(Pocket-lint) – When Microsoft revealed the Floor Professional Eight at its on-line occasion on 22 September 2021 – offered by an almost-tearful-with-excitement Panos Panay, Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer – it was clear this gadget is not any small replace over its Floor Professional 7 predecessor.

Certainly, the Floor Professional Eight contains a new display screen, new {hardware}, new equipment – nearly new all the things. There are definitely similarities to the older Floor Professional 7 – it hasn’t forgotten its design heritage, that is for certain – so how do the 2 merchandise differ and do you have to be contemplating an improve?

What’s the identical?

  • Display screen maintains 3:2 side ratio
  • Each retain the three.5mm headphone jack
  • Each use Floor Join & Sort Cowl ports

Whereas the Floor Professional Eight maintains an analogous product footprint and the identical display screen side ratio, just about each key side has in any other case modified for the higher in comparison with the Professional 7.

Each gadgets nonetheless use the Floor Join port for energy – we might a lot moderately it was merely one other USB-C port for versatility – and the Sort Cowl port stays for including a keyboard (albeit a brand new one for the Professional 8).

Apart from the three.5mm headphone jack nonetheless being included – a nice shock – and the ‘Platinum’ end nonetheless being the usual, that is just about the place the similarities finish.

What’s totally different?


  • Floor Professional 8: 13-inch PixelSense Stream Show
    • 2880 x 1920 decision (267ppi), 120Hz refresh, Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR assist
  • Floor Professional 8: 12.3-inch PixelSense Show
    • 2736 x 1824 decision (267ppi), 60Hz refresh

The newer Floor Professional ekes out somewhat extra display screen real-estate than its predecessor, upping the diagonal measurement from 12.3-inch to 13-inch. That is successfully been achieved by decreasing the aspect bezels, which means a extra screen-centric design for the Professional 8. Fortunately the decision scales to ship similar pixels per inch density, so that you’re getting similar visible constancy on each the screens regardless of the dimensions improve.

The Professional 8’s display screen brings different of-the-moment upgrades too: there is a variable refresh fee, at as much as 120Hz, which means it may well cycle at double the frames per second in comparison with the Professional 7. That may make for smoother visuals the place wanted, however because it’s adaptive it could additionally support with battery life – conserving a low refresh fee for extra static, document-based content material, for instance.

It might additionally seem that the Professional 8’s display screen is succesful of a better most brightness, on account of Dolby Imaginative and prescient excessive dynamic vary (HDR) assist, though Microsoft’s technical specification would not make any particular point out of this – so it is potential the 2 panels are equally shiny, besides that the newer product has the related Dolby licence.


  • Floor Professional 8: 287 x 208 x 9.3mm / 889g
  • Floor Professional 7: 292 x 201 x 8.5mm  / 775g
  • Floor Professional 8: 2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4)
  • Floor Professional 8: 1x USB-C, 1x USB-A

From a bodily standpoint the newer Floor Professional Eight is a tiny bit bigger than its predecessor – though you’d barely discover, because it’s a number of millimetres (or fractions thereof) right here and there. The slight improve means somewhat extra weight, by over 100g, so a contact extra to the scales.

Elsewhere it is ports which can be the largest change. The Professional Eight has dropped the larger-scale USB-A port, changing it with an extra smaller-scale USB-C. The Professional Eight additionally helps Thunderbolt Four speeds, which has been eternally missing from the Floor Professional line-up previous to this launch. That is a step ahead that we have lengthy been requesting.


  • Floor Professional 8: 11th Gen Intel Core CPU choices
    • Quad core: i5-1135G7 or i7-1185G7
  • Floor Professional 7: 10th Gen Intel Core CPU choices
    • Twin core: i3-1005G1 / Quad core: i5-1035G4, i7-1065G7
  • Floor Professional 8: 8GB RAM min / Floor Professional 7: 4GB RAM min / Each: 16GB max
  • Floor Professional 8: As much as 16 hours battery life / Floor Professional 7: As much as 10.5 hours

The Floor Professional collection has never provided discrete graphics and that does not change for the Professional 8 – you will have to search for the Floor Laptop computer Studio, coming 2022, for Nvidia RTX assist.

What the Floor Professional Eight does do, nevertheless, is amp up the CPU choices. There’s the inevitable transfer from 10th Gen within the Professional 7 to 11th Gen within the Professional 8. However gone is the entry-level Core i3, with the place to begin now a quad-core i5 processor with a minimal of 8GB RAM. It is incomes its “Professional” title all of the extra – however that may imply a bigger price ticket, too.

The Professional Eight additionally will get the Intel Evo badge, which is sort of a stamp of approval confirming that the gadget can surpass sure thresholds for efficiency and battery life. And the newer mannequin definitely claims large on the battery life: Microsoft suggests it may well ship as much as 16 hours, which is a giant improve on the 10.5 hours of the Professional 7 (observe: we usually achieved seven hours from the Professional 7, so a 25 per cent lower than claimed outcome would appear a good wager – however 12 hours from the Professional Eight could be stellar).


  • Floor Professional Eight introduces ‘Signature Keyboard with Slim Pen 2’ (£249 / $279.99)
  • Floor Professional 7 sells Sort Cowl and Floor Pen individually
  • Neither contains pen or stylus within the field

One other important change for the Floor Professional Eight is the introduction of a brand new keyboard cowl, referred to as the Signature Keyboard with Slim Pen 2, which additionally features a new stylus, together with its personal nook by which to stow and cost it. It is an important concept bundling the 2 equipment into one, a lot neater than the separate Sort Cowl and Pen of the sooner Professional 7.

Software program

  • Floor Professional 8: Home windows 11
  • Floor Professional 7: Home windows 10

With the Home windows 11 working system (OS) launch simply across the nook, it is pure that the most recent Microsoft {hardware} may also function it straight out of the field. This could convey some app-based advantages when, for instance, utilizing the brand new Slim Pen 2. Professional 7 customers will possible be capable to improve to the newer OS on their older {hardware}.

That new Slim Pen 2 additionally has devoted haptic suggestions that sounds actually attention-grabbing, capable of emulate an actual pen-or-brush-on paper sensation, as is the declare.


  • Floor Professional 8: from £999 / $1,099
  • Floor Professional 7: now from £639 / $649.99

The Microsoft Floor Professional Eight is an actual step-up for the collection, delivering extra display screen because of much less bezel, extra energy, quicker connectivity, extra battery life promise, and a rethought non-compulsory keyboard and stylus providing. It seems all-round smarter.

Nevertheless, the Professional Eight is all-round dearer, too, with the beginning worth considerably up in comparison with its predecessor. Probably nicely value it, except the older mannequin’s cut-price is a temptation too tough to disregard.

We would nonetheless wish to see the charging port drop Microsoft’s Floor Join port although, as an additional USB port could be altogether extra versatile.

In the event you’re upgrading then it is also value noting that the minor diference in measurement between the Professional 7 and Professional Eight merchandise will make compatibility with older Sort Covers implausible for the newer era (regardless of sharing the identical Sort Cowl port sort).

Writing by Mike Lowe. Modifying by Britta O’Boyle. Initially printed on .

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