Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Plus introduced with a larger battery, a replaceable SSD, Tiger Lake processors and LTE support
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Microsoft has unveiled a successor to the Surface Pro 7, but one that most people will be unable to purchase. While leaks suggested that Microsoft planned to announce the Surface Pro 8, the company has released the Surface Pro 7 Plus; or Surface Pro 7+ as it is also called. Sadly, Microsoft will only sell the Surface Pro 7 Plus to business customers and educational institutions. The Verge reports that 'Microsoft won't say if that will change any time soon', so we may not a widespread release of the Surface Pro 7 Plus at all.
This would be a shame in our opinion, as the Surface Pro 7 Plus offers multiple improvements on the Surface Pro 7. For one, the device features Tiger Lake-U series processors, along with Iris Xe Graphics for Core i5 and Core i7 SKUs. Specifically, Microsoft will sell the Surface Pro 7 Plus with the Core i3-1115G4, Core i5-1135G7 and Core i7-1165G7.
Additionally, Microsoft has included a replaceable M.2 2230 SSD, which is accessible in the same manner as on the Surface Pro X. The 46.5 Wh battery capacity of the Surface Pro 7 has been upgraded to 50.4 Wh, too. Moreover, Microsoft will offer LTE SKUs from launch day, which The Verge states is January 15 for the US. Microsoft will release the Surface Pro 7 Plus in other countries too, including Australia, Canada, the UK and most of the EU, but it has not said when it will do so.
The 4 GB of RAM SKU has gone too, albeit the US$749.99 entry-level price point of the Surface Pro 7 with it. Microsoft offers the Surface Pro 7 with 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB of RAM though, starting at US$899.99 for the Core i3 model with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Oddly, while the machine can be configured with up to 32 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD, LTE models only get a Core i5 processor, 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. Also, LTE models lose MicroSD card expansion.
Overall, the Surface Pro 7 Plus is a strange refresh for the Surface Pro lineup. The larger battery, replaceable SSD, LTE support and Tiger Lake processors all make for a decent upgrade from the Surface Pro 7. However, its limited availability, ageing chassis and lack of AMD Ryzen options make the Surface Pro 7 Plus another sideways step for the Surface Pro series.