The Surface Pro X is Microsoft’s way of supporting its Windows on ARM work. It has a fanless design and is thinner than the Intel-powered Surface because it uses modified Qualcomm processors. In many ways, it’s ahead of the curve.
Microsoft spent a lot of time rethinking what the new Surface device would be like. The bezels around the screen on the Surface Pro X are narrower than on the Surface Pro 7, and it’s the first Surface with a pen garage built into the keyboard. Because it was so thin, the team couldn’t keep the standard Surface features, like magnetically attaching the pen to the side.
The keyboard connector was changed, and USB Type-A was no longer used, among other things. When it first came out, many people thought that this was what the Surface Pro 8 would be, except that it is thin and doesn’t have a fan.
Surface Pro X 2: Pricing and Release Date
To be clear, Microsoft hasn’t made any announcements about this device, and there aren’t any credible rumors about it. We don’t even know if it’ll be called the Surface Pro X 2; it’s simply a guess. Microsoft switched back to numerical names with the Surface Pro 6 when it unveiled the fifth-generation Surface Pro, claiming it was easier for customers. Surface Pro X 2 is the most likely option until Microsoft completely alters the branding on the Surface Pro X.
The bespoke Microsoft SQ1 and SQ2 processors are customized versions of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx, which hasn’t been updated significantly in quite some time. Given how closely Microsoft and Qualcomm collaborate on this, an SQ3 based on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is a distinct possibility.
Given this, the Surface Pro X 2 could be released in the fall of 2022, which coincides with Microsoft’s significant hardware launches, notably in October. Since the Intel-powered Surface Pro 8 was only built to appear like it, it’s unlikely to get a substantial redesign. In any case, Microsoft tends to keep with these designs for a long time.
However, I anticipate price reductions. When released initially, the Surface Pro X started at $999.99, but it is now available for $150 less. You received an SQ1 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD. You may upgrade to the same configuration but with 256GB of storage for an incredible $300 extra. Microsoft has now revealed a Wi-Fi-only model, reducing the price to $899.99. While slightly more expensive than an entry-level Surface Pro 7, it is significantly cheaper than the $1,099.99 Surface Pro 8.
Prices for certain items seem to decrease with time. Because the Surface Pro X was a first-generation product, it was pricey. The Surface Pro X 2 should be less expensive, but how much less is unknown.
Surface Pro X 2: What to Expect
A spec bump
For starters, historically, second-generation Surface products have been spec bumps. The Surface Pro X 2 should appear identical to the Surface Pro X, only with a faster processor. The Surface Pro 2, Surface Book 2, and Surface Laptop 2 were all like this. The Surface Go 2 — which featured a larger screen — and even the Surface 2, which had a superior screen than the infamous Surface RT — were exceptions.
As you may recall, the Surface Pro X was updated in 2020 with the Microsoft SQ2 processor. Even though it came in a new Platinum colour, it wasn’t renamed the Surface Pro X 2. Even the upgrade from the SQ1 to the SQ2 was minor. Geekbench single-core scores increased from 766 to 794 in my tests, while multi-core scores increased from 2,946 to 3,036.
The Microsoft SQ3 will be a significant upgrade. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 will power the Microsoft SQ3, providing a 60 per cent jump in CPU speed, an 85 per cent boost in graphics performance, and treble the AI performance.
There was only a 150MHz clock speed difference between the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 and the original. Qualcomm stated that the minor update was to reduce the time between when a chipset is announced and available for purchase. The Snapdragon 8cx was officially announced in December 2018. However, the first laptop to use it, the Samsung Galaxy Book S, didn’t ship until the beginning of 2020. In November 2019, the Surface Pro X, which uses a modified 8cx called the SQ1, was released.
Because of this shift in strategy, we won’t have to wait as long for the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 to ship, and Qualcomm has stated that devices based on the SoC will be available in the first half of 2022. That means there will be less time when it is introduced and when it is changed into the Microsoft SQ3.
