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The Surface Pro 7+ has a swappable SSD -- but there's a catch

Microsoft is frustrating consumers with its recent statements regarding the swappable SSD in the Surface Pro 7+.  Although Microsoft announced, they were introducing SSD Commercial Spares specifically for the Surface Pro 7 Plus. It seems like an odd announcement when you read further through the announcement. 

Microsoft stated the intentions behind making the SSD on the Surface Pro 7 Plus swappable were for data retention and safety. The Surface Pro 7 Plus was unveiled last month, and it's geared mostly towards on-the-go business users. The Pro 7 Plus is a needed update for the aging Surface Pro 7 line and features updated CPUs and leveled-up RAM and SSD storage. 

The storage options which target enterprise users more than consumers, will be available through Microsoft's U.S. resellers and comprise 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB versions. The SSDs are not compatible the Surface Pro X or Surface Laptop Go.

Microsoft made it easy to swap out the SSD on the Surface Pro 7 Plus. That's especially handy if you're someone who purchased the system with an 128GB SSD and realized it's way too small considering how much drive space Windows 10 consumes. So the option to swap it out for something much larger is tantalizing. However, make sure you get one from an authorized reseller because Microsoft included the following statement to warn against just throwing old SSD in. 

Microsoft cautioned  "Installing a non-Microsoft or a Microsoft SSD of different volume than the one provided originally may lead to reduced performance and unsupported configurations."

I mean, sure, this could be nonsense, or it could be something serious. At the end of the day nobody wants to risk harming their precious computer. However, as it's been proven by the inventive team at iFixit,  you can upgrade the SSD in a Surface Pro X rather easily. Still, you must be careful when doing so because the SSD has some proprietary shielding, meaning that normal M.2 2230 drives might not be fully compatible. 

It just seems counterproductive for Microsoft to offer Surface Pros of any ilk that have easily upgradable SSD's but then warn against it unless you buy one through them. Sure it's obvious they want our dollars, but people are very clever and will find alternatives every time. 

Sours: https://www.laptopmag.com/news/the-surface-pro-7-has-a-swappable-ssd-but-theres-a-catch

Pre-installed software, apps, and updates use a significant amount of the internal disk space on your Surface.

How much disk space do I have?

The amount of free disk space available for your music, photos, videos, and other content depends on which Surface you have. The available space may also vary by country or region depending on which languages and apps are pre-installed. 

Note: 1 GB = 1 billion bytes

Surface Duo

Available disk space

128 GB

109 GB

256 GB

234 GB

Surface Book 3 15"

Available disk space

i7 / 16 GB / 256 GB

200 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 1 TB

906 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 512 GB

429 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 2 TB

1,860 GB

Surface Book 3 13"

Available disk space

i5 / 8 GB / 256 GB

204 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 256 GB

200 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 512 GB

430 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 1 TB

906 GB

Surface Book 2

Available disk space

i5 / 8 GB / 128 GB

94 GB

i5 / 8 GB / 256 GB

214 GB

i5 / 16 GB / 256 GB

208 GB

i7 / 8 GB / 256 GB

213 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 256 GB

208 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 512 GB

447 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 1 TB

924 GB

Surface Book / Surface Book with Performance Base

Available disk space

i5 / 128 GB

99 GB

i5 / 256 GB

220 GB

i7 / 256 GB

218 GB

i7 / 512 GB

451 GB

Surface Go 3 (Windows 11)

Available disk space

i3 / 4 GB / 64 GB

32 GB

i3 / 8 GB / 128 GB

77 GB

Pentium / 4 GB / 64 GB

30 GB

Pentium / 8 GB / 128 GB

77 GB

Surface Go 3 (Windows 10)

Available disk space

i3 / 4 GB / 64 GB

30 GB

i3 / 8 GB / 128 GB

74 GB

Pentium / 4 GB / 64 GB

28 GB

Pentium / 8 GB / 128 GB

73 GB

Surface Go 2

Available disk space

m3 / 4 GB / 64 GB

27 GB

m3 / 8 GB / 128 GB

75 GB

m3 / 8 GB / 256 GB

201 GB

Pentium / 4 GB / 64 GB

28 GB

Pentium / 8 GB / 128 GB

74 GB

Surface Go

Available disk space

64 GB

44 GB

128 GB

97 GB

Surface Laptop Studio (Windows 11)

Available disk space

i5 / 16 GB / 256 GB

198 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 512 GB

438 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 1 TB

906 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 2 TB

1860 GB

Surface Laptop Studio (Windows 10)

