Microsoft’s sleek Arm tablet is back and, while it may not be a Surface Pro X 2, the Surface Pro X 2020 model offers a few decent upgrades. Let’s take a look at the key differences between the Surface Pro X 2020 vs Surface Pro X 2019.
The original Surface Pro X felt like a concept device, with a price that most consumers would find hard to justify. Nevertheless, the hardware design was hugely impressive and – ideally – what the regular Surface Pro line will become in the future.
The future is not here just yet though and Microsoft is ploughing ahead with some fairly tame upgrades to the original model. The promise of improved optimisation of software for Windows on Arm could be what pushes the gorgeous-looking device but, with MacBook Arm swiftly closing in, the Surface Pro X needs to take some big steps forward.
We’re pitting the models against each other in Surface Pro X 2020 vs Surface Pro X 2019 to give you an in-depth look into the important new features.
- Check out our full Surface Pro X 2019 review
Surface Pro X 2020 vs Surface Pro X 2019 price
The new Surface Pro X starts at £1549 – with the new Microsoft SQ2 only coming to higher SKUs, with lower models keeping the old Microsoft SQ1 processor and less RAM.
You’ll still be required to shell out £259.99 for a Surface Pro X Signature Keyboard and Slim Pen Bundle, if you want the full experience.
The Slim Pen can be bought by itself for £129.99, while a regular Surface Pro X Keyboard costs £129.99.
Related: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
Surface Pro X 2020 vs Surface Pro X 2019 specs
With Surface Pro X 2020 sticking to the same external hardware, there isn’t much to touch on when it comes to specs – with the big change being the new Microsoft SQ2 processor.
Microsoft hasn’t provided details on how much faster the new SQ2 processor is but it has stated you’ll be able to get up to 15 hours of battery life out of the new processor – compared to up to 13 hours on the original. The rest of the specs remain the same – starting at 8GB RAM and 128GB storage.
The key performance metric for the new Pro X will and it’s actually progress on Arm compatibility that will likely be the key factor for Surface Pro X 2020. Microsoft has enhanced developer tools to run natively on Arm, while also using its App Assure with Fast Track to offer improved support for organisations working towards making their apps compatible with Windows 10 on Arm.
Some apps simply don’t run on Arm yet so support for developers working towards future compatibility will be key. Other apps that did already run on Arm often provided a much weaker experience than on regular Windows 10 – e.g. Google Chrome – so improving this will be just as important.
Surface Pro X 2020 vs Surface Pro X 2019 design
After the new Microsoft SQ2, the most significant change comes to Surface Pro X is a new colour – Platinum.
Platinum is the standard colour for the rest of the Surface Pro range already, so the addition makes sense – if a little bland. You can get the Surface Pro 7 in Black but having that as the default colour for Surface Pro X certainly made it stand out from the rest.
The rest of the design keeps it the same – with a 13-inch PixelSense display, stereo speakers, two USB-C ports, a SIM slot, a Surface Connect port and the keyboard connector on the bottom.
While Surface Pro X only gains one colour, there are new colours for the Surface Pro X Signature Keyboard – Ice Blue, Platinum and Poppy Red. The Signature Keyboard offers that nifty hiding place for storing the Surface Slim Pen.
Not a whole lot has changed when it comes to Surface Pro X 2020 vs Surface Pro X 2019, with software improvements set to play a pivotal role. We’ll have to wait to get our hands on the new device for the full review to test out its new compatibility chops.
For now, it’s nice to see Microsoft recognises the hurdles it needs to overcome to make Windows 10 on Arm a success as well as some new colour options. If you’re interested in a new Surface Pro X then £1549 seems a pretty penny for a device with unproven compatibility. The lower SKUs give you the same form-factor with slightly less power but, for the basic productivity tasks you can do on the Pro X, the original SQ1 version might suit you fine.