Qualcomm’s roadmap is quite exciting. In late 2022, it should begin evaluating wholly bespoke processors leveraging technologies from its Nuvia acquisition after the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. Following that, it will attempt to compete with Apple Silicon, which is now having difficulty doing so.
Even if many companies elect to construct Wi-Fi-only devices instead, integrated cellular connectivity was expected to be one of the value indications with Windows on ARM. Given Microsoft’s aversion to current technology, I’m almost hesitant to say this, but we should expect 5G in the Surface Pro X 2. However, regardless of which model you choose, the Surface Pro X comes with 4G LTE, which is beautiful. Read also; The best deals you can get on the Surface Pro 8
Unlike the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 lacks an integrated 5G modem, yet it is still called a 5G chipset. That should bring the Microsoft SQ3 up to 5G. It’s unclear whether it will support mmWave or merely sub-6GHz bands.
Surface Pro X 2: Wish List
We all know that Microsoft is the only PC manufacturer that sells high-end PCs with Intel processors but no Thunderbolt. Yes, the time has come. That should have happened years ago. But right now, we’re talking about a PC that runs on ARM. There has never been a PC with Thunderbolt made by Qualcomm, and if AMD makes one, I haven’t seen it. Thunderbolt is only on one company’s products that Intel doesn’t make: Apple.
I know that the Surface Pro X from this year still won’t be able to compete with Apple’s fully custom silicon. It’s fine. Still, let’s see Thunderbolt. With USB 4.0, you can transfer data to up to 40Gbps. Depending on what the chipset can handle, you can use it to connect either two 4K monitors or one 8K monitor (Apple supports one external monitor, up to 6K). Without native drivers, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to use an external GPU, but you’d have access to all the Thunderbolt peripherals on the market.
I’ve been watching for years as Macs have been better than Surface on USB Type-C, Thunderbolt, etc. But even if Thunderbolt weren’t good, Apple would still do it. Let’s stop sitting on the sidelines and letting Apple do all the work.
A high refresh rate display
The 120Hz screen on Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8 is pretty great. Let’s put the Surface Pro X 2 with something similar. To go into that more, I’d like the Windows ecosystem to eliminate some of the significant differences between PC and mobile. One prominent example is that every high-end smartphone has a screen with a high refresh rate, but on PCs, that’s seen as a gaming feature, and PCs with high refresh rates will have to give up some things to get better gaming performance.
It is a change for more than just the Surface Pro X 2. We need this everywhere, just like we need better webcams. Most of Microsoft’s products come with FHD webcams, but you can still buy a $300 phone with a front camera that has a higher resolution. On the other hand, the Surface Pro X already has a 5MP front camera that can record 1080p video.
When Microsoft first announced the Surface Pro X, it came in Black instead of the more common Surface colour, Platinum. The Platinum model came out later. The Surface Pro X is made of aluminium, while the Intel-powered model is magnesium. Because aluminium is a heavier material, the Pro X is thinner but still the same weight.
Aluminium is also easier to anodize, making it in a broader range of colours. The Surface Laptop is, of course, the best example. Today’s Surface Laptop 4 comes in more muted colours, but when it first came out, it came in bright, beautiful colours like Cobalt Blue and Burgundy (we can ignore Graphite Gold). We got Black, Sandstone, and Ice Blue with the newer ones.
Some of these colours would look great on the Surface Pro X 2. I’m not a designer, so I don’t know if the brighter colours that looked so good on the Surface Laptop or, the softer colours that might look better on a Windows tablet are the right choice. I also don’t want to use “Apple is doing it” as an excuse again, but Apple is doing it. Read also; HP Spectre X360 13t – Full Review and Benchmarks
So far, this is everything we know about the Surface Pro X 2. As the launch date gets closer, there should be more and more leaks and rumours. This page will be changed as we find out more.