Available disk space

i5 / 16 GB / 256 GB

198 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 1 TB

905 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 2 TB

1858 GB

Surface Laptop 4

Available disk space

i5 / 8 GB / 256 GB

193 GB

i5 / 8 GB / 512 GB

433 GB

i5 / 16 GB / 512 GB

427 GB

i7 / 8 GB / 256 GB

194 GB

i7 / 8 GB / 512 GB

431 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 256 GB

189 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 512 GB

427 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 1 TB

897 GB

Ryzen 5 / 8 GB / 256 GB

193 GB

Ryzen 5 / 16 GB / 256 GB

188 GB

Ryzen 7 / 8 GB / 256 GB

193 GB

Ryzen 7 / 8 GB / 512 GB

433 GB

Ryzen 7 / 16 GB / 512 GB

427 GB

Surface Laptop 3 15”

Available disk space

Ryzen 5 / 8 GB / 128 GB

90 GB

Ryzen 5 / 8 GB / 256 GB

208 GB

Ryzen 5 / 16 GB / 256 GB

204 GB

Ryzen 5 / 16 GB / 512 GB

443 GB

Surface Laptop 3 13.5”

Available disk space

i5 / 8 GB / 128 GB

88 GB

i5 / 8 GB / 256 GB

206 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 256 GB

202 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 512 GB

441 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 1 TB

918 GB

Surface Laptop 2

Available disk space

i5 / 8 GB / 128 GB

94 GB

i5 / 8 GB / 256 GB

213 GB

i5 / 16 GB / 256 GB

201 GB

i7 / 8 GB / 256 GB

213 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 512 GB

447 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 1 TB

922 GB

Surface Laptop (1st Gen)

Available disk space

i5 / 128 GB

100 GB

i5 / 256 GB

217 GB

i7 / 512 GB

454 GB

i7 / 1 TB

926 GB

Surface Pro X

Available disk space

SQ1 / 8 GB / 128 GB

88 GB

SQ1 / 8 GB / 256 GB

206 GB

SQ2 / 16 GB / 256 GB

192 GB

SQ2 / 16 GB / 512 GB

440 GB

Surface Pro 8

Available disk space

i5 / 8 GB / 128 GB

81 GB

i5 / 8 GB / 256 GB

198 GB

i5 / 8 GB / 512 GB

439 GB

i5 / 16 GB / 256 GB

194 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 256 GB

194 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 512 GB

433 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 1 TB

910 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 1 TB

901 GB

Surface Pro 7+

Available disk space

i3 / 8 GB / 128 GB

73 GB

i5 / 8 GB / 128 GB

73 GB

i5 / 8 GB / 256 GB

192 GB

i5 / 16 GB / 256 GB

188 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 256 GB

188 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 512 GB

427 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 1 TB

904 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 1 TB

895 GB

Surface Pro 7

Available disk space

i3 / 4 GB / 128 GB

88 GB

i5 / 8 GB / 128 GB

86 GB

i5 / 8 GB / 256 GB

205 GB

i5 / 16 GB / 256 GB

201 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 256 GB

201 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 512 GB

439 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 1 TB

916 GB

Surface Pro 6

Available disk space

i5 / 8 GB / 128 GB

95 GB

i5 / 8 GB / 256 GB

214 GB

i7 / 8 GB / 256 GB

214 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 512 GB

448 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 1TB

923 GB

Surface Pro (5th Gen)

Available disk space

m3 / 128 GB

83 GB

i5 / 128 GB

83 GB

i5 / 256 GB

201 GB

i7 / 256 GB

200 GB

i7 / 512 GB

435 GB

i7 / 1 TB

910 GB

Surface Pro 4

Available disk space

m3 / 128 GB

102 GB

i5 / 128 GB

102 GB

i5 / 256 GB

216 GB

i7 / 256 GB

215 GB

i7 / 512 GB

451 GB

Surface Pro 3

Available disk space

64 GB

37 GB

128 GB

97 GB

256 GB

212 GB

512 GB

451 GB

Surface Pro 2

Available disk space

64 GB

37 GB

128 GB

97 GB

256 GB

212 GB

512 GB

451 GB

Surface Pro

Available disk space

64 GB

30 GB

128 GB

89 GB

Surface Studio 2

Available disk space

i7 / 16 GB / 1 TB

897 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 1 TB

889 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 2 TB

1,842 GB

Surface Studio (1st Gen)

Available disk space

i5 / 8 GB / 1 TB

910 GB

i7 / 16 GB / 1 TB

906 GB

i7 / 32 GB / 2 TB

1,829 GB

Surface 3

Available disk space

64 GB

37 GB

128 GB

93 GB

Surface 2

Available disk space

32 GB

18 GB

64 GB

47 GB

Surface RT

Available disk space

32 GB

15 GB

64 GB

45 GB

Surface Hub 2S

Available disk space

128 GB

90 GB

How can I add storage space?

