This holiday season if a Surface is on your list, then you might be wondering which one is right. From the Surface Pro to the Surface Laptop lineup, or even the Surface Book, all are not created equal. Each Surface has a purpose, and we're here to help you pick the one that is right for both gaming and for students.
At the top of our list is the Surface Pro 8. This is the newest Surface that is perfect for students. We say that because it is compact and portable. You even can use it as a tablet by detaching the keyboard when you don't need it. Pricing starts at $1,100, but students are eligible for a discount ranging from $110 to $220 on select models. Of course, you'll need to factor the Type Cover keyboard into the price, too, which is as much as $270.
The Surface Pro 8 is also good for students because it has additional features not found in older Surface devices. That includes a new slim-bezel display, which is more immersive, as well as Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, so you can experience faster data transfer speeds with solid-state drives or use an external GPU for gaming. The display makes this an excellent device to watch movies on Netflix, and Thunderbolt 4 makes it a great option to save files on external storage. Not to forget the new haptic feedback with the Surface Slim Pen 2, which will make taking notes feel more realistic and more like a pen-to-paper feel.
The Surface Pro 8 is the latest and greatest Surface, but if you're a student on the budget, the Surface Pro 7 is still a good option. This Surface is now on sale, and you can find it for under $900 in most cases, saving you enough money for the Type Cover and Surface Pen. Sure, the screen might not be as immersive, and there might not be any haptic feedback, but the Pro 7 does everything else the Pro 8 does, too. And its 10th Gen CPUs are still great for day-to-day things like web browsing.
Students who are into engineering, architecture, or design might be using programs that are intense on the CPU and GPU. For these students, and even for gamers, we suggest Microsoft's Surface Laptop Studio. Pricing starts at $1,600, and the model with the RTX graphics is $2,100.
That might seem like a lot of money to spend, but we recently reviewed this device and really enjoyed it. The Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti onboard is quite powerful for games like Microsoft Flight Simulator and it should not be a problem for engineering programs, either. Intel's latest 11th gen CPUs are also on board, making this a modern machine. Not to forget the multiple modes of use, including Stage Mode, Laptop Mode, and Studio Mode. You can get a lot of joy out of this device.
We end our piece by touching on an "older" Surface device, the Surface Book 3. This Surface has now been discontinued by Microsoft, but it's just as powerful as the Laptop Studio, and also cheaper. Pricing starts at $1,500, and you can find it cheaper at other retailers. The 15-inch model is the one that's more enticing, as it has the dedicated GPU inside.
Sure, these are "last-gen" Nvidia graphics and Intel CPUs, but don't let that fool you. Folks are still enjoying the latest games and using other programs on the Surface Book 3. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is still powerful, and so is the base option for the Nvidia GTX 1650. You can get by using these, as they have 4GB and 6GB of VRAM.
Let us know what you buy!
That's all we have for now, but we're planning additional buying guides heading into the future. If you end up buying a new Surface, let us know by dropping us a comment below! And, be sure to follow us on Twitter for all the latest news, and occasional giveaways! Happy holidays, readers!