Microsoft plans to merge the Surface Pro X and Surface Pro “9” under the same product line later this fall in a bid to help normalize Windows on ARM offerings. According to my sources, the company will offer the Surface Pro 9 in both ARM and Intel configurations, with the ARM variant powered by a dedicated Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 SoC, dubbed Microsoft SQ3.
The move comes after the company announced its first Windows on ARM desktop PCs in the form of a developer kit dubbed “Project Volterra,” which I think features the Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 SoC and includes the same neural processing unit (NPU) AI features and power that is expected to ship on the Surface Pro 9 with ARM.
Been hearing from my sources for a while now that MS plans to incorporate the Surface Pro X under the main Surface Pro line this fall, meaning the Surface Pro “9” will be available in both Intel and ARM flavors for the first time. Big milestone for WoA!August 28, 2022
On the Intel side, I hear the Surface Pro 9 will ship with a 12th generation chip, possibly of the P-series variety, which will provide a significant performance boost over the Surface Pro 8. I was told that there are no plans to offer the Surface Pro 9 with the chip. AMD, although the AMD option will still be available on the upcoming Surface Laptop 5.
Other additions to the Surface Pro 9 include an SKU with 5G connectivity for the first time on a Surface PC, and a new Type Cover color and design. I don’t expect to see any major external design changes on the device, meaning the Surface Pro 9 will have to be compatible with the same Type Cover and Slim Pen accessories as the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Pro X.
It’s unclear what Microsoft will do with the Surface Pro X’s chassis, which is slightly thinner than the main Surface Pro line. Will the company keep the thinner chassis for the Surface Pro 9 with ARM, or will it just unite under the slightly thicker chassis for the ARM and Intel models? Only time will tell.
Microsoft offering two different chips in one product line is nothing new. The company has done it with Surface Laptop since 2019, where it offers both Intel and AMD chips in the same product.
Microsoft is expected to unveil the Surface Pro 9, alongside the new Surface Studio and Surface Laptop in the next few weeks. Of course, these plans may change between now and the device being announced.