If you need more storage space, you can use one of the following storage options:

  • OneDrive: Save your files on OneDrive—free cloud storage that comes with your Microsoft account.

  • SD card: If your Surface has an SD or microSD card slot, insert that memory card into the card slot on your Surface.

  • USB flash drive or hard drive: Insert a USB flash drive or hard drive into the USB port on your Surface.

What software and apps come with my Surface?

Apps to help you stay connected, entertained, informed, and productive come pre-installed and ready to use on your Surface.

Sours: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/surface-storage-options-and-hard-drive-sizes-9915981d-3e38-f06c-4706-82b5dedf33bc
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Six reasons I'm replacing my Surface Pro 7 with a Surface Pro 8

Seriously impressed

At first glance, Microsoft's Surface Pro 8 looks like a worthy but incremental upgrade from its predecessor. The exterior form factor, including its signature kickstand, is essentially unchanged, and the spec bump from a 10th Generation Intel Core CPU to an 11th Gen part doesn't seem like much to write home about.

But after studying the specs of this new device more closely, I'm seriously impressed. So much so, in fact, that I just pre-ordered a new Surface Pro 8 to replace my Surface Pro 7. And for anyone with an older Surface Pro device, the upgrade should be even more compelling.

In all, I found six improvements in the new Surface Pro that fixed nearly every annoyance I have with last year's model. Collectively, those improvements add up to an irresistible case for an upgrade.

View now at Microsoft

A bigger display

The top premium laptops from leading OEMs today, including Dell's XPS 13 and HP's HP Elite Dragonfly Max, are outfitted with 13-inch screens. By comparison, the 12.3-inch display on the Surface Pro 7 seems just a wee bit cramped.

Not so with the 13-inch display in the new Surface Pro 8. It has the same 3:2 aspect ratio as its predecessor, and the same pixel density (267 ppi). But Microsoft shrunk the bezels on the Surface Pro 8 to accommodate the larger display without making the chassis larger. That gives the entire package a more modern look while maintaining compatibility with existing add-ins, like my Kensington Surface Dock. (Update: Kensington says it SD7000 dock will not be compatible with the Surface Pro 8; it plans to offer a refresh of that model in 2022.)

An increase of 0.7 inches in diagonal screen size might not seem like much, but it results in significantly more workspace, as a bit of math confirms. The Surface Pro 7, like every earlier model from the Windows 10 era going back to the Surface Pro 4, offers a resolution of 2736 x 1824, for a total of 4,990,464 pixels. The Surface Pro 8 has a resolution of 2880 x 1920, or 5,529,600 pixels. The net result is 10.8% more screen area, which is nothing to sneeze at.

As a bonus, the new display includes the option to double the refresh rate to 120 Hz, which is good news for designers who want fast response from the new pen.

Better battery life

The Surface Pro 8 weighs roughly 100 g more than the Surface Pro 7 (that's about 3.5 oz for Americans who are baffled by the metric system). We'll have to wait for the inevitable third-party teardowns to confirm where that extra weight is coming from, but I'm betting some of it is courtesy of the higher-capacity battery, which offers a capacity of 51.5 watt-hours (Wh), or nearly 20% more than the 43.2 Wh in the Surface Pro 7.

The actual increase in battery life that Microsoft claims for the Surface Pro 8 is even more substantial: 16 hours, versus 10.5 hours for last year's model. (Real world results will be significantly less than those optimistic projections, of course, but based on my experience with the Surface Pro 7 a 50+% increase would mean I could use the new machine for at least 8 hours.)

And if you're wondering about the technical reasons for the extra battery life, I recommend this excellent explainer from my colleague Mary Branscombe in TechRepublic: "EcoQoS gives Windows 11 apps better battery life." The tl;dr: Credit goes to the interaction between Windows 11 and the EcoQoS CPU tuning in these Intel 11th Gen systems.

A new, firmer keyboard

The Type Cover has always been the love-it-or-hate-it component of the Surface Pro experience. Over time, Microsoft has made the experience better, but there's still a bit of a hollow sound when you strike the keys, and its tendency to wobble makes it hard for some people to use on anything but a solid surface. (There's even a technical term for this effect: lappability.)

The new Signature Keyboard is reportedly made with a new base of carbon fiber, which should translate into less bouncing and more of a conventional laptop feel. As a bonus, the new keyboard also has a larger glass trackpad. I'm looking forward to putting it to the test.

Thunderbolt 4 and an extra USB Type-C port

This might be the most important change of all. The Surface Pro 7 included a single USB Type-C port alongside a single Type-A port. That port worked with USB-C Power Delivery (PD) chargers and allowed connections to external monitors. The Surface Pro 8 replaces that legacy USB port with a second USB Type-C port, with both supporting Thunderbolt 4.

