All the new Surface hardware we're expecting to see in spring 2020

Surface hardware
Surface hardware (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is expected to launch new Surface hardware this spring, and while it is unclear as to how Microsoft is going to unveil these new products, we do know that most of them will begin shipping in the next month or so. I hear that hardware announcements will begin to take place in May, and likely start shipping a week or two later. So, here's everything we're expecting to see announced this spring.

Surface Book 3

Best Microsoft Surface Book Accessories of 2017

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

All evidence suggests Microsoft is gearing up to launch a refreshed Surface Book with updated internals this spring. We're not expecting there to be any major design changes with this refresh, only updates to things like the processor and GPU.

On the inside, we're expecting to see Intel 10th Generation processors in both Core i5 and Core i7 configurations. This will be paired with 8GB, 16GB, and a new 32GB RAM option, along with the usual 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage choices. 10th-gen Intel chips will provide significant upgrades to performance, as well as Wi-Fi 6 support and better sleep/wake capabilities.

Regarding the GPU, rumors suggest the Surface Book 3 will ship with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q in the 13-inch, and 1660 Max-Q in the 15-inch model. Some rumors also suggest a top-end model with NVIDIA Quadro graphics, but that's all we know currently. Either way, significant upgrades are in store over the GTX 1060 and 1070 found in the Surface Book 2.

The starting price is expected to be the same as the Surface Book 2 was at launch, but perhaps we'll see a new black color option like the Surface Pro 7. Microsoft usually introduces a new color when the hardware design and form factor doesn't change, just to give the new model a way to stand-out a little more. We'll have to see if that happens with the Surface Book 3.

Surface Go 2

The Surface Go.

Source: Windows Cnetral (Image credit: Source: Windows Cnetral)

A second-generation Surface Go is also on the cards this spring, featuring a new Intel Pentium GOLD 4425Y processor, providing a minor bump in performance over the original Surface Go. However, it is looking like Microsoft will also be offering a more expensive tier with an Intel Core m3-8100Y inside that will provide much better performance.

We'll see both 4GB and 8GB RAM options, along with 64GB or 128GB storage choices, just like the original Surface Go. There is also likely to be an LTE variant as well. However, we don't know which processor will have this as an option. The new processors will provide better sleep/wake capabilities and support for Wi-Fi 6.

Design-wise, we're not expecting any significant changes. I did hear whispers that the Surface Go 2 may feature an 11-inch display with thinner bezels, similar to the Surface Pro X, but I've not been able to confirm this with multiple sources so I'm not entirely confident that will be the case. Update: Multiple sources have come forward to confirm that Surface Go 2 does have a larger display with thinner bezels. I'm told it's closer to 10.5-inches, not 11-inches as originally reported. Either way, Surface Go 2 is also expected to launch starting at the same price as its predecessor.

Surface Earbuds

Surface Earbuds

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Microsoft announced the Surface Earbuds in 2019 but unfortunately had to delay them for unknown reasons. Microsoft last said to expect them this spring, meaning we should expect to see them show up with this wave of new hardware. Surface Earbuds were announced priced at $249, which many touted as too expensive for what they offer.

Surface Earbuds have their own charging case, but whether that supports wireless charging remains to be seen. The earbuds were also announced without active noise cancellation, something that Apple's AirPods Pro do support at the same price too. It'll be interesting to see if Microsoft has made any changes to the Surface Earbuds during their delay, whether that be a decreased price, or updated feature set to match the AirPods Pro.

Surface Headphones 2

Surface Headphones Black

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

I've also heard that an updated pair of Surface Headphones is on the cards this spring. I don't know what's new or different with them, but they'll likely be available in black in addition to platinum. I don't think they'll explicitly be called Surface Headphones 2 either, sticking with just "Surface Headphones" for simplicity.

Surface Dock

Microsoft Surface Dock

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Third-party store listings have revealed that Microsoft appears to be preparing a brand-new Surface Dock to go along with the new Surface hardware. It's unclear what exactly will be new, but we're likely going to see USB-C in place of some of the USB-A ports. The Surface Dock was last updated in 2015, so it's well overdue a refresh.

