Microsoft’s sleek Surface Pro X hits iPad Pro where it hurts [Updated]

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Microsoft Surface Pro X
The Surface Pro X is slim and light but doesn’t run the standard version of Windows 10.
Photo: Microsoft

The newly-unveiled Surface Pro X is a 13-inch tablet that seems designed to take on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple dominates tablet sales but Microsoft clearly wants a bigger piece, is hoping this slim and light Windows device will accomplish that.

Microsoft also finally added a USB-C port to the Surface Pro line in the seventh-generation model.

Microsoft Surface Pro X is a svelte iPad Pro rival

The display in Microsoft’s latest tablet/laptop has a 2880 by 1920 resolution, and with the 13-inch screen has 267ppi.

The Surface Pro X comes with a Surface Slim stylus needed for using software not designed for touchscreens.

Correction: Previously, this article stated that this tablet comes with a clip-on keyboard. That is incorrect. The Surface Pro X Keyboard is an additional $139.99.  A second Surface Slim Pen is $149.99.

Microsoft Surface Pro X and accessories
Microsoft’s new tablet does not come with this keyboard.
Photo: Microsoft

One of the most significant changes in this version of the Surface is hidden inside. Years ago, Microsoft made Surface laptops with ARM-based processors rather than Intel chips, and it’s trying that again with the Pro X. This means only a subset of Windows software will run on the device. Of course there’s a version of Microsoft Office, and the company is urging third-party app developers to recompile their software for ARM.

The Surface Pro X starts at $999, the same as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Pre-orders begin today and this detachable 2-in-1 is scheduled launch November 5.

Surface Pro 7 is just a tweaked Pro 6

Microsoft seems to have poured all its attention into the Pro X because the Surface Pro 7, also unveiled today, is essentially the previous version with some changes.

Still, fans of the Surface line are likely to be thrilled that Microsoft finally joined the rest of the computer industry by putting a USB-C port in this laptop/tablet. This seventh-generation model also has improved microphones so it can be used to make calls when paired with a phone.

It employs the standard version of Windows 10 for Intel processors.

The Surface Pro 7 starts at $749, but at that price does not come with the Surface Keyboard or the Surface Pen.