DON'T buy the new Surface Pro 10 or Surface Laptop 6 — Microsoft has better hardware just around the corner

Surface Family
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The new Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 are finally here, but they're not the devices we've been looking forward to. Microsoft's new hardware products are explicitly "for business," which means they're only available in boring colors, arrive in basic brown packaging, and aren't available in stores like Amazon or Best Buy.

Historically, Microsoft usually ships new hardware in both consumer and business flavors at the same time, but that hasn't happened with the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6. If you're an individual who wants to buy the latest Surface Pro, the Microsoft Store still recommends that you go buy a Surface Pro 9.

But don't! In fact, don't buy any new Surface PCs right now, as Microsoft has much better hardware on the horizon. It's already announced an event taking place on May 20, and while it remains tight-lipped about what will be announced, my sources say the company will finally unveil the consumer-facing variants of the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6.

These consumer models will feature significant upgrades in a number of key areas, including display tech, overall design, and silicon in the form of a Qualcomm Snapdragon X Series-based SoC. Both the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 for consumers will be powered by Arm chips for the first time, as Microsoft goes all-in on positioning Windows on Arm as "just another option" in the PC space.

Windows on Arm is finally about to get good

Qualcomm's new chips are beating Intel in a number of benchmarks. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

My sources say that compared to the business variants, the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 will feature true all-day battery life and will rival the iPad Pro and MacBook Air in terms of performance and efficiency. These PCs (internally dubbed CADMUS PCs) will be positioned as Microsoft's first mainstream Arm devices. 

2024 is said to be the year where Windows on Arm comes into its own. The platform has earned a rough reputation due to slow hardware and poor app emulation. But that's now changing. In the last year, many mainstream app developers have finally adopted Windows on Arm, including Google Chrome, WhatsApp, Photoshop, 7zip, and many more.

Plus, the new Qualcomm chips are so powerful that many apps that still require the emulation layer won't even feel like they're being emulated anymore. Qualcomm has even just come out and said that it reckons most Windows games will work fine on its upcoming SoC's. We really are at a turning point for Windows on Arm.

So, if you think you don't want a Windows on Arm device because of what you've heard about the platform before, just wait and give it another chance. Microsoft's goal this year is for Windows on Arm to become normalized in the PC space, with end-users not really able to tell the difference between either Intel or Arm performance and compatibility.

The consumer Surfaces will have more to offer

The Surface Laptop 6 for consumers is expected to feature thinner display bezels. (Image credit: Windows Central)

It's not just silicon upgrades on the cards for the consumer Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, either. In fact, sources say the arm-powered Surface Laptop 6 is getting a design refresh that consists of thinner bezels with rounded display corners, a new haptic trackpad, and an additional USB-C port. This will be the first big design update for the Surface Laptop line since its debut in 2017.

The Surface Pro 10 for consumers will be very similar to the Surface Pro 10 for business from a design perspective, but there are some minor changes here, too. I hear Microsoft is planning to offer an OLED display option for the first time, which will deliver rich contrast and better viewing angles.

Of course, both the consumer Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 with Arm will come in more fancy retail packaging, be offered in a wider selection of colors, and will be available to buy in your favorite retail stores like Best Buy and Amazon.

So, instead of buying the boring Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 for business now, just wait a couple more months for the more exciting consumer variants with Arm chips. They are going to be worth the wait. 

Do you really need Intel?

The Intel-powered Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6. (Image credit: Microsoft)

I get it; you think you need Intel, and maybe you do. If that really is the case, then that's what the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 for business are for. They are for the people who need Intel, and the new Intel Core Ultra chips are actually pretty good. 

But don't base your need for Intel on the fact that Windows on Arm has been bad in the past because that was in the past. Things change, and Microsoft is now ready to position Surface as an Arm-first line of products, starting with the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 this summer.

Will Microsoft offer the consumer variants with Intel chips, too? I don't think so, as none of my sources are aware of Intel variants of the consumer models. That's not to say they definitely don't exist, but I haven't heard anything about them. All I know for sure is the consumer variants of Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 will be powered by Arm chips, and Microsoft is very excited about them. 

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

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

  • Dholzer
    My biggest question would be whether Windows on ARM will work with an eGPU.
    Reply
  • tom bae 2023
    How about Surface pro 10 11 inch with ARM or Surface go 4 with ARM cpu in June?
    Reply
  • dharmababa
    ARM only for the new consumer models is quite the vote of confidence. Let's hope they can deliver a moment similar to the first M1 Macs.
    Reply