The latest Microsoft Surface Pro 8 leak suggests that not only with there be an entry-level Intel Core i3 model after all, but that it will get a major memory upgrade.
According to a report by German tech site WinFuture (opens in new tab), there will be a single Core i3 Surface Pro 8 configuration with 8GB of RAM, twice that of the Core i3 Surface Pro 7. That’s good news on two counts for anyone hoping for a cheaper but still decently powerful Surface Pro 8, as previously leaks had only mentioned Core i5 and Core i7 models, so a Core i3 version has been up in the air until now.
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It’s worth noting that WinFuture’s sources for this leak are apparently dealer listings for retailers based in Europe, so specs could vary across regions, but this is still an encouraging sign. Base Surface Pro models have always had just 4GB of memory, which isn’t all that much if you want to use your Surface Pro as a full-time laptop replacement.
The leak also reaffirms previous rumors that higher-end Surface Pro 8 models will stretch up to 32GB of memory for the first time, so there’s good news here for power users as well as those on a budget. The exact type of Intel chips, including the Core i3, aren’t specified, though they’re extremely likely to be Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake processors.
On the downside, WinFuture’s specs list also backs up a previous report that LTE connectivity would be limited to the Core i5 models. That would remain a weird choice on Microsoft’s part if true, as LTE would be especially useful to professional users who would also benefit from the extra horsepower of a Core i7 system.
Still, it’s good to see that Microsoft could be making key upgrades to the Surface Pro series even on the entry-level model. The Surface Pro 7 was fine but its conservative approach to upgrades denied it a spot amongst the very best laptops, so hopefully the Surface Pro 8 will be a bit bolder.
As for the Surface Pro 8’s release date, that’s still something of a mystery. New Surface Pros normally launch in October and since the Surface Pro 7 landed in October 2019, we’re overdue. Microsoft may have wanted to get the Surface Duo out the door before focusing on the Surface Pro 8, so now that the dual-screen phone has released, the wait hopefully won’t be much longer.