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Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Review: An i7 Upgrade with Extra GPU Performance

Graphics boost. The Surface Pro 7 features the best of what Microsoft has to offer. However, the Core i7 CPU might not be worth its price premium under all circumstances. In this particular case more CPU power also means more GPU power.
Nino Ricchizzi, 👁 Sebastian Jentsch, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Finn D. Boerne),

If you happen to be in the market for a Surface Pro 7 you will inevitably ask yourself what processor to get. Is the extra charge for the i7 CPU justified? Let’s find out in our review.

Today’s review unit is the almost fully loaded configuration, equipped with 16 GB of RAM, an Intel Core i7-1065G7, and a 256 GB SSD. Just a few months ago we had the i5 SKU of said Surface Pro 7 in review. In this article, we want to compare the two in order to help prospective buyers to make an informed decision. What exactly do you get if you opt for the more expensive model? Our 256 GB review unit is the cheapest i7 SKU currently available and was priced at $1,499 at the time of writing. Compare that to the various Intel-Core-i5-1035G4  SKUs starting at $899 and going all the way up to $1,399.

In this review we are going to focus on the differences between the i5 and the i7 SKU. Further details can be found in our extensive Surface Pro 7 i5 review.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (Surface Pro Series)
Processor
Intel Core i7-1065G7 4 x 1.3 - 3.9 GHz, Ice Lake U
Graphics adapter
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Core: 1100 MHz, Memory: 1800 MHz
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4, Dual-Channel
Display
12.30 inch , 2736 x 1824 pixel, Kapazitiver Multitouch, native pen support, LG Philips LP123WQ112604, IPS, glossy: yes, detachable screen
Mainboard
Intel 495 (Ice Lake-U PCH-LP Premium)
Storage
Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Ice Lake-U/Y PCH-LP cAVS
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, Audio Connections: Audio-Combo, Card Reader: MicroSD, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (a/b/g/h/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.5 x 292 x 201 ( = 0.33 x 11.5 x 7.91 in)
Battery
45 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Primary Camera: 5 MPix
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: 1.6 W stereo speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 12 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
790 g ( = 27.87 oz / 1.74 pounds), Power Supply: 281 g ( = 9.91 oz / 0.62 pounds)
Price
1600 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
88 %
02/2020
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
i7-1065G7, Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
790 g8.5 mm12.30"2736x1824
88 %
11/2019
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
i5-1035G4, Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU)
1.1 kg8.5 mm12.30"2736x1824
90 %
07/2017
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
i7-7660U, Iris Plus Graphics 640
1.1 kg8.5 mm12.30"2736x1824
86 %
10/2019
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
i7-1065G7, Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
1.3 kg13 mm13.40"1920x1200
88 %
12/2019
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
i7-1065G7, Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
1.2 kg16.9 mm13.30"1920x1080
In review: Surface Pro with Intel Core i7 in red
In review: Surface Pro with Intel Core i7 in red
Various keyboard colors as well as two case colors are available
Poor connectivity and no Thunderbolt
New elegant black finish
Flexible and adjustable stand

Size Comparison

296 mm / 11.7 inch 207 mm / 8.15 inch 13 mm / 0.512 inch 1.3 kg2.93 lbs292.1 mm / 11.5 inch 201.4 mm / 7.93 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 1.1 kg2.38 lbs292 mm / 11.5 inch 201 mm / 7.91 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 790 g1.742 lbs292 mm / 11.5 inch 201 mm / 7.91 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 1.1 kg2.4 lbs292 mm / 11.5 inch 201 mm / 7.91 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 1.1 kg2.35 lbs245 mm / 9.65 inch 175 mm / 6.89 inch 8.3 mm / 0.3268 inch 523 g1.153 lbs

SD Card Reader

When benchmarked with our 64 GB Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC UHS-II reference card the Surface Pro 7 managed the same speeds as its i5 sibling and previous generation Surface models. Overall, transfer rates can be considered to be somewhere between average and good.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
164.2 MB/s ∼100% +125%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
144.6 MB/s ∼88% +98%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
78.5 MB/s ∼48% +8%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
73 MB/s ∼44%
Chuwi UBook Pro
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
70.6 MB/s ∼43% -3%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
67.8 MB/s ∼41% -7%
Average of class Convertible
  (7.5 - 197, n=159)
64.6 MB/s ∼39% -12%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 64 GB)
53.8 MB/s ∼33% -26%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
247.7 MB/s ∼100% +185%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
187.5 MB/s ∼76% +116%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
86.9 MB/s ∼35%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 64 GB)
86.5 MB/s ∼35% 0%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 microSDXC 64GB)
86.4 MB/s ∼35% -1%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
84.9 MB/s ∼34% -2%
Chuwi UBook Pro
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 64 GB UHS-II)
81.4 MB/s ∼33% -6%
Average of class Convertible
  (19.2 - 246, n=153)
79.9 MB/s ∼32% -8%

