Microsoft Surface Pro X is a powerful device powered by an ARM chip, a major milestone in the Windows future. These processors have come a long way to deliver the full Windows experience. So, is it worth the money?
Why the ARM processor?
Usually seen in smartphones and tablets, ARM processors offer several advantages over current-generation x86 chip-based Windows devices. These include the always-on utility, which allows Windows to wake up in a jiffy and the ability to always stay connected to the built-in LTE modem for mobile data. An ARM chip also makes devices ultra-portable without needing a fan for cooling and enhanced on-battery time to keep you going longer.
Does it work?
The short answer is yes. Windows 10 on this device works flawlessly. Remember, it’s primarily a tablet that doubles up as a notebook when attached to a keyboard and touchpad (sold separately for Rs 13,699). The combination is an ultra-portable tablet, which is swift in operations and seems optimised to get all the basic work done without any problem.
You can work on the Microsoft productivity suite — Word, PowerPoint, Excel — and connect with others over a video meeting using Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams. The always-connected feature with LTE support (nano SIM and eSIM) lets you stay connected to the internet and work from locations, including from inside cars and trains. The device also scores big on entertainment, thanks to a 13-inch touchscreen with a 2880×1920 pixel resolution and a 2W stereo speaker set-up.
The future of Windows?
Windows 10 on the Microsoft Surface Pro X has an emulation layer added to the operating system. It lets you run all 32-bit applications. However, it does not support 64-bit applications, so a fair number of Windows applications will not work on the Surface Pro X. That said, Windows 10 with an ARM processor is promising. All it needs to do now is get application support for x86 architecture-based processors.
The Microsoft Surface Pro X is an expensive tablet that seems to have done what Apple has with its iPad Pro 2020 — add a keyboard with touchpad support. It works flawlessly and delivers on the basic tasks you expect your Windows-based machine to do. But the price tag (Rs 98,999) makes it a niche product for enthusiasts wanting to experience the future of Windows on an ARM processor. It’s not for the masses.