One of the many surprises Microsoft sprung on us at its October event was the Surface Pro X, a new ultraportable tablet powered by an ARM-based processor. With its sleek design and gorgeous display, the Surface Pro X appears to be a compelling alternative to the Surface Pro 7 and potentially even a strong competitor to Apple's iPad Pro.
But there's one wildcard that could make or break the Surface Pro X: its Microsoft SQ1 processor, a custom ARM-based CPU.
We've reviewed a handful of laptops and tablets running on ARM chips, each of which offered long battery life and LTE connectivity but at the expense of performance. The SQ1 inside the Surface Pro X could change that. Along with lengthy endurance, Microsoft promises "unprecedented performance" from the SQ1 CPU, which supposedly offers 3x more performance-per-watt than the chips inside the Surface Pro 6.