Is the Surface Pro 6 relevant in the face of the refreshed Pro 7?

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The refreshed Surface Pro 7 continues the design trend we’ve become accustomed to, yet it’s now been outfitted with a USB-C port for improved connectivity. 10th Gen Intel Core “Ice Lake” processor (CPU) options and LPDDR4x RAM add performance to a 2-in-1 that was already quite speedy. You will pay more for the Pro 7, though, which still makes the Pro 6 attractive to many people.

From $750 at Microsoft

Pros

  • 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs and LPDDR4x RAM for improved performance
  • USB-C port for added connectivity
  • Can be used with older Type Covers
  • Same svelte design with high-res touch display
  • Wi-Fi 6 connectivity

Cons

  • High-end models might cost more than Pro 6

The Pro 6 is still a solid 2-in-1 option despite the Pro 7’s release. It’s often available at a lower price, especially for refurbs and bundles, yet it has the same high-res touch display and similar design (save the USB-C port) as the newer model. If you don’t mind 8th Gen Intel Core CPU with LPDDR3 RAM performance and a lack of Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, it will save you a good chunk of change.

$813 at Amazon

Pros

  • Can find cheaper bundles and refurbs
  • Basically the same design as the Pro 7
  • 8th Gen Intel CPUs still performers
  • Same high-res touch display

Cons

  • No USB-C port
  • Not as powerful
  • No Wi-Fi 6 connectivity

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro 6 are certainly cut from the same cloth, and at first glance, you might mistake one for the other. However, the real changes (other than the USB-C port) come on the inside, with the Pro 7 sporting new 10th Gen Intel Core CPU options and LPDDR4x RAM for improved performance. Here’s a breakdown of the exact specs you’ll find in each model.

With Amazon Prime Day quickly approaching, we’re expecting to see some discounts on these 2-in-1 devices. There are plenty of Pro 7 tablets and bundles available, often at a great price without a sale, so be sure you’re actually getting a good deal. A tool like CamelCamelCamel can help you determine if you’re seeing a deal or standard pricing. The Pro 6 is a bit of a different story, as stock is waning due to its age. Still, you might be able to find a great deal on a bundle or refurbished models as retailers attempt to get rid of old stock.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 vs. Surface Pro 6 tech specs

Surface Pro 7 Surface Pro 6
OS Windows 10 Windows 10
Processor 10th Gen Intel
Core i3-1005G1
Core i5-1035G4
Core i71065G7
Intel 8th Gen
Core i5-8250U
Core i7-8650U
RAM 4GB, 8GB, 16GB LPDDR4x 8GB, 16GB LPDDR3
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD
Display size 12.3 inches
Touch
12.3 inches
Touch
Display resolution 2736×1824
267 PPI
2736×1824
267 PPI
Aspect ratio 3:2 3:2
Graphics Intel UHD (i3)
Intel Iris Plus (i5, i7)
Intel UHD Graphics 620
Ports USB-C 3.1
USB-A
3.5mm audio
Surface Connect
microSD card reader
USB-A 3.0
Mini DisplayPort
Surface Connect
microSD card reader
3.5mm audio
LTE No No
Biometrics IR camera IR camera
Battery Up to 10.5 hours Up to 13.5 hours
45Wh
Dimensions 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches
(292mm x 201mm x 8.5mm)
11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches
(292mm x 201mm x 8.5mm)
Weight From 1.70 pounds (770g) From 1.70 pounds (770g)

Design and features

The Surface Pro 7 is a minor refresh over the last-gen Surface Pro 6, with most of the changes coming from the internal hardware. Still, the Pro 7 has made the jump from Mini DisplayPort for the much more versatile USB-C port. This should make it much easier to connect your newer accessories, and it can still be used for external displays. Alongside USB-C, the Pro 7 holds onto USB-A, 3.5mm audio, Surface Connect, and a microSD card reader.

If you’re making the jump from an older Surface Pro model (from the Pro 3 and newer), older Type Covers should work with the Pro 7. This should save you a good chunk of money if you’re upgrading. One new feature that we’re excited about is Wi-Fi 6 connectivity in the Pro 6, which will offer wireless speeds far beyond what we’ve become accustomed to with Wi-Fi 5. Both the Pro 6 and Pro 7 are available in Platinum and Black colors.

Display and inking

Nothing has really changed when it comes to the display. With both the Pro 6 and Pro 7 you’re looking at a 12.3-inch touch display with boxy 3:2 aspect ratio, 2736×1824 resolution, and 267 PPI. Both Pro models are compatible with the Surface Dial for off-screen interactions, and both offer an exceptional inking experience with the Surface Pen. Expect 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support.

Performance and price

The Surface Pro 6 is available with 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 “Kaby Lake R” CPUs. These are not the later 8th Gen “Whiskey Lake” CPUs, but they’re nevertheless performers.

Geekbench 5 single-core scores for the Core i5-8250U hover around the 800 to 900 mark, while multi-core scores reach up to about 3,400. The Core i7-8550U again measures around the 900 single-core score, reaching up to about a 3,500 multi-core score. These CPUs can handle a relatively heavy workload, and they should be able to shred through any multitasking.

The Pro 7 has been refreshed with 10th Gen Intel Core “Ice Lake” CPUs with a 10nm architecture, and it’s available with Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 versions. Compared with Geekbench 5 tests, the Core i7-1065G7 begins around the 1,200 to 1,300 mark for a single-core score, while multi-core scores reach, in many cases, well above 4,000.

