At Microsoft's hardware event last year, the company introduced its first Windows on ARM PC, the Surface Pro X. This year's hardware launch is a bit more modest, probably for the simple reason that the firm isn't holding in-person events. One thing being announced is a refreshed Surface Pro X.
To be clear, Microsoft is specifically not calling this the Surface Pro X 2. No, this is a new configuration of the first-gen product. Still, it's growing up a bit to be more like the rest of the Surface family. For example, it now comes in a Platinum color variant; it's still made out of aluminum, but now it will match the color variants of the Intel-powered Surface Pro.
While the chassis was limited to Black originally, so was the Surface Keyboard. Now, you'll be able to get Alcantara-coated Signature Keyboards, which are offered in Poppy Red, Ice Blue, and Platinum.
You can also now get a Surface Pro X with an SQ2 processor, instead of the Microsoft SQ1 that came in the original. To be clear, you do have a choice between the two. The Microsoft SQ2 is presumably based on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G in the same way that the SQ1 is based on the Snapdragon 8cx, and that would mean that the SQ2 is a pretty modest upgrade. The SQ1 was just an overclocked Snapdragon 8cx, and frankly, so is the 8cx Gen 2.
One thing missing, which you'd find on a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 PC, is 5G connectivity. Microsoft is sticking with 4G LTE on this generation, and it's really no surprise. Qualcomm is pushing sub6 and mmWave on Windows on ARM PCs, so it's likely that Microsoft will just wait until a proper gen-two refresh for that, as it will require a major antenna redesign.
Yesterday, Microsoft announced some improvements to Windows on ARM in general. It finally confirmed that x64 emulation is coming, something that we exclusively reported on last November. It also said that there's a native Teams app on the way, which will offer a big performance improvement to Windows on ARM users.
The new Surface Pro X configurations will be available starting on October 13, and they start at $1,499.99.