We prefer Arm-powered Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (5G) Windows tablets over Intel or AMD. First, hopefully not last.
Surface Pro 9 reviews should be taken with a grain of salt because the brand offers two variants. Qualcomm’s SQ3 processor co-developed for Microsoft drives the Surface Pro 9 (5G), which uses Intel’s 12th-gen CPU CPU. Testing Surface Pro 9 (5G).
Microsoft renamed Surface Pro X Surface Pro 9 (5G). The SQ3 Arm chip, which is incompatible with Intel’s Core and AMD’s Ryzen processors’ X86 architecture, can run most Windows apps with Arm-optimized Windows 11 and code interpreter.
Our research suggests the Surface Pro 9 (5G) has somewhat better battery life and worse performance than the Core. Not much less, which is surprising. It has application compatibility difficulties outside of Office and Edge.
Only Surface Pro 9 (5G) has a 5G radio, so you’ll always be connected without a router. Microsoft will not sell a 5G Core Surface Pro 9. Surface Pro 9 (5G) stays connected.
The Surface 10th anniversary Liberty Floral keyboard is limited.
The 5G Surface Pro 9 lacks Intel-compatible Thunderbolt 4 USB-C connectors. Instead, Surface Pro 9 (5G) has 10Gbps USB-C. Thunderbolt docks won’t expand this tablet’s I/O. Since a powered Thunderbolt dock won’t work, the 39W charger must charge the tablet via Surface Connect.
Microsoft’s Surface Dock 2, future Microsoft Audio Dock, or cheap USB-C dongle can expand I/O, and the in-box charger works fine. Another difference.
Except for lowering chassis weight, the Surface Pro 9 is identical to the Surface Pro 8, with a Surface Pro Signature Keyboard (sold separately) that fits the Surface Slim Pen 2 (usually included) into its recharging cubby. The Surface Pro 9 turns ten with Sapphire and Forest colors and a Liberty floral blue.
Microsoft offers OS-specific Surface Pro 9 and Surface Pro 9 (5G) variants. The Surface Pro 9 (5G) we tested featured Windows 11 Home. An optional Surface Pro 9 (5G) for Business has Windows 11 Pro. Business clients get superior service.
Dimensions;13-inch PixelSense Flow (2880×1920, 267 PPI, 120Hz).
Surface Pro 9/5G: Intel Core i5-1235U, i7-1255U; Surface Pro 9 for Business: Microsoft SQ3 3GHz
Surface Pro 9 5G: SQ3 Adreno 8cx Gen 3; Iris Xe (Core i5, i7)
The Surface Pro 9 5G has 8/16/32GB LPDDR5 and LPDDR4X.
Detachable SSD 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB; Surface Pro 9 5G:
Surface Pro 9 (5G): 2 USB-C 10Gbps (4.0/Thunderbolt 4). Surface Connect and Surface Keyboard are on SP9 models.
Security: Windows Hello camera
Surface Pro 9 5G: 5MP/1080p (user-facing), 10MP/1080p, and 4K video (rear-facing); comparable, but with Windows Studio Effects.
Battery capacity: 46.5Wh design, 49.2Wh full.
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1, Surface Pro 9 with 5G: See below.
Customer, Surface Pro 9: Windows 11 Home; Business, 5G: Windows 10 Pro or 11 Pro.
Sub6 and Surface Pro 9 (mmWave) weigh 1.94 pounds.
Color:Platinum, graphite, sapphire, forest, liberty (limited availability).
Surface Pro 9 (5G) hardware-focused. This program highlights Windows 11’s new features, including the rebuilt Microsoft Edge browser with a premium style and a right-side icon sidebar.
Microsoft’s configuration is like Windows 11. Need a Microsoft account? The automated installation moves apps and preferences from prior Office 365 installs. Early on, the Surface program randomly asks about your inking hand and Surface Slim Pen 2 operation. Surface Pro emphasizes inking over Surface Laptop 5.
Power and volume rockers on the Surface Pro’s sides and top have moved. The Surface Pro 9 (5G) has top-mounted volume and power rockers like the 7+.
Like its 5G-less sibling, Surface Pro 9 (5G) sports a 15-degree kickstand. Creatively ink on the Surface Pro 9’s lightweight tablet and kickstand, and its magnetic Signature keyboard transforms it a clamshell notebook. It handles everything perfectly.
Unlike lap-friendly clamshell laptops, Surface Pro tablets work best on flat surfaces. Instead, hold the 13-inch SP9 tablet by its wide side bezels. The Surface Pro 8, which increased display size, has a greater resolution than Dell and other tablets. Microsoft may employ AI to identify tablet-holding fingers. No, everything looks old.
How does Surface Pro 9 (5G) type?
The Slim Pen 2 charging cubby is the only change to Microsoft’s Surface Pro Signature Keyboards. You can use the tablet on your lap thanks to the magnetic keyboard link, but you’ll probably prefer a desk or tabletop. Although the slanted Signature Keyboard is fine for daily use, a clamshell laptop is more stable.
Surface Pro 9 headphone jack—what happened?
More balanced and quieter speakers are on the Surface Pro 9 (5G). Surface Pro 9 (5G) audio quality seems to be improving with less. Not believing the 2W speaker specs.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8’s Windows 11 Settings menu offers audio improvement. The Surface Pro 9 (5G) sounds like the SP8 sans the switch. However, headphones solve such issues, and my Google Pixel earbuds sound great.
Pixel USB-C earphones. Why? I still dislike the Surface Pro 9 (5G) and Surface Pro X’s headphone jack removal. Need Bluetooth iPad earbuds without charging. Feel differently? Okay, OK.
Arm’s weakness—program compatibility—wasn’t tested on Microsoft’s tablet in time. The Editor’s Choice award is canceled due to failed benchmark programs.
Microsoft 365/Office and web browsing have long been Windows on Arm priorities. It loads and works. By encouraging laptop manufacturers to make thicker clamshells with more battery, Intel’s Evo platform has improved battery life.
The Surface Pro 9 (5G) lacks clamshell notebook competition. Room to breathe. Justifications aside, it’s near Core favorites. We can test the Surface Laptop 5’s Intel Core processor, but not the Pro 9. Tablet battery life is good, and enhanced connectivity offsets lower performance.
Suddenly, Surface Pro 9 (5G) sparkled. We’re impressed. Best class tablet? Not sure. We endorse the Surface Pro 9 (5G) and hope Qualcomm and Microsoft compete.