Will Microsoft Surface Pro 10 be the first Snapdragon X Elite machine? I think so after talking to Qualcomm

Microsoft Surface Pro 9
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

With Microsoft’s new Surface devices set to be announced at the company’s event on March 21, one question is simple — what power will the company be packing this device with? 

I mean the Surface Pro 9 still rocks a 12th Gen Intel notebook chip, so it's in desperate need of a boost. Well, we may have had a pretty good hint of what’s to come.

In an exclusive interview with Qualcomm CMO Dom McGuire, he gave a pretty strong hint that we could see Snapdragon X Elite come first to the incoming Surface Pro 10.

What did Qualcomm say?

When I spoke to McGuire at MWC 2024, he mentioned that Snapdragon X Elite will usher in the era of what he’s calling the “next gen PC.” Of course, this raised the garden hedges on my face known as my eyebrows, so I started to unpack this with him — looking into how this new chipset could influence the design of laptops over the next few years.

“I think in this first phase, you’re going to see traditional chassis along the brand lines that these PC OEMs have already established,” McGuire commented. Following this he highlighted two products in particular: “So a Surface Pro is still a Surface Pro, and a Lenovo Yoga is still a Lenovo Yoga.”

Of course, that close relationship with Lenovo is something worth exploring, and we will do so in an upcoming piece (because he says a lot more about Lenovo). But it’s the fact McGuire specifically highlights this model just a couple of weeks before Microsoft’s Surface and AI event — to somebody who’s learnt to read between the lines when it comes to interviewing key figures. I think there’s something there.

Plus, this ties in nicely with a Windows Central report that an OLED-armed Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 are set to be announced in both Intel and Qualcomm flavors.

The Snapdragon effect

Qualcomm Snapdragon

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Looking further afield, McGuire highlighted how this first phase will run through “the back to school holiday,” and then you’ll see OEMs “get into their next cycles.” What does this next cycle look like?

“It’s not just about the fact that our platforms are small and energy efficient, but it’s going to be about this idea of distributed compute,” McGuire ponders. This is something he spoke to us at length about when defining what an AI PC is — simply put, it’s not just one device, it’s multiple AI-enable devices coming together to form a anticipatory, proactive assistant in your life.

And sure, there are other more physical elements that McGuire does talk about, such as the miniaturization of the Snapdragon X Elite component meaning that laptop makers could add a bigger battery into its chassis, but he sees a future in his metaphorical crystal ball surrounding how “use cases are being distributed across different device form factors within a person’s daily life.”

“I think Microsoft’s definitely looking at that. I think others are looking at that as well. I think that’s going to bring some interesting things,” he proclaimed — pretty definitively stating that the role of an AI PC is bigger than the sum of itself.

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Jason England
Managing Editor — Computing

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.