When Microsoft unveiled the initial Surface, they irrevocably altered the portable PC market. Back then, the tablet was quite a sight, sporting a distinctive metal kickstand and a snap-on keyboard, two elements that remain define the product today. They introduced the Surface 9 Pro, which has several intriguing design and hardware improvements, more than ten years later.
I used the Surface Pro 9 as my primary computer both inside and outside of the office for more than a month. The gadget performed admirably whether I used it at home, in the office, and when traveling. Here’s why this 2-in-1 PC should be purchased:
The all-metal Surface 9 Pro can’t be distinguished from its predecessor at first glance, like many new device generations, and that’s absolutely great. To accommodate the front-facing camera technology and the detachable keyboard, its screen features thin side bezels and slightly more noticeable top and bottom ones (when in landscape mode). In tablet mode, the larger, thicker bezels match in size, giving the device a unified appearance.
The Surface Pro 9 offers two substantial design modifications, one of which is good and one of which is a touch underwhelming, despite the fact that it appears just like the Surface Pro 8. The Pro 9 is available in two new, eye-catching colors, forest and sapphire, so let’s get to the good stuff first (pictured here). When compared to the sage color choice of the base Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2, the appropriately named forest color has a more vivid green tone.
The less-than-great design change is getting rid with the traditional audio jack. The Pro 8 has the capability, however the same successor does not. Although purchasing an inexpensive external attachment is one way to restore the audio connection to the Pro 9, having the feature built-in is preferable.
Speaking of external peripherals, the Pro 9 matches flawlessly with the essential Surface Pro Signature Keyboard, which is now offered in sapphire and forest hues. But given how crucial the snap-on keyboard is for using the product while on the road, we wish it was included in the retail bundle rather than being an add-on. The Surface Thin Pen 2 is the same way.
The Surface Pro is incredibly well made, as one would anticipate from a product in its price category. The device’s Gorilla Glass-covered screen and svelte metal casing are both strong and enjoyable to use. With the Signature Keyboard installed, you may use its strong, adjustable kickstand on a level surface or in your lap.
The Surface Pro 9’s 13-inch PixelSense Flow touchscreen is fantastic, as one might expect. It is brilliant and sharp, and it may provide extreme contrast. The screen’s 3:2 aspect ratio makes it ideal for multitasking, and I enjoyed using the Pro 9 while utilizing programs and documents simultaneously.
Similar to the Surface 8 Pro screen, the display panel features a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz for quicker and more fluid interactions. Scrolling through web sites, papers, and social media feeds, among many other routine tasks, is now more entertaining because to the functionality. On the other hand, Netflix’s Dolby Vision compatibility significantly increased the drama of watching improved material.
The Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2 works perfectly with the Surface 9 Pro screen, as was to be expected. The haptic feedback provided by the add-on makes all interactions feel precise and enjoyable.
Performance-wise, Microsoft gave the newest Surface Pro 10-core Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors, which are more powerful than the Pro 8’s 11th-generation silicon. Even in entry-level form, the slate can easily handle demanding productivity activities and projects thanks to its Core i5 processor and 8GB of Memory.
I put the more expensive model—which came with an Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM—to the test over the course of several extremely hectic workweeks in November and December. My workflow involves having a browser open with 10–15 tabs open, editing photos in Affinity Photo, sending out a ton of emails and Slack messages, writing and editing text, taking part in remote work sessions, and monitoring social media. The Surface 9 Pro handled it all flawlessly, enabling me to switch between all of these tasks at breakneck speed.
The Dolby Atmos-capable stereo speakers during my testing delivered a shockingly boomy sound, especially given how thin it is. Its inbuilt microphones and front- and rear-facing cameras delivered excellent performance during remote work sessions.
The slate made the most of my home’s costly gigabit internet subscription by using current Wi-Fi 6E. Many pairs of wireless earbuds connected to the 2-in-1 PC without a hitch thanks to Bluetooth 5.1.
The Pro 9 was able to provide quick data transfer speeds to and from external storage drives thanks to its two Thunderbolt 4-compatible USB-C connections. The cable connectivity was also used to connect the tablet to a 4K display at my desk, turning it into a desktop PC with wireless keyboard and mouse.
The Surface Pro 9’s battery life varied from great to adequate during my tests. Like many other devices, I was able to go a whole workday without charging it by turning down the screen’s brightness to 50% and turning off the 120 Hz refresh rate. Even though I fell short of Microsoft’s claim of up to 15.5 hours, I didn’t even try to because such feats are often performed in lab settings with ideal Wi-Fi and low screen brightness. The PC’s battery life was dramatically reduced when the brightness was increased and smoother interactions were enabled. Starting my day at 8 a.m. with these Pro 9 settings ensured that I would need to seek for its charger at 2 p.m.
Yet, charging was always quick and simple using the included Surface Connect charger or the USB-C ports on an external adapter and cable. Also, the latter makes it simple to use compatible battery packs.
The Microsoft Surface 9 Pro is without a doubt the best PC tablet you can get right now, and by a wide margin. No competition offers the same combination of elegance, power, and versatility as the most recent Surface Pro, even though the product has been on the market for ten years, giving rival PC manufacturers plenty of time to catch up. Remember that the Pro 9 offers a clutter-free Windows experience without bloatware, unlike competitors from other brands, much like every other Microsoft Surface.
The Surface Pen and Pro Signature keyboard are an additional expense, however specials and discounts are common. Purchasing the accessories as a group might also result in significant financial savings.