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Microsoft Surface Pro X with SQ2 chip announced: A pricey upgrade

Microsoft's first Windows 10 on Arm device gets a chipset upgrade.

Published onOctober 1, 2020

Microsoft Surface Pro X official
  • The Surface Pro X has received a chipset upgrade in the form of the SQ2 processor.
  • Qualcomm and Microsoft’s new processor promises performance gains and improved battery life.

The Surface Pro X is the first Windows on Arm device we’ve seen from Microsoft (we don’t count the Surface RT), running Windows 10 built with power-efficient Arm chips in mind. The two-in-one device packed an SQ1 chip that was billed as a partnership between Microsoft and Qualcomm, and the duo are teaming up once again for another Surface Pro X variant.

Microsoft and Qualcomm have announced the release of a new Surface Pro X that’s powered by an SQ2 chip. There’s no word on specific upgrades for the SQ2 compared to the SQ1. It does however boast improved performance and the Snapdragon X24 LTE modem, for starters. So those hoping for 5G might be a little disappointed.

The duo also say that the Surface Pro X with the SQ2 processor delivers 15 hours of endurance compared to 13 hours on the variant with the SQ1 chip. But we’ll need to put this device through its paces to figure out whether that’s accurate.

For what it’s worth, the SQ1 was a 3Ghz octa-core processor that was essentially based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8CX chipset for Arm PCs. But XDA-Developers reports that the SQ2 is based on the second-generation 8CX processor. We’ve asked Qualcomm and Microsoft for more information on the new chipset and will update the article accordingly.

A substantial hike in price

The companies did however confirm that the Signature Keyboard accessory is now available in Platinum, Ice Blue, and Poppy Red, while XDA notes that the device is also available in a platinum color option.

The Surface Pro X with the SQ2 chipset starts at $1,499.99 for the base 16GB/256GB option, with the top-end 16GB/512GB option retailing for $1,799.99. So those wanting a cheaper variant or a price drop compared to the previous model will be disappointed. In fact, our own Gary Sims felt that the original Surface Pro X pricing in particular was a major letdown, coming in at $1,000. It’s a pity, as Gary also said it was pretty handy for productivity, media consumption, and web browsing.

The news also comes as Microsoft revealed that 64-bit app emulation was coming to Windows on Arm next month. This feature will allow legacy 64-bit Windows apps to run on the platform, such as games and editing suites.

You can check out the Surface Pro X SQ2 pre-order page via the button below.

Microsoft Surface Pro X SQ2

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