Microsoft’s Surface Pro X seems to be a very divisive device. Being the only current generation Surface product powered by an Arm-based processor, it thrusts its users directly into the world of WoA: Windows on Arm – and all of the caveats that exist there. It is not too often we see Microsoft do a mid-cycle refresh, but the Surface Pro X gets to be the exception here as well. Today Microsoft is announcing some new updates to the Surface Pro X to make it faster, and flashier.

Microsoft Surface Pro X
Component Pro X
CPU Micorosft SQ1
Microsoft SQ2
Memory 8 / 16 GB LPDDR4x
Display 13-inch PixelSense
2800 x 1920 (267 PPI)
3:2 aspect, 10-point multitouch
Storage 128 / 256 / 512 GB removable SSD
Wireless Wi-Fi 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE
Bluetooth 5.0
I/O 2 x USB Type-C Gen 2
Surface Connect
nano SIM
Webcam 5.0 MP front camera 1080p video
10 MP rear camera autofocus 4K Video
Battery Up to 15 hours
60 Watt Adapter
Dimensions 287 x 208 x 7.3 mm
11.3 x 8.2 x 0.28 inches
Weight 774 grams / 1.7 lbs (no keyboard)
Starting Price (USD) $999
$1499 for new SQ2 Processor
Availability Today

The big change is that Microsoft is going to be offering their new Microsoft SQ2 processor as an optional upgrade over the SQ1 found in the Surface Pro X. We’ve reached out to the company to get clarification on the changes, but have only been told so far that the new processor is an enhanced version of the Qualcomm-built SQ1, offering more CPU and GPU performance. At this point our best guess is that the SQ2 is a version of Qualcomm's 8CX Gen 2 SoC, similar to how the SQ1 was based on the original 8CX.

Under the hood of the SQ2, the GPU upgrade comes courtesy of the Adreno 690, compared to the Adreno 685 in the SQ1. We have not been told frequencies yet but the SQ1 was 3 GHz peak, so expect a number higher than that. More performance is always welcome, so we hope we can review this model to see how it fares.

The performance increases also go hand-in-hand with the news yesterday that x64 emulation coming to the Windows Insider Program in November, which likely means a rollout to full Windows 10 on Arm sometime next year. This, coupled with more programs being natively compiled for Arm, such as Teams, should help get the Surface Pro X over the hump for more people. If more of the apps you use are natively compiled, the emulation performance and battery impact will be less noticeable, so that is always going to be the goal, but Microsoft has never been able to get every developer to get on-board with major changes like this, so the x64 emulation is a big step in making the Surface Pro X more usable for more people.

Other than the new, optional CPU, the other big change is that Surface Pro X will now be available in Platinum, rather than just the matte black that it was before.

As this is just a refresh, not much else is changing. Surface Pro X still comes with LTE availability with the Qualcomm X24 LTE modem, a 13-inch PixelSense display with a 2880x1920 resolution for 267 pixels-per-inch, 8 or 16 GB of LPDDR4x RAM, and 128 / 256 / 512 GB SSD drives which are removable.

The Surface Pro X starts at $999.99 USD, with the new SQ2 powered update starting at $1499.99.


Microsoft is also announcing new accessories today, including new keyboard colors for the Surface Pro X, with Platinum, Ice Blue, and Poppy Red. There are also new Designer Compact Keyboards with Bluetooth, offering two years of battery life, and three-device support, as well as matching number pads.

Microsoft is offering a wide-range of colors on the Microsoft Modern Mobile Mouse (Quad M? Impressive) with a new sandstone color joining the mix.

If you prefer something with a bit more shape, Microsoft also is announcing the Bluetooth Ergonomic Mouse, priced at $49.99.

Finally, there is a new 4K Display Adapter from Microsoft, priced at $69.99.

Source: Microsoft

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  • s.yu - Friday, October 2, 2020 - link

    I can't remember a piece of MS hardware that's not overpriced. It's MS that's the problem here.
  • p1esk - Thursday, October 1, 2020 - link

    This competes with iPad Pro 12.9, and at the same starting price ($999) it is significantly thicker (5.9mm > 7.3mm) and heavier (641g > 773g). I wonder how the battery life and processor speed compare between the two.
  • digiguy - Friday, October 2, 2020 - link

    not really, this should be compared to the 12.9 cellular, since it has LTE, which is more expensive. Also the keyboard is 1/3 of the price of the magic keyboard. I will not mention the difference between Windows (on Arm) and Ipados, because this will spark the usual fanboy claims from both sides (much more powerful ipad, thus much better buy, and better tablet OS, yes but you cannot do many basic desktop things with it, stuck with mobile apps, windows much better for work, etc.)
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 2, 2020 - link

    Bang on the money, there. Despite the increasing similarities, in the end they're still different tools for different tasks.
  • p1esk - Friday, October 2, 2020 - link

    I actually prefer Windows, but I'm not sure what's the state of Windows on Arm. I don't want to deal with standard Windows applications not being supported.
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, October 3, 2020 - link

    So obviously it runs anything that's natively compiled for ARM runs at full speed. It also runs x86-32 software via partial emulation (the OS and underlying MS APIs are native). Coming soon, x86-64 emulation. So they'll be in good shape as far as compatibility goes. You do lose some performance for non-native software, but for most software it's good enough, and far better than "doesn't work".

    Also, as the ARM version of the OS gains traction, more developers will compile for ARM.
  • Speedfriend - Friday, October 2, 2020 - link

    This also has a built in stand which is incredibly useful. Based on my experiences witht he smaller iPad, I don't trust any of the hype around iPads performance or battery life. My daughter plays minecraft on my iPAd Pro and it is jittery, gets incredibly hot and the battery lasts around 3 hours.
  • wenart - Saturday, October 3, 2020 - link

    The SKU that comes with the SQ2 SoC has 16gb RAM and 256gb SSD, which is the same price for the SQ1 version with the same amount of RAm and storage, it's just like an upgrade but only for the higher tier Surface Pro.
  • zamroni - Thursday, October 1, 2020 - link

    $1499 is ridiculous price.
    It will be only reviewers who will buy this tablet.
  • igor velky - Thursday, October 1, 2020 - link

    Yeah this small, but welcome performance difference is absolutely not worth 1,5X more.

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