The Surface Pro X is Microsoft's new bet in the area of hybrid tablets running Windows 10 with an Arm processor. The publisher of Redmond is not a newcomer on this market; in fact, it is even a pioneer if we go back to 2013 and the Surface RT which, too, rolled with a processor Arm! At the beginning of last year, the first "Windows on Arm" PCs were launched with tantalizing promises such as record-breaking autonomy (20 hours and more!) And integrated LTE connectivity. But these computers turned out to be real 🐌.
Despite these failures, Microsoft did not let the case go: last month, the company unveiled the Surface Pro X, a hybrid equipped with the SQ1 chip developed in collaboration with Qualcomm based on Snapdragon 8cx. The chip, which embeds the LTE Snapdragon X24 modem for connectivity at all times, also includes a 3 GHz Arm processor, which should offer performance that previous PCs of the same barrel could not provide.
According to the first tests (The Verge, Engadget, TechRadar), power is at the rendezvous … but only for adapted software Arm 64 bits. Microsoft has optimized a few. But there is not much else: Adobe has promised that the applications of the Creative Cloud will be adapted, for the rest one remains on his hunger.
The tablet runs the x86 software through its emulation layer, but only for 32-bit apps, the most numerous of course … but 64-bit x86 software like Lightroom will not install on the device! Of course, emulated applications are slower. And we must forget the big games. According to the Geekbench tests conducted by TechRadar, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro was 40% to 50% faster than the Surface Pro X (mono and multicore).
Another disappointment, Microsoft promises " up to 13 hours of autonomy in normal use "But when you really use it continuously, the tablet does not go much beyond 6 hours, according to The Verge. And a dozen hours with waking periods. So we are still far enough from the promises that come with Arm computers.
It's all the more unfortunate that the Surface Pro X has undeniable qualities in its design, its design, its screen, etc. But the hybrid is not especially cheap: there must indeed be 1 169 € for the basic configuration (8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage), without accessories. This new attempt "the opposite camp" gives in any case a new relief to the iPad Pro, its power, its software library, its capabilities.
Above all, the Surface Pro X tells us hollow about the difficulties of transplanting a "traditional" computer model on a modern Arm architecture. It has not changed much since 2013, finally. Apple probably has that in mind for a while, while the first Macs with a "home" engine are announced – by persistent rumors – for next year.
(Microsoft Translator tags) Microsoft (t) Microsoft Surface Pro X (t) ARM (t) Elsewhere