Communication

Intel’s Wi-Fi 6 AX201 modem managed transfer speeds of 634 to 836 Mbps in our tests. Accordingly, it was very close to the theoretical maximum of 866 Mbps. Competing convertibles are incapable of keeping up with the Surface Pro 7.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI Prestige 15 A10SC
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1291 (1212min - 1379max) MBit/s ∼100% +54%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
836 (743min - 888max) MBit/s ∼65%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650s
640 MBit/s ∼50% -23%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
593 (560min - 611max) MBit/s ∼46% -29%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4
581 MBit/s ∼45% -31%
Average of class Convertible
  (28.7 - 1470, n=181)
566 MBit/s ∼44% -32%
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15
Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
501 MBit/s ∼39% -40%
Chuwi UBook Pro
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
360 MBit/s ∼28% -57%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI Prestige 15 A10SC
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1374 (720min - 1484max) MBit/s ∼100% +117%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
634 (561min - 705max) MBit/s ∼46%
Average of class Convertible
  (36.4 - 1411, n=181)
561 MBit/s ∼41% -12%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
559 (519min - 577max) MBit/s ∼41% -12%
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15
Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
527 MBit/s ∼38% -17%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4
476 MBit/s ∼35% -25%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650s
356 MBit/s ∼26% -44%
Chuwi UBook Pro
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
344 MBit/s ∼25% -46%

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

No news in this category. The i7 SKU features the same display panel as our previously reviewed i5 SKU. Nevertheless, today’s review unit showed a slightly reduced maximum display brightness of 60 nits less than its i5 sibling. At around 420 nits the IPS display remains very bright and certainly more than bright enough for most use cases.

428
cd/m²
421
cd/m²
440
cd/m²
417
cd/m²
435
cd/m²
434
cd/m²
405
cd/m²
398
cd/m²
417
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
LG Philips LP123WQ112604
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 440 cd/m² Average: 421.7 cd/m² Minimum: 3.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 435 cd/m²
Contrast: 1359:1 (Black: 0.32 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.18 | 0.6-29.43 Ø5.7, calibrated: 3.49
ΔE Greyscale 1.12 | 0.64-98 Ø5.9
96% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 60% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.3
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
LG Philips LP123WQ112604, IPS, 2736x1824, 12.30
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
LG Philips LP123WQ112604, IPS, 2736x1824, 12.30
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Sharp LQ134N1, IPS, 1920x1200, 13.40
Chuwi UBook Pro
BOE TV123WAM-ND0, IPS, 1920x1280, 12.30
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
LGPhilips LP123WQ112604, IPS, 2736x1824, 12.30
Response Times
2846%
292%
14%
2901%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
40 (19, 21)
34.8 (16.8, 18)
13%
47.6 (23.2, 24.4)
-19%
30.8 (14.8, 16)
23%
43 (21, 22)
-8%
Response Time Black / White *
28 (16, 12)
26.4 (13.2, 13.2)
6%
29.2 (16, 13.2)
-4%
26.8 (15.6, 11.2)
4%
25 (13, 12)
11%
PWM Frequency
250 (50)
21550 (24)
8520%
2500 (25)
900%
22000 (50)
8700%
Screen
-92%
-16%
-90%
-58%
Brightness middle
435
480.4
10%
549.8
26%
867.6
99%
484
11%
Brightness
422
485
15%
520
23%
818
94%
473
12%
Brightness Distribution
90
91
1%
86
-4%
83
-8%
91
1%
Black Level *
0.32
0.48
-50%
0.39
-22%
0.78
-144%
0.33
-3%
Contrast
1359
1001
-26%
1410
4%
1112
-18%
1467
8%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.18
5
-324%
2.12
-80%
4.64
-293%
4.29
-264%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
2.27
7.72
-240%
3.66
-61%
9.22
-306%
6.46
-185%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
3.49
2.44
30%
1.37
61%
2.31
34%
1.34
62%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.12
5.9
-427%
2.6
-132%
6.1
-445%
4.3
-284%
Gamma
2.3 96%
2.38 92%
2.3 96%
2.22 99%
2.51 88%
CCT
6502 100%
7805 83%
6884 94%
7346 88%
7315 89%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60
60.3
1%
65.4
9%
59
-2%
62
3%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
96
93.2
-3%
99.7
4%
93.7
-2%
95
-1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
1377% / 538%
138% / 50%
-38% / -74%
1422% / 576%

