Microsoft has announced the Surface Pro X, a new ARM-based Surface laptop.
The Surface Pro X is the first ARM-based Surface from Microsoft since the Surface 2 launched back in 2013. It’s a very different sort of device, however, as indicated by the branding. Microsoft views this as a full-fledged Surface Pro-class machine, not a cheaper entry-level model like the original Surface RT and Surface 2 were.
The screen has been expanded from a 12-inch panel on the old Surface Pro to a 13-inch display, which the company says offers the thinnest bezels on any 2-in-1 laptop. Most importantly of all, the processor is no longer an Intel Core chip. Now, it’s a custom variant of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx processor that Microsoft co-developed with the chipmaker called the Surface SQ1.
From the outside, the Surface Pro X looks a lot like a regular Surface Pro, with a similar form factor and chassis — although Microsoft has added new, rounded edges for the corners, instead of the more angular Surface design. Microsoft has also added a new dock for a new Surface Slim stylus on Surface Pro X, which puts it right on the top of the keyboard in a “pencil pouch” that can hide behind the type cover through some clever magnets.
The Surface Pro X itself weighs just 1.68 pounds, and at 7.3mm thin, it’s the thinnest Surface laptop yet. It also features USB-C, fast charging, and integrated LTE support.
The biggest question remains whether the SQ1 will be able to offer comparable power to a traditional x86 processor, though. Microsoft is making a big deal of the power it’s managed to get out of the SQ1 (and the GPU, which it also worked on together with Qualcomm). The SQ1 is a 7 watt processor (compared to the 2 watt output that Microsoft says most ARM processors offer), and the company says that it’s stretching that power as far as it can, getting “three times more performance per watt than the Surface Pro 6.”
The Surface Pro X will be available on November 5th for $999, with preorders starting today.
Microsoft Surface Pro X /
Available Nov. 5th starting at $999
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Correction, October 10th at 9:10PM ET: Microsoft tells us the Surface Pro X is only 5.33mm at its thinnest point, underneath the hinge. It’s actually 7.3mm thick.