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First Impressions

It might look very much the same, yet this could be a sizeable upgrade for the Surface Pro line. With huge performance promises, extended battery life and a lovely new OLED display there’s certainly a lot to get excited by here.

Key Features

  • Powered by QualcommSnapdragon X Plus or X Elite chips inside
  • OLED displayA wonderful 13-inch OLED display is a huge improvement over LCD


Microsoft has just announced the Surface Pro 11 as part of its Copilot Plus PC launch, and I got the chance to take the AI PC for a spin.

Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro device is an important release for several reasons. This initial version has ditched Intel chips for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite, giving it a notable performance and battery life boost. It’ll start at $999 when it’s available in June.

It’s also got new screen tech, an updated keyboard attachment that can be used independently of the display and optional 5G.

Before I get onto performance, one of the first things I noticed about the Surface Pro 11 was the new OLED display. This isn’t Tandem OLED like the panel on the new iPad Pro M4, but it is still an excellent screen that is a huge improvement over the LCD panel used before. 

I put the Surface Pro 11 next to the LCD-toting Surface Laptop 7 and the difference was massive, with the OLED looking far more vibrant and immersive. If there’s the option to go with OLED I will always go for it. This 13-inch display supports HDR too.

Not all versions of the new Pro have this screen choice, though. This base model retains the LCD, and swaps the high-end Snapdragon X Elite for the X Plus. I’d assume this move was to ensure there was a model selling for under $1000.

Microsoft Surface Pro 11 side
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The model I spent some time with after the initial announcement at Microsoft’s office was the X Elite SKU, and it’s clear this is the one that will be pushed hardest. Microsoft reps said the machine offered 90% faster performance than the Surface Pro 9 and the NPU inside the chip enabled the vast array of AI features on show.

There are equally large claims about battery life, with 14 hours of local video playback suggested. I always find that an odd metric – who watches looped offline video for that long – but at least it does still show it’ll be a sizable upgrade over the previous Intel model. I really can’t wait to get this into Trusted Towers and see how it performs in our battery tests.

As the Copilot Plus PC name suggests, Microsoft’s AI assistant’s presence is felt all over this machine. A new Copilot Recall feature puts that NPU to the test, acting as a new way to find anything you’ve ever looked at on the machine with natural language searching.

Microsoft Surface Pro 11
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

To showcase this new feature, Microsoft used the example of someone looking for a dress for their mum. All the person could remember was that they had found a blue dress, but they didn’t know in which app they had seen it. Was it a link sent in Outlook or a web search? With Recall, a search for ‘blue dress’ found the link, without sifting through multiple apps. It’s a clever feature I can genuinely see myself using daily, whether for finding something mentioned in a meeting or a travel itinerary buried in an email chain.

There are other AI skills too. Another demo showed off Chat GPT-4o integration and how a player new to Minecraft could chat with Copilot naturally to learn how to get started in the game.

Microsoft Surface Pro 11 keyboard detached
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

We’re onto the 11th generation of the Surface Pro now and Microsoft has rarely deviated from the original design. It remains a tablet, with a keyboard and pen that aren’t included in the box. There is a new keyboard here though, called the Flex Keyboard.

This has a more rigid body than the other Surface Pro keyboard options, can be attached wirelessly via Bluetooth for more versatility and has a very responsive glass haptic trackpad that feels great to use. Overall all these upgrades are worth it, especially the ability to use the keyboard when it’s not directly connected to the tablet.

Early Verdict

It’s still the same looking machine, yet this could be a massive upgrade for the Surface Pro line. With huge performance promises, extended battery life and a lovely new OLED display there’s certainly a lot to get excited by here.

A 'hands on review' is our first impression of a product only - it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it's like to use. We call these 'hands on reviews' to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don't give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

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