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Compatibility with apps and long battery life stand out.


Outstanding Matching with Applications and Extended Battery Life Emerge.

When Microsoft unveiled its latest range of Windows PCs, the company emphasized that the devices were “engineered for AI” utilizing novel chips from Qualcomm that offer enhanced energy efficiency compared to previous Intel processors.

One of the initial devices from this lineup to hit the market is the Surface Pro convertible tablet, known as Copilot+ PCs. These devices are capable of handling more demanding computing tasks and offer a longer battery life than laptops equipped with Intel processors. This strategy mirrors Apple’s approach in 2020 when they integrated custom energy-efficient Arm-based chips into their MacBooks, a move that has proven immensely successful.

The Surface Pro release signifies a notable upgrade over its predecessor, but the notion of ushering in a new era of AI computing may be a stretch at this point. Microsoft’s Surface line of computers doesn’t constitute a substantial portion of its business, with device revenue accounting for a modest share of its overall earnings.

After using the Surface Pro for a span of two weeks, here are the crucial aspects to be aware of.

Positive Aspects

The Surface Pro boasts high-end hardware. In a review unit sent by Microsoft, I received a device with Qualcomm’s 12-core Snapdragon X Elite chip, a 512GB solid-state drive, 16GB of RAM, and an OLED display. Starting at $999, the model I tested was priced at $1,499.99. The device delivers swift performance for web browsing, productivity software, and even some video games like “Retrowave World” and “Poly Bridge 3.”

The display offers remarkable detail and brightness, with seamless scrolling due to a 120Hz refresh rate. The responsive touchscreen enhances the user experience, while the iconic kickstand supporting the display remains sturdy. Below the kickstand lies a compartment safeguarding the SSD, facilitating easy hard drive replacements or upgrades.

During initial testing, the Surface Pro delivered over eight hours of battery life, exceeding Microsoft’s claim of up to 10 hours for web browsing. In comparison, the Surface Pro 9 with Microsoft’s Arm-based SQ3 chip, released in 2022, was promoted as having up to 19 hours of battery life; however, reviewers noted ongoing app compatibility issues. Unlike earlier Arm-powered Surface PCs like the Surface Pro X from 2019, this model can run a wide array of applications, ensuring users do not have to compromise significantly on compatibility.

To enable these new computers to run programs designed for Intel and AMD chips, Microsoft introduced a new emulator called Prism.

Negative Aspects

The primary AI feature expected on the new Surface Pro and other Copilot+ PCs is currently unavailable. Microsoft originally announced Recall, a feature allowing users to search through their PC activity with a few typed words to view matching results; however, its launch has been postponed. Security researchers identified potential privacy risks, prompting Microsoft to set Recall to off by default.

Some applications, including Google Drive and ExpressVPN, are currently incompatible with these new computers. Although Windows on Arm is gaining momentum, instances may arise where a traditional app version is accessible via Microsoft’s app store, while a native Arm variant is solely offered on the developer’s website.

Is it a Worthy Purchase?

The 11th iteration of the Surface Pro is a compelling option, provided that the essential apps you require are compatible with an Arm-based machine, which is increasingly likely compared to five years ago.

With favorable battery life, easy upgrade options, and an exceptional screen, this model represents a solid improvement over its predecessors. Microsoft’s transition to Arm-based processors was the right move, although the “AI PC” billing may currently be premature, as the significant AI features are not yet fully realized.

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