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Surface Pro X vs. Surface Pro 7: we analyze in depth the 2-in-1 Microsoft

Microsoft has updated its line of basic hardware in October 2019 with a variety of devices very interesting. This latest generation includes tablets and 2-in-1 with Windows 10, which has been a update excellent with several models and configurations available. Then, face Surface Pro X vs. Surface Pro 7, the two teams with the best characteristics and this is the result.

The new Surface Pro X is a 2-in-1 based on the ARM architecture, which uses a processor derived from the association of Microsoft with Qualcomm. Supposedly is three times more powerful for watt, that the Surface Pro 6 previous. That is something exciting, no doubt, but is it enough to attract buyers of the Surface Pro 7?

Design

Surface Pro X vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

The aesthetics of the two new 2-in-1 is similar to that of the previous Surface Pro. That is a good thing, because Microsoft has managed to maintain a unique appearance in this series, at the same time that it continues to be modern.

The Surface Pro 7 has not suffered any change in the exterior, with the same screen PixelSense 12.3 inches and its aspect ratio of 3:2 and a resolution of 2,736 x 1,824 pixels to obtain a sharp resolution of 267 pixels-per-inch (DPI).

The Surface Pro X is a little bigger thanks to a screen PixelSense 13-inch, with the same aspect ratio 3:2 and a resolution just as sharp 2,880 x 1,920 pixels, which gives us a density equal to her sister of 267 PPI.

However, the Surface Pro X is also thinner than the Surface Pro 7, with a size of tablet, 5.3 mm in comparison with 8.38 mm Both 2-in-1 are, roughly, equally light, with 1.7 pounds (there is a difference of a gram). Given the thinness of the Surface Pro X, we suspect that it will feel like a smaller device.

The Surface Pro X offers some design features are more attractive than the Surface Pro 7. In the first place, the computer Surface Pro X has an access cover under the support, which may allow the solid-state drive (SSD) is changed by a new one.

Microsoft warns, however, that the SSD “is not removable by the user” and that “can only be changed by a qualified technician following the instructions provided by Microsoft”. In any case, it seems possible to upgrade the SSD in a Pro X, and it would be the first time for the line to Surface, and perhaps the first for tablets, point.

In addition, while the Surface Pro 7 uses the same Type Cover and Pen that the previous models, the Surface Pro X has a new Type Cover with a slot specifically for the Slim Pen, which includes wireless charging.

The connectivity improvement with the Surface Pro 7, by adding a USB-a port C (without Thunderbolt 3), a USB-A port, a connector for earphones of 3.5 mm, a slot for memory card, MicroSDXC card, and the same port Surface Connection models Pro previous.

In comparison, the Surface Pro X has two USB ports-C, the port Surface Connection, a connector Type Cover and a slot microSIM for wireless connectivity LTE. However, it lacks the USB-A port and connector for 3.5 mm headphones offered in the model Pro-7.

All in all, the Surface Pro X is thinner and has a screen a little larger, with some touches of design pleasant.

Finally, both models can be purchased in matte black, while the Surface Pro 7 is the only offered in platinum.

Performance

Surface Pro X vs. Surface Pro 7

Here is where these 2-in-1 are more different.

The Surface Pro 7 uses processors Ice Lake Intel of 10th generation, with options for Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 1tb of SSD. This gives the Surface Pro 7 a performance similar to that of a laptop.

The Surface Pro X, on the other hand, uses the processor Microsoft SQ1, with ARM architecture and based on the chip 8cx Snapdragon Qalcomm. Which works with up to 7 W, which is significantly higher than chips similar to that typically operate at 2 W. What Does that mean? More processing power.

The Microsoft SQ1 has integrated on the same chip the processor and the GPU, and offers up to 2 teraflops of graphics performance, and 9 teraflops of total performance. Also, includes an artificial intelligence engine.

Apart from the custom processor in the Pro X, only offers configurations with 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM and SSD storage of 128, 256 or 512 GB, do not offer versions with 1 TB. That said, the Surface Pro 7 has a greater variety of configurations in terms of RAM memory, as there are versions from 4 GB and SSD storage from 128 up to 1 TB.

Most of the developers launched versions of 32-and 64-bit versions of their applications. A computer with Windows 10 with a chip based on ARM you can run the 32-bit versions, but can only run 64-bit applications if they are ported to ARM64.

In other words, many applications that run on a computer based on Intel, including the Pro 7, you can do it correctly on a tablet based on ARM, such as the Pro x is Not as limited as the first Surface with Windows RT, but there are limitations.

In our review of the Surface Pro 7, we saw an improvement of 20 percent in the multi-core performance with respect to the previous generation. More specifically, Handbrake converted a 4K video, a 24 percent faster than Surface Pro 6 that we tested previously.

Leaving out the comparisons, and with the recent launch of the Apple Silicon, we believe that chips based on the ARM architecture have a great future, and will evolve to a better performance in a short time.

Clear that the development of a new chip is very important, but not all of it, also, depends on the development of specific applications for ARM64 or the creation of a framework so that developers can make the portability of the existing ones efficiently.

Ultimately, the only way to compare Surface Pro 7 and Pro X is to use reference tools that are compatible with the chips x86 (Intel) and ARM (Snapdragon). Geekbench 5 is one of those tools.

The configuration of the Surface Pro 7 Core i5 overcame to Surface Pro X in testing of multiple cores: 4412 address 2813, respectively. On the evidence of a single core, the Core i5 in the Pro 7 received a higher score of 1218, while the Pro X won only 735 points.

In other points of reference as BrowserBench Speedometer and the JetStream 2, the Surface Pro 7 ahead of the Surface Pro X.

Portability

Both laptops are thin and light and just abultarán in a backpack.

The Surface Pro X is a lot thinner, but your weight is about the same. Both are a 2-in-1 very portable.

Battery

Surface Pro X vs. Surface Pro 7

Microsoft reduced its estimate for Surface Pro 7 of the 13.5 hours promised with Surface Pro 6 to 10.5 hours of mixed use, in reference to the processors in its interior.

In comparison with the Surface Pro 6 that we reviewed earlier, the new model Pro 7 died one hour and twenty minutes earlier than its predecessor in web browsing slight. Although, the specifications listed up to 10.5 hours of mixed use, we find that the ceiling is lower at 8.5 hours.

Meanwhile, Microsoft boasts of up to 13 hours of normal use on the Surface Pro X, but the numbers of the real world seem to be of about nine hours. That is a little more than the Pro 7, but it is not a significant increase given the chip efficiency of the battery in its interior. Why? Microsoft and Qualcomm modified this chip, personalising it for more performance than the chip Snapdragon typical to phones and tablets.

What model is better?

Surface Pro X vs. Surface Pro 7

If you want performance and compatibility, purchase the Surface Pro 7. But if you prefer a highly portable device and you are more concerned about the transmission of Netflix, purchase the Surface Pro X.

The base price of the Surface Pro 7 is $749 dollars. From there it will go up. The settings range high likely exceed $2,000. And you’ll need to include a couple of hundred dollars for a Type Cover and Surface Pen.

The Surface Pro X input has a price of $999, again without Type Cover or Slim Pen. From there you will also increase the price. Both laptops are devices premium with a advanced settings.

We suspect that most users will be using the Surface Pro 7 to gain performance. But the Surface Pro X is an interesting alternative with a battery life slightly better. We’ll have to wait until our comprehensive reviews to name our final winner.

*Updated by José Luis Plascencia on June 29, 2020.

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