Here's why Microsoft hasn't made a 'Surface Go X' … yet

Surface Go 2 Draft Pen
Surface Go 2 Draft Pen (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The concept of an ARM-powered "Surface Go X" to compliment the Intel-powered Surface Go 3 is enticing. As someone who has boasted about ARM technology with Windows since 2016, I'm not only a huge fan of Windows on ARM PCs, but I use them all the time (I currently jump between Surface Pro X and HP's Elite Folio).

So, a recent editorial we published asking why Microsoft hasn't made a budget Surface Go X powered by ARM resonated with me. I'm all for the idea. Such a device could be slightly thinner and get comparably more battery life than even Surface Go 3 while keeping the costs similar.

The benefits of ARM seem apparent, so why is Microsoft so obstinate? The answer is simple: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 7cx Gen 2 is not good enough.

Since 2016 I've been commenting how this is a journey, not a race. But I'm not naïve. Going into the fifth year since Windows on ARM was announced, there has been a lot of progress, including the world's first 5G-enabled laptop. But there are still improvements to be made before mainstream use of ARM is normalized.

While it's easy to argue Microsoft should use the higher-powered Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, the fact is that chip is priced at a premium. Any "Surface Go X" must use the budget-friendly Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c series. It's no different than Intel Pentium (low-cost) vs. Intel Core i7.

I've used the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 in the recently reviewed Samsung Galaxy Book Go, where I praised the overall pricing and execution. Still, I lamented how the processor is just not ready yet to beat Intel. It's very close but needs one more generation to deliver a compelling (and not frustrating) user experience.

Microsoft launching a Surface Go X with a Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 would be the same. It'll look the part and be priced for the mass market, but users will be left unsatisfied.

Wait for Snapdragon 7c Gen 3 (and Cortex-A78c)?

A78c Design

Source: Arm Ltd. (Image credit: Source: Arm Ltd.)

I could see Microsoft doing Surface Go X when Snapdragon 7c Gen 3 hits the market. We don't know much about that chip yet, as Qualcomm hasn't announced it, but here is some informed speculation.

I think Qualcomm is likely to shift to the newer and more powerful Arm Cortex-A78C platform for its Windows on ARM processors later this year. The 5nm SoC would likely ship with Qualcomm's Hexagon 780 DSP (Digital Signal Processor), which serves as the basis for the popular Snapdragon 888 chipset used in smartphones.

The Cortex-A78C is no secret, as details around it were revealed by Arm in late 2020. Instead of big.LITTLE architecture, the A78-C can utilize a homogeneous structure with all big cores giving much more computing power. From Arm's remarks on the platform:

The Cortex-A78C CPU is built on the foundation of the Cortex-A78 CPU as part of a scalable solution with advanced security and architecture features allowing up to eight big-core-only CPU configurations. Along with this enhanced CPU configuration, the Cortex-A78C also includes memory system improvements allowing up to 8MB of shared L3 Cache for demanding workloads, including AAA gaming, multimedia editing and other professional productivity suites.Enables high-performance computing with support for up to eight big-core-only cluster and up to 8MB L3 cache running eight threads in parallel for demanding digital immersion workloads, from all-day play to all-day productivity.

Qualcomm would need to take this Arm design and build it into a Snapdragon chipset by adding graphics, DSP, and more, as that's how this all works.

Source: Qualcomm (Image credit: Source: Qualcomm)

Of course, Qualcomm may delay Cortex-A78C and instead push a higher-clocked Cortex-A76 architecture which serves as the basis for the current Snapdragon 7c, 8c, and 8cx Gen 2s. However, alleged benchmarks leaked in April suggest a much more significant boost in performance, implying an architecture shift.

Assuming those benchmarks are in the ballpark of accuracy, the 8cx Gen 3 falls between an Intel Core i7-1065G7 and the Intel Core i7-1165G7 in multi-core performance. By way of comparison, this alleged 8cx Gen 3 gets a massive 60% performance improvement against Gen 2 (in multi-core tests). A 7c Gen 3 would have a less powerful GPU, reduced core performance, and other design changes to reduce costs while keeping performance well above 7c Gen 2 but behind 8c and 8cx Gen 3.

Historically, Qualcomm announces new Snapdragon computer chips in December. Due to COVID last year, that event did not happen, but one is expected in 2021. That'd be a good time to hear about these new chips.

If that Qualcomm announcement happens, again, going by history, we won't see those new chips in actual Windows devices until mid-2022 at the earliest. That nicely sets up Microsoft to announce a 5G Surface Pro X and yes, maybe that "Surface Go X" in September or October 2022.

