Is the Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ faster than the Surface Pro 7?

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7+ (or Surface Pro 7 Plus) launched unexpectedly last month, stepping up from the Surface Pro 7’s 10th-gen Intel Ice Lake chips to 11th-gen Tiger Lake Core chips. The question we immediately had was: Is the Surface Pro 7+ worth the upgrade?

We’ll have to wait until we complete our Surface Pro 7+ review to answer that question fully. But so far, we’ve been somewhat shocked by the performance we’ve seen from the new model. In this story, we begin to answer two related questions: How much faster is the Surface Pro 7+ compared to the Surface Pro 7, and how much faster is the tablet version of Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake chip versus its predecessor, the 10th-gen Ice Lake? The answer is: a lot, and without any fan noise to go along with it.

For benchmark nerds, one of the best things about the Microsoft Surface family is that the various models have remained relatively unchanged, making it easier to draw solid comparisons between generations. That allowed us to use the Surface Laptops to compare Intel’s Ice Lake chip against the AMD Ryzen 3000 Mobile family, for example, to determine the best mobile processor of that generation. Now we can do the same for Intel’s tablet chips.

We have a review unit of the Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ in house, and we’re working through our performance tests. But even in the benchmarks we’ve run so far—from synthesized CPU tests to a series of creative workloads—already tell us that the Surface Pro 7+ offers some massive advantages, specifically in graphics. Here’s a sneak peek.

How we compared the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro 7 Plus

The Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro 7+ we’re testing differ in a few notable ways, as we have to work with what Microsoft and other vendors send us for review. Still, it’s worth noting that while the Surface Pro 7 we reviewed was a Core i7, our Surface Pro 7+ review unit is a Core i5. If you buy the Surface Pro 7+ with a Core i7 chip installed, performance should be better.

Here’s a small snapshot of the two system configurations. The key differences are in the processor and the integrated GPU. Note that Intel’s Ice Lake chips were considered U-series processors, while Intel now refers to its Tiger Lake tablet processors as “UP4” chips.

Surface Pro 7: 

Surface Pro 7+:

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