The Microsoft Surface Pro 9, announced today, offers a new processor option alongside Intel. Hint, it isn’t AMD.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 specifications

Surface Pro 9 (Intel 12th gen)
Surface Pro 9 with 5G (Microsoft SQ3)

13-inch PixelSense Flow,
2880 x 1920, 3:2, 120Hz
13-inch PixelSense Flow,
2880 x 1920, 3:2, 120Hz


Intel Core i5-1235U
Intel Core i7-1255U


Intel Core i5-1245U
Intel Core i7-1265U

Microsoft SQ3

Intel Iris Xe
Adreno 8cx Gen 3

8/16/32GB LPDDR5
8/16GB LPDDR4x

Up to 1TB SSD
Up to 512GB SSD

Up to 15.5 hours, 65W charger
Up to 19 hours, 65W charger


2x Type-C USB 4.0/TB4 port
Surface Connect port

2x Type-C USB 3.2 port
Surface Connect port


1080p Windows Hello
front camera

10MP rear camera

1080p Windows Hello
front camera, supports
Windows Studio effects

10MP rear camera

879g (1.95lbs)
883g (1.95lbs)


Windows 11 Home


Windows 11 Pro
Windows 10 Pro

Windows 11 on Arm

Starts at CA$1,410, ships on Oct. 25.


The Surface Pro 9 is built using an anodized aluminum shell with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 protecting the display. Like the generation before, the Surface Pro 9 is Intel Evo platform certified for the model with the Intel processor.

The Microsoft Surface Pro tablet PC now comes with either Intel’s 12th gen mobile processor or Microsoft’s revamped SQ3 processor based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon system on chip (SoC). The Intel variant can be configured with up to an Intel Core i7-1255U for the consumer version, and the slightly speedier Core i7-1265U processor for commercial. Microsoft says that the new hardware improves performance by 50 per cent over the Surface Pro 8.


The Surface Pro series turns 10. Image credit: Microsoft

Unlike the Intel chip, which uses x86 instructions, Microsoft’s SQ3 chip is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, a system on chip (SoC) powered by Arm, the same instruction set architecture used for most smartphone processors and Apple’s M-series chips for Mac devices. The Microsoft SQ processors were previously exclusive to the Pro X, a branch of the main Surface Pro line that ran a custom version of Windows optimized for Arm. Historically, the Surface Pro X has always had more app incompatibility and performance issues than the main Pro line. It will be interesting to see how the new version performs.

Several hardware differences set the SQ3 model apart from the Intel one. It’s the only version that comes with 5G connectivity baked in. Furthermore, it includes Microsoft’s Pluton security co-processor, something missing from the Intel model. The downsides are that it uses LPDDR4x memory instead of LPDDR5, with the capacity capped at 16GB instead of 32GB. Also, it only supports up to a 512GB SSD, whereas the Intel models raise that to 1TB.

Both models carry a 3:2, 2,880 x 1920, 13-inch PixelSense Flow touch display with a 120Hz refresh rate and an impressive 1,200:1 contrast ratio. Interestingly, Microsoft only lists Dynamic refresh rate support for the Intel model.

Port-wise, the Surface Pro 9 comes with two type-C USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4 combo ports and one Surface Connect port. The Surface Pro 9 with 5G has two Type-C USB 3.2 ports and a nano-SIM tray.

Battery life depends on the user’s workflow, but Microsoft pegs the Intel Surface Pro 9 at 15.5 hours of “typical device usage,” and 19 hours for the Surface Pro 9 with 5G.

New device colours and Type Covers to match. Image credit: Microsoft

The Surface Pro 9 starts at CA$1,410 and comes in Platinum, Graphite, Sapphire, and Forest colour options. Microsoft also partnered with Liberty of London to create a limited edition design with etched floral patterns. Pre-orders start now. Shipping will begin on Oct. 25. The Surface Pen and the Type Cover keyboard are sold separately.

The post Microsoft announces Surface Pro 9 with an Arm processor option first appeared on IT World Canada.

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