Microsoft Surface Pro X And Pro 7 Hands-On Review – Microsoft has done a bunch of Surface Pros over the years. There was the Pro 3, the 4, the Core i5, and then the 6. Now this year, they’re doing two new Surface Pros. There’s the Surface Pro 7, which looks like the other Surface Pros I just mentioned. But then there’s this one. This is very different. This is the Surface Pro X.
So right off the bat, there’s a 13-inch display inside the same sort of 12-inch chassis necessarily that we’ve seen on the Surface Pro in recent years. You can see either side of this display. The bezels have been slimmed down. Even the top bezel’s slimmer. You’ve still got the Windows Hello camera up there, and all that sort of stuff.
And the bottom bezel, you don’t even really notice because the type cover pushes right up against it. So the display looks considerably better from what we see on the Surface Pro today. Display resolution itself is 2880 x 1920, and it’s still the same 3:2 aspect ratio that we’ve seen on pretty much every Surface device.
So there’s a lot more to talk about the hardware here. But the one thing you really need to know is that it has this little thing inside. Now this, this is a Surface SQ1 processor. It’s been co-engineered between Microsoft and Qualcomm, so that means that this device is an ARM-powered Surface Pro X.
Now we’ve seen a few of these over the years, and kind of, what it essentially is, is a smartphone chip inside your laptop. So you’re supposed to be getting the benefits of the smartphone world, in the PC world. Now what that means is thought all-day battery life and integrated LTE connectivity. So you can just use this device wherever you are, on the train, in a coffee shop, wherever.
And I’ve briefly tried the performance here, it feels like I’m using a regular laptop like it’s tough to tell the difference between a Surface Pro 7 and this. Just within a few minutes, I’ve been using it. Microsoft has also done some exciting stuff on the GPU side here with Qualcomm.
And so mainly the GPU that’s integrated into this chip is a 2.1 Teraflop GPU. Now in real-world terms, that’s mostly the equivalent power of an Xbox One console. Now that doesn’t mean that you’re gonna be running Xbox games on here. But what it does mean is it’s capable of doing sort of graphics, slightly intensive tasks shall we say.
But like current workloads, like if you want to load a game on here. That’s kind of some of the restrictions that are around Windows and ARM at the moment. It doesn’t support open GL games, for example. Some of your apps, like Dropbox that integrate into the folder structure of Windows, won’t work. And that’s kind of some of the limitations that exist with Windows on ARM.
So the other significant hardware change here is the Surface Pen. Now, this is a new Surface Slim Pen. Which is a lot slimmer and flatter than the Surface Pro Pens we’ve seen before. Now what this really means, in reality, is that it actually slots into the top of the keyboard where it will charge as well.
And when you actually undock it, the software will pop up and say, “Do you want to use the whiteboard?” “Do you want to take a screenshot?” All that sort of stuff. So that’s kind of new as well. You can also use the button where you double-tap and get your favorite apps. So kind of the same sort of pen experience, but in a very different form factor.
The other significant change here is that you’ll be able to remove the SSDs on this Surface Pro X. Now, how you do that is just hidden behind basically the kickstand here. There’s a plate that you’ll pop off with a SIM tool.
And then next to that is an M.2 SSD, where you can just literally pull out. How this is going to work in principal, is basically for commercial customers who want to swap out their SSDs, and businesses, that’s gonna be great for them. But also on the consumer side, if your device fails like the SSD goes wrong. You can just walk up to a Microsoft Store, and they’ll swap it out for you. So Microsoft hasn’t confirmed whether they’re selling these individually or not. But it seems like it could be a possibility in the future.
So for this Surface Pro X specs, you’re looking at 8 gigs of RAM and 128 gigabytes of storage. Which will then go all the way up to 5×12 gigabytes of storage and 16 gigs of RAM. And the Surface Pro X will start at $999 and go all the way up to $1,799.
So in terms of ports, you won’t find any USB-A here. There are actually 2 USB-C ports on the left-hand side of the device, right by the volume rocker. And there are no other ports aside from the Surface Connect. So Microsoft is actually keeping the Surface Connect charger port here. That the company has used on the majority of its Surface products. And they’ve actually moved the power button from the very top that you’d typically find on the Surface Pro, round to the right-hand side. There’s no headphone jack, so get your Bluetooth headphones ready.
So this isn’t the only Surface Pro today. Microsoft has also got the Surface Pro 7. Now, this looks pretty much like last year’s model. The real changes here are inside. So Microsoft is updating the Surface Pro 7 with Intel’s latest 10th-gen processors.
Now what that means is that you’ll be able to select from an I3, I5, or the Core I7 as well. And so pretty much the same sort of options we’ve seen on the Surface Pro before. Just obviously gonna be better battery life perhaps, better performance, all the kind of stuff that you’d expect from Intel’s latest chips.
And aside from that, the Surface cover is pretty much the same. There are some new colors, though. There’s this like red color, which looks a little bit more orange than red, I’d say. And then there’s this cobalt blue color, which is essentially a sort of the lighter blue color of the blue that we had last year.
And then the standard gray color has actually got a little bit darker, like slate gray almost, at least on the keyboard area. The significant hardware change here, though, is that Microsoft’s finally gone USB-C on the Surface Pro.
So while we’ve got 2 USB ports on the Surface Pro X. This particular Surface Pro 7 has a single USB port in place of where the mini-display port was last year. So you’ve still got the regular USB-A port as well. And Microsoft is again using the Surface Connector here as well. So you’ll be able to use all the sort of old accessories and docks, and all that sort of stuff you would have used previously. There’s also a headphone jack. So you’re getting that over the Surface Pro X.
So in terms of raw Surface Pro specs, you’re getting 4 gigs of RAM, which goes up to 16 gigabytes as well. You’ve also got the base level 128 gig of storage, which will go all the way up to 1 terabyte of storage.
So, not really that different from last year’s options. So in terms of pricing, it will start at $749. And that will go all the way up to $2,299. And that’s if you want the core i7 processor, 16 gigs of RAM, and the 1 terabyte of storage. So the very top. You’ll be able to order both the Surface Pro X and the Surface Pro 7 today.
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