- Slimmer design
- Keyboard and Slim Pen
- Pixel Sense display
- Dolby Audio sound
- Software compatibility
- Footprints on the back
- Few USB ports
- No WiFi 6 or 5G
Microsoft surface pro X is Microsoft’s new 2-in-1 convertible that bets on an ARM processor. Will it offer adequate performance to compete with fierce rivals like the iPad Pro or Lenovo Yoga? We discovered it in this analysis.
It’s lightweight, modern in design, and has plenty of power to tackle any task. A priori, the Microsoft Surface Pro X has everything you need to make an essential niche in the market.
However, not everything is flowers in this model, and its thorns are noticeable due to the incompatibility with a specific type of software that has been custom designed for other types of desktop processors.
In this analysis of the Microsoft Surface Pro X, we will discover if it is worth paying the 1,566 euros that the unit costs with 16 GB and 256 GB of internal storage that we have in our hands. The decision is not without nuances that we are going to check in this analysis of the Microsoft Surface Pro X.
Microsoft Surface Pro X Specs
- CPU: Microsoft SQ1.
- RAM: 8GB or 16GB.
- Display: 13 inches (2880 x 1920)
- Storage: 128GB, 256GB or 512GB.
- Ports: USB-C (2), 1 SurfaceConnect.
- Battery life: 13 hours (rated)
- 9Wireless: 802.11ac WiFi 5, LTE Advanced.
- Dimensions: 11.3in x 8.2in x 0.28 inches.
- Design: successful, but a magnet for prints
- Display: PixelSense again shines with its light on the Surface
- Performance: power you don’t expect in an ARM
- Software: a bit nosy with software
- Keyboard and Touchpad: designed to write for hours
- Connectivity: born for productivity and leisure on the move
- Battery: long hours of use, fast charge, and power bank compatible
- Conclusion: the software plays tricks on you, and the price doesn’t help
- New very successful design, but a magnet for fingerprints
At first glance, the design of the Microsoft Surface Pro X does not differ too much from previous models. In appearance, it maintains the same approximate dimensions and similar finishes to those found in models such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 7.
However, when we look at it more closely, it discovers that, in reality, its design is full of small nuances that have polished in this new version of Surface with which Microsoft is doing an exercise in innovation.
The Microsoft 2-in-1 convertible retains the Premium design that has associated with the Surface brand since its first model. This time it maintains its commitment to a metal rear that, in the case of the Surface Pro X, is only available in a matte black finish. Since, as we will see throughout the analysis, the Microsoft Surface Pro X is a convertible laptop highly oriented to work in mobility, Microsoft has decided to keep the approximate dimensions of the Surface family at 28.7 cm x 20.8 cm. As it is as graphic as possible, its size is approximately that of a DIN A4 sheet.
It maintains the lightness that previous models already displayed, stopping the scale at 774 grams, to which must add the weight of a keyboard and a Slim Pen that must become the inseparable companions of this computer. The complete set does not exceed a kilo of gravity and offers fantastic performance in mobility productivity tasks instead.
The design is slightly more than 1 mm thinner than the previous Surface, something that can only be appreciated if you have a Surface right next to it. This slimming treatment that the Surface Pro X has suffered is one of the consequences of the change of platform that it has undergone internally in its commitment to mobility.
What does draw attention is the redesign of its edges, which on the Microsoft Surface Pro X are smoother and more rounded, and the small cooling slot that other Surfaces wear along its silhouette disregarded?
On the back is kept the Microsoft logo with mirror effect and the camera with microphone for noise cancellation centered on the top. The choice of materials has been very successful since it offers a reliable and resistant appearance.
Not so much the finish of the back that, surprisingly, is a magnet for fingerprints and is not able to stay clean for even five minutes, which detracts from a modern and beautiful finish. It is forcing you to continually have the rag in your hand to keep it reasonably presentable.