That long-awaited capability unlocks an entire ecosystem worth of hardware options, with full-featured Thunderbolt docks, high-speed external storage devices, and external GPUs at the top of the list.

A slimmer pen with haptic feedback and wireless charging

I'm not an artist, so the haptic feedback support in the new Slim Pen 2 is likely to be more of a curiosity than a real productivity enhancer. But I do enough schematic diagrams and rough sketches to make the capability interesting.

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Otherwise, my use of the Surface Pen is mostly limited to signing PDF documents so I can skip the print-and-scan step, along with marking up page proofs occasionally. But the new pen is still welcome if only because it now has a built-in pen holder on the Signature Keyboard instead of attaching magnetically to the side of the tablet, where it easily gets separated.

The new holder also supports wireless charging, which means I no longer have to keep a spare hard-to-find AAAA battery handy.

Replaceable solid-state storage

If you have a Surface Pro X or one of the Surface Pro 7+ models sold through Microsoft's commercial channel, you might already be familiar with this feature. But it's brand new to the mainstream Surface Pro user base, and very welcome.

On the Surface Pro 8, the system drive resides on an NVMe SSD that uses the M.2 2230 format. That device is accessible with the right tools, which most DIY types already own. Microsoft offers up stern warnings about this capability, warning that it's "intended for use by qualified IT technicians in an enterprise organization only." And it's true that a trained technician can use this tool to safely decommission a device so that there's no risk of its data files falling into the wrong hands.

But you can also use this feature to avoid paying Microsoft's steep upgrade prices. In fact, it's the only way to get some hardware configurations; the Surface Pro 8 with an i5 CPU and 16 GB of RAM, for example, comes with only one storage option, a 256 GB SSD.

The upgrade isn't difficult, as this iFixit tutorial explains. (Those instructions are for the Surface Pro X, but the steps are identical for Surface Pro models with this design.)

Conclusion

Of course, all of this is based on my reading of the spec sheets, along with a careful review of some videos. The good news is that Microsoft offers a 60-day, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee, which means this is a risk-free evaluation for me.

I'll let you know how it goes.

See also:

Related Topics:

Laptops PCs Servers Storage Networking Data Centers Sours: https://www.zdnet.com/article/six-reasons-im-replacing-my-surface-pro-7-with-a-surface-pro-8/
Surface Pro 7 — 1 out of 10 AGAIN?!?

Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ has swappable SSDs - but Microsoft doesn't want you to upgrade

Microsoft may have included swappable SSDs for the Surface Pro 7+, but this doesn't mean you're getting an upgrade any time soon – at least not with approval anyway. 

Despite including the removable SSD, Microsoft admitted that upgrading a larger storage device is "technically possible", but it strongly discourages users from doing so, cautioning "Installing a non-Microsoft or a Microsoft SSD of different volume than the one provided originally may lead to reduced performance and unsupported configurations." 

This might add some salt to the wounds of anyone who purchased the cheaper 128GB versions of the device with the hope of adding expanded storage at a later date. You can buy the Surface Pro 7+ in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB configurations, with official storage spares being made available via official Microsoft US reseller channels.

This doesn't mean that you can't upgrade the storage of course, only that you'd be going against Microsofts wishes by doing so and presumably breaking any existing warranty agreements in the process. 

Don't be naughty

The team over at iFixit have provided a demonstration on how easy the process actually is to switch out the existing SSD device, as well as providing warnings that regular M.2 2230 drives might not be compatible due to some shielding on the provided SSD.

The inclusion of swappable SSDs was presumably for efficiency as the device can be swiftly repaired by IT professions with little fuss, as well as allowing data to be transferred or destroyed securely when a device needs to be moved over between employees.

The Surface Pro 7+ is specifically targeting business and education users, featuring optional LTE Advanced to facilitate more flexible working and support for the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard on top of the removable SSD. You're also getting an upgrade to Intel's new 11th-gen processors up to the Core i70116G57, which also equips the 2-in-1 with Intel Xe graphics, and boasts up to 15-hours of battery life from a single charge.

We don't know if any official repercussions will come should you choose to go against Microsoft's warning, so proceed with caution if you ignore the official advice given. If you have yet to buy a Surface Pro 7+ then we would suggest opting for a larger storage model to avoid the need to expand down the line.

Via The Register

Jess is TechRadar's Computing writer, covering hardware, PC gaming and peripherals. She also likes to dabble in digital art and can often be found playing games of both the PC and Tabletop variety, occasionally streaming to the disappointment of everyone.

Sours: https://www.techradar.com/news/microsoft-surface-pro-7-has-swappable-ssds-but-microsoft-doesnt-want-you-to-upgrade

Hard surface drive 7 pro

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Add More Storage to your Surface Pro

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