Surface Duo

Surface Duo

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Lastly, we've been hearing for some time now that Microsoft is planning to launch Surface Duo much earlier than holiday 2020. I'm still hearing this is the case, and that we can expect to see Surface Duo begin shipping this summer. I don't know when exactly Microsoft will announce these plans, but I do know that Duo won't be shipping until June or July at the earliest, after the new Surface Go and Surface Book both go on sale.

Microsoft may decide to announce these plans for Duo alongside the announcements for Surface Go 2 and Surface Book 3, but don't expect the Surface Duo to start shipping at the same time as those products. I'm told the Surface Duo will ship with a Snapdragon 855 inside and won't support 5G. I've also heard from multiple sources that Surface Duo doesn't have NFC or wireless charging capabilities.

What are your thoughts?

So that's everything we're expecting to see announced this spring. We don't yet know how Microsoft plans to make these announcements. Some have speculated Microsoft will do a virtual event, but others have wondered whether these products will simply be announced in the form of a press release like the recent iPhone SE.

It's important to keep in mind that due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, timeframes for announcements are still in flux. While I'm hearing Microsoft is planning to announce new hardware in May, that's already later than Microsoft were originally anticipating. So it's possible that we could see further delays. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on this hardware line-up? Let us know in the comments below.

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.

  • Oooooh, I loved my 15" SB2 with the 1060, but it was barely enough to me. I always wanted a 13.5" to save on size and weight since I travel, but I knew the 1050 wouldn't be good enough. The 1650 max-q on the other hand... that I'd be good with! I'd still much prefer to see a high powered AMD 4700 or 4900 variant with a beastly amd gpu.
  • i know right? I guess the new AMD chips will go into the SB4...
  • I hope Surface Headphones 2 can wirelessly connect with Xbox!
  • DUO ... Terrible ... outdated SOC, no 5G, no NFC ,no Wireless Charging, Thick Bezels Will it have at least a good rear camera?... how much will it cost ?
  • I think the only thing that bothers me is the wireless charging, the other stuff doesn't bother me.
  • Agreed. No wireless charging means I'll be waiting for Duo 2.
  • SoC is still plenty fast and would meet my needs (assumingly. I've never run a dual display device). It beats the 845 in my OnePlus 6T.
    I have yet to find a use case for me for 5G on a phone. I've yet to hear a good common use case for anyone to have 5G on their phone.
    No NFC was a bummer when I first read that but then realized that in all the years that I've had NFC on devices, I haven't used it very much and could very likely go the next 3 years without a single use of it.
    I'm still not sold on the negative of the thick bezels. They might be helpful for manipulating the device (I've never had a dual display device so I don't know for sure).
    Based on the samples I've seen, I think the camera will be tolerable. Could be better, but tolerable.
    No wireless charging is the only negative in my book based on what we know for sure and has been suggested about the device. Everyone's not me. I get that. But I don't think the specs make it DOA. It's a gen 1 device. It's not going to be perfect and early adopters know this. It will probably be something with a niche market. There are going to be compromises. The question is if it points to a bright future. If the use cases of dual displays are proven out, then gen 2 can improve on the short comings of gen 1. In typical Microsoft fashion, it will probably be gen 3 where it gets top marks all around.
  • I agree with you
  • It's not that the specs alone make it DoA for me. The problem is that I have a G8 right now. There's no SoC improvement from that I'm typing on now. The camera is probably going to be a downgrade. I'll have to give up wireless charging. Yeah, I get the second screen, and that's awesome. I'm also guessing I'll be paying $1,500 or so to get the second screen and not a single thing else. I paid less than $600 at launch for my G8. The value is likely to be atrocious, while also being an overall laggard in the entire tech package. It's more a RAZR than a Galaxy Fold, which at least threw as many tech goodies in as possible. Honestly, you're right that the 855 is adequate. The problem is, tech enthusiasts are the market for this thing, and they're the ones most likely to nitpick something like an 855, rather than an 865. I am totally behind the Duo as a concept, but if it's going to be 2-3 times my current phone's cost and be mostly a tech downgrade, what's the point? If they could give it an 865 and NOT take away so many basic features the high-end buyers are used to, I would eat the premium price. Give me an 865 and wireless charging and I'll not bat an eye at anything else (as long as the camera isn't a total dog).
