Microsoft served up something of a surprise this morning by announcing the Surface Pro 7+. This new device has a lot of similarities with the previously-released Surface Pro 7, but Microsoft has made a few key upgrades with the Surface Pro 7+. Unfortunately, we regular consumers aren’t going to be able to pick one of these up right away, as Microsoft has two distinct markets in mind for the Surface Pro 7+ and we’re in neither of them.
Specifically, Microsoft is targeting the enterprise and educational segments with the launch of the Surface Pro 7+. The company hasn’t made any indication if it’ll be more widely available for purchase at some point in the future, but for now, business and educational clients are the only ones Microsoft is looking at.
In any case, there are a few noteworthy upgrades Microsoft is making in the Surface Pro 7+. The first is that the Surface Pro 7+’s SSD is user-removable, which has a couple of advantages. First, having removable SSDs in each Surface Pro 7+ might make it easier for enterprise customers to comply with certain data retention requirements, and second, it makes SSD repairs a lot easier because users will no longer have to mail in the entire device just to have its storage serviced.
As far as hardware is concerned, we’re seeing some upgrades there as well. The Surface Pro 7+ uses 11th-gen Intel Core processors – a step up from the 10th-gen CPUs we get in the standard Surface Pro 7. Customers can outfit the Surface Pro 7+ with up to 32GB of RAM as well, double the max of the Surface Pro 7. Max storage still caps out at a 1TB SSD, but of course, this time users will have the option of buying additional SSDs separately.
The Surface Pro 7+ has also been outfitted with optional LTE Advanced, which will be available with the fanless Core i5 model. Microsoft says that the eSIM profile in the Surface Pro 7+ makes it compatible with “more mobile operators and services in over 180 countries,” so you’ll be able to take the device on the road with you as well. Keep in mind that previous leaks suggested that the Surface Pro 8 would support LTE in Core i5 models as well, so we were very likely looking at Surface Pro 7+ leaks without realizing it.
The final upgrade over the standard Surface Pro 7 comes in the form of battery life, with Microsoft quoting 15 hours of usage on the Surface Pro 7+ compared to 10.5 hours in its predecessor. Since the Surface Pro 7+ has the same dimensions and screen size as the standard Surface Pro 7, all existing accessories will work with the 7+ as well.
So, there you have it: an intriguing Surface Pro 7 upgrade that will be out of reach of the standard consumer. Microsoft hasn’t indicated any plans to sell the Surface Pro 7+ to non-enterprise or educational customers in the future, and while it does say that the Surface Pro 7+ will start at $899.99, it hasn’t detailed an upper end for pricing nor has it revealed a release date. We’ll let you know when that changes, so stay tuned.