[Video Review] Microsoft Surface Pro 9 – Let Microsoft Cook
Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (Intel/Wifi) in-depth review
Apple was right. But Microsoft did it. Interesting, isn't it? A while back, Apple released a controversion ad, where a kid asked the question - "What is a computer?". This referred to the iPad, which was allegedly able to do anything a desktop could. However, computers and laptops are still ruling the world, while the iPad is nothing more but an unfinished accessory. Well, the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is now here to take the helm. With its 12th Gen 15W Intel CPUs, it has enough power to do everything a "regular" laptop can. You get a full Windows experience with essentially no clampdowns on[...]
- Quad-channel LPDDR5 memory
- A lot of power
- Great speakers
- Decent battery life
- Covers 99% of sRGB
- Accurate color representation with our Gaming and Web design profile
- No aggressive PWM
- Work-friendly 3:2 aspect ratio and a touchscreen usability
- Very quiet
- SSD can be upgraded
- No SD card reader
- Memory is soldered
- Premium price tag
- up to 1000GB SSD
- M.2 Slot
- 1x 2230 M.2 PCIe x4 See photo
- up to 32GB
- Windows 11 Pro, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 11 Home
- 47.4Wh, 47.7Wh
- Body material
- 287 x 209 x 9.3 mm (11.30" x 8.23" x 0.37")
- 0.87 kg (1.9 lbs)
- Ports and connectivity
- 2x USB Type-C
- 4.0, Thunderbolt 4
- Card reader
- Ethernet LAN
- Audio jack
- Fingerprint reader
- Web camera
- Front Facing FHD + 10.0 MP Rear Facing
- Dual Far-Field Studio Microphones
- 2x 2W Stereo Speakers with Dolby Atmos
- Optical drive
- Security Lock slot
All Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (Intel/Wifi) configurations
The day that tablets are as good as laptops is here. For evidence, we present you the Surface Pro 9, an Alder Lake-powered machine that comes in tablet form, but with the full functionality of Windows 11. If you prefer the usual laptop experience, you can get a bundle with a Keyboard cover. A Surface Pen is also offered, which completes this awesome package.
The Surface Pro 9 works really well as a standalone product. The tablet is made of aluminum and comes with a profile of only 9.3 mm, despite having active cooling components inside but more on that later.
The chassis is rounded on the sides and corners, while the back has a kickstand and a 10MP camera that can shoot 4K video. It comes in several colors, including Sapphire, Forest, Platinum, and Graphite.
In terms of weight, the device comes in at 879 grams, which is around 200 grams more than an iPad Pro with a 12.9-inch screen.
Going around the sides, we find a power button and volume rocker, as well as two Thunderbolt 4 ports, which can be very useful, considering this is a Windows machine.
The display and front webcam hide behind a Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The snapper has the same 10MP resolution and works in tandem with an IR sensor, so you can use Windows Hello for faster login.
The display is great and very crispy, thanks to the high resolution of 2880 x 1920 pixels, which calculates to a 3:2 aspect ratio. It gets very bright, reaching 454 nits. And you can see a lot of colors on this thing, thanks to the 99% sRGB coverage. Since the tablet is running Windows, it can be calibrated with our Design and Gaming profile, lowering the dE value down to 1.1, which is perfect for designers and artists where it’s essential.
With that said, there is some PWM usage below 120 nits, but the amplitude of the pulsations is low, while the frequency is high, which makes the display less uncomfortable for longer periods of use. Still, our Health-Guard profile gets rid of it completely.
You can find links to our profiles in the description below.
The stereo speakers of the Surface Pro 9 are mounted on the front, slightly behind the glass cover. They produce quality sound with no deviations across all frequencies.
With a higher res display, the battery life usually takes a hit. Here we have a 47.7Wh unit that lasts for 10 hours of Web browsing, or 7 hours and 30 minutes of video playback.
This is largely thanks to the Alder Lake U-series processors which run at just 15W and can be very efficient when needed. We purchased the Core i5-1235U configuration, which packs a lot of power for its size. It outperforms the Surface Pro 8 from last year by a large margin, while also being quicker than a lot of smaller laptops that can be considered competitors.
The active cooling solution on the inside features one fan. However, we really like how it handles the Core i5-1235U, showcasing some of the best short-load performance. The CPU spikes to 44W in the early stages of the stress test, while in the long runs, it comfortably settles at 19W.
Due to its compact size and tightly shut construction, some heat can be felt on the outside. Aiming our IR camera shows the backside reaching 46.7°C. On the other hand, the fan remains quiet, not even turning on in the first 15 seconds of the stress test.
Microsoft has done its homework and optimized the cooling and power management really well.
[Teardown and Upgradeability]
While an SD card reader is missing and the quad-channel LPDDR5 RAM is soldered to the board, you can access the storage through a service hatch on the back, which fits smaller 30 mm drives.
We have to really give props to Microsoft for making the Surface Pro 9 such a good machine, as everything from the performance to display to the audio and battery life are great. You can even upgrade the SSD inside, which is more than what other Pro tablets can say for themselves.
If you feel like we missed something, you should swing by our website and read our complete review, which covers the Surface Pro 9 from head to toe. We’ll link it in the description below.