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Microsoft to merge Surface Pro X ARM and Surface Pro 9 Intel versions under one product line

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Microsoft is planning to merge its Surface Pro X and Surface Pro "9" under the same product line later this year in an effort to help normalize its Windows on ARM offerings. According to my sources, the company will offer the Surface Pro 9 in both ARM and Intel configurations, with the ARM variant being powered by a custom Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 SoC, dubbed the Microsoft SQ3.

The move comes after the company announced its first Windows on ARM desktop PC in the form of a developer kit dubbed “Project Volterra,” which I’m told features the Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 SoC and includes the same neural processing unit (NPU) AI features and power that is expected to ship in the Surface Pro 9 with ARM.

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On the Intel side, I hear the Surface Pro 9 will ship with 12th-generation chips, possibly of the P-series variety, which would provide a notable boost in performance over the Surface Pro 8. I’m told there are no plans to offer the Surface Pro 9 with AMD chips, though AMD options will still be available on the upcoming Surface Laptop 5.

Other additions to the Surface Pro 9 include SKUs with 5G connectivity for the first time on a Surface PC, and new Type Cover colors and designs. I’m not expecting to see any major external design changes to device, meaning the Surface Pro 9 should be compatible with the same Type Cover and Slim Pen accessories as the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Pro X.

It’s unclear what Microsoft is planning to do regarding the Surface Pro X chassis, which is slightly thinner than the main Surface Pro line. Will the company maintain the thinner chassis for the Surface Pro 9 with ARM, or will it simply unify under the slightly thicker chassis for both ARM and Intel models? Only time will tell.

Microsoft offering two different chips in a single product line isn't anything new. The company has been doing it with the Surface Laptop since the 2019, where it offers both Intel and AMD chips in the same product. 

Microsoft is expected to unveil the Surface Pro 9, alongside a new Surface Studio and Surface Laptop in the next handful of weeks. Of course, these plans could change between now and these devices being announced.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.