Microsoft is expected to unveil a plethora of new Surface hardware this year, not including the already announced Surface Neo and Surface Duo. Everything from the Surface Book to Surface Earbuds is on the cards for 2020, so here's all the Surface hardware we think you should watch out for this year.
Surface Book 3
Microsoft hasn't updated the Surface Book with a new model since 2017, meaning we're long overdue for a refresh. Based on leaked specs from Geekbench, we're expecting the Surface Book 3 to feature Intel 10th Generation processors, along with a dedicated GTX 1660 Max Q graphics card for the 15-inch variant, and a GTX 1650 Max Q for the 13-inch variant.
Not much else is known about the Surface Book 3 at this time. We're hoping to see a minor design refresh, perhaps with slimmer bezels and improved hinge design. Microsoft often holds a hardware event in the spring, and I suspect that's where we'll see this device get announced if that event happens.
Surface Go 2
Surface Go is one of Microsoft's more popular Surface products, likely thanks to its low-cost starting price of $399. Thanks to Geekbench, we know Microsoft is testing a variant that includes an Intel Core m3-Y8100 processor on the inside. That's quite the spec-bump over the Intel Pentium GOLD processor inside the existing Surface Go.
Many are hoping that the next Surface Go will be available with an ARM processor, as the Surface Go is a product that makes sense as an ARM device. The most likely processor Microsoft would use here is the recently announced Snapdragon 7c, however, there's no solid evidence that an ARM variant is on the way.
It's possible that Microsoft may make both an ARM and Intel variant available, with the Intel m3 variant being aimed more at businesses or the more expensive Surface Go SKU, and the Snapdragon 7c model being available inside the entry-level model at $399.
I would expect a Surface Go 2 to be announced alongside the Surface Book 3, possibly in the spring.
Surface Studio 3
Just like the Surface Book, the Surface Studio hasn't been updated since 2017 either. That means we're overdue for a refresh, and 2020 might be the year we see that. Not much is known about the Surface Studio 3 at this time, however, rumors suggest it'll be a more modular product with components that can be swapped out.
This modularity may be how Microsoft offers a Surface Studio display for purchase. If the computing unit is modular, Microsoft could sell the display on its own, allowing customers to buy the display for less, and hook it up to their own computer.
If a Surface Studio 3 is on the way this year, I would expect to see it announced later this year, likely at a hardware event in the fall.
Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Earbuds
I've heard whispers that a second-generation pair of Surface Headphones are on the way, but I have no details as to what exactly is new with them. I'm told that if they do launch, they'll be available in black this time. Microsoft is also planning to launch the Surface Earbuds this year. The company says to expect them this spring. Perhaps we'll see them at a hardware event in the spring, alongside the Surface Headphones 2.
Surface Neo is the first "new" form-factor Surface since the Surface Laptop in 2017. It's a dual-screen foldable PC that runs a new version of Windows called Windows 10X and is more modern and secure than the existing version of Windows 10 we have today. It's powered by an Intel Lakefield processor and will feature dedicated keyboard and pen accessories that wirelessly charge on the back of the device.
The Neo also has two 9-inch displays, of which are the "worlds thinnest" LCDs. It has Windows Hello facial recognition and is covered in glass on the front and back. Microsoft says the Surface Neo will start shipping in "holiday 2020," meaning towards the end of this year. It'll be one of the first devices to ship with Windows 10X.
Surface Duo is arguably the most anticipated of the family this year, being the first Surface 'phone' by Microsoft. It's the first Surface to run Android too and joins early phones exploring dual-displays, joined together by a 360-degree hinge. Microsoft hasn't revealed much around specs, but here's what we do know.
Surface Duo features two 5.6-inch displays with a resolution of 1800x1350. It's 4.8mm thin when open, and has a single front-facing camera sensor above the right display. Instead of facial recognition, the Surface Duo features a capacitive fingerprint reader on the right-hand side of the device, below the power and volume rocker. The device is also covered in glass.
On the inside, the Surface Duo demoed to the press was running a Snapdragon 855. However, Microsoft said at the time that it was not committed to that processor, meaning it's likely we'll see the Surface Duo launch with the Snapdragon 865 instead. If it does, that would also mean the Surface Duo supports 5G, as all Snapdragon 865 devices have 5G capabilities.
Microsoft says that it's planning to launch the Surface Duo alongside the Surface Neo in the fall of this year. However, I've heard whispers that Microsoft may launch the Surface Duo much earlier than anticipated, as the Surface Duo is further ahead development-wise than the Surface Neo.
If what I'm hearing is correct, Microsoft will "soft-launch" the Surface Duo before the summer, allowing enthusiasts and, more importantly, developers to get their hands on the Surface Duo before a more official launch in the fall. I wouldn't be surprised if we see the Surface Duo launch around the same time as Build, allowing attendees to purchase a Surface Duo at a discounted price.
What are you looking forward to?
That's our list of Surface hardware we think you should keep an eye out for in 2020. Of course, Microsoft may have more surprises up its sleeve, but that's what we know Microsoft is working on currently. What are you hoping to see in 2020? Let us know in the comments.
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