The Surface Pro 6 is now available, but it looks like Microsoft will be releasing the new model soon. What changes are coming to this device? Is there anything that fans of the old version should look out for?
The “Surface Pro 7 vs Surface Pro 6 (2020)” is a comparison between the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and the Microsoft Surface Pro 6. The article includes a list of pros and cons for both devices.
We put the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 to the test and compared it to the Surface Pro 7 in terms of performance, display quality, price, battery life, portability, keyboard, and more.
The rankings with results can be seen above, while the in-depth reports on the two Microsoft Surface Laptops can be found below.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is in first place.
- Best performance, plus a Type Cover and a Surface Pen
- The display is really bright.
- With USB-C, there are a lot of good interfaces and ports.
- Surface Pro 6 is more costly.
I was given three weeks to evaluate the new Surface Pro 7. On loan from Microsoft, I was given a version with an Intel Core i7-1065G7, 256 GB SSD, and 16 GB RAM worth $1300.
The latest generation’s pricing range from $900 (Intel Core i3, 128 GB SSD, 4GB RAM) to $2500 (Intel Core i3, 128 GB SSD, 4GB RAM) (Intel Core i7, 1 TB SSD, 16 GB RAM).
Despite the fact that the Surface Pro 7 is a new gadget, as many of you are aware, not much has changed since the Surface Pro 4/5. Both the design and the technological features have always been balanced and have altered very little over time (except for the latest generation of Intel processors, of course).
This has not changed with the next generation. There are a few minor changes from the Surface Pro 6 that I had the pleasure of testing last year, and I’d like to share them with you. I’d also want to share some of my thoughts on the device and Windows 10.
Design & Hardware Disparities
Let us begin by contrasting the Surface Pro 7 with its predecessor, the Surface Pro 6. Of course, I still have the recordings from last year’s Surface Pro 6, but without a direct comparison, I wouldn’t have recognized the differences in the slightest.
Fortunately, one of my classmates possesses a Surface Pro 6, allowing for a direct comparison to be made. There hasn’t been much alteration on the outside. The most noticeable difference is the lack of a tiny display connector in favor of a USB-C port. But we’ll get to it later.
The Surface Pro 7 now boasts two far-field studio microphones on the front, which enable much higher audio recording quality than the Surface Pro 6. The Surface Pro 6 has one microphone on the front (display) and one on the rear. The microphone is now absent from the backside.
In the SP7, the LED adjacent to the camera has shifted slightly to the right, indicating whether the camera is now being accessible – very exciting. The camera has remained unchanged as well.
Both variants contain a 5MP front-facing (Selfie) camera and an 8MP rear-facing camera. Unfortunately, the recording quality is still unsatisfactory. Here, too, a lightning bolt is still lacking.
Let’s have a look inside the gadgets now: Intel’s 10th CPU generation, in particular, is apparent not only on the data sheet (previously 8th generation), but also in use. The i7 performs well, as Martin demonstrated in his Surface Laptop 3 test.
In addition to the upgraded CPUs, Microsoft has included LPDDR4X RAM in the next Surface Pro generation (instead of LPDDR3). Intel UHD (i3) or Intel Iris Plus (i5 and i7) graphics cards are now installed (full of Intel UHD Graphics 620). The Surface Pro 7 also has WiFi 6 support, which means it should be speedier on the internet.
When using the Surface Pro 7, everything runs swiftly and smoothly thanks to the built-in Intel Core i7 processor. As predicted, no issues were identified during “regular usage” (Office and browser).
When using OneNote (UWP), the fan would kick on every now and again, and the device would become a bit warmer. Nothing else was open in the background, which shocked me. However, the fright was over in approximately 30 seconds.
Everything operates nicely while using Photoshop Elements 2020, and I have seen no cause to complain. There are no jerks, and I’ve never had to wait more than a second for things to process. But, after a time, the fan starts up again.
This is then audible as well, and it does not turn off as soon. But I wouldn’t call it very unsettling since it is hardly audible in typical background noise.
The i7 can effortlessly handle even simple games like Angry Birds. Forza Motorsport 7 can be installed, however I was unable to launch it.
After all, the graphic card is most likely too weak-chested for that. However, the Surface Pro 7 is not marketed as a gaming tablet. That is, after all, what Project xCloud is for in the future.
