Skip to main content

What to expect from Microsoft's fall 2022 Surface hardware event

Surface hardware renders
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is gearing up for its annual Surface fall event, with this year being a special milestone as the company celebrates the 10th anniversary of Surface. As we always do here at Windows Central, here’s a roundup of everything we're hearing and expecting to see Microsoft announce at this year’s Surface event.

The event is taking place on October 12 at 10 am ET. The event will be streamed live, with pre-orders for many of the products announced expected to go live shortly after.

Surface Laptop 5

Surface Laptop 4 Amd 2021

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

First on the agenda is the next Surface Laptop, which is well overdue for an update, as it’s been a year and a half since the Surface Laptop 4. According to recent reports, the next Surface Laptop will only be available with Intel 12th-gen U series chips, with no AMD Ryzen options.

This would be the first time since the Surface Laptop 3 that Microsoft has shipped a Surface Laptop without AMD options. This is perhaps due to the ongoing component shortage. My sources tell me that internally, Microsoft has designed new Surface Laptops with AMD Ryzen 6000 series chips, but we'll have to wait and see if those end up shipping this fall.

The version that is shipping is expected to feature Intel Core i5-1245U and Intel Core i7-1265U chips, with up to 32GB RAM and 1TB storage configurable. The display is expected to be Dolby Vision certified, too.

I expect Surface Laptop 5 to ship in the same 13.5-inch and 15-inch sizes as last time, and in the same colors. But we may also see the new Sage green colorway as was seen on the Surface Laptop Go 2 earlier this year. Sadly, I don't expect any major design changes.

There should also be Thunderbolt 4 in the Surface Laptop series for the first time. 

Here is the specs list that we think accurately represents the upcoming Surface Laptop 5:

CategorySurface Laptop 5 13" (rumored)Surface Laptop 5 15" (rumored)
Operating systemWindows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro (commercial)Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro (commercial)
Display13.5 inches, 3:2 aspect ratio15 inches, 3:2 aspect ratio
2256x1504 (201 PPI) 120Hz PixelSense Flow Display2496x1664 (201 PPI) 120Hz PixelSense Flow Display
ProcessorConsumer: 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1245U, Core i7-1265UConsumer: 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1245U, Core i7-1265U
Commercial (vPro): 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U, Core i7-1255UCommercial (vPro): 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U, Core i7-1255U
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe GraphicsIntel Iris Xe Graphics
Memory8GB LPDDR4x
16GB LPDDR4x
32GB LPDDR4x
8GB LPDDR4x
16GB LPDDR4x
32GB LPDDR4x
Storage256GB
512GB
1TB
256GB
512GB
1TB
Front Camera1080p, Windows Hello1080p, Windows Hello
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Ports2x USB-C with TB4
1x USB-A
3.5mm headphone jack
1x Surface Connect
2x USB-C with TB4
1x USB-A
3.5mm headphone jack
1x Surface Connect
AudioQuad Omnisonic speakers w/ Dolby AtmosQuad Omnisonic speakers w/ Dolby Atmos
Battery19 hours17.5 hours
Dimensions12.1 x 8.8 x 0.56 inches (308mm x 223mm x 14.22mm)13.4 x 9.6 x 0.57 inches (339.5mm x 244mm x 14.5mm)
WeightAlcantara: 2.79 pounds (1.265kg)
Metal: 2.84 pounds (1.288kg)
Metal: 3.40 pounds (1.542kg)
ColorsPlatinum (Alcantara), BlackPlatinum, Black

Surface Pro 9

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 with keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

I’m also expecting a new Surface Pro this fall, with significant changes coming to the product line in the silicon department. According to my sources, Microsoft is planning to merge the Surface Pro X with the mainline Surface Pro brand this fall, meaning the Surface Pro “9” will be available to order with either Intel or Qualcomm chips.

The Qualcomm variant (codenamed Arcata) is expected to feature the Microsoft SQ3, a customized Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 SoC that will significantly increase performance over the existing Surface Pro X. The Intel model (codenamed Zaca) will ship with 12th-gen U series chips.

Like the Surface Laptop 5, the Intel Surface Pro 9 will feature the Intel Core i5-1245U and Intel Core i7-1265U, with up to 1TB storage and 32GB RAM configurable. I also hear the Surface Pro 9 will feature a new high refresh rate display, with a 120Hz panel that can scale down to just 24Hz when necessary. 

I also expect Microsoft Pluton and "Secured-Core PC" features and inclusions with the Surface Pro 9.

