Microsoft has officially announced new Surface devices this morning, a new 12.5-inch Surface Laptop Go that starts at $549, and a better version of last year’s Surface Pro X featuring a brand new Microsoft SQ 2 processor for customers who need more power. The software giant has once again teamed up with Qualcomm to create this new custom-designed SoC which is “the fastest processor in its class” according to Microsoft.
This new Microsoft SQ 2 processor, which will be coupled with a more powerful Adreno 690 GPU will only be available on the top end Surface Pro X SKUs with 16GB of RAM starting at $1499.99. The Surface Pro X with the existing SQ1 processor will keep its $999 starting price, and Microsoft is also adding a new Platinum finish as an alternative to the original Matte black color. Surface Pro X keyboards, which are still sold separately, are also available in three new colors, Ice Blue, Poppy Red, and Platinum, in addition to the original Black color.
It’s important to note that the Surface Pro X with the new Microsoft SQ 2 processor will retain the same design, 13” PixelSense Display, and ports as the original model with the SQ 1 processor, though the new chip should bring significant performance improvements to customers. Surface Pro X devices with the new SQ 2 processor also come with the same Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE modem that supports Gigabit LTE speeds, so we’ll have to wait to see a 5G model.
Notably, Microsoft announced that all Surface Pro X devices should now deliver up to 15 hours of battery life thanks to “additional software improvements,” and the company is also promising more native apps coming soon to the platform including an ARM64 version of Microsoft Teams. Starting in November, Microsoft will also start testing support for x64 emulation with Windows Insiders, which should really help to fix the app compatibility issues on Windows 10 on ARM.
The Surface Pro X remains Microsoft’s thinnest Surface Pro tablet, and it’s also the first Surface tablet with two USB-C ports, a removable SSD, a Firmware TPM chip for enterprise security. “Surface Pro X is the thinnest and most connected 2:1 we’ve ever shipped and we’re excited to deliver these new experiences at a time when connectivity has never been more top of mind,” said VP of Surface Pete Kyriacou today.
The new Surface Pro X with the new Microsoft SQ2 processor is available for pre-order today in select markets at the Microsoft Store and other major retailers, and it will start shipping on October 13. Microsoft also announced this morning that Surface devices are now available in 11 new European markets including Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia.