“It’s not just that you learned; it’s not just that you failed. It’s did you take the learnings and apply them?” Panay says. “I think when you look at Pro X today—yup, you’re looking at an ARM- based architecture, a mobile chipset. But ultimately we transformed that part and made it a full PC architecture part. This product has never existed before.”
The Surface Pro X won’t be cheap: It will start at $1,000 for a configuration with 8 gigabytes of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage, rivaling the starting price of the Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It start shipping the first week of November.
The Surface Pro X is part of a wide range of hardware announcements from Microsoft today. As Panay puts it, some of the products are “for people right now, and some are designed to get people where they’re going.” The former category is made up of new Surface tablets, laptops, and headphones, while the latter includes the dual-screened Surface Neo and Surface Duo, mobile devices that won’t ship until the 2020 holiday season.
The Surface Pro X is joined by the Surface Pro 7, the newest version of the two-in-one tablet. The Surface Pro 7 is largely unchanged from the previous Pro model, except for the addition of an Intel 10th-generation Ice Lake processor and a USB-C port, something last year’s Surface Pro 6 was lacking. It starts at $750, and like the other products it can be preordered today and ships in late October.
The Surface Laptop, Microsoft’s more traditional clamshell laptop, is getting some interesting updates. This is the third cycle of these machines, and in the early days they were considered Microsoft’s answer to the MacBook Air—thin and sleek and right around $1,000, with Alcantara fabric around the keyboard.
The newest version, the Surface Laptop 3, will ship with the option of an all-metal design, and there will be a 15-inch option in addition to the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3. The larger model can also be configured with custom AMD processors for better graphics performance. These start at $1,000 for a 13.5-inch laptop running on Intel’s Core i5 processor and $1,200 for the 15-inch version.
In a nod to sustainability—or possibly in response to iFixit’s 0/10 repairability score for the Surface Laptop 2—Microsoft is also making the Surface Laptop 3 easier to fix, though it’s saying this should be done by authorized technicians.