It is curious that, with materials and a very similar matte black finish. The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 does not show that tendency to catch fingerprints.
Without leaving the rear, we stop at the rear cover that serves as a support leg to use it in “portable” mode. Microsoft has maintained the same hinge system that has given such good results in previous models.
Firstly, it may seem that the hinge is going to give or slip on the table. But nothing is from reality since it remains in position even when you are using the computer on your knees.
This hinge allows the leg to deployed to very steep angles that will enable the screen to placed slightly tilted on a table to obtain a more comfortable position when writing or designing. Even at these extreme angles, the hinge shows its firmness. Hidden under that leg, we find a cover that covers the slot for the nanoSIM card. It will be necessary to use a skewer like the ones used to eject the SIM tray on smartphones. When removed, we find that the SIM shares coverage with the central storage unit. This SSD storage has a compact size M.2 2230 format. It is small that it is barely bigger than an SD memory card.
Thanks to this good work of compacting the frames, the screen has grown in this model. Maintaining the 3: 2 formats, which, as we will see in the section corresponding to the screen. It is the most suitable format for this type of convertible. 2 in 1. If we look at the right edge of the Surface Pro X, we find the charging port Surface Connect, Microsoft’s proprietary port, which uses its usual magnetic system to hold it in place. So, if by accident, the cable, this detaches from the laptop without dragging it with itself causing an accident.
Just above is the power button, while on the opposite side is the volume control and the two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 functions. Since they also allow you to charge the device and offer a video output for external monitors.
It is true that we are dealing with a device designed for mobility, and that more and more accessories and peripherals use USB type C connections. But have included a USB type A for, as the Surface Pro 7 does. It would greatly facilitate compatibility with different types of accessories.
Despite these details, Surface Pro X show as a preview of what Microsoft has in store for the future. Showing much smoother and more elegant design lines. But keeping its origins in details that have worked since the launch of the first generation.
When you work in mobility, you are aware that you do not always have a table and chair to work. Any seat in an airport or bank in a public park can convert into a makeshift office.
It is on these occasions that the knees became an improvised table when the stability provided by a traditional rigid hinge laptop appreciated. Since this Surface Pro X (and all Surface in general) does not offer the same security before a surface. Unstable since the keyboard is not able to hold the screen vertically by itself. In all other usage scenarios, the Microsoft Surface Pro X has performed brilliantly.
PixelSense again shines with its light on the Surface We can say little about a screen that takes eight generations. If we count this Microsoft Surface Pro X as an advance of what the Surface should be in the future – demonstrating brilliant performance in all those devices in which Microsoft has integrated it. In this flavor of Surface, the PixelSense screen comes with a slightly larger size due to the narrowing of the front frames. We are talking about a 13-inch touch screen with a 3: 2 aspect ratio, a count of 2,880 x 1,920 pixels resulting in 267 dpi.
One of the hallmarks of Microsoft’s PixelSense screens is the excellent level of brightness and the calibration of the colors. In the Surface Pro X that we are analyzing, the PixelSense screen remains with a brightness level of 450 nits and an excellent representation of colors that we accustomed to at Microsoft.
As it is an IPS screen, the viewing angles keep the type, and it is not necessary to continually adjust the inclination of the screen. Something that appreciated since doing it is not as easy as in a conventional laptop.
The touch screen offers precise response. Although at first, it is somewhat strange to write on the screen with the Slim Pen; after a few minutes of adaptation, the answer is much more natural. Plus, oleophobic treatment does a great job of barely capturing finger marks.
In the section of multimedia content playback, the experience is not so immersive since. Being a squarer screen than the one provided by 16: 9. It draws black stripes at the bottom and top of the screen.
Microsoft surface pro power you don’t expect in an ARM
The Microsoft Surface Pro X represents a critical paradigm shift in terms of the processing platform since it changes the processors based on Intel architecture that have traditionally mounted the Surface for an ARM designed together with Qualcomm.
