Surface Pro X is thin, stylish, and runs a custom Microsoft SQ1 mobile chip

(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced the Surface Pro X at its October Surface event.
  • It's the first Surface to run Windows 10 on ARM, and it represents modern overhaul in design.
  • Surface Pro X is set to launch on November 5 and is available to preorder now starting at $999.

In addition to updates to the refreshed Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3, Microsoft introduced a new entry to its Surface lineup: Surface Pro X. Whereas the Surface Pro 7 kept things safe with a familiar design, the Surface X represents a major overhaul with a forward-looking design and features.

In a glimpse at what the future may hold for the rest of the Surface Pro line, the Surface Pro X is an impressively thin and light 2-in-1 tablet that carries forward the basics of previous Surface Pros, including the kickstand, but with substantial improvements. Most notably, the bezels on the Surface X have been drastically thinned out compared to the Surface Pro 7. The front of the device looks more akin to Apple's latest iPad Pro, which sports similarly thin bezels.

Aside from the design overhaul, the Surface Pro X is also the first Surface to run Windows 10 on ARM. The device is powered by a custom Microsoft SQ1 mobile chipset based on Qualcomm technology, which is the company's first chip to be geared specifically towards PCs. We've previously heard that the chip should approach Intel Core i5 levels of performance, and it's likely Microsoft has done some work to make sure performance is up to snuff.

We've seen previous Windows 10 on ARM devices claim up to 22 hours of battery life, but Microsoft is claiming around 13.5 hours in average use for the Surface Pro X. Microsoft also claims Surface Pro X has three-times more power-per-watt than the Surface Pro 6.

Surface Pro X

Surface Pro X (Image credit: Microsoft)

As for raw specs, the Surface Pro X comes with a 13-inch Pixelsense display at a 2880x1920 resolution (267 PPI). Microsoft has kept the same 3:2 aspect ratio here as well. RAM options come in at 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM, and storage can be configured from 128GB up to 512GB.

There's LTE on board here, so you'll be able to stay connected on the go. There are also two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports (no USB-A here), a Surface Connect port for charging, a 5MP front-facing camera (1080p) and 11MP rear camera (1080p). The whole package weighs in at just over 1.5 pounds.

Perhaps just as interesting as the Surface Pro X itself is its keyboard. The detachable keyboard slots into a port on the bottom of the display, and it includes a dedicated slot for the new Surface Pen just about the number keys. The Surface Pen has been redesigned for the Surface Pro X and can be wirelessly charged while it's in the keyboard cradle.

While this new design is only present on the SurfacePro X for now, this could be an early look at what Microsoft has planned for the future of the Surface lineup in the future. Further, the launch of a Surface device running an ARM processor signals that Microsoft is throwing its full weight behind Windows 10 on ARM.

Here's everything Microsoft announced at its Surface 2019 event

Surface devices have always been intended to represent an example of Microsoft's vision for PCs, serving as a sort of guide for other manufacturers to follow. Windows 10 on ARM has seen a somewhat tepid response from PC manufacturers thus far, so it'll be interesting to see if Surface Pro X spawns more devices of its ilk from the like of HP, Dell, Lenovo, and others.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl