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Microsoft Surface Pro 9 review: The perfect convertible?

Surface Pro 9 cover picture
Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2023 TechnikNews)

Microsoft has with the Surface Pro 9, which is now the 9th generation of the Surface Pro series presented. You can read what the new Surface can do and whether the purchase is worthwhile in the following review.

Microsoft has the Surface Pro 9 launched last November alongside the Laptop 5 and Studio 2+. Now I had that Pro 9 for 6 weeks in use. In the following, I will tell you how the convertible fared during this time.

tl; dr

Overall, I liked the Surface Pro 9 because it has no major weaknesses. I really liked the design, the workmanship and the display. The performance of the i7 I tested was also very good. I also liked the battery life, which could be improved a bit in the future. I just think it's a shame that the pretty good keyboard and the Surface Pen have to be purchased separately. I think it's priced well Pro 9 is also quite attractive, since you probably won't find a comparable complete package for this price. For the reasons mentioned, I can recommend this to anyone looking for a 2-in-1 device with Windows Pro 9 only recommend.

Surface Pro Buy 9 i7, 16 GB RAM & 256 GB SSD at:

Unboxing & scope of delivery

The Surface Pro 9 comes in a plain white box with a large picture of itself. In addition to the convertible itself, the scope of delivery only includes the 65-watt fast power adapter with power cable and the usual paperwork. The power adapter connects to the computer via the magnetic Surface Connect connector Pro 9 and has an additional USB-A port to connect accessories. I find it extremely unfortunate that the Surface Signature Keyboard and the Slim Pen 2 have to be purchased separately and are not included as standard.

Design, kick stand & finish

With the Surface Pro 8 Microsoft has the Surface Pro series has been given a much more modern design. This design has that Pro 9 inherited from its predecessor and I personally like it quite a lot. The convertible is just 9,3 millimeters thin and weighs 879 grams, which is why it is so procan easily be used as a normal tablet. Except for the front that is Pro 9 is made entirely of aluminium, which not only feels and looks good in the hand, but is also relatively robust. The front of the Surface is made of Gorilla Glass 5, which is unfortunately no longer up to date, and which could be replaced by a harder glass in the future. In contrast to the rest of the device, the built-in buttons are made of plastic, but offer a relatively good pressure point.

Surface Pro 9 obliquely behind

Picture: TechnikNews

I liked how Microsoft put the air vents in this Pro 9 has integrated. It's almost impossible to tell where these are, as they're in a crevice that runs all around the device. The integrated kick stand, on which the Microsoft logo is located, is definitely a unique selling point of Microsoft's Surface 2in1 devices. I really liked it here because it can be infinitely adjusted and seemed relatively stable to me. Below the kickstand is a small magnetic plate, beneath which is the removable SSD. Overall, I liked the build quality of the Surface Pro 9 really liked it as everything is very stable, looks and feels good.

Connections & display

The Surface Pro 9 unfortunately doesn't offer very many ports. In addition to the 2 high-speed Thunderbolt 4 ports, there is only one Surface Connect port and the Signature Keyboard port. In addition to the power supply unit, other devices such as the Surface Dock can also be used via the Surface Connect port. I think it's a pity that there is no longer a 3,5 millimeter jack connection, which is why you do that Pro 9 can either be used with wireless headphones and speakers, or have to buy an adapter.

Surface Pro 9 front

Picture: TechnikNews

In contrast to the built-in connections, the display was able to convince me across the board. It is 13 inches tall, has relatively thin display edges and offers a high resolution of 2880 × 1920 pixels, which corresponds to 267 PPI (pixels per inch). The brightness of 450 nits is completely sufficient for indoor use. I really like that the display has a dynamic refresh rate of 120 Hertz. Overall, I really liked the display and I think it's definitely a highlight of the Surface.

Specs, Performance & Cooling

Microsoft offers the Surface Pro 9 in addition to the configuration I tested with an Intel Core i7, also in a configuration with the slightly weaker Core i5 and in one with the ARM chip Microsoft SQ3. In my configuration, the Core i7 was supported by 16 gigabytes of RAM. The Intel Iris XE is used as the graphics card in the versions with an Intel chip, and the significantly weaker integrated Adreno graphics chip is used in the version with the SQ3. The i7 has more than enough power to do office work, surf the internet or do more demanding things like edit photos or cut videos. The i4 even has enough power for simple games such as Minecraft, CS:GO or Sims 7. The performance is only no longer sufficient for demanding games, but this is more due to the graphics card than to the Proprocessor lies.

What I noticed negatively review was the heat development of the convertible. If you're playing a game, for example, or doing something else that requires a lot of power, you clearly notice how warm the device can get. The two built-in fans are audible at high temperatures, but they don't get uncomfortably loud. However, the fans are almost never active when surfing the Internet or working in the office, which is why this is the case Pro 9 is then no longer audible. Overall, however, I liked how much power the Surface has and how quiet it is almost always.

