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Home / Reviews / Microsoft Surface Pro 9 review: the best 2-in-1 around

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 review: the best 2-in-1 around

The Surface Pro 9 offers decent performance underneath the remarkably sleek shell if you pick carefully

Surface Pro 9 review

The Microsoft Surface range is primarily for giving creative types a beautiful laptop experience.

Fortunately, with the rise of cloud gaming like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now, the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is worth noticing for mobile gamers, too.

Reasonably affordable for such a sleek machine, it’s more tablet than a laptop with an edge-to-edge PixelSense touchscreen and a lightweight build that makes it ideal for putting in your bag and taking it elsewhere. It’s eye-catching in the right ways too.


The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 offers decent performance underneath the remarkably sleek shell if you pick carefully. The ARM-based model should be avoided because of still-patchy app support.

In contrast, the Intel Core i5 or Intel i7 models offer enough power to run something like Fortnite natively if you don’t mind turning down the detail level. You’ll likely stream games via Xbox Cloud Gaming or GeForce Now with the 13-inch display able to dynamically switch between a 60Hz or 120Hz refresh rate as needed. There’s a decently high maximum brightness too with up to 450 nits keeping things suitably bright.

For those moments when you need to work, models offering up to 16GB of RAM means you’ll be able to multitask reasonably well with plenty of storage coming courtesy of either 256GB or 512GB SSDs. Such upgrades will add to the cost of the machine, but this is still a slim device that’s perfect if you’re short on space or simply don’t want bulk.


The screen is on par with the iPad Pro’s and looks sharp and vibrant, so it pairs nicely with streaming games. You won’t have to worry about performance issues by doing so, although do count on the battery life dipping when running anything too bright. Microsoft reckons you can get around 15 hours of battery life here, but you’re much more likely to hit five at most when gaming or streaming.

If you want a full laptop experience, you’ll need to add on the cost of a leyboard cover. A stylus isn’t included either, making this expensive for anyone looking to work and game.

Stuff Says…

Score: 4/5

Excellent performance throughout. You’ll be beguiled by the gorgeous screen and lightweight design. Though you should avoid the ARM-based model. And things can get quite expensive quite quickly.


Excellent on-the-go-performance

Lightweight, full-fat computing

Brilliant display


Can get expensive

Stylus and keyboard add to cost

ARM model needs better app support

Surface Pro 9 tech specs

Screen13-inch 2880 x 1920
Processor12th generation Intel Core i5 or i7
Storage128, 256, 512GB or 1TB
Dimensions28.7 x 20.9 x 0.9 cm
Weight879g (tablet only)
Profile image of Jennifier Allen Jennifier Allen


Jennifer is a tech and games freelancer with over 10 years of experience. In the past, she's written for sites including TechRadar, Mashable, Lifewire, NME, T3, Eurogamer, and many others. She can never settle on just one pair of headphones or one wearable. In her spare time, she continues to fail to train her guinea pigs and watches too many obscure films.

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