Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Microsoft Surface Pro X Review (2020): Baby Steps

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After experimenting with the emulator, I found it to be definitely still a work in progress. Many x64 applications still refused to run, and the ones that worked were extremely slow. Plus, if you download an app like Chrome, you’re still pushed to install the 32-bit version; it took a bit of research to find a 64-bit version – and I found it unfortunately considerably slower than the 32-bit option, running web tests at about half the speed of the 32-bit browser. All in all, the majority of the apps I couldn’t run last year still weren’t working this year, although I was able to get a few new benchmarks, none of which were impressive from a distance.

The good news is that I didn’t experience the huge stability issues I encountered in 2019, and this year I didn’t experience a single crash during over a week of testing. No baby.

Meanwhile, the best news (if you own Pro X, that is) is that the industry is – slowly, so slowly – coming to terms with the development of another platform. form of microprocessors. Adobe Lightroom now works natively on the SQ1, and a beta version of Adobe Photoshop is also available, with a shipping version slated for 2021. In addition, Microsoft’s revamped version of its Edge browser delivers strong performance in the industry. web application, outperforming 32-bit Chrome-on emulator performance by a factor of almost three to one. Microsoft says it has invested a lot of effort lately into the Edge experience, and it shows.

The Pro X’s adjustable kickstand allows you to work in a variety of positions.

Photography: Microsoft

But that really raises the same question I asked last year: Are you willing to shell out $ 1,500 for a web browser and a few Microsoft apps, like Teams, which is now native to Microsoft silicon? The implicit contract between buyers and PC makers has always been that we buy PC hardware so that we can install and run whatever apps we want, because the underlying platform was always the same. We traded bugs, viruses, and various Windows headaches in exchange for the compatibility and flexibility to run anything and everything without having to go through a corporate gatekeeper. Microsoft’s ARM chip broke that contract, but at least now, if you visit the Microsoft Store on the Pro X, you won’t be caused by a bunch of apps that you can’t install. On the Pro X, the Store is now designed to show you only programs that are compatible with the device (although they will show if you search for apps by name).

Granted, the compatibility and stability situation is better than it was a year ago, but diving $ 1,500 for the Pro X is still a really tough sell. The system still looks great and the Edge performance is impressive, but I still wouldn’t consider it until every app I used was running natively, or until the x64 emulator performed much better than it did. ‘today. The Surface Pro X and Microsoft SQ chips appear to be here to stay, but if you buy one now, you’re still paying a hefty premium for the potential – and uncertain potential for that.


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