The Surface Pro X I’m talking about is the new Pro X, not the newest Pro X announced earlier in October. I’ve been using this Pro X for almost a year now. I still love the form factor, but I did run into the limitations of Windows on ARM a few times. In this post, I’ll talk about what I used the device for, what worked well on the Pro X, and what didn’t.
Pro X Design
The Surface Pro X was Microsoft’s thinnest device (until the newest Pro X was announced) with its thinnest point measuring 5.3mm. The chassis doesn’t differ drastically from the Pro 7 with its kickstand and detachable keyboard. It has a 13″ crisp display, with an impressive bezel-less screen.
The keyboard doesn’t feel as nice as other Surface keyboards covered in the Alcantara fabric, but I think the rechargeable pen slot makes up for that. It’s a brilliant design! Not only does it house the pen, but it charges it too. It’s a wonder no one has come up with this until now. So I haven’t lost my Pro X pen, and I’ve never had to change the battery. As it doesn’t use a AAAA battery like the Pro 7 pen, it looks and feels very different. It’s flat like a builders pencil. I don’t like it as much as the round Surface pens, but it is pretty cool. So I still love the design of the Pro X, but what about the performance?
Pro X Performance
For most of the tasks I have used the Pro X for, the device has been nothing but snappy. For Email, Web browsing with the new Edge, Office docs, video conferencing, messaging, taking notes and watching videos, it’s been perfect. But I did run into some of the ARM processor limitations.
Previously, the Pro X could only run Windows 32 bit apps. That means that it couldn’t run Photoshop, Lightroom, Ultimaker Cura, or the Dropbox sync client. Unfortunately, these are all programs that I use on a regular basis. So the fact that the Pro X can’t run them means the Pro X can only ever be a companion device for my work flow. Since x64 Windows app support has been announced, from November I will be able to run most of those programs, but still not Dropbox.
Despite these few setbacks, I have found the Pro X to be rock solid reliable when it comes to the Windows Hello and Instant-On features.
Should you buy it?
So would I recommend this device? Yes, but carefully. If you want to use the Pro X for general office tasks, Web browsing and the like, the this could be the perfect device for you. For me, Intel based Surface Pro 7 still has the compatibility and versatility edge. But things are only looking up with ARM processors and despite what many of the tech bloggers would say, I think Microsoft has proved that Windows on ARM can work. So hopefully, Microsoft keep pushing Windows 10 on ARM with devices like this so that we can all take advantage of the choice and competition that it will offer in the mobile device space.