Arm-based Surface Pro X misses out on any significant updates at Microsoft's Surface Event
Microsoft has made a splash with its Surface Event revealing some meaningful upgrades to several devices including the new Surface Duo 2, Surface Laptop Studio, and Surface Pro 8. However, a notable omission from the party was the Arm-based Surface Pro X which now has a new Wi-Fi only entry-level model. While catching the Apple’s M1 might be out of the question, there’s no question the device is overdue for a significant silicon upgrade.
The Surface Pro X launched in 2019 with a Microsoft SQ1 SoC, made in collaboration with Qualcomm. The chip is based on the Snapdragon 855 which features four high-performance Arm Cortex-A76 cores (and four Cortex-A55 efficiency cores) As a comparison, Qualcomm’s current flagship mobile SoC, the Snapdragon 888, features a special high-performance Cortex-X1 core coupled with three additional Cortex-A78 high performance cores (along with the same four Cortex-A55 efficiency cores).
The Surface Pro X received a minor spec bump when it received the SQ2 (based on the Qualcomm 8cx Gen 2) as an option further up the range in 2020, but was only a slightly higher clocked SoC with the same underlying architecture as the SQ1. With no signs of Qualcomm 8cx Gen 3 in the lead up to the Surface Event, it is perhaps no surprise that we didn’t see anything major from Microsoft for the Surface Pro X. One can only surmise that both Qualcomm and Microsoft have decided to wait for the impact of the former’s acquisition of Nuvia to embed itself into its next high-performance SoC targeted at Windows 10/11 on Arm machines.