Intel showdown: Why the best Surface Pro 9 deal is a better purchase than a Surface Pro 10 for business

The best Windows 2-in-1 around is $540 off through Best Buy. The discount on the Surface Pro 9 allows you to get the versatile 2-in-1 PC at a more affordable price, but the deal may not last. Over the weekend, Best Buy shrunk the discount from $540 off to $440 off. The discount is now back to $540, but it's not clear how long that deal will last. The bundle includes a Surface Pro 9 with an Intel Core i5, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage and comes with a Surface Pro Keyboard.

Surface Pro 9 | $1,539.99 now $999.99 at Best Buy

Surface Pro 9 | <a href="https://shop-links.co/link?skuId=6560599&publisher_slug=future&exclusive=1&u1=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2Fmicrosoft-surface-pro-9-13-touch-screen-intel-core-i5-16gb-memory-256gb-ssd-with-surface-pro-keyboard-graphite%2F6560599.p%3FskuId%3D6560599&article_name=hawk-article-name&article_url=hawk-article-url" data-link-merchant="bestbuy.com"">was $1,539.99 now $999.99 at Best Buy

The Surface Pro 9 builds on a decade of 2-in-1s from Microsoft to create the best Surface the company has ever made. This deal saves you $540 and includes a Surface Pro Keyboard, which is a must-have accessory.

Surface Pro 9 review highlights

Surface Pro 9

The Surface Pro 9 earned a 5/5 in our Windows Central review. (Image credit: Windows Central)

In our Surface Pro 9 review, Zac Bowden was effusive in his praise for the device. "The Surface Pro 9 is excellent in almost every way," said Bowden. "It's so good, in fact, that I think it's the best bit of hardware Microsoft has ever released. It's better than the Surface Laptop and it's better than the Surface Studio."

The Surface Pro 9 has a refined design that builds on a decade of 2-in-1s from Microsoft. It's also available with either a 12th Gen Intel CPU or a Microsoft SQ3, which is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen3. Microsoft took the modern design first seen in the Surface Pro X and rolled it into the Surface Pro 9. The result is a stunning PC that's both productive and attractive.

"This is what ten years of refining the same core idea looks like," said Bowden. "It's a tablet that also happens to be able to replace your laptop. The first Surface Pro was not very good at this, and up until now, the Surface Pro line was never able to keep up with my performance needs."

Surface Pro 9 vs Surface Pro 10 for business

Surface Pro 9

While the Surface Pro 9 is an impressive device, eyes will be on the Surface Pro 10 later this month. (Image credit: Windows Central)

The current discount on the Surface Pro 9 is a good deal. In our Surface Pro 9 review, the device earned a perfect 5/5 and received praise for its design and performance. Bowden called the Surface Pro 9 "a decade of form factor perfection." With all of that being said, the Surface Pro 10 will be a major upgrade over the Surface Pro 9, so you should know about both before making a decision. But before we talk about the Surface Pro 10, let's discuss the Surface Pro 10 for business.

Microsoft officially announced the Surface Pro 10 for business earlier this month. The new 2-in-1 runs on an Intel Core Ultra processor, giving it the latest specs from Intel. The Surface Pro 10 for business also has a built-in NFC reader, allowing it to work with YubiKeys and other devices that require NFC.

Compared to the Surface Pro 9, the Surface Pro 10 has a 33% brighter display that also has richer contrast. That screen is also anti-reflective, which has been a long-requested addition. At the top of that display sits the upgraded 1440p webcam with a 114-degree viewing angle.

The Surface Pro 10 for business is also the first Intel-powered Surface Pro with support for 5G mobile connectivity, which was previously limited to ARM-powered Surface Pro devices.

If you're a business user, or if you just must have an Intel-powered PC, the Surface Pro 10 for business is a worthy upgrade. With that being said, the Surface Pro 10 is more expensive than the Surface Pro 9, even though the latter is still an excellent PC in 2024. Unless you need the features exclusive to the Surface Pro 10, the Surface Pro 9 is the better bargain.

Surface Pro 10 vs Surface Pro 9

Microsoft has a consumer-focused Surface Pro 10 on the way later this year. Our Senior Editor Zac Bowden has shared details on the device as they've trickled out. He's also added several exclusive reports, so we have a good idea of what the Surface Pro 10 will be like.

In fact, Bowden just said "DON'T buy the new Surface Pro 10 or Surface Laptop 6 — Microsoft has better hardware just around the corner."

The new Surface Pro 10 (non-business) promises many improvements, including an OLED display option. Perhaps most importantly, the PC will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite-based processor. That chip is supposed to rival Apple Silicon in terms of power and efficiency.

Other improvements will round out what will be the largest generation-on-generation upgrade of the Surface Pro lineup in years. A new haptic touchpad, an updated selection of ports, and the aforementioned processors should combine to make the best Windows 2-in-1. Of course, we'll have to watch the official announcement and see the device in the real-world to be sure, but all signs look positive for the Surface Pro 10.

So, where does that leave the heavily discounted Surface Pro 9 available for under $1,000 with a keyboard? It's still a solid device at a more reasonable price than usual. Your budget and how you plan to use your PC will determine if it's best to take advantage of the current deal or wait to buy a Surface Pro 10.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.