Microsoft Debuts New Surface Pro X to Take on the iPad Pro

Microsoft was full of surprises today, and one of them was a new Surface Pro. Called the Surface Pro X (pronounced “Ex”), the device slots above the Surface Pro 7 in the company’s pricing lineup but targets a crowded market filled with iPad Pros.

First off, it has a 13-inch 3:2 2880×1920 display surrounded by slim bezels. Microsoft says it falls in line with its previous display offerings you’ll find on products like the Surface Laptop and traditional Surface Pro in which you can’t decipher individual pixels and you’ll see nothing but vibrant colors and deep contrasts.

Secondly, it has an ARM-based processor that’s apparently up to three times faster than last year’s Surface Pro 6. It’s called the Microsoft SQ1 chip which is based on Qualcomm’s 8cx processor. It operates at 7 watts while most ARM processors operate at 2, and it’s paired to an Adreno 635 GPU that has also been fine-tuned by Microsoft. So according to the company, this thing is powerful, just like Apple’s A-series chips in the iPad Pro.

Finally, the Surface Pro X works on LTE. This makes the computer extremely portable since you won’t have to worry about finding a Wi-Fi hotspot before you start working. This is another perk not just on iPads but other Windows and even Surface products of the past. Nonetheless, it’s nice to see here.

Where the Surface Pro X starts to take jabs at the iPad Pro are interesting places. There’s a magnetic keyboard cover that’s detachable from the body of the device, and pulling the keyboard down to sit flush on your desk will present a slimmer version of the Surface Pen. This means you’ll have an easier time storing your stylus without worrying about losing it. Granted, the Apple Pencil does magnetically attach to the iPad Pro, but you can’t tuck it away with Apple’s keyboard case.

You also get more IO with the Surface Pro X. Specifically, there’s more than just one USB-C port. There’s also fast charging and up to 11.5 hours of usage out of a full battery, quotes similar to what Apple preaches when it talks about the latest Pro-grade iPads.

The Surface Pro X is also iPad-like in its design. It has rounded corners, an aluminum body, 5.3mm of thickness, and 1.68 pounds of weight, making it portable and presumably comfy to hold for long periods of time.

I can’t help but think Microsoft is directly targeting the iPad Pro with the Pro X. It’s too similar and takes way too many jabs in the right places to not have that goal. Because of this, I assume you’ll be hearing about plenty of comparisons between the iPad Pro and Surface Pro X in the near future, so stay tuned.

Microsoft says the Surface Pro X will start at $999 and go up for pre-order today. It starts shipping October 22nd.