Next Microsoft Surface Pro may come in a Snapdragon 8cx variant
Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablets have gained popularity for their usage as 2-in-1 tablet/laptop computers, giving users the flexibility of working with Windows in the manner that they are more comfortable. Surface Pro devices have mainly featured Intel chips in the past, but this appears to be changing as reports indicate that Microsoft is testing out a variant of the Surface Pro with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx.
According to reports from Windows Central and Petri, Microsoft is expected to host an event in October to launch new hardware in its Surface lineup. This includes a new Surface Laptop and a new Surface Pro 2-in-1, both of which are expected to be physically similar to their predecessors but with more significant internal changes. These reports mention that Microsoft’s relationship with Intel is on “shaky ground,” because of which Microsoft is looking to diversify its product lineup to include more options instead of being completely dependent on Intel for chips for yet another generation.
Microsoft is prototyping an ARM version of the Surface Pro with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx inside. Microsoft is said to have worked closely with Qualcomm for this device, which is referred to with the codename “Excalibur.” The Snapdragon 8cx is Qualcomm’s latest offering in the premium computing tier and is claimed to offer performance that can rival that of the Intel Core i5 processor, along with vastly superior battery life. The Snapdragon 8cx compute platform also boasts of full hypervisor and Windows 10 Enterprise support, which helps make Windows on ARM a compelling choice. This Surface Pro will be in addition to other Intel-based variants, so end consumers will get the option to choose what they prefer.
For the Surface laptop, Microsoft is said to be testing the AMD Picasso chip as a possible choice alongside Intel variants of the laptop. New devices in the Surface lineup are also expected to swap their Surface Connect port for a more universal USB Type-C port.
What are your thoughts on Microsoft exploring alternatives to Intel? Are you excited for a Surface Pro with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx? Let us know in the comments below!