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Surface Pro X Review - The Good and The Bad

this is the surface pro X and I've been using this for the past week or so and this is a device I really want to love but it has some good things about it but it also has quite a few bad things about it so I wanted to talk about the good and the bad and then at the end.

I'll give my overall opinion of the surface pro X now the first good thing is its overall design this is the future of Microsoft Surface devices it still has the kickstand which is great and it's very durable you can push it all the way to the back and it won't break so if you're drawing on it and resting your arm it works fine.

The overall design is great it still has the surface connector which will be great for a lot of people and it will fast charge with the surface connector so this will charge up very very quickly and then they've moved the power button to the same side as the surface connector on the right side now on the bottom we do have a different connector for the actual keyboard.

So let me pop this off here briefly you'll see the connectors different so that may be a bad thing for some people but they had to do that to thin the device down and then also on the other side we now have two USB sea ports which we can charge through and charge pretty fast.

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If you're using say a macbook charger and the devices turned off if you're using it it actually slows the charge they've also moved the volume button above those ports so overall we've got modern ports and the design just feels really good it's very rigid.

It's now made out of aluminum and you also have a 4k camera on the back the overall design is great and that leads me to the front of it where the display is also quite good it's a high resolution display which has some bad things about it but you won't see the pixels or anything and if you want all the specs you can see my unboxing video but the overall display is great to look at it has great viewing angles.

It looks great at pretty much any angle even if it's at this angle it's fine but it is a bit reflective as you can see there's a light behind me but it's a bit reflective as you can see and it's just great overall you have your windows hello cameras and they work really well and that's also a positive with the keyboard because the keyboard fits on it well and also now houses the new slim pen and so you've got the same great travel with the keyboard the keyboard is backlit.

Then you've got a glass trackpad which is nice and large you don't really get a choice of color right now you just have this black color with Alcantara or Alcantara and then the surface pen which charges in here so if you put it down the wrong way it will actually flip itself over and then sort of write itself so it's kind of nice that way very slim and fits in there well and I'll talk more about the pen in just a moment but the travel of the keyboard and everything makes this a great keyboard.

I've heard of some people saying that it flexes too much I really didn't have that issue but I think it's great overall now the next good thing is the battery now originally some people were not getting good battery life others were but Microsoft actually pushed an update after this came out and it seems to have fixed it.

I would expect about 10 hours with regular use if you're using it heavily it's going to be less if you're using it just to watch video you may even get up to the 13 hours that Microsoft suggests I wasn't able to see that really I had to charge it a couple times but overall it's it's a pretty good battery it's along the lines of what you would get from even maybe better than some surface pro 7s or surface pro sixes.

For example right around that time 10 hours is kind of the best number and it seems to work well now as far as the next positive thing the speakers are pretty good so let me unlock it here you'll see it unlocks quickly what's with Windows hello and maybe if I go to I'll go to my we'll go here and then we'll go to YouTube maybe so this is my surface pro X.

Unboxing let me make it fullscreen and then you can hear the actual speakers turn the brightness up a little bit and you'll hear the speakers they're nice and loud the speakers are nice and loud but as they get to higher volumes they do get a little bit tinny they're not amazing.

But they sound fine if you compare them to say an iPad pro they're not on that level but they're as good as any other surface I've ever heard now along with the display the pen works great so if I hit the button here will pop open notes or our whiteboard here it takes a second to open we'll just create a new one and the pen works really well.

It's very responsive and fast so if I write Zolo tech the pen is a little weird to hold because it's kind of like a carpenter's pen but it works well and the lag and responsiveness is great you can flip it around and use it as a as an eraser just like you could with the other surface pens and it's just very responsive so if you like taking notes or screen capturing and things with the pen this will work fine for you.

It feels like any of the others it's durable even though it's plastic it feels durable and it Wireless wirelessly charges so you never really have to worry about that so if I hit the button again you'll see it pops right open I can hit create new and just say hi for example it works well and it's very very fast so that's definitely a positive.

There's no lag no issues with that and if you're into drawing and things that will be great for you now the the next positive thing for me is that this supports LTE no matter which configuration you get you can use a SIM card with it so.

For example I used Verizon with it currently I don't have it in here but I tried a Verizon SIM card and I was able to get very high speeds I had great signal in the area where I would normally get five bars I was able to get five bars and I had 100 down by 30 up so it depends where you're at what you'll get but it's very nice and very easy to change so if you grab a SIM card removal tool you've got a little hole here in the back of the surface Pro X pop in the SIM card removal tool try that again.

It pops open this little door here it's a little aluminum door and then you have a nano SIM card port slide it in there and then there's a utility on the desk top hit connect and that's all you have to do so it works really well and it's very simple and that leads me to the next positive thing is we have upgradable SSDs or replaceable now.

It's questionable whether or not you can upgrade this because you'd have to find this small size so in theory if you could find a 512 gigabyte one you could upgrade it but you would have to find it but it does make it more serviceable so if your SSD fails or maybe you had the 128 gigabyte model you can bring it to Microsoft and they'll upgrade it.

For you for a fee so it's very easy to do it's just one simple screw and it pops right out so that's a really nice addition but that leads me to the the first negative thing and there's no expandable storage we no longer have an SD card slot so where we used to have it on this side it's just not there so what you have here is all you get you can of course plug in external storage with the USB C.

