The Surface Pro 9 could come with both Intel and Arm processors
Microsoft’s main flagship Surface Pro 2-in-1 lineup has been split into two options since 2019 — the Surface Pro X, and the regular Surface Pro. The Surface Pro X features Arm-based SoC and the main Surface Pro, around since 2012, is powered by traditional Intel chips. Heading into the fall, though, it looks like that might change as the next Surface Pro 9 could come with options for both Intel and Arm processor.
This latest rumor comes via Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, who reports that he’s hearing from his sources that Microsoft is planning to merge the Surface Pro X under the main Surface Pro line. If that holds up to be true, this means that you’ll be able to choose either an Intel or Arm version of the Surface Pro 9 at checkout, and the Surface Pro X could be discontinued.
Been hearing from my sources for a while now that MS is planning to merge the Surface Pro X under the main Surface Pro line this fall, meaning the Surface Pro "9" will be available in both Intel and ARM flavors for the first time. Big milestone for WoA!
— Zac Bowden (@zacbowden) August 28, 2022
And what’s powering this new Surface Pro 9? Well, we believe that it will be a new custom Microsoft SQ3 chip, which is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, found in the new ThinkPad X13s. This could also be the same chip that’s found in Microsoft’s Project Volterra development kit too. As for the Intel option, Intel’s 12th generation P-series CPU is the logical option, as last year’s Surface Pro 8 got 11th-generation CPUs.
Microsoft has a lot of experience when it comes to giving consumers these types of choices. You can already choose between an Intel or AMD processor in the Surface Laptop 4, but Bowden’s sources are saying that there are no plans to bring an AMD option over to the Surface Pro 9.
As for the work that’s been done behind the scenes to optimize Windows for Arm-based devices like this new Surface Pro 9, there’s a lot. Microsoft has optimized most of its flagship Microsoft 365 apps for Windows on Arm, has enabled 64-bit app emulation, and is pushing developers to code Windows on Arm apps. The Surface Pro 9 could show that Microsoft is finally ready to take Windows on Arm mainstream.
The overall design of the Surface Pro 9 still remains a mystery, though. With the Surface Pro X being a thin and fanless device, it’s unknown if that will be ported over to the Pro 9. The accessories, though, could be backward compatible, as Bowden noted that he’s not expecting major design changes except for the addition of 5G for the first time on a Surface.
You can expect to hear a lot more of these rumors in the next few weeks. Microsoft has been said to be holding a Surface event this September. And Microsoft’s own Ignite conference is coming up, as is the rumored release of the Windows 11 22H2 update.
Source: Windows Central