  • No way. The 855 kills the 710. The 710 was a midrange performer even when new. I love my Galaxy S10+ and yes, the Duo has the same CPU/GPU, so I don't mind as I like the performance of the 855. I don't get people. A flagship chip doesn't suddenly become adequate in a year. Phones don't advance as fast as companies would have you believe. The 865 has always been an interim solution because they weren't able to integrate the modem into the SoC.
  • You said it right. I agree with everything.
  • The specs don’t make it DOA, but the name does. Hopefully, there’s still time to rebrand it to Surface Scribe.
  • No wireless charging is big deal breaker compared to other limitations (I don't say they are useless, they are pretty useful if I want a phone next for 2 years, but wireless charging is useful from past 2 years).
  • It's a thin device you're expecting too much. Snapdragon 855 isn't outdated because the performance is still good. I wish it had 865 but it requires a redesign for the 5g. I heard phone manufacturers are skipping 865 because of the increased cost and complexity of adding 5g antennas.
    The thick bezel is functional. I just hope it has fast charging. Price would probably be expensive like $1k. I think it would be a good supplement device. It's gonna be a niche device because of the drawbacks you listed.
  • What new flagship coming out doesn't have the 865?
  • Only one I know of is the Pixel 5. That's allegedly going to have a 765
  • the 865 will soon be replaced. it was always a temporary design. what are you going to do when next year rolls around and Qualcomm has a proper SoC with an integrated 5G modem rather than external modem?
  • can't wait to buy it! I'll keep my Galaxy S10+ around but the new Duo looks great.
  • Microsoft have already said the Qualcom SOC they were using was for that protype. It won't be the same one. There's no practical benefit of 5G in 2020. 2022 yes but not today. 5G just isn't necessary yet. No NFC is a shame.
  • Looking forward to the SB3
  • Earbuds and Duo will be mine.
  • Any speculation on price? I'm guessing cheaper than galaxy fold for sure. Maybe even competitive pricing to smartphone to try and be convincing for would be smartphone buyers?
  • Definitely not going to be competitive with sub-$1,000 things like the OP8, probably going to be in the $1,500 range of the RAZR, if I had to guess. This is basically a unibody attempt at the LG dual-screen setups, so $1,000 is probably a "loss leader" floor for cost.
  • I'm excited about Surface Go 2. A tiny and lightweight device that can be both a tablet and computer! Thin bezels, a processor that can boost, and LTE? It could easily be the best computer for travel.
  • My thinking too -- I have the money set aside for it! Will probably wait for reviews before buying, but that's the part of this line-up that I'm most interested in.
  • I hear Zac is really excited about the Surface Go X :-P
  • I really hope SB3 and SG2 have at least some minor design refreshes (like smaller bezels, and maybe little bit less gap). Otherwise, they'll be pulling an Apple since they often do the same device with just spec bumps... especially since Panos mentioned in the past that they don't increment the product number without a major change, but they kind of backed away from that statement with the previous gen devices.
  • Yeah sadly what he said there no longer applies. The Surface Pro 6 was literally just a CPU bump, they didn't change anything else.
  • I'd be tempted to get the Earbuds if they had noise cancellation but not without I'm afraid.
  • Wait What! Surface Duo without 5G? Say that ain't so Doesn't make any sense. Holding off on the Surface Go. Will wait for Go2
  • The missing 5G is so little of a problem, really. The market for 5G is really small, the added cost is high (on a device that is already going to be really expensive), and and most people won't have a chance to use 5G before this thing has a successor or superior market competitor.
  • People in cities with 5G barely have chance to use 5G :D.
