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Why I returned the new Surface Pro 8 for a refund


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I did not intend to play then return it, but it was great just without the ports and SD card I take for granted on my current two Pro and two 10" Go2 Surface devices. Maybe the Surface Pro 9. But for others this is a great machine. I just have as good or better already.

This will only be interesting to folks who own Surface Pro systems, or are contemplating buying the new Pro 8 which is an awesome device but not enough to make me sell the ones I have for it.

Microsoft is getting a bit too much like Apple with storage than I would like. I do not like Apple’s approach to forcing customers to pay a lot up front for storage in iPhones and iPads instead of having micros SD card slots like Android phones and Surface tablets. Or removable drives like almost all desktops and all in ones. (yes I have taken my All In One desktops and laptops apart and upgraded to  SSDs from their HDDs)

So I was especially pleased to see a removable/upgradable SSD in the new Surface Pro 7+ and got one. I tried to order a larger drive from Microsoft but they won’t sell them to personal users just business customers. So when I saw a great price on the brand new Surface Pro 8 with the type cover and pen storage/charging and pen with the i7/16GB/and 256GB I bought it.

Why? Because I thought perhaps, they would sell 1TB drives for it. Then I could order two, one for my Pro 7+. Nope

So I tried to do the aftermarket fix and bought a WD drive but the ISO drive images for the 7+ are a mess from Microsoft. It overheated without the proper thin metal case that the original drives come in. If you want to see what a mess that is see this article with pics and be sure to scroll down to the ones showing disassembly of the old drive and cleaning the old case: https://www.windowscentral.com/surface-pro-8-ssd?utm_source=pocket_mylist

I need to buy an assembled SSD, and then the dock for it, then clone or image it from the still installed SSD! Simple. I have two USB 3.0 Thermaltake BlacX drive docks for the old 3.5" internal hard drives and also the 2.5" HDDs and SSDs.That allows me to swap the newly cloned one and make sure it works, then store the old one in case it fails, which I have done for years. And I don’t have the hassle of reloading all my programs data and software and custom settings. And yes they make drive docks for the new form factor in drives. Here is a cheap one that gets some bad reviews but should work fine for the occasional image or clone: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084ZKLQR8/?coliid=IHSUKX4L8W37R&colid=SOHE329449EF&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it  

My disappointment with Microsoft’s “Half Vast” approach and misleading info about their new “removable/upgradable” (NOT!) SSDs in the Surface Pro lines has me angry with them. I loved the Pro 8 form (although noticeably heavier)and the excellent quality build/display/type cover with pen storage and fast charging with 13 hour battery life. One big reason I disliked it was the cost to order with a 1TB SSD was is not necessary, had they at least had one USB A with the USB C. I currently have a Surface Pro 7, two Surface Go 2 M3 LTE, and a Surface Pro 7+ (plus) LTE. I have owned the first Surface RT, the Surface Pro 2, the Pro 3, and Pro 4 previously and have two Surface Pro Pens.

All my previous and current Surface devices had/have the USB A so I could use tiny USB A Flash drives for extra storage I could leave in with the Fit and similar flash drives. as well as Micro SD card storage expansion.

For anyone considering a new Surface device, for whatever use, bear in mind no manufacturer makes a tiny USB flash drive in a USB C small enough to leave in all the time. I use several adapter and adapter cables with USB C male to female USB A and plug my old Flash drives into them. The USB C size is too small to fit the storage inside them like the SanDisk Fit drives. I have two of these, one in each Surface Pro 7 and Pro 7+. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083ZS4HYD/?coliid=I3Q43NJVVJBGDY&colid=SOHE329449EF&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it&th=1

If you want a Surface Pro without the limitations of the Pro 8, they are still selling new Pro 7+ and plenty of great deals on used cherry Surface Pro 7 systems on FB Marketplace and eBay. For local friends I’ll be selling either my Surface Pro 7+ or the loaded Pro 7 soon once I decide which I want to keep. Then before I sell one I will do the conversion to Windows 11 on it and see if I lose my Microsoft Office or not. I can revert it to Windows 11 within ten days. I don’t want to lose my MS Office and not be able to activate it. I doubt they will let me do any more telephone activations on my Office 2016 that has been on three computers thus far. So I won’t risk the one I am keeping until I know.

Now for many an i5/8GB/128GB system like my Surface Pro 7+ would be fine. My Pro 7 was new in 2019, and my Pro 7+ was new in 2021 and is still under warranty. So without the advantage of having a USB A port and micro SD port the 8 offered no real improvement for me and is heavier with less!

Don’t be fooled by the reviews saying the new Surface devices are the first upgradable SSD Surface devices. The Pro 8 without the USB A and just two USB C and no micro SD card slot storage can’t be upgraded. Microsoft is not selling the SSDs that fit them and aftermarket SSDs do not work. I tried one.

My Surface Pro 7 and 7+ both have USB A and USB C ports. I use the USB A port with a 256GB Sandisk fit USB Flash drive in both the 7 and 7+ that is so small it stays inserted all the time for storage with the OS and programs in the main internal SSD. Whichever I keep will get the 512GB Sandisk Fit. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083ZS4HYD/?coliid=I3Q43NJVVJBGDY&colid=SOHE329449EF&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it&th=1

My Surface 7+ has LTE and no SD card slot. So if I keep the Pro 7 I will be upgrading its 256GB micro SD to a high-speed 1TB micro SD card. If you order the Surface Pro with a 1TB drive it costs like $800 more and 1TB SD card is only ~ $170.00 for the fastest. Five stars for this one. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P9W5HJV/?coliid=I2PDSWAOQ7ILAA&colid=SOHE329449EF&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Advantages of the Surface 7 Pro +:

Compared to the Pro 7 with its 10th Gen Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 CPUs, the Pro 7 Plus with 11th Gen chips should be considerably faster. Intel itself claims up to a 30% increase in processing power and an 80% increase in graphics power thanks to integrated Intel Iris Xe. Do note that the Core i3 models are still using Intel UHD graphics; if you'd like the extra graphics performance, you'll have to stick with 11th Gen Core i5 or Core i7 models. Up to 32GB of LPDDR4x is now configurable, up from 16GB in the Pro 7.

On top of a nice performance bump, the efficiency of the newer CPUs should extend battery life. Whereas Microsoft claims about 10.5 hours of life from the Pro 7 (realistically about eight hours as tested in our Surface Pro 7 review), the Pro 7 Plus is pegged at about 15 hours for Wi-Fi models. That number will differ, but it's still a large boost from the previous generation.

More comparing the Pro 7 and the Pro 7 plus Here:


I love my Surface devices, maybe the Surface Pro 9 will be my next one. Mine will be good until then. The 11th gen i5 is about as fast as the 10th Gen i7 in practice. But the 8GB RAM versus my i7 16GB RAM is what has me swapping nightly to decide. Here is a pic of mine with the 256GB Fit in it soon to be 512 on the one I keep:


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