Charge the battery

Im Pro 9, Microsoft installed an almost 48 watt-hour battery, which always got me through a day or two easily. With normal usage with 120 Hertz enabled, I managed just over 6 hours of display-on-time. With activated 60 Hertz, the battery even lasted more than 7 hours with normal use. This value is really good for such a thin and powerful convertible. However, if the i7 is fully utilized, the battery life is drastically reduced. When using performance-hungry Proprogramming and playing, the battery only lasted a little over 3 hours review. If you then activate the high-performance mode for a few more FPS, the battery is empty after about 2,5 hours.

That can be loaded Pro 9 in two ways. You can either charge it via the included 65 watt power supply or via one of the two USB-C ports. The included power adapter charges the Surface via the Surface Connector, which, like Apple's MagSafe, connects the cable magnetically to the Pro 9 connects. If you accidentally stumble over the charging cable, it simply detaches from the connection and thus protects the device from breaking. The battery is fully charged again in about 2 hours, which is a good value.

Cameras, speakers & microphone

Surface Pro 9 rear camera

Picture: TechnikNews

Microsoft installed in the Surface Pro 9 has a front camera with Full HD resolution and a rear camera that even offers 4K. The quality of the front camera is completely sufficient for meetings and video conferences and it even supports the 3D face recognition Windows Hello. Windows Hello greatly simplifies Windows log-in and entering passwords, since you only have to scan your face to enter the password. Thanks to the built-in sensors, the 3D face recognition is also quite secure. I also liked the rear camera because the image quality is really good for a convertible.

On the front of Pro 9 there are 2 stereo loudspeakers, which are sufficiently good. They get loud enough and don't sound bad, but they don't sound particularly good either. I liked the convertible's microphones better because they are really useful and, like the front camera, are always sufficient for meetings and video conferences.

keyboard & pen

Surface Signature Keyboard

Picture: TechnikNews

The special thing about the Surface Pro Microsoft devices is the detachable keyboard, which I really liked and is definitely one of the best detachable keyboards. It consists of a high-quality Alcantara material, which has a very positive effect on use, as it is very soft and pleasant to the touch. The pressure point of the keys is quite good and they are fortunately backlit. Only the Magic Keyboard from Apple, which is about three times as expensive, has the edge in terms of the pressure point of the keys. I also liked the trackpad, although it could be a bit bigger. A pretty cool feature of the keyboard is that the user can easily angle it thanks to magnets built into the device, which definitely makes it more comfortable to use. However, I find it a pity that the keyboard is not included with such an expensive device and has to be purchased separately.

Surface Slim Pen 2

Picture: TechnikNews

Like most current tablets and convertibles, the Surface Pro 9 a stylus, which is called Surface Slim Pen 2 here and I also liked it. The stylus is slightly rubberized and is therefore relatively comfortable to hold. Thanks to its 4096 supported pressure levels, it is well suited for writing down notes or for drawing. To make using the pen feel more realistic, it has a vibration motor that gives the user haptic feedback. In the beginning this is relatively unfamiliar and feels a bit strange, but over time you get used to the vibration. On the top of the pen is a button that doubles as an eraser in most apps, and one-click to open apps like OneNote. Holding the side button activates the lasso tool.

Versions & Prices

The available versions of the Pro 9 differ mainly in the built-in Proprocessors, the colors and the memory. The absolute basic version with Intel Core i5, 8 gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabytes of SSD came onto the market for an RRP of 1.300 euros. At MediaMarkt, Saturn and Amazon, the price of this version has already fallen by more than 100 euros, which makes it significantly more attractive. The version I tested with an Intel Core i7, 16 gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabytes of storage was released for an RRP of 1.860 euros. This version has also dropped in price by more than 100 euros.

In addition to the versions with Intel Prozessor, a version of the Surface with an ARM chip and 5G is also available. This is called Microsoft SQ3 and was created in cooperation with Qualcomm and is based on the Qualcomm 8CX Gen 3. This version, with the Microsoft SQ3 chip, 8 gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabytes of SSD has an RRP of 1.570 euros and is in contrast to the other versions have not fallen at all in price.

As already mentioned, the keyboard and the pen have to be purchased separately. The Surface Pro Signature Keyboard is available for around 120 euros, which is a good price in comparison for what is on offer. The Slim Pen 2, which currently costs a little less than 100 euros, also has a good price. A bundle with the Signature Keyboard and the Slim Pen 2 is available for around 180 euros.

purchase links

Surface Pro Buy 9 i5, 8 GB RAM & 256 GB SSD at:

Surface Pro Buy 9 i7, 16 GB RAM & 256 GB SSD at:

Surface Pro Buy 9 SQ3, 8 GB RAM & 256 GB SSD at:

Buy Microsoft Signature Keyboard and Slim Pen 2 Bundle at:

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Jonas Wilhelm

Jonas lives near Ingolstadt and has been with us for over a year TechnikNews. He regularly writes test reports and news for the site. In his free time, he likes to find out about the latest technology when he's not listening to music too loudly or watching series. He also often meets up with his friends and enjoys cooking.

Jonas has already written 31 articles and left 1 comments.

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