Life of the Batteries
To make it more realistic for end users, Microsoft has altered the technique for establishing the manufacturer’s battery life standard (see also here). In my review of the Surface Pro 6, I said that it may last up to two days on a full charge, depending on use.
The value of 10.5 hours indicated for the Surface Pro 7 was, on the other hand, consistently missed every day. The Surface Pro 7 with Intel Core i5, 256 GB SSD, and 8 GB RAM was used in Microsoft’s test. The battery life on an Intel Core i7 is just not long enough.
At the institution, I used the Surface Pro 7 for many days and sometimes utilized the Edge browser in addition to OneNote, Outlook, and Word. I reduced the display brightness to 30% and turned off the auto brightness adjustment.
During this usage, however, the Surface did not survive more than 6.5 hours (active use). But with that, I was able to go through the day without incident. I had to charge it when I got home, but it didn’t turn off in the interim since the remaining battery capacity was too low. Even though Microsoft claims a 10.5-hour runtime, a longer battery life would be appreciated.
By the way, the Surface Pro 7 can be charged using either the supplied 65W power supply (which takes around 1,5 to 2 hours to charge from 3-100 percent) or a USB-C connection. However, a power source of at least 30W is required; otherwise, an error notice would appear.
I utilized the Aukey PA-D1 as a power source (which Alex had previously verified) and a USB-C to USB-C connection. Charging, on the other hand, takes a bit longer.
The display is razor crisp and leaves little to be lacking, as you would expect from a surface gadget. However, as Martin discovered with the Surface Laptop 3, the Surface Pro 7’s automated brightness and contrast adjustment is a nightmare. For the battery life test, I turned off the brightness change anyhow, therefore the issue was solved for me.
However, prior to disabling this automatic modification, I observed an occasional random shift in the display brightness, despite the fact that the lighting circumstances remained the same. The screen was dimmed initially, then brightened again.
In hindsight, I think the shift in contrast upset me less. I was thinking to myself, “Why are the colors suddenly so bright?” When I woke up the Surface from standby mode, this was usually the case.
At first, I assumed it had something to do with the night mode, which I had set to turn on automatically after sunset. I then turned off this option and had to see the same occurrence all over again. The contrast is unafraid to do what it wants.
Unfortunately, I was unable to adequately depict this in photographs. Finally, Martin’s approach of removing the “energy-saving display” option in the “Intel Graphics Control Room” software worked for me.
Surface Pen & Type Cover
The type cover and surface pen are still the same. The compatibility with the Surface Pro 5, 6, and 7 is only indicated on the package, although the Surface Pen ($110) is also compatible with the previously listed “vintage” Surface devices.
Also featured are the Surface Laptop, Book, Go, and Studio. It’s also possible to utilize the Surface Pen (Model 1776) there. Because I dislike the Surface Pen’s “included” rubber tip (see Surface Pro 6 Review), I was better prepared this time and purchased the other pen tips.
These may be found for under $15 on Amazon*. A 2B tip is available, which is constructed of plastic. This, plus the fact that I am not continually slowed down when writing, gives me a greater sense for writing. The new Surface Slim Pen comes with a “2B-tip” as standard.
However, I encountered issues with the pen input on occasion. For a brief while, the Surface Pen was not detected, and it only functioned again when neither the pen nor my hand touched the display.
It functions normally again if you temporarily elevate your hand along with the pencil. Short interruptions are extremely aggravating when you’re trying to take notes fast and are stopped by these brief gaps.
But there’s one more thing I’d like to remark regarding the type cover. At a high level, the writing experience stays same. The touchpad, however, suffers from the same dropouts as the stylus, and clicking on it is uncomfortably noisy. With Surface Por X, Martin was able to make a similar finding.
I was given the opportunity to test the Surface Pro 6 with the regular type cover ($150) last year. This year, though, I purchased the type cover with Alcantara cover ($180, in the fashionable color poppy red).
I could make a clear comparison since the colleague student stated before had a black basic version. Following this comparison, I’m nearly tempted to suggest the Alcantara version, just because it seems more value.
I was also more comfortable with the Alcantara version (signature style cover) of the Surface Pro X than with the regular version (for companies). There will be more on this in a later piece.
