Microsoft Launches Surface Pro X Tablet Powered by Microsoft SQ1 Processor from Qualcomm
Microsoft Targets Road Warriors With Surface Pro X Tablet
In addition to the Surface Laptop and prototype devices, Microsoft debuted a new Surface Pro X tablet powered by a Microsoft SQ1 processor based on a customized Qualcomm ARM-based processor. The matte black slate features an anodized aluminum body and measures 11.3” x 8.2” x 0.28” and weighs a mere 1.7 pounds.
Aimed at business users on the go, the Surface Pro X is a very thin and light tablet that can be paired with various Surface accessories including a new Surface Pro X keyboard and Surface Slim Pen. Around front is a 13” PixelSense display with 3:2 aspect ratio, 2880 x 1920 (267 PPI) resolution, and 10-point multi-touch along with a 5-megapixel front facing webcam capable of recording 1080p video and dual microphones. There are two USB-C ports, one Surface Connect port for accessories, a keyboard docking connector, and a Nano SIM slot. Further, there are 2W stereo speakers and a 10 MP rear camera that can record up to 4K video. The new keyboard has a cradle for the new Surface Slim Pen that doubles as a wireless charger to keep it topped up. When using the keyboard, it can be angled up slightly and the pen is hidden between the keyboard and the bottom bezel of the display.
Microsoft is using a “Microsoft SQ1” processor to power the new Windows 10 Pro tablet along with either 8 GB or 16 GB of LPDDR4x memory and 128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB of solid state storage that is user accessible and upgradeable. The tablet further features 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and LTE via the Snapdragon X24 modem. As far as battery life, Microsoft is claiming up to 13 hours battery life though this is with the display brightness turned down and in typical use workloads.
Unfortunately, there is not much specific information on the new SQ1 processor (hopefully more details will become available once full reviews are released online). Microsoft’s new processor was developed in partnership with Qualcomm and it appears to be a tweaked design based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx SoC. Microsoft has said that the SQ1 has a 7W TDP, can hit 3GHz on the CPU core(s), and features an Adreno 685 GPU that has been quoted anywhere between 1.8 and 2.1 TFLOPS depending on the website. For reference, the Snapdragon 8cx is an eight Kryo 495 CPU core chip that tops out at 2.84 GHz with 10MB cache and is based on TSMC’s CLN7FF 7nm process.
The ultraportable comes at a premium price, however. The base Surface Pro X with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD has a MSRP of $999 and upgrading to 256 GB of internal storage bumps the price up to $1299. When maxed out at 16 GB memory and 512 GB SSD storage, the Surface Pro X hits $1799. Interestingly, the ARM-powered Surface Pro X starts out priced higher than the Intel-powered Surface Pro 7 and only wins on price at the high end. Note that these prices do not include the $139.99 Surface Pro X Keyboard or the $149.99 Surface Slim Pen which are sold separately. At these prices, the Surface Pro X is squarely aimed at enterprise users and prosumers that are willing to pay a premium for the portability and battery life. If the build quality and performance is there with the SQ1, it may be worth it though!