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Microsoft’s Surface Pro 9 line of tablets come with a choice of Intel or Qualcomm processors, which means customers have a choice of picking up a model with an x86 chip for the best performance and compatibility with existing apps or an ARM-based chip for longer battery life and optional support for 5G.

Now it looks like Microsoft could bring similar choices to its entry-level Surface Go line of tablets. According to a report from Windows Central, Microsoft plans to offer two versions of the upcoming Surface Go 4: one will have a processor based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7c chip, while the other will have an Intel processor. August 3, 2023 update: It looks like the Intel model is likely coming this fall, but the ARM-based model may be on hold for now. 

Microsoft Surface Go 3

Windows Central’s Zac Bowden says his sources tell him that the new model will be about the same size as the previous-gen Surface Go 4, which means we can probably expect it to keep the 10.5 inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and support for accessories including a detachable keyboard and Surface Pen.

Bowden says the Snapdragon-powered model is expected to offer performance that’s on-par with the Surface Go 3, while delivering better battery life. But I suspect that performance will vary depending on what apps you’re using, since apps that are compiled to run natively on ARM tend to perform much better on Windows on ARM than software designed for x86 chips.

There’s no word on which specific chips Microsoft will tap for the Intel-powered model.

According to Bowden, Microsoft also plans to take a page out of Apple’s playbook for its higher-performance Surface Pro tablets by offering a choice of two screen sizes. In addition to the usual 13 inch Surface Pro, we could see a new 11 inch model this year.

That new model will be nearly the same size as the Surface Go, but significantly more powerful thanks to a faster processor. It’s also expected to have a 120 Hz display and other premium features to go with its premium price tag. Pricing for the new tablets hasn’t been revealed yet, but the current-gen Surface Go 3 has a starting price of $400, while the Surface Pro 9 starts at $1000.

via Windows Central

 

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  1. Is that simply the Snapdragon 7c which is now ancient or the newer (still not that new though) 7c+ gen3?

    If it’s the latter I’m game, 4xA78 and 4xA55 – similar to an 888, preferably with LPDDR5, would be pretty nice. If it’s the original 7c it will be another sad and terrible surface go iteration

  2. Has ARM vendors caught up with Apple yet? Also, has MS caught up with with Apple on the SW front?

    1. I always wonder how serious MS is with Windows on ARM. Although, they do have to rely on ARM vendors. Well Qualcomm at this point but that supposed exclusivity was supposedly ending, right? Not that other vendors have anything competitive either.

    2. I would say that Microsoft is far ahead of Apple on the software front.

      I own two Macbooks, and I generally like them. However, the thing I dislike about them the most is the OS. MacOS is alright to use for personal use, but it is very frustrating to use for work 8 hours per day.

      There’s little things like the fact that clicking back and forth between two applications requires 2 clicks. One click to focus on that window, and a 2nd click to interact with it. You cannot interact with an application that isn’t in focus. Also, many of the common key commands are very un-ergonomic, to the point that they’re not even shortcuts because I avoid using them. Like locking your screen with Control-Command-Q.

      Finder is also a terrible file explorer. It has dogshit support for Network drives, and it fails to reconnect to them after a few subsequent uses, despite remembering them. I have to remove them and reconnect every time.

      The most frustrating of all is their awful choice to cripple Bluetooth audio. When you connect a bluetooth audio device that has a microphone (headset, speaker, etc), if any software starts using that microphone, the audio quality gets reduced severely, to the point that you won’t even want to listen to it. It’s bad enough that video calls are practically impossible. The only way to avoid it is to ensure the OS uses the Macbook’s own Mic in all cases. Apple has a support doc about it, and they basically tell you to kick rocks. https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT208896

      Another major complaint of mine is the unfortunate lack of any sort of “window tiling” feature. In Windows 10 or 11, you can tile your windows on the screen in a number of convenient patterns. With MacOS, you’re clicking and dragging them yourself like a chump. The only thing close in MacOS is a silly full-screen mode that can split a max of 2 apps on the screen side by side, at the expense of losing the menu-bar at the top of the screen.

      My job would be a lot easier in Windows 11. Apple treats its users like morons, and they offer nothing to power-users.

  3. I could really get behind the idea of an ARM powered Surface Go 4. However, I worry about which SOC would fit their budget.

    Maybe they’ll recycle the SQ2, and drop the Surface Pro X from their lineup? It would be a good move, considering the Pro X is ill suited to compete in its price range.

    If it’s a Snapdragon 7c, that would be disappointing. The 7c’s performance in Windows 11 seems comparable to various Celeron processors.

  4. It makes sense to finally upgrade the Go 3. Windows 11 is more resource intensive, and that dual core processor the Go 3 has is getting long in the tooth as it is.

    1. There was no real Go 3, Intel rebranded the CPU’s and Microsoft followed suit, it’s the same as the Go 2 (which was already all too similar to the original Go