But you can't plug it in to the actual laptop itself or tablet now the other negative thing is despite having LTE it does not have Wi-Fi 6 like the surface pro 7 does now this is not a huge negative since Wi-Fi 6 is not that prevalent but it doesn't have it so in the future if you did have Wi-Fi 6 you're not able to get that but you do have 802 dot 11 AC so no problems.

There now before I talk about programs and speed I want to talk about the display a little bit and while I said the display looks great which is true the display has severe PWM or pulse width modulation and that's the way it manages brightness and I've talked about this in other videos but if I bring the brightness down you'll see down to about 50% if I bring it up to about 75 that stops but at 50 it's severe PWM.

This is actually you can't see this with your eyes but it's actually flickering to adjust the brightness as I bring it down you'll see that it actually changes so I bring it up to 75 it stops and it's fine but if you can't use it above 75% and that bothers you it's going to give you headaches if you're sensitive to that about 1 in 10 people are sensitive to screen flicker or PWM and this definitely has.

It so just keep that in mind if you're looking at this now this has Microsoft's sq 1 chip in it and I normally would label this as a positive because it is a great idea with a great chip and in general it's pretty fast but when you're using it as a full-blown Windows laptop I'm not so great sure it's a great thing.

So for example when I started using this before the update they've said that you can use Chrome on it with no problem and chrome does load let me bring this down here a little bit Chrome does load and if we go to say Microsoft you'll see it takes a second to load and it's fine it Scrolls fine and everything else but I found that Chrome locked up an awful lot and that was a bit of a pain for me but then they came out with the edge beta the new Microsoft edge and this works really well it definitely works than Chrome and you can watch 4k YouTube videos.

And things on it works really well that way so I'm not sure if this is a negative but if you want to use Chrome it's not that great of an experience it definitely lags at times and just doesn't work as well as say using edge does so just if you want to use something that works well use edge otherwise I'm not really impressed with the way it handles Chrome and with that sq1 chipset it's an ARM processor so you can only run 32-bit apps and this is kind of a negative because it has ok benchmarks.

You'll see here's a benchmark I captured using what I could with Geekbench it's 726 for single core 2787 from multi-core with Geekbench 5 I also was only really able to use pass mark and scored 1885 0.3 and that's really all I could run for benchmarks but in real world use trying different games and different programs.

I tried things too I tried some different real world programs that are for making 3d modeling and things I couldn't run them because they're 64-bit so a lot of the programs I tried such as AutoCAD some of them that are in the App Store will work fine but if you have different applications that you want to run and do real work on it's tough to run anything outside of office an even office had a little bit of a problem.

When I tried it so if I go into Excel I had someone try this and tried to import a very large database so they tried to import a database that had 800,000 lines in it that wouldn't even load on this so you definitely can't do that sort of work in Excel in here it wouldn't even load it took forever even though the file was local it just wouldn't work so that wouldn't work however it can run certain games that are 32-bit I was able to run call of duty modern warfare 2 I was able to run portal 2 so if I run portal here so you'll see it's actually loading portal it will work fine and it's running it emulated with a 32-bit app.

So it is a full version of Windows but you can only run 32-bit apps but this is an awful expensive gaming machine if you're going to use it for this but let's wait for it to load and you'll see if I bring the brightness up here you'll see that it actually works pretty good the settings not on the highest setting but it is playable at least so you can move around fine if you want to shoot a portal here or whatever you can do that you'll see it's working.

So it's playable but I definitely would not recommend this for someone that wants to do serious work so you'll see that worked Call of Duty 2 works but World of Goo would not work no I did try to run some old games with good old games such as Wing Commander 4 it just wouldn't run so it's a very hit or miss and you really shouldn't buy this if you're looking for gaming anyway and as far as more real work.

I suppose with things like 3d modeling or LabVIEW those just won't run so you don't have the ability to run them because you don't have a 64-bit processor or at least you can't run 64-bit apps that are designed for Windows itself so you'll see here we can run Microsoft's paint 3d that's not a problem but you can't run other things that you really might want to run so forward and Excel

It's okay but not for large files it's just I'm questioning why this is here to be honest and that leads me to the last negative and that is the price this is $1,300 without the keyboard and the pen so when you put that in perspective after tax this is over $1,500 in the United States and for $1,500 you can get a much higher end version of a surface pro 7 for example that will run all of the apps you want and will even run some of the games even better so it's really hard to justify this device as something to recommend at this point and I really want to like it in my opinion it's a great device and it's an aspirational device.

But it's just not there yet the apps aren't there the programs are not compiled for it and it's just not really for doing serious work at this point if you need something that's say a Chromebook equivalent it works fine but it's an awful expensive Chromebook if you just want to browse the web check email it works great for that and do an occasional Word document or Excel or any of those things it works well and maybe watch videos and use it as a consumption device.

But in general it's just not a great device for everyday use or gaming or anything else it's mediocre at that and I really hate to say that but it's the truth it's something that I was hoping that this would be phenomenal and superfast based off of all the different CPU specs it's just not that great so overall I can't really recommend it for its price but if you want to try out something new it's worth trying out but let me know what you think in the comments below.


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