* ... smaller is better

As expected of a high-quality IPS panel colors and grayscale were fairly accurate overall. Color space coverage was measured at 96% sRGB and 60% AdobeRGB.

CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN ColorChecker calibrated
CalMAN ColorChecker calibrated
CalMAN grayscale calibrated
CalMAN grayscale calibrated
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps calibrated
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps calibrated

Outdoors, we found ourselves annoyed by the reflective display. Fortunately, its backlight was bright enough to overpower the reflections and render it usable in shady or darker environments.

Annoying reflections outdoors
Annoying reflections outdoors
Wide viewing angles thanks to an IPS panel
Wide viewing angles thanks to an IPS panel
Display brightness is sufficient for shady areas
Display brightness is sufficient for shady areas

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
28 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16 ms rise
↘ 12 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 60 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
40 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19 ms rise
↘ 21 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 46 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (38.6 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 250 Hz ≤ 50 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 250 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 50 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 250 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9589 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Brightness regulation is achieved through PWM, which was measured at 250 Hz frequency at brightness levels of 50% and below. Sensitive users might thus run into issues on long workdays.

Performance

LatencyMon
LatencyMon

When it comes to raw performance our review model features everything Microsoft has to offer right now: an Intel Core i7-1065G7 with access to 16 GB of DDR4 RAM. According to Microsoft, this combination should be powerful enough to easily master every business and personal challenge you can throw at it.

In addition, our review model was also equipped with a 256 GB SSD. In this configuration, the device is currently priced at $1,499. If you require more storage space you can purchase a model equipped with a 512 GB SSD for $1,899 or a 1 TB SSD for $2,299.

More affordable SKUs are also available, and prices start at $749 for a Core i3 SKU with 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD.

Processor

Since we already benchmarked the Intel Core i5-1035G4 Surface Pro 7 recently we are now eager to find out how much faster the i7 SKU is going to be.

Our review unit is powered by an Intel Core i7-1065G7 with four cores running at 1.3 GHz and a turbo-boost of 3.5 GHz on all four or up to 3.9 GHz on two cores, and thus around 200 MHz faster than the i5 SKU. The 8 MB L3 cache has also been increased in size by 2 MB.

Accordingly, the device should be quite a bit faster. In order to find out whether the premium of $300, depending on SKU, is worth it or not we ran Cinebench R15.

After a cold start our review unit scored 783 point, or 20% more than the more affordable i5 SKU. However, it was incapable of maintaining this high level of performance over long periods of time. The CPU started out at 3.5 GHz at the beginning but only managed 2.8 GHz at the end of the first Cinebench R15 run. During the fourth run clock speeds were further reduced to just 2.4 GHz, and scores settled at around 560 points, or 12% higher than on the recently reviewed i5 SKU.

Please note that CPU performance was severely throttled on battery. The multi-core score dropped from 783 to just 262 points, and the single-core score to a meager 49 points. Average clock speeds were around 2.4 to 2.5 GHz.

Additional details and benchmarks for this CPU can be found in this separate article.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Core i7-1065G7: Ø592 (555.54-783.03)
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4 Intel Core i5-1035G4, Intel Core i5-1035G4: Ø518 (495.42-684.65)
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7 Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Core i7-1065G7: Ø553 (544.51-599.88)
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Core i7-1065G7: Ø550 (504.6-640.68)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
HP Pavilion 14-ce3040ng
Intel Core i7-1065G7
190 Points ∼100% +3%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
184 Points ∼97% 0%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
184 Points ∼97%
Average Intel Core i7-1065G7
  (141 - 190, n=32)
175 Points ∼92% -5%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
174 Points ∼92% -5%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Intel Core i5-1035G4
172 Points ∼91% -7%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
163 Points ∼86% -11%
Average of class Convertible
  (19 - 213, n=345)
112 Points ∼59% -39%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
830 Points ∼100% +6%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
783 Points ∼94%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
733 Points ∼88% -6%
HP Pavilion 14-ce3040ng
Intel Core i7-1065G7
691 Points ∼83% -12%
Average Intel Core i7-1065G7
  (288 - 836, n=33)
652 Points ∼79% -17%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Intel Core i5-1035G4
644 Points ∼78% -18%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
410 (335.35min - 409.45max) Points ∼49% -48%
Average of class Convertible
  (33 - 1049, n=356)
346 Points ∼42% -56%
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
68.84 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
783 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
184 Points
Help

