Remember those dark days before Microsoft used to sell their products in South Africa? No? Unfortunately, we do. We’d rather forget the expensive importers and lack of official tech support. But those times are (mostly) behind us. At least as far as Microsoft’s products go. Now, the Surface Pro 9 joins the devices already sold in SA. Want our advice? Hide your wallet from these.
Microsoft’s going Pro (again)
Newbies to Microsoft’s Surface Pro line-up might’ve been expecting a laptop. Only this isn’t a laptop but a tablet doing its best laptop impression – with a Type Cover to help it sell the lie. Microsoft pushes its Surface Pro range as a replacement for your everyday laptop. We’re not so sure about that – but it’s certainly an option for folks looking for a premium lightweight device.
The Surface Pro 9 is certainly that, weighing only 879g. It comes sporting a 13in, 120Hz ‘PixelSense’ display (2880 x 1920). Surrounding that are two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, leaving space for the Type Cover and Surface Connect ports.
We’re more excited by the Pro 9’s innards. If your workflow includes any ARM-based programs or apps, you might want to consider the model with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SQ 3 chipset. If not, Intel’s impressive 12th-gen Core i5 or i7 processors are a safe bet. They will offer the most performance but if you require 5G connectivity, you’ll have to pick the Snapdragon.
Are Zoom and Teams meetings still a thing? If your answer is ‘yes’, we’re sorry. At least the Surface Pro 9’s front-facing camera is capable of 1080p video. Why you’d need a 10MP rear-facer with 1080p and 4K video, we’re not sure. But it’s there. Silently awaiting your call to action.
More money than sense?
There are a couple of Pro 9 flavours to choose from. Four, to be exact. The cheapest features an Intel 12th-gen Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage and is selling for R27,000. These are available in Platinum, Graphite or Sapphire wraps and a black-only Type Cover.
Taking a performance step up, there are two Intel i7 models to choose from. The first features a 256GB SSD and 16GB of RAM. That’ll cost you R37,000. If you need more storage, the second model keeps the CPU and RAM but ups the SSD to 512GB. This one goes for R43,000. You’ll only find these with a Graphite skin and black Type Covers.
The Surface Pro 9 with 5G is reportedly only available at Vodacom, though even our team’s best Googlers couldn’t find a legit listing at the time of writing. We’re sure it’ll appear on Vodacom’s site… eventually. Until then, its price remains a mystery.
Some retailers are selling the Surface Pro 9 with the accompanying Surface Slim Pen 2 as a free gift. But, like all good things, that offer will come to an end on 31 March.