Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Pro 9 will reportedly be available in both Intel and ARM configurations. According to Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, the ARM version will be powered by a new Microsoft SQ3 chip, which is a custom version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 SoC.
As of today, consumers who want to buy a Surface tablet with an ARM processor have to choose the Surface Pro X, which is available with Microsoft SQ1 (1st gen) and SQ 2 (2nd gen) SoCs. However, the Surface Pro X line may soon no longer have a purpose if the upcoming “Surface Pro 9” offers both Intel and ARM options.
Microsoft already offers both Intel and AMD chips on its Surface Laptop 4, though Bowden reports that “there are no plans to offer the Surface Pro 9 with AMD chips.” However, the Intel version of the new tablet is expected to feature 12th gen Intel chips, which use a more power-efficient hybrid architecture.
The report says that the Surface Pro 9 should not introduce major design changes, though it will offer optional 5G connectivity for the first time. The new tablet is expected to be announced later this fall alongside new Surface Laptop and Surface Laptop Studio models.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro line will celebrate its 10th anniversary in October. The first-generation Surface RT actually used an Nvidia Tegra 3 ARM chip, but it was crippled by its Windows RT OS. However, Windows on ARM has since come a long way.
Microsoft apparently believes that it no longer needs to use a different branding for its ARM-based Surface tablets. It’s certainly a mark of confidence for Windows 11 on ARM and Qualcomm’s new 8cx Gen 3 SoC, which recently made its debut in the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s. Paul recently went hands-on with that device and he’ll follow up with a full review soon.