System Performance

During the review period we experienced a very pronounced willingness to perform. The combination of dual-channel RAM and PCIe storage were very beneficial for everyday work. This subjective impression was further corroborated by PCMark 10, although the difference to the i5 SKU is negligible.

Please note that once again the device scored significantly lower on battery. PCMark 10 scores were around 30% worse when compared to results obtained on mains.

PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5160 Points ∼100% +36%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ512G
3998 Points ∼77% +6%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
3920 Points ∼76% +4%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
3784 Points ∼73%
Average Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
  (3260 - 3998, n=17)
3698 Points ∼72% -2%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
3684 Points ∼71% -3%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
3315 Points ∼64% -12%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, i7-7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
3014 Points ∼58% -20%
Average of class Convertible
  (605 - 5161, n=137)
2689 Points ∼52% -29%
Productivity
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
7275 Points ∼100% +8%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ512G
7179 Points ∼99% +7%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
7051 Points ∼97% +5%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
6730 Points ∼93%
Average Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
  (5518 - 7379, n=17)
6704 Points ∼92% 0%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
6678 Points ∼92% -1%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, i7-7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
6665 Points ∼92% -1%
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
6000 Points ∼82% -11%
Average of class Convertible
  (1121 - 7945, n=139)
5520 Points ∼76% -18%
Essentials
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ512G
9678 Points ∼100% +9%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
9664 Points ∼100% +9%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
9536 Points ∼99% +7%
Average Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
  (8302 - 9902, n=17)
9186 Points ∼95% +3%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
8879 Points ∼92%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
8847 Points ∼91% 0%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, i7-7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
8076 Points ∼83% -9%
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
7554 Points ∼78% -15%
Average of class Convertible
  (2489 - 10546, n=139)
7341 Points ∼76% -17%
Score
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ512G
4677 Points ∼100% +7%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
4644 Points ∼99% +6%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
4522 Points ∼97% +4%
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4417 Points ∼94% +1%
Average Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
  (3878 - 4679, n=17)
4373 Points ∼94% 0%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
4367 Points ∼93%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
4163 Points ∼89% -5%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, i7-7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
3909 Points ∼84% -10%
Average of class Convertible
  (872 - 5214, n=140)
3379 Points ∼72% -23%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
5227 Points ∼100% +52%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ512G
5086 Points ∼97% +48%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
4799 Points ∼92% +40%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
4639 Points ∼89% +35%
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4544 Points ∼87% +32%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, i7-7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
4431 Points ∼85% +29%
Average Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
  (2460 - 5291, n=17)
4309 Points ∼82% +25%
Average of class Convertible
  (1007 - 5366, n=261)
3825 Points ∼73% +11%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
3440 Points ∼66%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, i7-7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
4095 Points ∼100% +12%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ512G
3982 Points ∼97% +9%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
3911 Points ∼96% +7%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
3783 Points ∼92% +3%
Average Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
  (3305 - 4275, n=17)
3734 Points ∼91% +2%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
3660 Points ∼89%
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3601 Points ∼88% -2%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
3537 Points ∼86% -3%
Average of class Convertible
  (741 - 4741, n=311)
2878 Points ∼70% -21%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
UHD Graphics 615, Pentium 4415Y, 64 GB eMMC Flash
741 Points ∼18% -80%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3660 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3440 points
PCMark 10 Score
4367 points
Help

