Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Interesting, thanks for mentioning it here.

Those came with my Pixel 3 & they were acceptable for free. I hear the Razr phone’s usb-c headphones were better, but those were kind of pricey for what they were. I haven’t had a lot of time on the wired Apple IEMs so I can’t say how it compares.
I wonder if Fiio or anyone else offers mmcx usb-c cable to my headphones from 3.5 to it. May as well since everything seemingly is dropping 3.5mm jack & plan to stay with the Surface Pro lineup.

I have no direct experience with the Pixel Buds, but it is the expert consensus that the current flagship wireless earbuds on the market are no better than the best $50 wired units in objective and subjective sound quality measures. The general issue is wireless units squeeze a lot more into already tight quarters that make it even more difficult to achieve ideal sound. The additional electronics add both active electrical signals and excess material mass. Signals adds EMR that becomes noise and the extra mass adds resonance that becomes distortion.


Mark Hachman is one of the few mainstream reviewers that actually tests the digitizer. Unfortunately, he found significant diagonal jitter on the SP9 5G (which looks far worse than the SPX from memory):


“It appears that the ink jitter in the Surface Pro 9 (5G) is more pronounced than what we found in our Surface Pro 8 review.” —Mark Hachman / IDG

Do you know if MS commented that they altered the digitizer (or Surface-specific pen drivers for the Slim Pen 2) in any way?

Perhaps when you test the x86 version, you could compare the line tracking and digitizer responsiveness on the two models and your old SP8.


Yes, wireless are behind and perform worse than comparably priced wired models. It is the same with wired versus wireless speakers as well. It doesn’t help Apple either that they bought Beats who knows only how to market headphones and earphones well and not necessarily how to make them well (*mike drop*).

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I’ll ask MS but as far as I know, they haven’t changed the digitizer between the Pro 8 and Pro 9. However I would qualify that slightly in the case of the Pro 9 5G versus the Pro X as for all intents and purposes it’s a new enclosure, albeit very close to the prior one.

We don’t normally do in-depth testing of the digitizer unless a customer internal or external specifically requests (and pays) for it as it’s incredibly challenging and time intensive to do properly.

Honestly, my guess is that he more likely got a slightly misaligned display/digitizer assembly. That happens more often than most realize and can cause exactly what he describes. And thus, one reason why we always test more than one sample if possible.

EDIT: Well that was quick for a change, MS replied that the touch and pen hardware is identical between the Pro 8, Pro 9, and Pro 9 5G


In your tracking, does this issue happen on a one-off or random case or if one is bad, are the rest of the units from the same production lot also defective in the same way?


Almost always a one off. Last time we saw it grouped was a customer that got a bad batch of Pro 6’s and they had touch issues as well


Here’s my meager contribution on the SP8 LTE - may look rough but given my handwriting since my wrist infusion problem during my surgery, it is as good as any other writing I do…I think this is fine because of that…


Might be more quantitative if you use a ruler (in the physical world, no software ruler), and do a couple of slow and fast “straight” lines at a few angles. Typically for slow diagonal lines that trace a ruler you still get wiggles. Use a plastic ruler or the edge of a book, don’t want to scratch up your screen.


Most audiophile products are not dropping the headphone jack, so no, I doubt we will. They already offer dongles/adapters, so if you want to suffer the USB C only life, then you’re free to do that.

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Lisa’s review is up:


As always you gotta love Lisa’s reviews, and her closing comment about the SQ3 is great:

"A lot of people think that since you are giving concessions on performance sometimes (on the SQ3) why do I have to pay more for this?" and in a quieter voice she says “That is what it is.”


Another fairly positive review of the Pro9 5g in this case from Tom’s hardware. His experience tracks with mine.

BTW Intel based games are still essentially unplayable on WOA. I don’t game on mine, but My son was playing with my Pro 9 5g the other night and that was his pronouncement.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (SQ3) Review: Arm Takes Center Stage | Tom’s Hardware (


Is that because the iGPU is still exceptionally poor?

The display seems to have improved on color coverage and white point. Contrast ratio is a little down but could be down to manufacturing variance. Brightness is basically the same (within margin of error).

Surface Pro 9

Surface Pro 8


So I can’t believe I’m saying this given how often I bag on benchmarks, but based on them the iGPU is actually respectable comparable roughly to Intel’s XE when running native.

And the very small group of native games I’ve seen bear that out, though I will say that Apple performance is in a separate league.

I’ve been told by those that know far more than I do on the topic that emulating graphics is orders of magnitude harder than generic x86 instructions, for a variety of reasons not the least of which is the variety of architectures and associated IP

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We are still wondering about that ourselves. MS initially told us that the display assembly (same panel, same digitizer)in the Pro 9 and Pro 9 5G was the same as the Pro 8 and that improvements we saw were due to reworked display management in Windows 11 21H2.

And that is absolutely immediately noticeably true with HDR content…

It’s also possible that there have been improvements in the manufacturing process and that possibly very late production Pro 8’s may show similar gains.

And I think I posted here that anecdotally I saw a bump in brightness moving from my Pro 8 to the Pro 9

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That makes a lot of sense to me given that I tried a Windows game using the latest CrossOver version on my M1 Mac Mini yesterday and it certainly wasn’t the physical iGPU that made it run too poorly for my taste. Graphics drivers are hard, especially when translating/emulating across architectures. :man_shrugging:

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