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
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:
|Category||Surface Laptop 5 13" (rumored)||Surface Laptop 5 15" (rumored)|
|Operating system||Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro (commercial)||Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro (commercial)|
|Display||13.5 inches, 3:2 aspect ratio||15 inches, 3:2 aspect ratio|
|2256x1504 (201 PPI) 120Hz PixelSense Flow Display||2496x1664 (201 PPI) 120Hz PixelSense Flow Display|
|Processor||Consumer: 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1245U, Core i7-1265U||Consumer: 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1245U, Core i7-1265U|
|Commercial (vPro): 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U, Core i7-1255U||Commercial (vPro): 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U, Core i7-1255U|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe Graphics||Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|Front Camera||1080p, Windows Hello||1080p, Windows Hello|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1|
|Ports||2x USB-C with TB4|
3.5mm headphone jack
1x Surface Connect
|2x USB-C with TB4|
3.5mm headphone jack
1x Surface Connect
|Audio||Quad Omnisonic speakers w/ Dolby Atmos||Quad Omnisonic speakers w/ Dolby Atmos|
|Battery||19 hours||17.5 hours|
|Dimensions||12.1 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)|
|Weight||Alcantara: 2.79 pounds (1.265kg)|
Metal: 2.84 pounds (1.288kg)
|Metal: 3.40 pounds (1.542kg)|
|Colors||Platinum (Alcantara), Black||Platinum, Black|
Surface Pro 9
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:
|Category||Surface Pro 9 (rumored)|
|OS||Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro (commercial)|
|Processor||Consumer: 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|
|RAM||8GB, 16GB, 32GB LPDDR4x (Wi-Fi)|
|8GB or 16GB LPDDR4x (5G)|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe, Ardreno (ARM)|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB SSD, 512GB, 1TB SSD (Wi-Fi)|
|128GB, 256GB SSD, 512GB (5G)|
|Display||13 inches 3:2 aspect ratio|
|2880x1920 (267 PPI), Up to 120Hz|
|Ports||Two Thunderbolt 4, Surface Connect, 3.5mm audio|
|Audio||Dual 2W stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos, Dual far-field studio mics|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, Snapdragon X20 LTE/5G eSIM support|
|Camera||IR camera Front-facing 5MP (1080p), Rear-facing 10MP (1080p, 4K)|
|Keyboard||Surface Pro Signature keyboard (Not included)|
|Pen||Surface Slim Pen 2 (Not included)|
Up to 16 hours
|Dimensions||11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches|
(287mm x 208.3mm x 9.4mm)
|Weight||1.96 pounds (891g)|
|Color||Platinum, Graphite, Forrest, or Sapphire (Wi-Fi)|
Surface Studio 3
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 (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.
Here's a first look at the refreshed Surface Keyboard and Surface Pen, which I assume are being updated for the upcoming Surface Studio 3 this fall pic.twitter.com/RJs8qYrkarAugust 31, 2022
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
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
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