Another headlining feature for the new Surface Pro will be the inclusion of 5G LTE for the first time in a Surface PC, specifically for the ARM models (which just passed through the FCC). I don’t expect there to be any major external design changes over the current Surface Pro design, except for new device colors and, possibly, new Type Cover patterns.

Here's the expected specs list for the Surface Pro 9:

CategorySurface Pro 9 (rumored)
OSWindows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro (commercial)
ProcessorConsumer: 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1245U, Core i7-1265U
Commercial (vPro): 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U, Core i7-1255U
5G model: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx G3 (Microsoft SQ3) ARM
RAM8GB, 16GB, 32GB LPDDR4x (Wi-Fi)
8GB or 16GB LPDDR4x (5G)
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe, Ardreno (ARM)
Storage128GB, 256GB SSD, 512GB, 1TB SSD (Wi-Fi)
128GB, 256GB SSD, 512GB (5G)
Display13 inches 3:2 aspect ratio
2880x1920 (267 PPI), Up to 120Hz
PortsTwo Thunderbolt 4, Surface Connect, 3.5mm audio
AudioDual 2W stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos, Dual far-field studio mics
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, Snapdragon X20 LTE/5G eSIM support
CameraIR camera Front-facing 5MP (1080p), Rear-facing 10MP (1080p, 4K)
KeyboardSurface Pro Signature keyboard (Not included)
TouchpadPrecision
PenSurface Slim Pen 2 (Not included)
Battery50.2WHr
Up to 16 hours
Dimensions11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches
(287mm x 208.3mm x 9.4mm)
Weight1.96 pounds (891g)
ColorPlatinum, Graphite, Forrest, or Sapphire (Wi-Fi)
Platinum (5G)

Surface Studio 3

Surface Studio 2

(Image credit: Future)

I’m also expecting to see Microsoft finally ship a new Surface Studio (codenamed Chehalis), featuring modest spec upgrades housed in the same design that the first and second Surface Studio shipped with. 

On the inside, expect to see an 11th-generation Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM, and 1TB storage. I have heard only one SKU of the Surface Studio 3 will be made available. On the back, expect minor changes to the I/O, including the removal of the SD card reader and the inclusion of three USB-C ports in its place.

All USB-C ports will be Thunderbolt 4 capable. There are still two USB-A ports on the back as well. I also hear the device will be Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos certified, and feature an updated webcam with better video quality.

We've already seen the Surface Studio 3's accessories leak, which include minor design updates to the Surface Keyboard and Pen. Notably, the pen design is of the thicker variety and not an updated Slim Pen design. This confirms the Surface Studio 3 won’t have a dedicated wireless charging bay for the Slim Pen 2, as some had expected.

What is believed to be Surface Studio 3 has just been filed through the FCC


Project Volterra

Project Volterra Hero

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Project Volterra (codenamed Black Rock) was announced earlier this year, but I expect Microsoft will be gearing up to ship the first units around the same time as the other new Surface devices. Project Volterra features a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 under the hood and is Microsoft's first mini-desktop PC, though the company only plans to sell it as a developer kit.

Fun fact: Project Volterra was built by the Surface team and is a Surface product in everything but its name. So even though it isn't branded as a Surface, it's still a Surface at heart. 

Accessories

See more

As is the case every year, we're also expecting to see a handful of new accessories launch alongside new Surface PCs. Refreshed versions of the Surface Keyboard, Surface Pen, and Surface Mouse are expected, which will likely be included in-box with the Surface Studio 3 but also purchasable standalone for people who don't want to fork out over $3500+ for a computer.

We may also finally see Microsoft's new Adaptive Accessories begin shipping. These were announced earlier this year but haven't yet gone on sale, and they did recently pass through the FCC, so their launch should be imminent.

There is also a chance Microsoft could announce the new Android 12L update for Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2. I had originally heard that Surface Earbuds 2 would be making an appearance this fall, but sources now tell me that won't be the case, unfortunately. 

Lastly, I have heard we may see a new "Teams presenting remote" accessory, as well as a new premium audio speaker designed for Teams conferencing and music playback.

What not to expect

Surface Duo 2020

(Image credit: Future)

There's always a list of Surface devices we don't expect to make an appearance this fall. This year, those include:

  • Surface Laptop Studio 2
  • Surface Go 4
  • Surface Duo 3
  • Surface Neo
  • Surface Laptop SE 2
  • Surface Laptop Go 3
  • Surface Headphones 3

Of course, there may be one or two surprises, but I'm confident we won't see a successor or new versions of the Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Go, or Surface Duo this fall. 

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.