amazon Renewed Guarantee.
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