Surface Studio 3: Rumors, specs, design, and everything we know so far

Surface Studio 2
(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft's annual Surface fall event is just around the corner, taking place on October 12 at 10am ET. We are expecting Microsoft to take the wraps off a new Surface Studio, four years after the last one was released in 2018. 

Here's a roundup of all the credible leaks and rumors about the next Surface Studio, codenamed Chehalis, from our own sources as well as trusted reports from elsewhere. We've done our best to weed out all the fakes, and we'll continue to update this post as more info becomes available. 

Interestingly, my sources tell me that the Surface Studio 3 will actually be dubbed the "Surface Studio 2+" when it's announced.

Be sure to check out our roundup of all the devices we're expecting to be announced at the Microsoft event, including the Surface Pro 9 and Surface Laptop 5. 

Surface Studio 3: Price & Availability

The next Surface Studio is expected to be announced this October and begin shipping to customers by November. It's likely that pricing for the Surface Studio 2+ will remain very high, with a starting price of above $3000.

Availability will depend heavily on the ongoing component shortage. It's likely that Microsoft wants Surface Studio 2+ to ship in all the same markets that Surface Studio 2 did, but that roll-out may be much slower if Microsoft is unable to gather enough stock for launch.

Surface Studio 3: Specifications

Surface Studio 2

(Image credit: Future)

Little details are known about the upcoming Surface Studio 2+. I heard over a year ago that the next Surface Studio would ship with an Intel 11th-generation Intel Core i7-11370H chip, and my sources say that will still be the case when the device begins shipping next month. This is a disappointing revelation considering we're coming up to Intel 13th-gen shortly. 

I also hear it will have NVIDIA RTX 3060 graphics with 6GB RAM. Thunderbolt 4 support is on the cards, and I expect to see the Studio 2+ ship with 32GB RAM and 1TB storage as well. I did hear that Microsoft would not be shipping multiple configurations of the Studio 2+, suggesting its run will be limited to just one SKU.

Overall, the spec refresh expected with the Surface Studio 2+ is a big improvement over the Surface Studio 2, which features a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 and NVIDIA GTX 1070. An 11th-gen chip and RTX graphics will provide a big performance increase, but compared to the competition, it's still last-gen specs, which is really disappointing.

Lastly, I also hear that there are some I/O changes coming with the Surface Studio 2+. On the back, the SD card reader has been replaced with three Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports. And two of the USB-A ports have been removed, with two remaining. 

Surface Studio 3: Design & Features

Studio 3 FCC report

(Image credit: FCC)

Thanks to a leak from the FCC, we already know what the Surface Studio 2+ will look like, and sadly, it's not going to be much different from the Surface Studio 2. From the leaked photo, it has been confirmed that the Surface Studio 3 chassis is identical to the previous generation. Not even the bezels have been reduced.

This was pretty much confirmed when the accessories for the Studio 2+ leaked, revealing very minor changes to their design. The updated Surface Pen is of the old thicker design, meaning the Studio 2+ doesn't have a dedicated charging dock for the wirelessly charged Surface Slim Pen 2. 

I do expect Surface Studio 2+ to ship with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support, just as other Surface products have in the last year. My sources say the Studio 2+'s display will be 60Hz, not 120Hz.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.