Microsoft Surface Pro X review: Best battery life for the coolest Surface
Last year when Microsoft launched, the idea of a premium Arm-based PC was fanciful. There had been a handful of budget models from HP, Asus and others, but they generally didn’t impress. The Surface Pro X was a bold move to ditch the usual Intel (or AMD) chips and power a very bright, high-priced two-in-one with a more smartphone-like processor. In this case, it was the Microsoft SQ1, a , based on the latter’s Snapdragon chips.
It’s now a whole new landscape, thanks in large part to Apple’s plans to replace Intel chips in its Mac lineup with, similar to those of iPhones and iPads. Suddenly the Surface Pro X has an equally premium business. So while there isn’t much different in the new 2020 version of the Surface Pro X, other than an updated processor – naturally named SQ2 – it’s definitely closer to being the right product. at the right time.
- Better performance and battery life than last year’s model
- Always the best Surface product design
- Top-notch keyboard and clever pen storage
Do not like
- App compatibility remains an issue, especially disappointing given the high price tag.
- Keyboard and stylus are sold separately and cost too much
- The updates from the original version are very, very minor
Microsoft promises better performance and longer battery life from the new SQ2 version, and also offers an aluminum finish (the original was matte black). In my hands-on testing, there was a small performance improvement, although Windows-on-Arm’s limitations meant I couldn’t run all of the usual performance tests we normally do on other Windows devices. Battery life was also better, at 10 hours and 5 minutes, compared to just under 9 hours on the original Surface Pro X.
Since this is a nearly identical device, most of my impressions of the first-gen Surface Pro X apply here.. The bottom line is that not all software applications will work on an Arm-based Windows system, which means you need to check all the specific applications you need first.
On the plus side, almost everything we do is now browser-based, so everything from Gmail tocloud-based games like will work fine. Photoshop? Well, you’re still out of luck.
Here’s what I liked and what I didn’t like about the new 2020 version of the Surface Pro X.
It is by far the most beautiful Surface product. thefeels awkward compared to this slim design. the and are slim and attractive, but nothing special. the is a bulky and awkward. The Pro X, on the other hand, offers a large screen and a slim body.
The keyboard and stylus are great, but there’s a catch. Like all Surface tablets, the clip-on keyboard is best in class. And I love that the flat stylus both hides inside the keyboard cover and also charges in its docking station. But, like the Surface Pro and Surface Go, neither are included in the purchase price. And with the new SQ2 version of the Surface Pro X starting at $ 1,499 (£ 1,549, AU $ 2,449), it’s a tough pill to swallow. The Surface Pro X keyboard starts at $ 139 (£ 130, AU $ 220) and the stylus is $ 145 (£ 130, AU $ 235). There is currently aoffering the more sophisticated Surface Pro X Signature keyboard in a few new colors, plus the stylus, for $ 270, or $ 192 if you go basic black.
No 5G yet. Most new phones and many new laptops and tablets have 5G support, whether now or in the near future. Although it has a built-in nano-SIM slot, the new Surface Pro X doesn’t, but sticks with 4G LTE.
Surface Pro X 2019 vs 2020
|Area. Pro X (2019)||Surface Pro X (2020)|
|Geekbench 5 (higher scores are better)||
|3DMark Night Raid (higher scores are better)||
|Video streaming battery (hours: minutes)||