ARM: Lots of momentum for PC in 2022 and 2023

Hp Elite Folio Green

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Finally, it's worth noting that ARM and Windows are going to continue to ramp up in 2022. And not just because of Qualcomm.

NVIDIA is buying Arm, the company that designs the chips Qualcomm eventually customizes and builds, for $40 billion. NVIDIA has not been shy about wanting to get back into making ARM processors (remember Tegra?) while also leveraging its RTX graphics prowess to deliver some potent potential PC devices. We already saw some of this integration back in July.

Qualcomm Logo Ces

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Samsung also has its ARM-based Exynos chips. Samsung teamed up with AMD to bring RDNA 2 and ray tracing to Exynos back in June. The official announcement jives with the rumor from May that Samsung is making Exynos for laptops, which also leverages AMD. Indeed, Samsung has been on a laptop kick lately with the Galaxy Book (Pro), Galaxy Book Go, and Galaxy Book Pro 360 series. And the company has made a few Windows on ARM PCs already using Qualcomm.

Speaking of Qualcomm, the company purchased Nuvia in January. If you have never heard of Nuvia, that's fine. Just know ex-Apple chip designer Gerard Williams founded it. Williams served as the chief architect leading the design of every Apple chip from the A7 to the A12X, leading to the famed Apple M1 processor used in MacBooks. Along with fellow Apple chip architecture executives John Bruno and Manu Gulati, Williams now works at Qualcomm. Let that sink in as it's a very big deal.

Qualcomm hasn't been coy about its plans with Nuvia, either, even if the results are still two to three years out.

And while there are rumors of Microsoft building its own silicon, I think those plans have been put aside. Qualcomm dropping $1.4 billion on Nuvia sends a strong signal the company is "in it" for building PC chips.

Wrapping up, I think Microsoft could do a Surface Go X when the time is right, and that's not now. But if Qualcomm's Gen 3 computer chips are an architectural shift, then a strong case for such a device can be made.

