That’s not to say there aren’t improvements. The Surface Pro 7 has an increasingly important USB-C port, as well as some updated components. But beyond that, there’s not much that makes it a hard device to recommend, unless you want to stick with the Surface Pro lineup and have an outdated model. After years of tweaks and changes to the first models, the design of the Surface Pro has remained more or less the same over the last four iterations. You could put the Surface Pro 7 next to the previous versions and, aside from the color variations, not be able to tell them apart at a glance. The inclusion of the USB-C port finally gives it away, but otherwise they are almost interchangeable. On the whole, this is a good thing. The magnesium alloy design feels premium, and it’s a relatively compact and slim device. It measures 0.33 x 11.5 x 7.9 inches (HWD) and weighs 1.7 pounds – a very portable device no matter how you look at it. By comparison, the XPS 13 2-in-1 measures 0.51 x 11.7 x 8.2 inches and weighs 2.9 pounds, and shows up primarily as a laptop. By itself, the Pro 7’s platinum industrial look hasn’t aged badly. The edges are still quite thick, a fact that is becoming more and more apparent as virtually all slim laptops opt for razor-thin edges. The Surface Pro 7 still looks spiffy, but the problem is that it’s becoming contextual, and that’s a problem at least partly of Microsoft’s own making. The design looks a bit dated for 2021, especially the thick screen edges. This was made even more apparent by the appearance of the Surface Pro X, which was originally unveiled alongside the Pro 7. The Pro X features the slimmer, rounder edges and thinner borders that you would expect from a modern, top-of-the-line Surface Pro device. When the two are side by side, the Pro X looks much more modern. It’s a beautiful system that inspires the tech envy that has slowly been lost on the main line. Of course, it’s not a matter of simply applying this design to the Surface Pro 7, or Microsoft would have done the same. The Pro X is an ARM-based device, while the Pro 7 uses an Intel chip, and the latter is a better-equipped traditional Windows PC. The Pro X’s components require less space and cooling to function, which is made possible by its thin design. If you need something more akin to a tablet, the Pro X is a good option, but it lacks the comprehensive functionality of a traditional Windows laptop. You don’t have to worry about what programs you can run or how they work on a Surface Pro 7.

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