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SP 7, My Review

ScottyS

Active Member
I’ve had my SP7 for 5 months now, and this past week have been using it to telecommute via remote desktop and Zoom.
I thought I’d give my review for those thinking of upgrading. Many reviews compare it to the SP6 and complain it’s not much of an upgrade, which is true, but many people would be upgrading from an older SP and some deciding to buy a new SP7 vs. the older SP6 still on the selves at a different price point.

I upgraded from a SP3 which I got in 2014. It was the longest I ever kept a computer (previously upgraded every 2 years) because it worked so well.
  • The obvious upgrade is from the 4th generation Intel Core processor to a 10th generation with Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics, both of mine have been core i7s. I also upgraded from 8GB RAM to 16GB which adds to the performance boost and I upgraded from 256GB SSD to 512GB SSD.
  • Screen resolution is a slight bump from 2160x1440 to 2736x1824, but screen size is the same.The case is a bit thinner with more rounded edges.
  • The other obvious difference is the switch from mDP to USB-C.
  • Less obvious, but important upgrades are from Marvel to Intel Wi-Fi which is now Wi-Fi 6. And Bluetooth is upgraded to Bluetooth Wireless 5.
  • The front facing camera is still 5MP but the rear is now 8. Also the studio mics are a big improvement.
  • The kickstand on the SP7 is noticeably better and the magnetic hold on the pen is a lot stronger.

These are little things, but all together make it a much better machine.

I also upgraded from the old SP3 type cover to the newer one which is much better and although I didn’t spring for the newer pen (had a SP4 model pen) I got a Renaisser pen for half Microsoft’s price which has the same pressure sensitivity and tilt feature as the MS one.

So, if someone asks me “should I upgrade?” if they have the SP6 or SP 2017, I’d say no, not unless they have to buy a new computer. I’d say wait for next year. Maybe the SP8 will have slimmer bezels or be even lighter and thinner or have a better battery life, or even maybe the next gen SP X (will it be SP Y?) will have more older apps re-written to an ARM proc. But for me upgrading from a 5-year-old SP 3 this was a big change.
 

sbmoag

New Member
For what it is the Surface 7 is fine but for what it is not shame on Microsoft. and sadly typical of Microsoft corporate culture despite trying to put on a warmer and fuzzier public face.
The problem is that Microsoft has not certified the current Intel drivers that contain needed support for standards (e.g. Open GL) that certain programs require to run, programs which are otherwise functional with the Iris Pro GPU when it has all needed software installed.
This has been an ongoing problem with the Surface Device--it uses a cripple ware version of the Intel driver. All you have to do is compare the dates of the driver MS allows, its own, and the Intel versions to see it.
Microsoft support was useless and obfuscated the truth. There is a way to try to get the full current Intel driver to work but in my case caused too many problems with other Windows subsystems, as in File Explorer would constantly freeze.
Microsoft can and should do the software work to fix this but apparently has not bothered over several generations of the Surface.
Had I known that I don't think I would have bought the Surface Pro but by the time I was able to fully research the topic it was too late to return the device.
 

Turbo4AWD

Active Member
For what it is the Surface 7 is fine but for what it is not shame on Microsoft. and sadly typical of Microsoft corporate culture despite trying to put on a warmer and fuzzier public face.
The problem is that Microsoft has not certified the current Intel drivers that contain needed support for standards (e.g. Open GL) that certain programs require to run, programs which are otherwise functional with the Iris Pro GPU when it has all needed software installed.
This has been an ongoing problem with the Surface Device--it uses a cripple ware version of the Intel driver. All you have to do is compare the dates of the driver MS allows, its own, and the Intel versions to see it.
Microsoft support was useless and obfuscated the truth. There is a way to try to get the full current Intel driver to work but in my case caused too many problems with other Windows subsystems, as in File Explorer would constantly freeze.
Microsoft can and should do the software work to fix this but apparently has not bothered over several generations of the Surface.
Had I known that I don't think I would have bought the Surface Pro but by the time I was able to fully research the topic it was too late to return the device.
DirectX isn't a standard in the industry?
 

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