Microsoft Surface Lineup has come a long way. We have seen that the screen in Surface Pro gets bigger between generations, small improvements in Surface Pen, as well as different versions of Type Cover. However, one thing has remained the same: thick side bezels and the presence of older USB-A ports.
Well, at today's media event in New York City, Microsoft withdrew the new Surface tablet: the Surface Pro X I could spend quality time with it, and after an hour, I was very impressed, finding that it is one of the most beautiful tablets in history.
It doesn't take much to say what it was. The first thing I noticed on the Surface Pro X – bezels. Gone are the thick ugly black bars around the device, and instead there is an edge-to-edge glass panel. Of course, it is not a totally bezel-free device, so there is only a little black on the side and on the top. Don't hate me for saying it, but it's almost like the experience you get with Apple's latest iPad Pro.
The best way to describe how excellent these thin bezels make the Surface Pro X sit is with the default wallpaper: It seems that the sand runs endlessly from side to side of the screen. I also noticed how immersive the Surface Pro X can be when I stacked web browsing sessions side by side. The web pages were never more complete, and that is thanks to the 3: 2 aspect ratio and the 2,880 x 1,920 resolution panel (267 PPI) that we have always loved. And, despite the bright lights on the floor of the showroom, the screen still shone with all its beauty.
But that's not all. With approximately 0.28 inches thick and only 1.4 pounds, it is one of the thinnest Surface devices, surpassing the Surface Pro 7. 1.3 inches. I realized this when I held it in my hands, it is much more rounded and feels lighter than my Surface Pro: almost at the same level as an iPad Pro.
However, despite all those changes, Microsoft still It manages to keep the support and robustness of the device intact. It still comes out at the angles we've seen with Surface Pro. And, the robustness and aluminum materials make inking the device much easier, despite the pressure it exerts on the screen.
For years, Microsoft has hesitated to adopt USB-C. It only reached Surface Book 2, Surface Go and Surface Studio 2. However, Surface Pro X finally includes not one, but two USB-C ports. There is also the old Surface Connect port, to charge if necessary.
Interestingly, the power buttons and volume controls on the Surface Pro X have also moved along the sides near these ports, away from the top. Either way, Microsoft really played USB-C this year. It is included in both Surface Pro X, Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro 7. It's great to see the company join the times.
Without Intel Inside
For the first time, Microsoft is using its own custom SoC on a Surface device. Nicknamed the Microsoft SQ1, Panos Panay said that this new SoC for Surface Pro X is based on "Snapdragon DNA." This means that it is likely to be an evolution of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx, although we are only speculating.
Anyway, knowing the emulation problems of applications that many have had with the always connected first generation PCs that use ARM chips designed for smartphones I was curious to see how it would resist the SQ1. I opened several applications and moved through the settings in Surface Pro X, and the tablet handled it like a pro. The Start menu and the Microsoft Edge Chromium browser were very responsive during my time with the device.
Microsoft also states that the SQ1 chip has three times more performance per watt than the Intel 8th gen of Surface Pro 6 chip does. The 3GHz processor on this SQ1 chip offers 2 Teraflops of graphics processing power, and the integrated Snapdragon X24 modem will provide Gigabit LTE speeds. Unfortunately, there were no third-party applications on this device to test those numbers. However, for now, it seems good enough for web browsing and many other tasks.
A new case with a hidden Surface Slim Pen
Finally, there is the new case and what Microsoft calls Surface Slim Pen. This time, instead of having the Surface Pen magnetically connected to the device itself, Microsoft includes a special place for it on the Type Cover keyboard. While the Type Cover keyboard is folded and the Surface Pen is in place on the keyboard, the pen will reload automatically.
Physically speaking, this Surface Slim Pen is now quite different. Instead of being round, it is flatter, but still retains a rubber cover for an eraser. The tip is also a large part, and it seems that it is no longer removable.
Still, it is very sensitive. I ran it across the screen and dragged precisely and picked up all my subtle hand movements, and there is even tilt support. Microsoft did not go into the details of the pencil, we only know that it is rechargeable.
Of course, there is also the Type Cover keyboard. I have been using Surface Pro as my main device for a while and I must say that the writing experience with Type Cover in Pro X is somewhat similar. The trackpad is also quite soft, although it could have been a little bigger.
A Surface that I will definitely buy
At the end of the day, there are many questions to answer with Surface Pro X. It's a beautiful device that I really want to buy for its thin bezels and its new Surface Pen. The performance also seems to be good, since Microsoft claims it can be powerful as Surface Pro 6.
However, I'm still not sure about the overall day-to-day performance without testing it in my daily workflow. Windows 10 on ARM also has some problems, including the inability to install 64-bit applications that have not been ported to ARM64. However, I really love the hardware design in Surface Pro X, and I feel that this could be the first PC that is always connected and worth buying. The Surface Pro X will start at $ 999 and will be available on November 5, and you can preorder it now in the Microsoft Store.
More information: #MicrosoftEvent, PC always connected, Microsoft, Surface, Surface Pro X, Windows 10 in ARM