Choosing which 2017 Surface Pro to buy can get confusing quickly. Use this guide to help you decide which of Microsoft’s new laptops is the right device for you.
You need a guide like this because choosing the right 2017 Surface Pro for your needs is very important. Differences in RAM make it easier to multitask with some Surface Pro devices than others. Every Surface Pro user can draw with the Surface Pen, but detailed sketches require a lot of storage space, and some Surface Pros don’t have much of that.
Which 2017 Surface Pro you buy even determines how great of a tablet experience you can expect. The Intel Core m3 and Intel Core i5 models have heat pipes instead of fans. Because of this, you don’t hear any fan noise as you’re reading a book, watching a video or listening to music. The Intel Core i7 model’s fan can get loud if the device is working very hard.
Here’s everything thing that you need to know so that you can decide which 2017 Surface Pro is right for you.
2017 Surface Pro with Intel Core m3 Processor
At $799, the 2017 Surface Pro with Intel Core m3 processor is the cheapest current-generation Surface Pro that you can buy. It’s also the only new Surface Pro that you can’t configure through the Microsoft Store.
All new Surface Pro devices with Intel Core m3 processor have 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. This makes them only good at basic multitasking, like having multiple tabs in your browser window open or working with a hand full of apps and programs at the same time. If you have a large music or photo collection, expect the 128GB of storage inside this Surface Pro to go quickly. You will need to add a MicroSD card or move some of your files to OneDrive or Dropbox.
The Intel Core m3 processor inside this model has a standard clock speed of 1 GHz, but it can boost that to 2.6 GHz if you need more processing power suddenly. Because of this processor and its Intel HD 615 graphics, this 2017 Surface Pro doesn’t handle games and media creation very well. Don’t buy it if you’re looking to edit video or play games.
However, this processor is good enough to handle basic life tasks, like working in Microsoft Word, browsing the internet and watching videos. It does these things and loads Windows without any lag at all. There’s no fan inside this 2017 Surface Pro, so you will never struggle to hear music or videos over its exhaust. That makes it great for reading.
2017 Surface Pro with Intel Core i5 Processor
The 2017 Surface Pro with Intel Core i5 processor is more configurable than the cheapest model.
Each comes with Intel HD Graphics 620 and an Intel Core i5 processor. Under light loads, this processor has a clock speed of 2.6 GHz, but it automatically boosts to 3.5 GHz when something you’re doing requires more horsepower. Expect programs to load faster on this model than the Core m3 model. Editing photos and rendering video should go a lot faster on this machine too.
If you do decide to use this 2017 Surface Pro to edit videos or play games, expect it to get hot. Like the Core m3 model, the Intel Core i5 Surface Pro doesn’t have a fan inside. Because of this, it’s the perfect balance between the performance of more expensive models and the ultra-quiet tablet experience you get with cheaper models.
Storage and RAM Options
There are two 2017 Surface Pro devices with Intel Core i5 processors for you to choose from. Spending $999 gets you 128GB of storage and 4 GB of RAM. And $1,299 gets you 256GB of storage with 8 GB of RAM. Go with the more expensive model if you plan to multitask a lot, edit photos and video or store a huge music collection.
2017 Surface Pro with Intel Core i7 Processor
For the best performance possible, you want the 2017 Surface Pro with Intel Core i7 processor. Its internals are better than all the other models in every way.
This model uses an Intel Core i7 processor. Under light load, it stays at 2.5 GHz, but it can boost to 4 GHz when Windows 10 needs it to. This is the only 2017 Surface Pro model that includes a cooling fan inside.
It’s the only model that uses Intel Iris graphics too. With Intel Iris Plus 640 at work in this device, expect the latest PC games to run with modest settings and 1080P resolution just fine. It will render any videos that you create quickly. It’s also the best 2017 Surface Pro to use with the new Mixed Reality VR headsets coming with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update on October 17th.
Storage and RAM Options
There are three versions of this Surface Pro to choose from. Each offers more computing and graphics power the more you spend.
The least expensive model costs $1,599 for 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. For more storage and RAM, get the model with 512GB of storage and 16GB of storage. It costs $2,199. The most expensive and powerful Surface Pro you can buy is the model with 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM. It costs $2,699.
Making Your Decision
To decide which 2017 Surface Pro you should buy, focus on what you plan to do with it. Then, buy the device that works best for that.
If you have the most basic needs, like checking email, watching videos and working in Microsoft Office, the Intel Core m3 model is the best fit for you. An Intel Core i7 model is the only option for serious gamers. And the 2017 Surface Pro with Core i5 processor is a great middle ground between the complete silence and low price of the Core m3 model and the power of the Core i7 Surface Pro.
Keep in mind that each 2017 Surface Pro has the same features on a basic level. They each last for around 14 hours of video playback. They all have the same full-size USB port, headset jack, Type Cover port and Windows 10 Pro. You can pair them all with the Surface Dial, Surface Pen or Surface Dock. And their weight differences are so small, that you’ll never notice any of them in your bag.