Microsoft Surface Pro (11th Edition) Review: A 2-in-1 that’s overpriced

Ah, Surface Pro, How could I have forgotten your epic journey to get to this point.

Microsoft’s convertible tablet is back again, and the excitement is palpable. Microsoft’s excitement at least. This is the fastest, best, most AI Surface Pro computer ever, we learned, all thanks to Copilot+—the company’s software suite artificial intelligence features baked into the Windows operating system—Qualcomm’s Snapdragon

This is the sixth time I’ve reviewed the Surface Pro, including versions from 2015, 2019And 2020, to highlight a few. If you don’t want to waste memory, I’ll give you the highlights: Everything was fine until Microsoft decided to abandon Intel and the x86 architecture in favor of Qualcomm ARM chips in 2019 and beyond. That abandoned Qualcomm in 2020 for its own ARM silicon (developed in partnership with Qualcomm).

The TL;DR of switching to Qualcomm in 2019 is pretty simple: Thanks to ARM silicon, computers can’t run anything, at least not very well. Windows has supported the x86 architecture for decades, but almost no applications at the time were compatible with ARM-based Windows machines. No Adobe Creative Cloud apps run on it. Users who don’t want to work with the Edge browser must use the slow, emulated 32-bit version of Chrome. Oh, and it was double the price of Microsoft’s other Surface product at the time. In my review, I predicted that the Pro hard afterwards.

With Surface Pro 2024 (also known as the 11th version), Microsoft has completely returned to Qualcomm’s arms, after promises of Snapdragon X, the “It Chip” will bring AI into the mainstream. via Windows. Lots of other PC makers are involved—I looked Asus Vivobook S 15 Copilot+ PC and will soon test more devices running this Snapdragon. Everyone wants a piece of that AI pie.

Note, however, that even though we’re back to favoring Qualcomm, an “enterprise” Intel option out there, not promoted. However, no one cares much as you will need the Qualcomm version if you want to access the Copilot + PC features, as they are currently not supported on Intel. So give Qualcomm a point: This is the first time its CPU can run something on Windows that Intel and AMD can’t.

The top tablet connects to a detachable keyboard that sits on a wooden floor. The bottom of the tablet is connected to the keyboard.

Photo: Christopher Null


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