We'll see what happens.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Windows on ARM will get better over time, at which point, it will be interesting to see the gaming performance on them, and whether they can be legitimate competitors to the Switch 2. For now, the Steam Deck is the best thing coming to market for PC gaming on the go.
  • "Why is Microsoft so obstinate? The answer is simple: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 7cx Gen 2 is not good enough." That's an interesting analysis and it may be right, but is this actually what Microsoft is thinking? It would help if the reader could see something that hints at Microsoft's actual thinking. In fact your article would be so much better if we had a quote from MS saying, "7cx doesn't fit consumer expectations for the Surface Go line" or something like that. Maybe MS is mum on this because they don't want to hurt perceptions of WoA, or maybe just because it's too far removed from their messaging goals. In any case pushing them to cough up an answer might give us some insights.
  • Asking Microsoft such questions is an exercise in futility. It'll be a canned response that Intel Pentium fulfills the needs and goals of the device. Regardless, we have the benchmarks on 7c Gen 2 (shared in the article) and they are worse (single-core) or only a hair better (multi-core) than Surface Go 2. That's running ARM native, not in emulation making an argument for it to be used either in a Surface Go 3 or similar device moot, imo. I think my analysis is better informed and more accurate than a canned PR response.
  • "I think my analysis is better informed and more accurate than a canned PR response." Maybe, but you didn't even get the canned PR response ...
  • Well what's the point in getting the canned response if we're going to ignore it either way?
  • I think if the battery life doubled, it would be sufficient. The specs for browser based use and MS apps are sufficient for those uses. IRL, people won't feel the difference, but they would if it lasted 1.5 - 2x longer on a charge, especially for that device. People often seem to look at spec "power", when they really don't need it for most use cases
  • I get tired of the battery performance argument. Are most users more than 8 hours away from an electrical outlet? A few. 12 hour run time is great but once you get above 10 hours, I am not sure how much additional utility you obtain.
  • Battery life is my number one concern nowadays, as processing power is sufficient for every day use even on the most inexpensive devices. Most vendors claiming 12 hour battery life struggle to make 8 hours when you’re at an all-day seminar and surf the web during breaks and lunch.
  • Batteries also degrade over time. The more you start with, the better you're able to handle that degradation.
  • It is not just the battery life. It is full power with no throttling on the processor for battery reasons. After all , my MacBook air does it. The surface Go has too as well to be a successful replacement. When I had a Surface go, the computer was unplugged 99% of the time I needed to use it. It was my daily notebook in that it was my computer I took notes on while I was using other computers. My typical workday requirement is 8-10 hours. And depending on the day, that could easily go to 14-16 hours if things break the wrong way for me. The iPad I currently use gets through the day with no problems. If the Surface Go could be the replacement for it, it has too as well. The Surface Go could be the device to replace my MacBook air/IPad combo. I would love it too. But I cannot tolerate battery life compromises to get there. The surface Pro 8 could do so as well, but the unit with the features I would need would cost $2100 all in, while my MacBook air/iPad air plus accessories all in are $1700. Windows is not worth the Extra $400 and neither is the one Device to rule them all dream.
  • "I think if the battery life doubled, it would be sufficient. "
    I'd say that's also wishful thinking. While I love ARM, when we look at Pro X vs Pro 7+ we definitely don't see a doubling, we get about an extra 2-4 hours. That's actually a big deal for usability, but it's not an insane increase either (you have to weigh in the fact that ARM devices get smaller batteries, thinner chassis. When you make a full laptop with regular laptop-sized batteries, you can get 18 hours like in the Flex 5G).
  • Good piece.
    Its sad how far behind everyone is from Apple when it comes to ARM implementations. I freaking hate Apple but want something like a M1 really bad. I use my Surface Go and plan on keeping it but I cannot say its a very satisfying user experience.
  • Thanks. And, long term, Windows is better positioned here than Apple. Qualcomm has the team behind Apple's processors working for them. Samsung + AMD is entering the market. NVIDIA is linking RTX and its GPUs to ARM. There will be more options and more GPU features in the coming years for Windows PCs. Competition in ARM is going to be fierce and consumers will win out.
  • Sry to ask this, but r u real Daniel Rubino?
  • Abdul, yes that is the real Daniel.
  • "And, long term, Windows is better positioned here than Apple."
    I've been hearing this for like 14 years now... Can we put an end date to this vaguely "long-term", because we are still waiting. And speaking of waiting, what exactly are we waiting for to happen with Windows vs Apple (OS vs company)? "Better positioned" implies that Windows is going to beat Apple eventually, but by which number exactly, just so we know what to wait for in long term?
  • The Go wouldn't be getting the M1 either. It's a budget device. That's why it's not even getting Qualcomm's best processor. They need a good processor that is also inexpensive.
