Surface Pro 9 Marks The Arrival of 12th Gen Intel Core Processor Into The Family

Surface Pro 9

By now, you should have heard about the Surface Pro 9 5G and you may be wondering whether there is still an Intel version for the tablet. Don’t worry, it is still here and for this year’s release, the long-running first-party Windows tablet has received some specs refresh.

Together with the Surface Laptop 5 (we will discuss more in the following report), the Surface Pro 9 is the first Surface device to be powered by the 12th Gen Intel Core processor. In addition to that, the Surface Pro 9 is a certified Intel Evo release too although this only applies to variants that have solid state drives with capacities of 256GB and above.

Surface Pro 9
[Image: Microsoft.]

Design-wise, the new model is so identical to its predecessor and this even applies to its physical dimension. With a thickness of 9.3mm, Surface Pro 9 still weighs under 900 grams and carries a 13-inch PixelSense Flow display with a native resolution of 2880 x 1920.

Microsoft continues to provide the Surface Pro 9’s screen with a dynamic refresh rate capability of up to 120Hz and it is also protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. New for this year’s release is the support for Dolby Vision IQ which automatically adjusts the screen output based on the lighting conditions, so that users can watch Dolby Vision contents in an optimum manner regardless of the ambient lighting.

Just like its 5G counterpart, the Intel-based Surface Pro 9 also comes with two USB-C ports but they have a much faster transfer speed since they can support USB 4.0 and Thunderbolt 4. The new model can support Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1 too.

Surface Pro 9 Liberty
The Surface Pro 9 and Surface Pro Keyboard Liberty edition. [Image: Microsoft.]

However, the Intel-based variant does not come with a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) as per the 5G model which is powered by the Snapdragon-based Microsoft SQ 3 processor. This means that it is not able to offer Windows Studio enhancements for video calls and the tablet also relies on a TPM 2.0 chip instead of Microsoft’s own Pluton security processor.

When it comes to cameras, the Surface Pro 9 is the same across all versions. Hence, the Intel-based variants still feature a front-facing Windows Hello authentication camera together with a 1080p full HD video camera and a rear-facing 10MP autofocus camera that is capable of capturing video at up to 4K resolution.

As for audio packages, the tablet comes with a pair of 2W stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos support alongside dual far-field studio microphones. Even though that Microsoft has fitted the same 47.7 Wh battery in all variants of the Surface Pro 9, the Intel version has a shorter battery life of 15.5 hours while the 5G model can go up to 19 hours.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has yet to reveal the release date and pricing for the Intel-based Surface Pro 9 for Malaysia. In the United States, the base variant with Intel Core i5-1235U, 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD will be made available later this month for USD999.99 (~RM4,692) while the highest-end offering which includes Core i7-1255U, 32GB RAM, and 1TB SSD goes for USD2,599.99 (~RM12,198).

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