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Surface Pro X Review: Looks Like A Laptop, Acts Like A Smartphone

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Surface Pro X Review: Looks Like A Laptop, Acts Like A Smartphone

this is the Microsoft Surface I’ve been asking for for seven years but in a world of Chromebooks and iPads does it still have a place as it turns out the answer depends on what you do for work and just how connected you need to be first class you can’t really see what makes this surface stand out from its predecessors to do that you need to peer past the aluminum shell right into the guts this isn’t a normal PC it’s what Qualcomm calls an always connected PC Qualcomm isn’t the only company building laptops with a 4G connection but it is the only company doing it in this particular way it’s the instead of a traditional processor like one from Intel say at the heart of this thing is something much closer and designed to what powers a smartphone and that makes a lot of sense because think about it a smartphone SOC is good at three things staying cool staying connected and stayin alive and of those three smartphone like strengths the surface pro X nails two of them first off partly because that processor doesn’t need any fans this is the thinnest and lightest surface ever made it’s not quite as thin as the iPad pro I’ve been carrying for the past year but it’s almost there and for the slight difference you get the trademark built-in kickstand being able to prop this up at just the right angle to read a book or browse the web is something you’d need to buy a case for on any other tablet and if you spring for the keyboard your fingers will thank you it’s springy but not mushy tactile but not clackety the only place it doesn’t really work as usual for a surface is on a lap I wish there was a secondary flap that folded down from the main kickstand to give it a secondary base I’m a little surprised Microsoft hasn’t built that in yet anyway Windows hello is faster than on any machine I’ve used there’s a cool magnet that keeps the keyboard shut when it’s closed thanks Daniel Rubino for pointing that out the speakers are loud you’ve got dual USB ports and there’s even a user accessible SSD the only real complaints I have about the hardware are cosmetic the display while bright and beautiful lacks the rounded corners that I’ve come to appreciate from the iPad and I sure wish Microsoft had given us another color option besides black aluminum which gets smudgy the instant you take it out of the box yeah you know where this is going if you buy one of these get yourself a skin from my sponsor D Brant I tried a variety of strong but wrong color options before settling on what I think is fun combo swarm honeycomb and colorized windows logo it won’t bring back the headphone jack but dbrand will give your surface the personality that Microsoft wouldn’t and protect it in the process hit the sponsor link in the description smartphone likes surface success two of three staying connected like the iPad pro this thing has an ECM that lets you set up an account and start surfing in a few minutes now I did this with the default provider gig sky and cost me a pricey fifty bucks for five gigs so it’s nice that there’s also a nano SIM slot so you can pop in your own with that setup I’m able to just open the computer anywhere I have cellular coverage and know that I’m connected yes I could do this with a smartphone hotspot and I often do but this doesn’t roast your phone’s battery and it’s one less hassle especially if you don’t have to pay for it more on that at the end qualcomm isn’t the only company powering the connected laptop that surface go i reviewed last year also had an LTE connection even though it was Intel powered and the way Qualcomm has stood out from those is with battery life Windows Central got 15 hours of continuous use out of a lenovo a CPC and the last generation and david Cogan’s early impressions of his samsung galaxy book s powered by almost the same chipset as the one inside the surface here are very favorable as well this is where the surface pro x starts to stumble being so thin and light means it’s had to sacrifice battery size in the two weeks that i’ve been using it the longest i’ve been able to hit is about six hours of years now that’s making no concessions to endurance performance slider at three-quarters using chrome as my browser average of 10 tabs apps like Evernote telegram mixed in I also use the cellular connection almost exclusively under those conditions six hours is okay it’s better than what I could get out of my more beastly MacBook or Zen book but it’s well short of the eight hours I got from Google’s pixel book go and they up to 20 hours Qualcomm promises on other AC pcs when battery life which is such a pillar of the AC PC experience falls short it makes dealing with the system’s other compromises tougher like this build of Windows because it’s windows on arm it can’t run the same deep well of programs that have made the platform such a bastion of corporate productivity some apps like to popular VPNs I usually use don’t work at all without special configuration win32 apps running emulation which is to say usually pretty slowly others are promised Photoshop by Adobe is the biggest name I hear tossed around for 20/20 in C Zack Bowden playing with it here but with no firm delivery date and as strong as the windows ecosystem is for legacy pcs programs for tablet apps it’s bad I tried reading on this thing only to discover that Amazon dropped the tablet version of the Kindle app years ago the desktop version works but like you need to double click on a book to open it this is a good PC but it’s not a very good tablet so I started wondering who would buy one of these over say a Chromebook and I did what all great researchers do I asked Twitter the answer came back loudly and instantaneously business users even though it doesn’t run everything a more conventional PC will you do have the entire Microsoft Office suite it’s compatible with Active Directory which is how lots of workers log on to their corporate intranet Thank You Brad Sam’s Sascha Segan points out that some companies require Microsoft edge instead of the chrome that a Chromebook will lock you into and for other folks it’s not about corporate rules so much as not wanting any more Google in their life all right so let’s take it off do I like this thing yes very much but I didn’t have to pay anything to borrow this one from Qualcomm if I had to cough up a thousand dollars which is what the base model costs plus another hundred and forty for the keyboard or 270 for the keyboard and pen well as a consumer I’d hope that someone reminded me that for about the same price I could get a better tablet in the iPad or a better PC in the surface pro 7 or I could buy a pixel book go along with literally every accessory Google Offers so if you’re an enterprise professional and you need a PC with an always-on connection definitely try to expense one of these or get your IT department of snag one I don’t think you’ll regret it and the fact that your company will probably also pay for your internet connection helps a lot too if you’re anyone else though you can probably get by without it special thanks to Daniel Rubino of windows central who’s slack I absolutely blow up with questions every time I do a Windows video he’s got a great review of this device and a great explainer on the history of a/c pcs which I will link below this review made possible by a surface pro X review sample provided by Qualcomm but I don’t do paid reviews and the company didn’t get a copy of this video in advance they’re seeing it for the first time right alongside you please subscribe if you’d like to see more videos like this on YouTube until next time and stay mobile my friends

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