The links have remained mostly unchanged. AUX, USB-A, and the Micro-SD card port are all still available. The Mini Display Connector, on the other hand, has vanished, and its place has been taken by a USB-C 3.1 port.
This was something I complained with the Surface Pro 6, and it has now been rectified. This implies that a USB-C hub may now be used to connect more peripheral devices, for example.
Aukey generously supplied me with such a hub. The Aukey CB-C71* has USB-A 3.0, an SD card port, as well as HDMI and LAN connections. In addition, I may plug in a USB-C charging cable, which simultaneously charges the Surface Pro 7. A suitable power supply unit is required once again.
The poor location of the connections on the Surface is something I observed when using the Hub. The lift’s cable is rather short, so when the surface is upright, it hangs halfway down and only touches the ground on one end.
This is, of course, unneeded if the surface is laid level. Either Microsoft’s placement of the connection or Aukey’s use of a shorter cable should be questioned.
Because the kickstand is at the bottom of the surface, I believe there isn’t enough place for a side connection. So I’m inclined to blame Aukey.
On “regular” computers, this isn’t a problem at all; the hub just sits next to the devices and does what it’s designed to do, and it does it dependably. By the way, owing to its metal shell (bottom side) and somewhat rough plastic, it looks incredibly elegant and feels really costly (top side).
By the way, the color of the housing has been carefully chosen. Every single particle of dust can be seen on the black magnesium casing (see extreme example below), and it acts as a magic magnet for fingerprints. Also, after just a few days of usage, there was a scratch on the rear, namely on the kickstand.
It wasn’t very tall, and it was hardly apparent at first sight. However, if you look closely, you can see the scratch. At this time of year, when the last few rays of sunlight shine perfectly on the surface, the aggravation about the scrape is amplified once more, as may be observed at the latest then. All you have to do with this image is look a bit closer. I’m afraid I wasn’t able to obtain a better picture of it.
When using the Surface as a tablet, the type cover is inherently distracting. That’s why I pulled it off a few of times before remounting it. After a time, I realized the cover was beginning to deteriorate. On the left and right, instead of red burls, there were brown ones (?).
On the bottom side of the surface, there were also white worn marks (where you dock the type cover). Despite the fact that the surface was not harmed, it no longer seems to be a high-end product. With the Surface Pro 6, I hadn’t observed anything like that.
After all, a new generation of a product is typically designed to make a firm more money than the previous one. This is accomplished, among other things, by using lower-cost materials. However, this cannot be said of the Surface Pro 7, which is still made of high-quality materials and has excellent craftsmanship.
Just what one would expect from Surface equipment, and I am delighted to report that the quality has not deteriorated through the years and generations. You just know you’re getting fantastic value.
Since the fourth iteration, the Surface has been a rock-solid 2in1 device. At this point, I’d like to repeat Martin’s statement: “If something isn’t broken, don’t attempt to fix it,” since he is perfectly correct and therefore entirely agrees with him.
Because the notion is cohesive, not many people would have wanted for a truly dramatic design modification. However, when comparing the Surface Pro X to the Surface Pro 7, one can conclude that the Pro 7 is already outdated, owing to the larger display margins and broader shell.
If the new design had been implemented to the Surface Pro 7, there would have been a significant number of transfers and upgrades to the next generation.
But no one would have looked at the Surface Pro X if that had been the case. We’ll have to wait and see whether the new design makes it onto the Surface Pro 8th generation. I’ll do a comparison between the Surface Pro 7 and the Surface Pro X, and then link to it here.
Last but not least, there’s the matter of whether or not a Surface Pro 7 update is necessary. First and foremost, I would say no in general. An update isn’t really necessary for Surface Pro 5 or Surface Pro 6 customers.
However, if you want a more powerful processor (since SP6 contains the 8th gene and SP5 has the 7th gene of Intel CPUs), purchasing a new gadget makes sense.
In most circumstances, however, an update is of little benefit if the 2in1 device is primarily used for Office and Web. The Surface Pro 7 is, of course, a wonderful option for “surface novices,” which is why it is ranked #1 above the Surface Pro 6.
Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is ranked second.
- Hardware that is capable
- Surface Pro 7 is more expensive.