  • I think that is really the key. No reason the Go X couldn't perform like a Pro X right now. No technical reason it couldn't. It would likely then cost Pro X prices, and that isn't the intent for the Go.
  • “I freaking hate Apple but want something like a M1 really bad.” Why do you “hate Apple”? They have the best mobile hardware on the planet (the M1 that you want really bad) and a full suite of hardware and software that takes advantage of it (Macs/MacOS and iPads/iPadOS). Unlike MS, who has no mobile hardware and no mobile OS. Sounds to me like you should give up your irrational “Apple hate” and just buy what you “really want”. “I use my Surface Go and plan on keeping it but I cannot say its a very satisfying user experience.” Been there, done that. I had a Go 2 for a few weeks last summer. Windows on a 10” screen and slow, crappy hardware sucks. Sold it and moved on. Get yourself an M1 iPad Pro. Life is too short to hate things that you REALLY want, just because it comes from the “wrong company”. 🙄 BTW, I am typing this on a 13” M1 iPad Pro. Life is good. I no longer “hate Apple”.
  • Yet another clueless Apple fan boy posting fact-free opinions and blatantly false information on a Windows discussion board. First Apple does not have the best mobile devices. MBs don't have basic features such as touchscreen, pen support, 1080p webcam, microsd slot, upgradability, 2-in-1 design, 180 degree screens, face unlock, etc. And let's not forget the yearly class-action lawsuits which include key boards, connectivity, green screen, thermal throttling, and cracked screens (2021). There is a reason MBs only have 7-8% market share even after M1 chip and rated them the 10 out of 11 laptop makers. As for iPads they ain't computers like SGs are, they are big iPhones that run smartphone apps.
    Further they can't run MacOS programs and Apple store only has 1.9 million apps whereas Windows has 35 million applications that SGs can run. Plus there is iPad crappy file management, no microsd slot, no Dex, poor customizability, far fewer features than Samsung, 1 million fewer apps than GooglePlay store, no pen in box like Samsung or AMOLED screens. There is a reason iPad unit sales have plummeted from 73 million to 40 million between 2013 and 2019. And iPads tablet market share has noise dived from around 70% to 34% over the past decade. Overpriced with extremely limited functionality.
  • "MBs don't have basic features such as touchscreen, pen support, 1080p webcam, microsd slot, upgradability, 2-in-1 design, 180 degree screens, face unlock, etc."
    These are valid points. I'd add also getting 4G/5G in a laptop is a great option that MBs don't have.
  • All I'm going to say in defense of the iPad is that there are many people who are able to get all their work done on an iPad, in a form factor which is light, great battery, and very easy to use. You may differ and prefer a more classic form factor, but it doesn't mean the ipad isn't perfectly fine for many people's use case. And I'm not an apple fan boy. I use all sorts of tech, from windows to linux to android to, yes, an iPad. I find the iPad to be what I'm reaching for when I'm not doing tech work.
  • I hope w/ the influx of new ARM processors for Windows, developers start getting aboard to convert their apps. I think Apple's ability to force devs into making ARM versions of their apps so quickly is equally or more impressive as the M1 itself. The 7cx may actually be good enough for a budget device (though barely) if the majority of a user's apps were ARM native.
  • I said it in the other article and I'll say it again! Microsoft should take the Pro X, shrink it to 10.5 inches, and sell it for 800 bucks. They've already hit $900 with the wifi only Pro X. I could see a smaller X, with reduced build quality, and a 1080p screen, at $800. And I don't mean a Go but with X internals. A literal smaller version of the X. It would give them an ARM option that could sit in between the max price for the Go 2 ($729) and the wifi only Pro X. I think there could be a market for people that want the benefits of ARM but in a smaller, more powerful package than what the 7cx can offer. I'm crazy, I know. I'm just throwing that out there. :p
  • That's not a bad idea.
  • The 8cx is just too expensive and anything less is just too slow at the moment. We just have to wait for the ARM performance per dollar metric to come down.
  • While that might make sense on paper, if I'm MS, I would be very concerned about aiming at such a tiny, niche market at the expense of a big negative PR hit you know they would take on the price. Doesn't just about every review of the Go ALREADY end with a giant caveat about, 'but why spend $700+ once you add the keyboard for a supposed 'budget' device with all the tradeoffs when you can get a blah, blah, blah? Can you imagine the reviews when that figure is over $900+ with keyboard? Not only that, but the GO brand really is budget, and once you have a sku, 'X' or no 'X,' that is nearing $1k in price, you risk hurting your brand.
  • what does "reduced build quality" even mean for Surface, make it out of polystyrene?
  • @HeyCori:
    That was also my line of thinking when the Surface Pro X first came out, but reality is that the "EdgeBook" is too expensive, even at $800. 1. HP's $379 "X2 11" is an 11 inch Chromebook Tablet using that new SD 7c Gen2 chip, and includes the keyboard + wireless stylus at that very low price. Chrome OS has come far in tablet UI, it's very appealing especially since ARM can now run a variety of Paid-Android and Pro-Linux apps without needing emulation.