That is the Microsoft Surface SQ1 processor, designed based on the Qualcomm 8cx for this device and has eight 3.0 GHz cores with a consumption of only 7 watts.
In the storage section, we find a compact format M.2 SSD located under the same cover as the SIM card. These components may be responsible for the fluidity that the Surface Pro X boasts as the performance benchmarks assign it a read rate of more than 2,000 MB / s and 826 MB / write. A real cannon.
Our experience with the Microsoft Surface Pro X in terms of performance has been excellent. And we would even dare to compare it with the one we got with the Surface Laptop 2 that we analyzed a few months ago.
The Microsoft 2-in-1 convertible has moved with ease in all the uses we have given it. Becoming for a few weeks practically my main computer with which we have covered presentations, press conferences, and written analyzes like this one.
However, the biggest obstacle we have encountered when using the Microsoft Surface Pro X is the incompatibility of the hardware with specific software.
Windows 10 yes, but a bit ticklish with the software
The software is one of the most controversial aspects of this Microsoft Surface Pro X. Since being based on an ARM architecture on which an x86 system emulated. Many applications will not be compatible and will not work on this computer.
The computer comes with Windows 10 Pro installed from the factory. It offers the same user experience as on any other machine, moving when switching applications and launching new programs.
Microsoft has thought of this Surface Pro X as a productivity and mobility management tool, emphasizing its office applications. This is why it behaves particularly well in that regard. A keyboard designed to type for hours, It may sound like a truism, but Microsoft keyboards are especially good at typing for hours. Although it seems impossible, not all consoles built into notebooks or in the form of external keyboards seem to have designed for it.
In this sense, the experience of using the Microsoft Surface Pro X with its accessories has been very productive and easy to integrate into our workflow. This leads us to consider the Surface Pro X as the perfect companion for students.
Focusing on the keyboard itself, it sports the Alcantara coated finish, which we saw on previous Surface and Microsoft laptops.
The Touchpad is compact, but enough to move around the interface with ease. Although the feeling of pressing the buttons is somewhat rough and loud. As it could not be otherwise, this Touchpad has the gestural functions that allow Windows Precision Touchpad. A convertible born for productivity and leisure on the move Convertible and mobility are words that often go hand in hand. Still, in this version of the Surface Pro, Microsoft has placed particular emphasis on the second. The processor that integrates this model has designed for it. Microsoft has made it active and passive that mobility is one of the strengths of this laptop. To reinforce these arguments, Redmond’s have integrated Gigabit LTE functions. Thanks to the Snapdragon X24 modem integrated into their Microsoft SQ1 processor.
In the multimedia section, the Microsoft Surface Pro X has a 5-megapixel front camera. That allows recording video in Full HD and is supported by an infrared front camera that enables Windows Hello facial recognition. On the back, we find a 10-megapixel camera with autofocus and support for 4K video. The camera section in this type of device is not as photography-oriented as is the case with smartphones. Being more oriented to recording videos or obtaining excellent image quality in video calls.
Long hours of use, fast charging and from the power bank
The autonomy of use is one of the arguments that has led Microsoft to bet on the ARM architecture. Since, theoretically, it is a more efficient platform.
In our tests, we have noticed a specific improvement in that autonomy that places the Surface Pro X. That we are testing among the 2-in-1 convertibles with the most extended battery life. However, it is far from the 13 hours that Microsoft promised and light-years from what Qualcomm announced that they would have this type of device Always connected.
The 39 Wh battery (about 4,688 mAh according to the sensor readings), has given for just over 8 hours of intensive use combining applications with x86 emulation (Office, Google Chrome, etc.). And others from the App Store from Microsoft like Slack, Netflix, etc.
By making everyday use and leaving the screen brightness at 50%. We have stretched the battery to just over 9 hours of average use. If you are willing to do an energy-saving exercise. It would not be difficult to get to something more after 10 hours of use by deactivating particular functions.