- Long-lasting battery
You can see how wonderful the costly premium tablet with Windows 10, keyboard, and pen is in my Microsoft Surface Pro 6 review.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is the sixth iteration of Microsoft’s popular tablet for professionals. There aren’t many differences from the predecessor. What’s different is that Microsoft is now focused on Intel Core CPUs in their eighth generation.
In addition, it is now available in black as well as grey. So, despite the few new features, is the Windows tablet a decent buy? My Microsoft Surface Pro 6 review will tell you all you need to know.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6’s design is identical to that of its predecessor. With the exception of the black color choice, that is. However, the fact that nothing changes is a positive thing. The Surface series’ design is fantastic, in my opinion. The Surface Pro 6 retains its high-quality magnesium shell, measures 8.5mm thin, and weighs just 1.69 pounds. These are excellent dimensions for such a huge tray.
The Surface Pro 6 has a premium feel about it. When you hold it in your hands, it feels like you’re holding a high-end tablet. It is, in fact, costly. I really enjoy how the fan slots are concealed above in an attractive manner. You can easily see that in the competition.
Fans are there because the Core i5 and Core i7 processors must be actively cooled. However, they are hardly audible and can only be heard when the engine is overloaded.
A DisplayPort, a standard USB 3.0 port, and the magnetic surface connection are all found on the right side. The only critique I have about the design is that there is no USB C connector.
If you rely on USB C already, you’ll need to utilize adapters. The magnetic surface connection, on the other hand, is well-designed in and of itself. The tablet will not topple over if the charging cord is tripped over.
The power button and volume control are located at the top of the device. There is also a standard headphone port on the left side. Under the kickstand is a MicroSD card slot. A connection for the keyboard cover is also located at the bottom.
The speakers are on the upper right and left of the screen. For a tablet, the sound quality is really surprisingly excellent. Many high-end laptops, on the other hand, have superior audio. A 5-megapixel front camera is located above the display, while the rear camera has an 8-megapixel resolution.
The visual quality is very excellent, especially for a Windows tablet. Smartphone cameras, on the other hand, are unquestionably superior.
The Surface Pro 6 can be unlocked with Windows Hello and Face Recognition, much like all other Surface Tablets. This works nicely and consistently most of the time.
Type Cover by Microsoft
Only with a keyboard cover does the Surface Pro 6 become really fascinating. This one is called Microsoft Type Cover, and it costs $100 to buy individually. It is, nevertheless, the same style of cover as the predecessor, and many stores sell it for less.
A magnetic connection connects the keyboard to the tablet. It protects the display when folded up. There is also a magnetic bar that allows you to gently bend the lid.
Because the type cover hasn’t changed, the keyboard is still excellent. Many of our rivals’ covers are of worse quality. The keys have a decent pressure point, and I was able to write comfortably and fluently using the keyboard right away.
Check out our list of the finest tablets with keyboards.
Underneath the keyboard is a precision touchpad that likewise performs well. However, it is much smaller than the trackpads found on many laptops.
Surface Pen & Display
Let’s move on to the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 display, which is 12.3 inches tall and has a 3:2 aspect ratio, making it easier to work with and browse the web since there’s more space at the bottom. When watching videos, though, you will see black bars at the top and bottom.
Because the resolution is so high (2736 x 1824 pixels), the text and icons seem lovely and crisp. Overall, the screen is extremely well-designed. The viewing angles are broad, the colors are vibrant, and the display is nice to look at. It’s a laminated display, but considering the price, it has to be.
You may use your fingers as well as an active pen called the Surface Pen to interact with the touch screen. It’s the same pen as before, and it’ll work with the Surface Go as well. The stylus retails for roughly $100, but since it’s older, you can typically buy it for less than $80.
Nothing has changed with the Surface Pen, so I won’t say anything more. The stylus is well-designed and performs well on the Surface Pro 6.
It supports 4096 pressure levels and is wonderfully accurate, much like Samsung’s S Pen. One button is on the side, while the other is on the top. There’s also a battery that has to be replenished every now and then.
I normally just use a pen like this in Photoshop, and it works well. However, you can add handwritten notes or draw artistically using apps like OneNote.