The Pro 7 Core i5 model outperforms the Pro 6 Core i7 model, which is quite impressive. As for battery life, the Pro 7 will last about eight hours from a charge, whereas the Pro 6 hits closer to 10 hours. That’s the tradeoff for better performance.










Geekbench 5

Geekbench 5.0 (CPU) (Higher is better)

Device CPU Single core Multi core
Surface Pro 7 i5-1035G4 1,191 4,441
Surface Pro 6 i7-8650U 1,113 3,519
Surface Pro 6 i5-8250U 904 3,440
Surface Laptop 3 Ryzen 5 769 2,720
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 i7-1065G7 1,209 3,571
Dell XPS 15 7590 i9-9980HK 1,176 7,624

Geekbench 4

Geekbench 4.0 (CPU) (higher is better)

Device CPU Single core Multi core
Surface Pro 7 i5-1035G4 5,245 17,350
Surface Pro 6 i7-8650U 5,037 13,864
Surface Pro 6 i5-8250U 4,287 14,031
Surface Pro 5 i5-7300U 4,302 8,482
Surface Pro 5 i7-7660U 4,513 9,346
Surface Pro 4 i5-6300U 3,319 6,950
Surface Laptop 3 15 Ryzen-5 3,985 12,079
Surface Laptop 2 i5-8250U 4,203 13,233
Surface Laptop i5-7200U 3,725 7,523
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 i7-1065G7 5,459 19,097
Razer Blade Stealth i7-8565U 5,139 16,339
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 i7-8665U 5,469 15,800
HP Spectre x360 13t i7-8565U 5,056 14,767
Lenovo Yoga C930 i7-8550U 4,787 15,028

PCMark

PCMark 10

Device Score
Surface Pro 7 i5 3,992
Surface Pro 6 i7 3,644
Surface Pro 6 i5 3,501
Surface Laptop 3 15 4,006
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 4,427
Dell XPS 15 7590 5,521
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 4,427
Dell Inspiron 13 7390 2-in-1 3,764
HP Pavilion x360 14 3,558
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s 3,468

GPU

Geekbench 5.0 OpenCL (higher is better)

Device GPU Compute score
Surface Pro 7 Iris Plus 7,613
Surface Pro 6 Intel UHD 620 5,396
Surface Laptop 3 15 Vega 9 11,334
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 Iris Plus 10,406
Dell Inspiron 13 7390 2-in-1 Intel HD 5,632
Dell Precision 3541 NVIDIA Quadro P620 12,469

SSD

CrystalDiskMark (Higher is better)

Device Read Write
Surface Pro 7 2,040 MB/s 809 MB/s
Surface Pro 6 1,632 MB/s 814 MB/s
Surface Pro 5 847MB/s 801 MB/s
Surface Laptop 3 2,028 MB/s 806 MB/s
Surface Laptop 2 1,509 MB/s 811 MB/s
Surface Laptop 486 MB/s 244 MB/s
Surface Book 1,018 MB/s 967 MB/s
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 2,400 MB/s 1,228 MB/s
Huawei MateBook X Pro (new) 3,416 MB/s 2,779 MB/s
HP Spectre x360 13t 3,085 MB/s 1,182 MB/s
LG gram 14 2-in-1 558.1 MB/s 523.1 MB/s

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As for gaming, 10th Gen Core i5 and Core i7 Intel CPUs feature Iris Plus Graphics, which will provide a better experience than what the 8th Gen CPUs have to offer. Neither device has a dedicated GPU option, so if you want to game on a Pro, spending the extra money is no doubt worth it.

As expected, you’re going to pay more for the newer Pro 7. Configurations with a Core i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD start at $750, while a model with Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD costs closer to about $1,200. Maxing things out with the Pro 7, including a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB SSD costs about $2,300.

As for the Pro 6, prices are all over the place due to third-party retailers mostly taking over remaining stock. Your best bet is to find a bundle with Type Cover, Surface Pen, and more for around the same price you’d pay for a new standalone tablet. There are also plenty of refurbished options available that will save you quite a bit of money compared to a new Pro 7.

Go with the Surface Pro 7 for better performance, connectivity

The Surface Pro 7 hasn’t seen a substantial physical change since the last generation, but inside is where it counts. 10th Gen Intel Core “Ice Lake” CPUs outperform the 8th Gen “Kaby Lake R” CPUs in the Pro 6, and the newer 2-in-1 also sports faster LPDDR4x RAM. You will pay more for the Pro 7, but for better performance and a USB-C port, it’s the right choice. And if neither of these laptops is quite what you’re looking for, check out our collection of the overall best Windows laptop options on the market today.

Powerful 2-in-1 Surface



Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Now with USB-C and 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs

You’ll pay normally more for the Pro 7 compared to the Pro 6, but it offers improved performance from 10th Gen Intel CPUs and LPDDR4x RAM and improved connectivity thanks to USB-C.

The Surface Pro 6 is still a solid buy

The release of a new generation always makes an older device pale, but the Surface Pro 6 is still a reliable option for anyone who wants to save some money and still get an awesome device. The touch display is the same resolution and offers the same brilliant picture, and the overall design is essentially the same. You won’t get a USB-C port or 10th Gen Intel CPU performance, but for many people, that’s OK.

Last-Gen Surface Pro



Microsoft Surface Pro 6

More affordable, less powerful

The Surface Pro 6 will still deliver a stellar 2-in-1 experience. Just don’t expect 10th Gen Intel CPU performance or a USB-C port.

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