    Also unlike Qualcomm, Mediatek and Google are working on up-to-date ARM chips for Chromebooks and their tablets. 2. Apple's $329 "iPad 9". With refurbished price + plethora of cheaper third party accessories, it's impossible to beat it and will remain the go-to device for majority of people (and primary/pre-schools) at its price. If another OEM besides Microsoft makes a small WoA Tablet at $500 (keyboard included) with enough performance for W11 to have that "everyday snappiness" that both HP X2 and iPad 9 have, sure it might work. However the most obvious, biggest common denominator is: "Windows is simply more expensive to make cheap devices for it".
  • I have the galaxy book S and its been my daily laptop and its amazing. Very fast at least two full workday battery life, will get windows 11, runs great. Yes the app emulation is slow, and 64 bit emulation isnt great on insider builds, but I feel with windows 11 this will make things better with android app support. I feel this is the future and will get better over time.
  • Agree, and I have as well. I don't see the lag, however, when I use for work related MS apps and Edge. I think it is vastly underrated and unfairly canned due to "benchmark scores" that don't reflect real life, except for hard core gaming and video editing.
  • Even video editing is doable with UWP apps that use the SQ's GPU for encoding.
  • The Snapdragon 888 already has ARM X1 cores which are a big jump over the A76 and A78, at the cost of higher power consumption. I would expect an 8cx gen 3 to have at least 2 X1's. The A76 on the 8cx gen 1 and 2 is surprisingly performant given native code but it still needs higher single-threaded performance.
  • Truly excellent article. I actually feel like I understand where things are heading with ARM. Thank you!!
  • The “tech” is fine. The problem is that Windows is a horrible resource hog. It is never going to run as well on ARM as iOS or Android does. Windows was never designed or built to run on low-power-consuming hardware. It needs all the power it can get, all the time. You boot up Windows 10 and you see 150 processes and 1,700 threads running. And that’s before YOU do anything. I had a Pro X in summer 2020. In fact I had 2. I was shocked at how much was running in emulation. That is what kills the battery life. I got nowhere near 13 hours on the battery. More like 7. Needless to say, I sold them both on eBay and gave up on WOA. The key to battery life on ARM is CPUs that throttle down VERY QUICKLY when nothing is going on. There is ALWAYS crap going on when you are running Windows. If you leave Windows alone for 10 minutes, it starts up all kinds of background tasks that take over the CPUs until you move the mouse or otherwise let your presence be known. iOS/Android don’t have this problem. Because they were designed and built to run on low-power-consuming hardware. WOA makes as much sense as iOS on Intel would. Until 50 million WOA systems are sold, no apps will be compiled for it. And if you are running all your apps in emulation, there is no point to WOA. The fact that MS is busy trying to make the emulation better is all you need to know about the app situation.
  • No apps will be compiled for it so no Office on ARM, no ARM Linux under WSL, no Edge (Chromium), no Netflix even. Oh wait...
  • "That nicely sets up Microsoft to announce a 5G Surface Pro X and yes, maybe that "Surface Go X" in September or October 2022." 😟
  • To consumers, this seems like a long time, to a tech company and industry this is right around the corner lol.
  • Story so far is that windows os for arm is moving at acceptable pace with Microsoft in process of delivering x64 emulation & upcoming windows 11 with Android app support. But windows on arm platform is heavily crippled by Qualcomm's inability to deliver laptop class CPUs for it. Qualcomm announced Snapdragon 855 based 8cx with beefy gpu back in June 2018 & Microsoft reused it as SQ1/SQ2 with higher clockspeeds. 8cx gen 2 also was just a higher clocked version of 8cx gen 1. Means it's been more than 3 years now since origional 8cx released and In that time frame Qualcomm has released Snapdragon 865, 870 & 888 and numerous other capable 7xx series Socs but none of them were made available for windows on arm platform maybe because Microsoft & Qualcomm has come to mutual agreement that current chips are not worth a go OR maybe they are preparing to repush the window on arm platform in 2022-23 with the launch of Qualcomm-nuvia based CPUs which promises to be powerful & efficient like Apple M1. But the competition is moving at rapid pace. Base 329$ iPad beats surface pro x in CPU performance , 599$ ipad air is faster & arch rival iPad pros are significantly faster thanks power of Apple M1. Irony is Apple silicon M2 will be available at the end of the year as well.
    Though It's a relief that apple hasn't made Ipad-mac os hybrid till now & still milking customers in form of iPad os but that day is not be far off & microsoft better prepare for it or they will be left behind again in a category where they seem to be ahead.
  • "And while there are rumors of Microsoft building its own silicon, I think those plans have"
    they've done some interesting stuff with silicone. I won't be surprised if Microsoft starts building their own chipsets. So they can get product out in time.
    I'm pretty sure 2022 is gonna be very very interesting surface products 😁
  • Even if they "design" them I'm not sure how it solves getting them out in time since they do not own any chip foundries. Say they go with TSMC or Samsung, with such small orders they'll be at the back of the line for getting orders fulfilled for their special chips. So, how is that solved? I also don't see how they can out design Intel or Qualcomm out the gate. Apple took a decade to get to M1. You ever wonder why Apple didn't make M1 say in 2017?
  • "You ever wonder why Apple didn't make M1 say in 2017?"
    They probably could have. Difference is Apple doesn't release unfinished products they are not happy and proud with like Microsoft *cough* W11 *cough*
  • "They probably could have. "
