The New Surface Pro X Debuts Microsoft’s SQ1 ARM-Based Processor

The New Surface Pro X Debuts Microsoft’s SQ1 ARM-Based Processor

If you’re already confused by Microsoft’s array of new and existing Surface devices, the announcement of the Surface Pro X isn’t going to help. At first glance, it looks like a Surface Pro with a slightly larger display and thicker keyboard. But under the hood, it is a very different beast, featuring a Qualcomm-powered, ARM-based, 3GHz Microsoft SQ1 processor and LTE connectivity. If you’re okay with running only Windows apps that have been ported to ARM64, it has a lot to offer.

Microsoft is really covering the ultra-light portable market waterfront with an array of new Surface models including these three variations.
Microsoft is really covering the ultra-light portable market waterfront with an array of new Surface models including these three variations.

Microsoft Surface Pro X Specs

Microsoft is particularly proud of its branded processor, the SQ1. They claim it is the first 3GHz ARM processor on a PC with 2 teraflops of graphics processing power, provided by an Adreno 685 GPU. I suspect it is, but until the unit is put through its paces we won’t really know how that translates into handling real workloads. Gigabit LTE support is provided by an integrated Snapdragon X24 modem, along with a nanoSIM slot and eSIM support.

The Pro X also sports a new pen and keyboard design. The $150 Surface Slim Pen is shaped so that it can fit, and charge, in a trough at the top of the new Alcantara-covered Surface Pro X Signature Keyboard, which has backlighting and a multi-touch glass trackpad. Microsoft claims up to 13 hours of battery life for the 1.7-pound (not including keyboard) device, with a fast-charge capability of up to 80 percent in an hour.

Price and Availability

Microsoft’s Surface Pro X is scheduled to be available beginning on November 5th with pricing starting at $1,000. For that, you get 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. Swapping to a 256GB SSD bumps the cost to $1,300 while going to 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD will set you back $1,800. That’s an impressive number for a computer that only runs Windows applications that have been ported to ARM64, so it’ll be interesting to see how well it works in practice. There is also a Surface Pro X for Business with additional management features; that model starts at $1,100.

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