Storage Devices

As noted before the amount of available storage space can make a huge price difference of up to $800. Our particular unit was the i7 SKU with the lowest amount of storage space available. The 256 GB SSD supports PCIe and managed average sequential transfer rates of more than 1,500 MB/s.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
Toshiba KBG30ZPZ512G
Average Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-5%
-16%
-39%
-6%
Write 4K
131.3
118.5
-10%
131.55
0%
83.23
-37%
111 (93.3 - 131, n=4)
-15%
Read 4K
52.4
54.06
3%
43.34
-17%
43.84
-16%
50.1 (45.9 - 54.9, n=4)
-4%
Write Seq
1613
1166
-28%
905.24
-44%
636.4
-61%
1324 (1211 - 1613, n=4)
-18%
Read Seq
1613
1676
4%
984.58
-39%
899.7
-44%
1640 (1613 - 1690, n=4)
2%
Write 4K Q32T1
411.6
330.5
-20%
421.59
2%
192.9
-53%
342 (273 - 412, n=4)
-17%
Read 4K Q32T1
415.6
393.1
-5%
498.94
20%
247.36
-40%
383 (335 - 424, n=4)
-8%
Write Seq Q32T1
2340.1
1569
-33%
969.5
-59%
861.1
-63%
1586 (1198 - 2340, n=4)
-32%
Read Seq Q32T1
1567.5
2390
52%
1670.3
7%
1615
3%
2115 (1568 - 2378, n=4)
35%
Write 4K Q8T8
410.9
411
0%
Read 4K Q8T8
1032.8
1033
0%
AS SSD
-31%
-275%
-60%
-19%
Copy Game MB/s
990.94
922.99
-7%
582
-41%
676.35
-32%
953 (733 - 1136, n=3)
-4%
Copy Program MB/s
454.72
405.97
-11%
386
-15%
143.11
-69%
519 (455 - 604, n=3)
14%
Copy ISO MB/s
1159.65
1176.98
1%
1036
-11%
984.55
-15%
1167 (1151 - 1192, n=3)
1%
Score Total
2826
2157
-24%
1774
-37%
1225
-57%
2370 (2094 - 2826, n=4)
-16%
Score Write
927
475
-49%
52
-94%
280
-70%
598 (370 - 927, n=4)
-35%
Score Read
1288
1133
-12%
1164
-10%
644
-50%
1198 (1133 - 1288, n=4)
-7%
Access Time Write *
0.221
0.697
-215%
7.6
-3339%
0.3
-36%
0.3918 (0.175 - 0.619, n=4)
-77%
Access Time Read *
0.069
0.066
4%
0.04
42%
0.213
-209%
0.1093 (0.069 - 0.16, n=4)
-58%
4K-64 Write
702.63
294.65
-58%
34
-95%
171.3
-76%
415 (219 - 703, n=4)
-41%
4K-64 Read
1047.57
923.75
-12%
1015
-3%
494.14
-53%
977 (905 - 1048, n=4)
-7%
4K Write
154.08
109.36
-29%
0.2
-100%
68.95
-55%
108 (74.8 - 154, n=4)
-30%
4K Read
52.34
50.7
-3%
41
-22%
34.42
-34%
47.8 (42.2 - 52.3, n=4)
-9%
Seq Write
703.42
713.9
1%
171
-76%
393.6
-44%
747 (700 - 818, n=4)
6%
Seq Read
1880.78
1589.92
-15%
1070
-43%
1154.2
-39%
1724 (1423 - 1881, n=4)
-8%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-18% / -21%
-146% / -181%
-50% / -52%
-13% / -14%

* ... smaller is better

Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
Sequential Read: 1696 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1234 MB/s
512K Read: 797.7 MB/s
512K Write: 1016 MB/s
4K Read: 55.06 MB/s
4K Write: 131.9 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 406.1 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 318.4 MB/s

GPU Performance

The more powerful convertible features the exact same Intel Iris Plus Graphics G4 GPU as its more affordable sibling. The major and quite possibly crucial differences are a slightly higher clock speed (1,100 vs. 1,050 MHz) as well as higher pixel and texture fill rates.

When running our usual benchmarks, we noticed a significant difference. The i7 SKU scored 30% higher in 3DMark 11 and 14% higher in the more modern Time Spy test.

Unfortunately, this extra performance is not available on battery where 3DMark performance decreased by 25-33%.