    No, they could not. You can't just scale up like that, which is why Apple took 10 years to get from A1 to the M1. Some of you have a really weird view of how chips are made, how hard it is, and how it takes years for products to be made.
    "Difference is Apple doesn't release unfinished products"
    Tell that to those butterfly MB keyboards. The first iPhone couldn't copy/paste and had no app model or store.
    "like Microsoft cough W11 cough"
    When was macOS finished? I missed that. I didn't know they stopped updating and improving it. Interesting!
  • I'm why does it have to be on ARM. I won't be surprised if Microsoft builds their own chip foundries plant. I think Microsoft was playing around with a new CPU architecture can't remember the name of my top of my head.
  • "I won't be surprised if Microsoft builds their own chip foundries plant."
    This will never happen and is just insane. It costs tens of billions to build a foundry and years to make one. Even Apple doesn't do this as they use TSMC to make its chips. Apple designs its chips. Apple does not make its chips. The difference between those two statements is billions of dollars. Intel designs and makes its chips. AMD designs them, but uses TSMC. Samsung designs and makes its own chips. Etc. Intel's new foundry will take 2-3 years to make in AZ and costs $20 billion. C'mon.
  • If CPU shortage continues I can see them doing something like that.
  • the chip shortage is caused by Covid restrictions in countries like Malaysia. Some plants close for weeks. this stops production for a month or so because you must get the line up and running. But what happens when the silicone blank production stops? Wafer production stops? what about packaging and testing? This causes all sorts of upheaval in the industry. There is a reason chip manufactures are investing tons of money in the US and Europe. To ensure reliable production due to any number of disruptions.
  • Not really. We used only me things for CPUs now it's inside. People were having problems with CPUs orders before covid-19. It exactly a problem that was already there.
  • Daniel, How did microsoft managed to offer surface pro x 200$ cheaper without lte/5g? Will similar trend be followed with future arm chips as well ? Because integrated modem definitely makes windows on arm devices noticeably expensive but It is also big part of Qualcomm's business model & strategy.
  • It's something we're seeing more of e.g. 7c Gen 2 devices like Galaxy Book Go have Wi-Fi-only models too. Same with HP's new 14-inch Laptop PC (that's its name). But yeah, 4G modems are expensive. Usually cost a few hundred extra to add on e.g. Lenovo ThinkPads. 5G can run ~$430 extra.
  • Watching Microsoft, with every new day I more and more appreciate and love how Apple creates its own software and its own hardware building up to a seamless and powerful experiences and not giving 2 s***s about waiting for third party companies or "pArTnErS" to develop something for them. Their strategy just works beautifully and the profit numbers say so
  • Apple Hardware business is X times MSFT one. For MSFT it makes little sense to produce chips.
  • I think Microsoft must go with their own cpu. They should not rely on other's design. Qualcomm will never as powerful as Apple even if nuvia makes arm powered laptops.
    I think Microsoft might have a better position than anyone else. They can make their own cloud powered ecosystem of surface hardware, windows software, xbox gamepass and microsoft azure. They can have a far better ecosystem than anyone else. But first they need to put arm in the front and x86 in the side.
  • Any idea why there's no ARM Surface Laptop Studio? I'd upgrade my Pro X if it had used ARM :(
  • I'd only get a Surface Pro X 2 if x86 emulation was a serious jump in performance. The SQ1 Surface Pro X already runs ARM apps really well. In real world use doubt Edge, MS365 wouldn't increase much in speed. x86 emulation is the only thing wrong with my Surface Pro X. Otherwise its class leading in every regard. Love the heat management and battery.
  • I was really interested in Windows RT when it came out. I wasn't prepared to experiment until Windows software ran on it but ARM processors seemed the right direction in a mobile first world. Particularly since I had a WindowsPhone. In 2021 we are still in a mobile first world. I think the low-cost alternative to a PC is the iPad. It's the best tablet out there, can run Microsoft apps, just needs a keyboard. Any Bluetooth keyboard would do. Most people will buy a case for $25 with a kickstand. If there was a Surface Go X it would compete with the iPad. The performance of Windows on Arm has been terrible at this point so I think the direct competitor is the base model iPad. Microsoft has shown no compelling case for most computer users to buy a Windows on Arm PC. None. Their Surface Pro X is way too expensive and is now against devices like the MacBook Air M1. My AMD based Windows PC is fine. I bought it from Amazon at £700 in the UK. There was no ARM offer for Windows at that price with AMD performance and compatibility. Microsoft is invested in x86 for the forseeable future. ARM, or more specifically Windows on Qualcomm, seems to be a sideshow.
  • "Their Surface Pro X is way too expensive and is now against devices like the MacBook Air M1. ", why compare a tablet (form factor) with a laptop? Anyway we all know the current woa chips are to expensive but in the future this could very likely change (see link from AngelsAdvocate above).
  • MS, Samsung, and AMD are working on a next-gen WoA chip according to a Korean insider source. They might be waiting for this project to finish off.
  • Gen 3's still way slower than M1 which will be outdated soon. QC must be more serious if they want to win the laptop segment