Microsoft Surface Pro X and Pro 7 Hands-on: Future Forward

Microsoft Surface Pro X

At its launch event, Microsoft showed off two Surface Pros: the Surface Pro 7, an iteration on existing devices, and the Pro X, an ARM-based version with 4G connectivity and a sleek design.

Surface Pro X

The Surface Pro X will go on sale starting at $999 on November 4. It nets you an ultra thin 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.3-inch (287 x 208 x 7.3 mm) 2-in-1 with Microsoft's new SQ1 processor, a collaboration with Qualcomm's Snapdragon technology that also boasts an AI accelerator. It has a Qualcomm Adreno 685 integrated GPU, up to 16GB of RAM and a removable SSD that's up to 512GB. Oh, and there are two USB Type-C ports.

The bezels are far thinner than on older Surface Pros, and it looks so much nicer for it. The 13-inch, 2880 x 1920 display looked gorgeous with so little surrounding it. I could lose myself in that.

The keyboard feels nice and snappy, just like the Type Covers on older models, but what's cool here is that there's a slot for the new slim Surface Pen. That pen felt great in the hand when I drew and wrote on screen. As soon as you take the pen, which wirelessly charges, out of the keyboard, it opens up a surface for you to draw or write on.

I do worry slightly about Windows app compatibility, which has been slow for Window on ARM. But with Microsoft's own devices supporting it, we may see a larger ecosystem soon.

Surface Pro 7

Surface Pro 7

In contrast, the Surface Pro 7 (starting at $749 on October 22) looks much like the Surface of yesteryear. The biggest noticeable change is the USB Type-C port that replaces the mini DisplayPort.

It's getting fast charging, as well as Intel's Ice Lake processors (if you're looking for app compatibility, this will have it). It will go up to a quad-core Intel Core i7-1065G7 with Iris Plus graphics, as well as 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage. Microsoft is claiming up to 10.5 hours of battery life.

So if you're looking for more power, this is where to go. But it doesn't feel much different from previous models.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
SpecMicrosoft Surface Pro XMicrosoft Surface Pro 7
CPUMicrosoft SQ1Up to Intel Core i7-1065G7
GPUIntegrated Adreno 685Up to Intel Iris Plus
RAMUp to 16GB LPDDR4XUp to 16GB LPDDR4X 3733MHz
StorageUp to 512GB SSDUp to 1TB SSD
Display13-inch Pixel Sense 2880x192012.3-inch PixelSense 2736 x 1824
Surface PenSurface Slim Pen, rechargeable batteryStandard Surface Pen
ConnectivityWi-Fi, LTEWi-Fi

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon