Microsoft Surface Pro 9

TLDR: battery life is more amazing than I initially thought but igpu is decent but not amazing (still big increase over Pro X though). Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (5G) review: An Arm tablet worth buying | PCWorld

Asidre from the price for road warriors this does seems more appealing than the intel Pro 9 (almost a no brainer if mostly using Office stuff).

More reviews: Reviews of the Surface Pro 9 are out : Surface (reddit.com)
Comparison with older Surface Pro’s: Surface Pro 9 Performance… Compared to EVERY generation Surface Pro… EVER - YouTube

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Nice, that last one is “our own” @Cbutters. Cameron, did you also get your hands on an ARM version? Curious about your impressions on that one.

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This is worth a read this morning. Plus , still hope for the Neo !

From the article “The Surface Neo isn’t totally dead, though. It’s still sitting inside Microsoft’s Surface roadmap room. Panay still thinks there’s a future for it or something similar.”

And the whole article
Microsoft Surface defined 10 years of Windows PCs — can it nail the next 10? - The Verge

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Just saw that a few minutes ago - hope springs eternal - AND YES, MS got it right with the Surface Pro design, despite ongoing jokes about lapability, the kickstand/keyboard is better than ANY cumbersome Magic Keyboard-like solution.

And I will pose a really hair brain idea - take Apple head on with your own FaceTime/iMessage/News+ alternative that works across Android phone devices as well. Buy Zoom if you have to (Teams is too heavyweight for consumer users) and make the Surface devices (especially a “new” Neo and Duo) the REAL alternative to iPad and MacBook Air…

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I would agree, with the exception of the first magic keyboard. That thing is great, if heavy. Totally lapable, compact, and easy to take off the iPad for some true tablet work. Only other downside is that you need two hands to pry it open. Love that thing.

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Love this quote from Panay:

“Whether it’s two screens or a foldable, I do think these are realities to the future of products being made, no doubt,” says Panay. “Or a rollable for that matter, a rollable screen. It’s maybe not something I’ve decided on, but for sure how do we serve the form factor that’s going to adapt to the person I think is the way to think about it.”

My failure is I keep forgetting he was SMITTEN with the Surface Mini and hasn’t really given up on that play yet. In fact, I just picked up a used unlocked OG Duo 256gb off FleaBay ($289) to play with as a mini-tablet experiment…

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BTW: Interim report on my switch to the Pro 9 5G now that I can talk publicly…

First off after doing testing all day yesterday, the only solid conclusion I can come to performance wise with our tests is that I think several need to be updated :frowning: as results were all over the place.

OTOH using it for my actual work stuff, heavy use of Office, Teams, Acrobat DC, it feels more or less identical to my Pro 8, with one notable improvement.

It is (was) typical for me with my Pro 8 to end the day with about 15% battery remaining, and if i was using it as part of testing with our own devices, I’d usually fully deplete it before the day was over.

So far anyway, with the Pro 9 5G my remaining battery has been 30-40%. If that holds, that’s a definite win for me especially in the field, which I am in often.

PS: The Pro 9 5g takes the crown for best 5G in a tablet, hands down, and comes really close to our overall 5g champ, the Samsung S22 Ultra.

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I received my Pro 9 5G last night, did the updates, added my accounts, switched to the Beta Channel for M365 Apps for Enterprise and currently loading the Dev Channel Windows 11 Build. So far the performance has been on par with my Pro 8.

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:+1: :+1:

That’s pretty encouraging, now if MS would just stick that in the Neo and launch…

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And THIS is downright INSULTING MS

Just for grins I looked up the SP8 i5/16gb/256gb trade in on an SQ3 SP9 - $126…

and I thought Apple was worthless on trade-ins…if you offer up ANY non-Apple laptop or tablet the default response at Apple is “Your device is ready for recycling…”

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Welcome to the club! :+1:

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I compared my Pro X SQ2/16/256 to my Pro 8 i7/16/256 for trade-in value, Pro X was $200 and the Pro 8 was $180, go figure…

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I just can’t bring myself to do ARM yet, too much legacy and weird x86 stuff that I get up to. Although the NPU makes it more compelling this time around.

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That’s the biggest drawback that I have with it in spite of the battery life gains. I have an i7 and a SQ3 demo unit on order direct with Microsoft’s main distributor TD Synnex so I can decide which is the best of the lot.

GoodAnswer

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Will you be doing a battery comparison between the SP9 (x86) vs 5G using your formal test bench?

Just going by your numbers, you’re getting between 20-40% efficiency improvement over the Tiger Lake-U. This looks very promising, assuming MS continues to roll out optimizations for WOA, that we could see the mythical +40% over 12th gen (that some doubters here questioned :stuck_out_tongue: ).

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Yes, but it won’t be in the very near future. Testing this one uncovered some flaws and areas we need to update in our tests before we get meaningful results. (chip and OS changes)

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Marty, here is PCWorld’s battery life test that demonstrates the gains in battery life over the Surface Pro 8 and X:

FWIW I’m a bit skeptical of their results for the same reason I am of ours. Preliminarily MS/Qualcomm seem have altered turbo, throttling and caching behavior extrapolating from our test results.

And to give one very specific instance, they seem to have finally gotten video decoding in the same ballpark as the excellent job that Intel Core I 7th gen and on have done. Prior to this, decoding a 4k stream was about three times more CPU intensive with WOA

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On a related (but off-topic) note: the early battery life tests of the SLS showed a suspiciously large drop when just watching video, as if video decoding was not properly optimized even on Intel systems. Do you happen to know if any changes have been made in Win11 or the Surface firmware in response to this? Just curious, because I don’t watch enough video on the SLS for it to be a problem.