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Microsoft Surface Pro 8 leak reveals major upgrades — but there's a catch

Microsoft Surface Pro X 2020
(Image credit: Microsoft)

We’re still waiting for official word on the Microsoft Surface Pro 8, but the leaks have slowly been coming out – and the the latest is both promising and downright disappointing.

WinFuture’s Roland Quandt reported that a dealer source has said the Surface Pro 8 will get Intel's latest laptop-grade processors and up to 32GB of RAM. But there's a catch in that people after mobile connectivity won't be able to get an LTE option on all its models; apparently, you’ll only able to get LTE if you also choose a model with Intel's Core i5 processor.

We already know that Microsoft is set to include the new Intel Tiger Lake processors in the Surface Pro 8, and past experience tells us there will be a number of different variants available. But much like it was with the Surface Pro 7, it seems consumers won’t be able to pick up a more powerful Core i7 machine without sacrificing LTE connectivity.

Quandt said that while an LTE Core i7 machine does exist, a retail version won't be available. Likewise a 5G variant won’t be coming at all, presumably because the 5G rollout is still ongoing, with many living and working outside its coverage.

Another disappointment is that LTE models are only set to come in a single color: Platinum Gray. That means you’re going to have to choose between looks and connectivity as well. Like the Surface Pro 7, there’s no mention of a Core i3 model either.

Still, there is some good news. Microsoft is set to offer a Core i7 variant with 32GB of RAM, which is the first time it’s offered that much memory on a Surface Pro. That machine it tipped to come with 1TB of storage, an option which will reportedly be available with 16GB of RAM as well. 

Other variants include 8GB RAM with 128GB or 256GB of storage, and 16GB of RAM with 256GB or 512GB storage, according to the leak. 

Unfortunately, we shouldn’t expect anything other than minor spec upgrades this time around. Despite speculation that the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 could feature a redesign, a leaked engineering prototype featured exactly the same chassis as the Surface Pro 7.

We’ve already heard rumors that the Surface Pro 8 will launch in the first half of 2021, which Quandt corroborated. He also said that it will launch alongside the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4, which will reportedly ditch Intel to include brand-new AMD chips.

With a lack of a redesign and LTE connectivity across the board, there's a chance the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 could find itself outside of a spot on our best tablets list. 

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.