Hands On With Microsoft Surface Pro X, A New Direction For Surface
PCWorld|November 2019
There are sacrifices: the microSD slot, USB-A port, and headphone jack.
Mark Hachman

Microsoft’s Surface Pro X adds a formerly missing piece to the Surface lineup: an always-on, always-connected device that enables productivity wherever you go.

What it changes on the inside—especially the custom Snapdragon 8cx-based processor that Microsoft co-designed with Qualcomm—is reflected by dramatic changes on the outside: a pair of USB-C ports, a rechargeable pen tray...and the unfortunate removal of the headphone jack, USB-A, and the microSD slot. There’s also a SIM slot for connectivity, though it’s well hidden.

The 14-inch Surface Pro X tablet is priced from $999 to $1,799 (from Microsoft.com [go.pcworld.com/sfpx]) and will ship on November 5. That base price is a few hundred more than the cheapest $799 configuration of the Intel-based Surface Pro 7. As shown below, users will get to select from various memory and storage options, as well as consumer and business versions. A new Surface Slim Pen and Surface Pro X Signature Keyboard are also specific to the platform. Both the Slim Pen and keyboard appear to be sold separately, though we don’t have prices for either.

A BOLD NEW LOOK FOR SURFACE

It’s sort of hard to believe that the first thing worth highlighting is the Surface Slim Pen, but it absolutely is. With the Type Cover inclined, there’s absolutely no indication that anything’s changed. Detach the Cover, though, and a small cubby is revealed: a new, flattish Surface Slim Pen! That recharges when tucked away! That launches the Whiteboard app! And that won’t get lost!

Yes, exclamation points are absolutely demanded here. As an occasional inker who has at one time or another touched almost every Surface tablet in existence, a literal handful of Surface Pens live in the bottom of my backpack. A safe, secure place to store a digital pen is absolutely worth applause, though I’m a teeny bit concerned that it will vampirically steal away power from the Surface device, which I consider more of a priority. Securing the pen has been a problem that’s demanded a solution for years. While Dell’s Inspiron 7000 Black Edition laptops (go. pcworld.com/dlbl) got there first, Microsoft earns second place for the Surface Pro X.

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