The built-in CPUs are the only really revolutionary feature. The Surface Pro 6 is available with an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 chipset from the eighth generation. Both of these CPUs are now quad-core, which means they have four cores in total.
Dual-core processors were still present in the predecessors. There is 8GB or 16GB RAM, as well as a 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD, depending on the edition.
In fact, it outperforms its predecessor by a significant margin. The tablet scores well on the Geekbench 4 and Cinebench benchmarks, as you can see in my comparison. Microsoft, on the other hand, is a little late.
Since the beginning of the year, tablets like the Lenovo MIIX 520 have been available with the same CPUs. Those who are willing to forego the especially high-quality craftsmanship and certain premium features will be able to achieve a comparable performance for a lower price.
As previously said, the Surface Pro 6 performs well. Programs like Adobe Photoshop operate easily even on my test device with the Core i5 and 8GB RAM. You may also use Office products and Chrome without any issues. It’s the same hardware that comes with a lot of high-end laptops.
Because the tablet lacks a dedicated graphics card, it is unsuitable for such applications. In tools like Adobe Premiere Pro, you can edit FullHD and restricted 4K films, but you’ll have to endure lengthier render times. Even the most demanding games do not run as well on a gaming laptop.
I’ve tried Fortnite on the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and it works nicely. However, since the tablet lacks a dedicated graphics card, it is unsuitable for high-resolution games. But, as I already said, that is quite plausible. The refresh rate averaged around 20 frames per second while I played Fortnite on medium settings.
It is between 30 and 35 frames per second at the lowest settings. Despite this, tiny jerks still occur from time to time. Of course, with the lowest visuals, Fortnite does not seem to be particularly elegant.
Life of the battery
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 performed well in my battery test. In actuality, I estimated a runtime of about 12 hours. I always run an HD film at medium brightness in an unending loop for this test.
This is a great deal, particularly for a Windows tablet, as you can see from my comparison.
Of course, if you play a movie locally at medium brightness, you’ll only get 12 hours. The runtime is shorter in practice. Simple office work, on the other hand, may last up to 8 hours. The battery will drain significantly quicker if you use Photoshop, edit movies, or play Fortnite.
That was the end of my Microsoft Surface Pro 6 evaluation. Of course, I can suggest it, since the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a fantastic device. There hasn’t been much change since the predecessor, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
The Surface line is known for its superb design, and this is true here as well. You constantly get the impression that you’re holding a high-end gadget in your hands. However, a USB C connection would have been preferable.
Aside from that, the display, type cover, and surface pen are all excellent. The performance is also much better than the previous thanks to the 8th generation Intel Core CPUs. Simultaneously, the battery outlasts practically all Windows tablets.
There is just one serious drawback to the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, in my view. That is the cost. You’ll need to place at least $820 on the table without accessories. And with only a keyboard and a pen, you’ll be out of $1000 in no time. (If you want to save money, we discovered a terrific deal for you on Amazon; just click the icon below.)
You’ll have to pay much more money if you don’t want the entry-level model. As a result, the Surface Pro 6 is only recommended if you are ready to spend a premium price for a premium gadget.
The Surface Pro 6 is a pricey but excellent Windows tablet. It has a tried-and-true design, a high-quality finish, and a great display. The battery life and performance are also excellent. The Type Cover and the Surface Pen both perform well at the same time.
The main drawback is the lack of a USB C port, which is why the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 falls short of the Surface 7. It is, however, far less expensive than the Surface Pro 7, so if you can live with the absence of connectors and somewhat lower performance, we can confidently suggest this gadget!
The “Microsoft Surface Pro 6 i7” is a device that was released in 2020. The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 vs Surface Pro 6 (2020) article compares the two devices and includes specifications for both of them. Reference: microsoft surface pro 6 i7.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 worth it?
A: The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a good device, but it has some disadvantages compared to other devices that are on the market. For example, if you want a more advanced graphics card for VR or gaming purposes then you will have to use your own as there isnt one included. It also doesnt work with touch screens and its battery life can be up to two hours less than some of the other tablets on the market.
What is the difference between Surface Pro and Surface Pro 6?
A: The difference is that the Surface Pro 6 has a touchscreen and the Surface Pro does not.
Do I have a Surface Pro 6 or 7?
A: You have a Surface Pro 6.
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