Microsoft unveils Surface Pro 9 with Intel and ARM chips, 5G support, and new colors to mark 10th anniversary

Surface Pro 9 colors
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has announced the new Surface Pro 9 with Intel 12th-gen and Microsoft SQ3 chips.
  • The product merges the ARM-based Surface Pro X with the main Surface Pro 9 line.
  • The device is available in a handful of new colors, and features 5G for the first time. 

The new Surface Pro 9 is official, featuring the same design found on the Surface Pro 8 last year, but now available in a gorgeous new Sapphire (blue) or Forest (green) colorway in addition to the classic Platinum and Graphite options. 

Microsoft is also merging the Surface Pro X with the main Surface Pro line, meaning the Surface Pro 9 can be configured with either Intel or ARM chips for the first time.

On the Intel side, the Surface Pro 9 features Intel's latest 12th-generation U-series chips, which feature ten cores and offers up to 50% more performance over the 11th-gen chips found in the Surface Pro 8. The display also now supports a dynamic refresh rate of up to 120Hz out of the box.

Battery life is rated at 15.5 hours for the Intel model, which is a 1/2 less than the 16 hours estimate for Surface Pro 8. Dimensions for both devices are precisely the same, although Surface Pro 9 is a tiny bit lighter at 1.94kg instead of 1.96kg of Surface Pro 8.

While the chassis may be similar between Surface Pro 8 and Surface Pro 9, Microsoft did make some other changes. The two Type-C Thunderbolt ports are now on the left side with the volume and power button moving to the top. Surface Connect remains on the right. This configuration is similar to Surface Pro X. 

In addition to the new color options, Microsoft is partnering with London-based global design house “Liberty” (opens in new tab)  to offer a limited edition Surface Pro 9 with a unique laser-etched pattern in a vibrant blue floral design (inspired by the Windows 11 Bloom) to celebrate ten years of Surface Pro. Along with it is a matching Type Cover, also featuring a floral blue print. 

Surface Pro 9 limited edition

The limited-edition Surface Pro 9 with laser-etched floral pattern (Image credit: Microsoft)

The Surface Pro 9 with ARM features Microsoft's newest SQ3 SoC, a slightly customized version of the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3. The Microsoft SQ3 variant of the Surface Pro 9 comes with 5G built-in, which marks the first time 5G is now available on a Surface PC. The SQ3 version also includes an NPU (neural processing unit.)

The inclusion of an NPU offers additional features and functionality that the Intel variant misses out on, including camera and microphone AI effects such as native background blur, eye contact, automatic framing, and enhanced voice clarity and voice focus. 

Microsoft also touts the ARM version as having an additional 3.5 hours of battery life in typical usage! Sadly, the Surface Pro 9 with ARM is only available in one color: Platinum. This limitation means you won't be able to configure an ARM-based Surface Pro 9 in any of the new colors, including the limited edition Liberty pattern. 

Lastly, the ARM version of Surface Pro 9 uses the same chassis as the Intel one, meaning the ARM model is slightly thicker and features a vent around the top portion of the device, unlike the Surface Pro X, which was thinner and featured no vents in its design.

Surface Pro 9 is expected to start shipping on October 25 with a starting price of $999 for the Intel model and $1,299 for the ARM model. Pre-orders are open now!

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Consumer listings for Surface Pro 9
Header Cell - Column 0 Surface Pro 9Surface Pro 9 with 5G
OSWindows 11 HomeWindows 11 Home
Processor12th Gen Intel, Intel EvoMicrosoft SQ3
Row 2 - Cell 0 Core i5-1235U, Core i7-1255URow 2 - Cell 2
RAM8GB, 16GB, 32GB LPDDR58GB, 16GB LPDDR4x
GraphicsIntel Iris XeMicrosoft SQ3 Adreno 8CX (Gen 3)
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Row 6 - Cell 0 Removable SSDRemovable SSD
Display13 inches, 2880x1920 (267 PPI), touch, 3:2 aspect ratio13 inches, 2880x1920 (267 PPI), touch, 3:2 aspect ratio
Row 8 - Cell 0 Up to 120Hz (dynamic refresh rate), Dolby Vision Up to 120Hz (dynamic refresh rate)
PenSurface Slim Pen 2 (Sold separately)Surface Slim Pen 2 (Sold separately)
PortsTwo Thunderbolt 4, Surface ConnectTwo USB-C 3.2, NanoSIM, Surface Connect
AudioDual 2W speakers, Dolby Atmos, dual far-field mics, Voice ClarityDual 2W speakers, Voice Clarity, Windows Studio Effects, dual far-field mics
WirelessWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1, NanoSIM, eSIM, 5G, mmWave, Sub-6
CameraFront-facing 1080p, IR camera, rear-facing 10MP (4K video)Front-facing 1080p (Windows Studio Effects), IR camera, rear-facing 10MP (4K video)
SecurityTPM 2.0, Windows Hello IR camera, Windows 11 Secured-core PCMicrosoft Pluton, Windows Hello IR camera, Windows 11 Secured-core PC
BatteryUp to 15.5 hoursUp to 19 hours
Dimensions11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches
Row 17 - Cell 0 (287mm x 208.3mm x 9.4mm)(287mm x 208.3mm x 9.4mm)
Weight1.94 pounds (879g)mmWave: 1.95 pounds (883g)
Row 19 - Cell 0 Row 19 - Cell 1 Sub-6: 1.94 pounds (878g)
ColorPlatinum, Graphite, Sapphire, ForestPlatinum
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Commercial listings for Surface Pro 9 and Pro 8
Header Cell - Column 0 Surface Pro 9 for BusinessSurface Pro 9 with 5G for Business
OSWindows 10 Pro, Windows 11 ProWindows 11 Pro
Processor12th Gen Intel, Intel EvoMicrosoft SQ3
Row 2 - Cell 0 Core i5-1245U, Core i7-1265URow 2 - Cell 2
GraphicsIntel Iris XeMicrosoft SQ3 Adreno 8CX (Gen 3)
WirelessWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1, NanoSIM, eSIM, 5G, mmWave, Sub-6