More details and additional benchmarks can be found on our list of current notebook GPUs.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
HP Pavilion 14-ce3040ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-1065G7
4614 Points ∼100% +7%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
4594 Points ∼100% +7%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
4512 Points ∼98% +5%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
4297 Points ∼93%
Average Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
  (2112 - 4630, n=25)
4015 Points ∼87% -7%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), Intel Core i5-1035G4
3228 Points ∼70% -25%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i7-7660U
2493 Points ∼54% -42%
Average of class Convertible
  (173 - 17421, n=369)
1537 Points ∼33% -64%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
Intel UHD Graphics 615, Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
1257 Points ∼27% -71%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
HP Pavilion 14-ce3040ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-1065G7
1105 Points ∼100% +56%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
833 Points ∼75% +18%
Average Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
  (526 - 848, n=20)
739 Points ∼67% +4%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
708 Points ∼64%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
685 Points ∼62% -3%
Average of class Convertible
  (85 - 5126, n=65)
652 Points ∼59% -8%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), Intel Core i5-1035G4
619 Points ∼56% -13%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i7-7660U
454 Points ∼41% -36%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
HP Pavilion 14-ce3040ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Intel Core i7-1065G7
3580 Points ∼100% +18%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
3144 Points ∼88% +4%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
3026 Points ∼85%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
2874 Points ∼80% -5%
Average Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
  (1418 - 3156, n=23)
2600 Points ∼73% -14%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i7-7660U
1418 Points ∼40% -53%
Average of class Convertible
  (132 - 13158, n=275)
1232 Points ∼34% -59%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
Intel UHD Graphics 615, Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
819 Points ∼23% -73%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
18881 Points ∼100% +6%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
17872 Points ∼95%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Core i7-1065G7
17712 Points ∼94% -1%
Average Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
  (7024 - 18881, n=22)
15320 Points ∼81% -14%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i7-7660U
11264 Points ∼60% -37%
Average of class Convertible
  (1023 - 38419, n=321)
7611 Points ∼40% -57%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
Intel UHD Graphics 615, Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
6602 Points ∼35% -63%
3DMark 11 Performance
4504 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
14315 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2833 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
793 points
Help

Gaming Performance

This increased GPU performance carried over to our gaming benchmarks as well, where the i7 SKU managed significantly smoother frame rates.

More details and additional benchmarks can be found in our separate gaming article.

BioShock Infinite
1366x768 High Preset
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
60.22 fps ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
58.1 fps ∼96% -4%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
47.3 fps ∼79% -21%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
42.9 fps ∼71% -29%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
33.7 fps ∼56% -44%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
17.5 fps ∼29% -71%
1366x768 Medium Preset
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
72.84 fps ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
68.6 fps ∼94% -6%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
50.8 fps ∼70% -30%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
47.9 fps ∼66% -34%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
40.9 fps ∼56% -44%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
22.4 fps ∼31% -69%
Rocket League
1920x1080 High Quality AA:High FX
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
44.7 fps ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
33.8 fps ∼76% -24%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
29.7 fps ∼66% -34%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
29.3 (13min - 40max) fps ∼66% -34%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
20.3 fps ∼45% -55%
1920x1080 Quality AA:Medium FX
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
67.5 fps ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
62.6 fps ∼93% -7%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
44 fps ∼65% -35%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
42.6 (30min - 55max) fps ∼63% -37%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
29.8 fps ∼44% -56%
Shadow of the Tomb Raider - 1280x720 Lowest Preset
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
33 fps ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
27 fps ∼82% -18%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
21 fps ∼64% -36%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
18 fps ∼55% -45%
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
16 fps ∼48% -52%

Legend

 
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
 
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4 Intel Core i5-1035G4, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
 
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7 Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ512G
 
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB Intel Core i7-8650U, Intel UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KBG30ZPZ512G
 
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7 Intel Core i7-7660U, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
 
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003 Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y, Intel UHD Graphics 615, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
HP Pavilion 14-ce3040ng Intel Core i7-1065G7, NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV1T02
 
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx Intel Core i7-1065G7, Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 112.5 72.84 60.22 21.96 fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 49.16 30 15.97 12.56 fps
Rocket League (2017) 95.7 67.5 44.7 fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) 33 14 13 fps

Emissions

System Noise

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 is an overall very quiet companion even though unlike the i3 and i5 SKU it is not passively cooled. Even under load noise emissions peaked at just 33.7 dB(A), and thus remained fairly unobtrusive and quiet.

