Microsoft launches ARM-powered Studio Pro X, updates Surface Pro 7 with USB-C

03 Oct

Today, Microsoft released the details on its two new Surface Pro 2-in-1 PCs, the Surface Pro 7 and the Surface Pro X. The new devices might look similar on the outside, but take quite different approaches to mobile computing on the inside.

Surface Pro 7

The Surface Pro 7 remains largely unchanged from its predecessor on the, well, surface. Aside from the jump to USB-C (finally), the Surface Pro 7 is identical to the Surface Pro 6, including the 12.3-inch PixelSense touchscreen display (2,736 x 1,824, 267 ppi), Surface Type Keyboard and Surface Pen.

After years of Microsoft using its proprietary Surface Connector, the Surface Pro lineup now gets USB-C. It’s not Thunderbolt 3, but it’s a welcomed change nonetheless. Other ports include USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connect and a Micro SD port.

Internally, the Surface Pro 7 is powered by Intel’s 10th generation processors with a number of options ranging from dual-core 1.2G GHz i3 processors to quad-core 1.3 GHz i7 processors. The Surface Pro 7 can max out with up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, but the base model will include just 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

On the wireless side of things, the Surface Pro 7 will include 802.11ax Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. Microsoft claims a runtime of up to 10.5 hours on a single charge, although a specific Wh rating was not given for the battery.

The Surface Pro 7 starts at $ 749 for the base model—$ 150 less than the base level price for the Surface Pro 6. It’s available for pre-order today in black and silver and will ship starting October 22, 2019.

Surface Pro X

Microsoft is switching things up a bit with the Surface Pro X. Unlike the Surface Pro 7, which relies on Intel processors, the new Surface Pro X will use a custom ARM-based processor.

Microsoft says the processor is a co-developed version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx processor called the Surface SQ1. Microsoft says the 7-watt processor can get upwards of ‘three times more performance per watt than the [Intel-driven] Surface Pro 6.’ Microsoft says the GPU inside the Surface Pro X was also co-developed with Qualcomm.

Other benefits of using an ARM-based processor is that the Surface Pro X will support LTE connectivity, offer up to 13 hours of battery life and will offer fast charging (0-80 percent with just an hour charge).

The device itself looks very similar to its Intel counterparts on the outside, with a few notable exceptions. Rather than a 12-inch PixelSense display, the Surface Pro X will offer a 13-inch display. The edges and corners of the Surface Pro X have also been rounded off compared to the Surface Pro 7.

The Surface Pro X is just 5.3mm at its thinnest point and weighs only 762g (1.68lbs). Microsoft says the Surface Pro X will run a full-fledged version of Windows 10, unlike the toned-down version the ARM-powered Surface RT used.

The Surface Pro X is available to pre-order today for $ 999 and will arrive at retailers on November 5th.

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