Arm Windows 10 laptops, tablets, and 2-in-1 hybrids have been around for a couple of years all powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors so far. Now Microsoft is launching Surface Pro X Windows 10 tablet powered by its own Microsoft SQ1 Arm processor.
It sells for $999 with 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, and a 13″ 2880 x 1920 x pixel touchscreen display in the default configuration, but you can also customize your order with up to 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD storage, optional keyboard and stylus for over $2,000.
Microsoft Surface Pro X specification:
- SoC – Microsoft SQ1 Arm processor @ 3.0 GHz with Adreno 685 GPU
- System Memory – 8GB or 16GB LPDDR4x RAM at 3733Mbps (option for 16GB)
- Storage – Removable 128, 256, or 512GB M.2 SSD
- Display – 13” PixelSense Display with 2880 x 1920 resolution (3:2 aspect ratio), 10 point multi-touch, 450 nits brightness
- Audio – Dual far-field Studio Mics; 2W stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
- 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p full HD video, Microsoft Hello support
- 10.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD and 4k video
- Wi-Fi 5 802.11ac compatible
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE Modem
- Up to Gigabit LTE Advanced Pro with nanoSIM and eSIM support.
- LTE Bands supported: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 66
- 1x nanoSIM slot
- GNSS – Assisted GPS and GLONASS support
- USB – 2x USB-C ports
- User input – 1 x Surface Connect port for optional keyboard, optional pressure-sensitive stylus
- Sensors – Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, Ambient light sensor
- Security – Firmware TPM; enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in
- Misc – Volume & power buttons
- Battery – Up to 13 hours of typical device usage
- Dimensions – 287 x 208 x 7.3 mm ( anodized aluminum with carbon composite fanless thermal cooling)
- Weight – 774 grams (tablet only)
Surface Pro X runs Windows 10 Home with a 30-day trial for Microsoft Office 365 30. The tablet ships with a power supply, a Quick Start Guide, as well as
Safety and warranty documents. If you’d like both the keyboard and stylus above it will cost you $269.99 extra.
Microsoft notes the tablet enables “ultimate mobility” for working and connecting without an office, browsing, sketching on-screen, and streaming Netflix.
Microsoft did not exactly design a new Arm processor from the ground up, and instead, collaborated with Qualcomm. Microsoft SQ1 looks like a custom version of the Snapdragon 8cx processor with eight Kryo 495 cores clocked up to 3.0 GHz, an Adreno 685 GPU with 2 TFLOPS of processing power, and an integrated Snapdragon X24 modem allowing for Gigabit LTE connectivity. There’s also a 9 TOPS AI accelerator in the chip.
All reviewers really like the hardware design, but also note the Arm processor hurts software compatibility, stability, and performance. That’s quite a big issue for a $1,000+ machine.
Microsoft programs all work fairly well, but third-party apps such as benchmarks or Photoshop CC may not run at all. While many graphics benchmarks failed, Engadget’s reviewer was able to run Overcooked game smoothly. So it’s hit-and-miss, and you may want to double-check if the programs you intend to run are compatible before purchasing the tablet.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.