Microsoft Surface Pro 9 Gets More Powerful Processing, But Not Much Else

The ninth edition of Microsoft’s tablet is a refinement more than anything—complete with 5G connectivity.

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– Hello, I’m Matthew Buzzi from PCMag And I’m here with the Surface Pro 9, Which in my opinion is the marquee product Among those that Microsoft showed off. There’s a couple new
Surface devices, the laptop The Surface Studio. But the Surface Pro 9 I
think is the most intriguing. It is largely a component
upgrade, to say it up front. It’s designed, though the
new colors, blue and green, Are different which is maybe a Head turn enough for you on its own, The design physically is the same. Same dimensions, it’s nice and portable, It still has nice aluminum build with The built in kickstand. All the things we’ve kind of
come to love about the Surface. We really liked the Pro 8 in particular Because the bezels got thinner and overall It’s just a really usable nice product. This is really about the
interior, the components. Microsoft has done
something interesting where There’s now an Intel and
an ARM processor option. So, the SQ3, Snapdragon powered Which previously was
used in the Pro X line, Kind of seems to have been subsumed Into the Pro numbered series. So, the Pro 8 did not have
this option, that was left To the Pro X and now the Pro 9 has both. So Pro X may be, may be dead, May be off to the side for
now, but the Pro 9 comes in Both Intel and the ARM-based
SQ3 processor flavors. So, the Intel version is $999, It’s a few hundred dollars more, It’s $1,299 for the SQ3 version.

We’ll get into those differences But that is sort of the difference there. There is an upcharge on the SQ3 version Even though they both come with 8GB Of RAM and 128GB SSD as base. So, you really are paying
for the processor bump Even though there are some pros
and cons, it’s not like it’s Necessarily faster at everything
because ARM runs Windows Through emulation Windows apps, So there is a bit of
a give and take there. But we’re gonna focus first
on on the Intel version. It’s really much the same
except 12th gen Alder Lake. That’s the big jump. That’s pretty exciting if
you follow the laptop space Because 12th gen in general
has proven very capable. They are, of course, the U series. Not the most powerful chips
in the 12th gen hierarchy, Made for thin and light
products like this. But that means we should still see really Good performance out of this device. Obviously we need to test it
and confirm that ourselves, But generally speaking, 12th gen
Intel’s been very impressive And I think it’ll just make the Surface Which we already thought
was a pretty good performer, Even faster. You can get different
flavors, there’s i5, i7, So you have some room to play. Obviously, also you can bump up That RAM and bump up the storage. So you can make this pretty expensive But the entry price is not all that bad. As I mentioned, the blue and
green are the new additions. There’s also this really
fun special cover. Cover still sold separately
as well, I’m sorry to say.

Both the regular versions
and the special versions Couple hundred extra
dollars depending which one You get, add to the cost. But this sort of special edition With this UK-based design
firm is pretty cool If you really wanna go
out there for some style. Otherwise blue, green,
the gray, and the silver Essentially are the other color Options that existed in the Pro 8. New colors aside, the
same great Surface 13-inch PixelSense display. The detachable design as
always, really easy to use. There’s been a lot of, Sort of, not copycats
’cause Microsoft hoped to Inspire other companies
to make similar devices, But we still think the
Surface is probably the best In class at doing both the detachable And how comfortable it is
to type on this keyboard, So everything there that we liked is back. There’s a 1080p webcam. This keyboard, the displays 120Hz as well Which is a nice addition
over the last few years. And yeah, there’s just a bunch
of Windows 11 integrations, Kind of between the cloud
and between, you know, The UI will expand when
you remove the keyboard, Cuz it’s touch versus
using the mouse input. So, there’s a couple things Like that where Windows 11,
now built with this device, You know, knowing that
Windows 11 features exist Made to take advantage of each other. A couple integrations like
that that aren’t really Gonna show up on a spec sheet
bullet list, but are still Kind of meant to make your
user experience better. Flip side, we’re gonna talk

About that Arm version for a moment. The big draw there is
it’s also 5G enabled. So, capable for if you
wanna buy a data plan You can take your Surface, I believe for the first time
for the Surface Pro line, 5G enabled. You can take it on the web, on the go. That makes the portability even higher. It’s already a portable device
that really makes it useful For a do-it-all on the road. Generally speaking, from
testing Arm devices, we found As I said, one running through emulation. It’s a bit slower performance
on some Windows apps. So, that’s kind of the con. But two, battery life
tends to be really good. Microsoft’s reading the Arm
version it up to 19 hours. So, we’ll obviously confirm
that in independent testing. But, generally speaking, pretty appealing If you are really a travel-first person. If you’re someone who’s maybe
gonna use it at your desk Take it between you know,
the office and home, It’s still right on the
desk a lot of the time, Maybe the Intel version
makes more sense for you. Go all on power Windows performance. But there’s pros and cons
and for the first time The ARM option in the main line
which is pretty interesting. And there’s some advantages
with camera technology They showed off is pretty impressive. The ARM-based, sort of, AI filtering Both for muting the sound behind you And for blurring the
picture, making it nice. Auto focus, all these sort
of impressive things that Go in that are enabled by the
NPU in the the Arm version. So, pretty intriguing.

There’s lots to talk about
and a lot to like, but some Of it of course needs
testing and if you’re hoping For a big major design change,
I think that came last time And this is kind of the
enhanced version of that. So, a lot to like here But a lot we need to
test ourselves as well. So stay tuned for a full review
when we become available. Thanks for watching.

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