Noise Level

Idle
30.3 / 30.3 / 30.3 dB(A)
Load
31.4 / 33.7 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.3 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2030.932.43234.530.92529.331.231.633.729.331333532.433.3334029.430.829.731.629.45028.334.328.63028.36326.629.72726.726.68025.128.22526.225.110029.224.424.924.729.212524.724.824.624.624.716023.923.822.724.223.920022.422.822.122.522.425022.122.32220.622.131521.521.220.420.921.54002221.119.819.92250021.420.519.319.321.46302119.81918.5218002320.318.518.523100023.219.718.117.823.2125022.319.417.817.822.3160023.11917.917.823.1200022.31917.617.522.3250021.618.817.517.621.6315023.21917.817.823.2400020.118.517.817.920.1500019.618.6181819.6630019.418.618.21819.4800018.918.718.318.118.91000018.618.518.218.218.61250018.518.618.118.218.51600018.418.517.91818.4SPL33.731.430.330.333.7N21.61.41.42median 22median 19.4median 18.2median 18.2median 22Delta1.21.31.21.21.2hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseMicrosoft Surface Pro 7

Temperature

More performance and a cooler case. Our review unit was exactly as large as the previously reviewed i5 SKU, yet despite its more powerful i7 processor its surface temperatures peaked at just 41 °C (105.8 °F) and thus 7 °C (12.6 °F) lower than on the i5 model, most likely due to the fan.

In order to determine the reason for these lower temperatures we have to examine internal temperatures during our stress test.

As soon as we begin our stress test running FurMark and Prime95 simultaneously clock speeds drop to 1.4 GHz practically instantaneously. Core temperatures reach 90 °C (194 °F) after two minutes, and the device starts to throttle reducing clocks speeds to just 800 MHz. That is how the Surface Pro 7 i7 manages to keep surface temperatures low. During the remainder of the stress test core temperatures settled at around 60 °C (140 °F). In other words: there is sufficient headroom for more oomph.

The device had to cool off after our stress test before it was able to deliver peak performance again. 3DMark scores were around a third of what they used to be immediately following our stress test.

The stress test brings the Surface Pro to its limits
The stress test brings the Surface Pro to its limits
Thermal throttling from the start despite active cooling
Thermal throttling from the start despite active cooling
Max. Load
 37 °C
99 F
40.1 °C
104 F
40 °C
104 F
 
 34 °C
93 F
38.6 °C
101 F
38.9 °C
102 F
 
 34.6 °C
94 F
39.4 °C
103 F
37.1 °C
99 F
 
Maximum: 40.1 °C = 104 F
Average: 37.7 °C = 100 F
38.3 °C
101 F
41 °C
106 F
39.6 °C
103 F
37.8 °C
100 F
39.6 °C
103 F
37 °C
99 F
35.3 °C
96 F
35.7 °C
96 F
34.8 °C
95 F
Maximum: 41 °C = 106 F
Average: 37.7 °C = 100 F
Power Supply (max.)  36.1 °C = 97 F | Room Temperature 21.7 °C = 71 F | FIRT 550-Pocket / Fluke t3000 FC
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.7 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 30.3 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.1 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 35.3 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.8 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 41 °C / 106 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.7 °C / 84 F, compared to the device average of 30.3 °C / 87 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 39.4 °C / 102.9 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (-10.6 °C / -19.1 F).

Lautsprecher


dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.834.533.82533.833.733.8313133.3314028.331.628.35029.33029.36327.526.727.58029.326.229.310036.524.736.512544.924.644.916049.424.249.420050.422.550.425044.720.644.731544.720.944.740055.319.955.350055.419.355.463060.618.560.680065.218.565.2100061.817.861.8125059.117.859.1160061.417.861.4200060.217.560.2250059.317.659.3315056.517.856.5400058.817.958.85000591859630050.81850.8800051.818.151.81000054.218.254.21250039.718.239.71600033.41833.4SPL71.430.371.4N28.31.428.3median 55.3median 18.2median 55.3Delta6.31.26.335.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseMicrosoft Surface Pro 7Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (65.22 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 10.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.6% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 33% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 59% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 34% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 60% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Power consumption when idle was practically identical to the more affordable i5 SKU, and it was overall very similar under load. Due to aforementioned thermal throttling and the somewhat scarcely dimensioned 65 W power supply maximum power consumption peaked at 61 W.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.2 / 0.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.4 / 8.7 / 9.6 Watt
Load midlight 44 / 61 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
i7-1065G7, Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe, IPS, 2736x1824, 12.30
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i7, 512 GB
i7-8650U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KBG30ZPZ512G, IPS, 2736x1824, 12.30
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
i7-7660U, Iris Plus Graphics 640, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M, IPS, 2736x1824, 12.30
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
i5-1035G4, Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G, IPS, 2736x1824, 12.30
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
i7-1065G7, Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ512G, IPS, 1920x1200, 13.40
Average Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
 
Average of class Convertible
 
Power Consumption
17%
0%
-1%
26%
13%
19%
Idle Minimum *
4.4
3.2
27%
4.2
5%
4.5
-2%
2.6
41%
3.83 (1.8 - 6.9, n=23)
13%
4.55 (1 - 23, n=419)
-3%
Idle Average *
8.7
8.7
-0%
10.1
-16%
9.2
-6%
5.3
39%
7.17 (4.6 - 10.5, n=23)
18%
7.7 (1.3 - 32.3, n=419)
11%
Idle Maximum *
9.6
10.4
-8%
14
-46%
9.6
-0%
7
27%
9.03 (6.1 - 12, n=23)
6%
9.22 (1.8 - 61, n=419)
4%
Load Average *
44
29.2
34%
37.4
15%
42
5%
43.1
2%
39.1 (25.7 - 53.3, n=23)
11%
27.4 (1.4 - 94, n=417)
38%
Load Maximum *
61
40.8
33%
34
44%
63.5
-4%
49
20%
49.9 (27 - 65.2, n=23)
18%
33.7 (6.8 - 118, n=418)
45%
Witcher 3 ultra *
38.1
43.1

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Battery life was not any worse on the i7 SKU. In our real-world Wi-Fi test the Surface convertible easily lasted a long workday.

Please note that for some reason unbeknownst to us the i7 SKU lasted just 11.5 hours in the idle test, and thus significantly shorter than the i5 SKU. We ran the test twice but were unable to determine the culprit.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
11h 30min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
9h 46min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
6h 43min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 55min
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
i7-1065G7, Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 45 Wh
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
i5-1035G4, Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), 45 Wh
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
i7-7660U, Iris Plus Graphics 640, 45 Wh
Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 Core i7
i7-1065G7, Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), 51 Wh
Average of class Convertible
 
Battery Runtime
32%
11%
-8%
10%
Reader / Idle
690
1336
94%
805 (117 - 2892, n=309)
17%
H.264
403
614
52%
464 (206 - 1070, n=128)
15%
WiFi v1.3
586
597
2%
489
-17%
537
-8%
470 (153 - 1141, n=294)
-20%
Load
115
116
1%
112
-3%
145 (49 - 677, n=310)
26%
Witcher 3 ultra
115
180 (115 - 230, n=3)

Pros

+ improved GPU performance over i5 SKU
+ Wi-Fi 6 by default
+ battery life
+ quiet despite active cooling
+ USB-C charging supported

Cons

- wasted i7 potential
- no Thunderbolt 3
- no WWAN or GPS

Verdict

In review: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 with i7 CPU and 16 GB of RAM
In review: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 with i7 CPU and 16 GB of RAM

After our initial extensive review of the i5 SKU of Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (Core i5, 8 GB) we were now able to review the most powerful model as well, and we very quickly noticed that the faster model is not much different from its more affordable sibling. Especially when looking at sustained CPU load capabilities. GPU performance, on the other hand, was a big hit as it improved significantly. And on top of that neither low temperatures nor battery life had to be sacrificed for the extra oomph.

The question is: is it worth it?

The Intel Core i7-equipped Surface Pro 7 is designed for power users who need that extra little bit of performance, especially when it comes to graphics power. 

As we were able to prove in our system benchmarks it is not CPU performance that sets the i7 SKU apart. Graphics performance is where it really shines, and where the extra cost yields the most obvious return of investment. For more details on the Surface series please see our previous review.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 7 - 02/20/2020 v7
Nino Ricchizzi

Chassis
90 / 98 → 91%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
44 / 75 → 59%
Weight
78 / 20-75 → 100%
Battery
78%
Display
90%
Games Performance
50 / 78 → 65%
Application Performance
87 / 85 → 100%
Temperature
90%
Noise
94%
Audio
74 / 91 → 81%
Camera
71 / 85 → 83%
Average
79%
88%
Convertible - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Review: An i7 Upgrade with Extra GPU Performance
Nino Ricchizzi, 2020-02-21 (Update: 2020-04- 7)
Nino Ricchizzi
Editor of the original article: Nino Ricchizzi - Editor
From childhood on, the curiosity about the functioning of the latest technical achievements continued. Out of this thirst for knowledge followed studies in mathematics and computer science. Away from the world of test reports, I work as a research assistant and project manager in the field of IT security/cyber security for industry 4.0.