Microsoft has significantly revamped and upgraded the x86-based Surface Pro and Surface Go tablets today, but the ARM-based Surface Pro X isn’t getting any hardware upgrades of note. Microsoft is, however, releasing a Wi-Fi-only model that brings the tablet’s entry price down to $899 (compared to $999 for the LTE base model, which also includes a Microsoft SQ1 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage).
The Surface Pro 8 has adopted most of the Surface Pro X’s design improvements, but the Surface Pro X does remain slightly thinner, is totally fanless, and is about a quarter-pound lighter (1.7 pounds compared to 1.96 pounds, before you add a keyboard or other accessories). Microsoft has also updated the Surface Slim Pen—the $130 Slim Pen 2 moves the pen’s button from the narrow side to the flat side and adds a haptic vibration motor to recreate the “feeling you get with pen on paper.” That functionality, however, apparently requires the Microsoft G6 chip in the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Laptop Studio. On other devices, including the Surface Pro X, the pen supports the same 4,096 pressure levels as the previous model and maintains compatibility with Surface devices going back to the Surface Pro 3.
The main Surface Pro X upgrade that Microsoft focused on is Windows 11 itself, which will resolve some of the Surface Pro X’s software compatibility issues by supporting the emulation of 64-bit x86 code. Windows 10 can only emulate 32-bit x86 apps, though beta versions of Windows 10 have supported x86-64 code emulation since late last year. You’ll still need to deal with the performance penalty of code emulation .
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