  • 5G isn't even a major issue here since most cities don't have it and even it has one, coverage is very limited as this time of writing. Lack of 5G is not a huge loss unless you really plan to keep the device for more than 5 years. 5G deployment will take a lot of time, and who knows, it can be more than how 4G was deployed. Other missing hardware features like NFC and Wireless Charging is more of a deal breaker here depending on the user. I'm not heavily invested on wireless charging, but I use NFC alot for mobile payments. So lacking NFC will be a deal breaker for me.
  • I'm not quite sure why they're planning on offering a newer Pentium Gold chip for the next Surface Go when an Athlon Gold would offer much better performance (closer to m3-8100) at a lower price (closer to pentium silver). 🤔 Less engineering work on the motherboard side maybe?
  • I'd blame driver work and product familiarity over board, but both are probably factors. They would have to deal with new chassis, thermal, and board designs, sure, but they'd also have to deal with AMD drivers. Also, do Athlons have iGPUs? I didn't think they did in the past.
  • The problem is that that CPU is a 15w (can be lowered to 12W) while the Surface Go was made with a 6w CPU in mind that can be lowered to 4.5w
  • Sucks if the SB3 misses out on Ryzen, given how unimpressive Intel's 10th-gen stuff has been so far. As much as I dislike HP, it seems like their Envy 2-in-1 is going to be the only AMD option for 2-in-1 customers for a while. I would have been all over a SB3 with Ryzen in it, that's too bad.
  • If the Duo doesn't support wireless charging, I'm wondering how it is going to charge the pen that it is compatible with.
  • True. It's supposed to connect magnetically near the lid correct? So I would imagine there has to be some type of wireless charging. Could just be a few mini coils for the pen since it's such a small battery.
  • Surface DUO without NFC is a big issue. No wireless payments so still have to carry an additional phone. For the heavy stuf a Surface Pro or something. That means carrying 3 devices. Stick with the Samsung Fold for now. Loaded with MS productivity stuff that is.
  • WHite it would be preferable for the Duo to have NFC and Wireless charging I am a little confused by your thought process here:
    - No NFC means carrying another phone? Why would you not use a contactless payment card?
    - For the stuff you would need a Surface Pro, but the Galaxy fold with MS Productivity would remove that need? How? The Duo is Android so it would use the same productivity software, so why would it be okay to use that software on a Fold and not a Duo?
  • I'm excited about all this! I'm most interested in the Surface Go 2. I'm using an almost-5-year-old Surface Pro 3 as my backup/travel computer. The SP3 still runs great but I'd love to have something smaller for carrying around the house and travel. My main computer is a Surface Book 2 15", which I love and don't need an upgrade. Good to see the upgrades in the line though. I have the old Surface Dock and it's working fine. I would upgrade if the usb-c ports are Thunderbolt (so I can upgrade my audio interface hardware). Maybe a lower priority down the road -- it is good to see the power upgrade in the new dock.
  • The Surface Go 2 could be a major update -> Decent CPU and Thinned Bezels are what holds the Surface Go back. The Core m3 is a decent budget processor. Why not thin the Surface Book 3 bezels too? :(.
  • Surface Go 2 should be 128GB in the base model. 64GB for Windows just hasn't been enough for about a decade. Windows and Apps will eat most of this. 4GB isn't enough for Windows 10 either. 8GB and 128GB as a minimum.
  • I have a cupboard full of Microsoft's hardware disasters: a Zune, Surface RT, Nokia Windows phone etc. It's going to take a lot to win back me as a customer in anything but software. How will Microsoft restore trust in the consumer market?
  • Was the Zune a disaster though? I loved my Zune and wish they still supported it. I know they got rid of it, but is that why you consider it a disaster? And RT, yeah I don't speak of that in my house anymore. Just found my Surface RT yesterday. But yes, they really need to step up their reliability and hardware/software cohesion.
  • There won't be a Duo 2 if at least one or two of the rumors for missing features are not placed in initial Duo. I agree with commenters that NFC is huge. Whole idea is to not be carrying around multiple devices and financial transactions is central to life these days. That's a part of the productivity equation. 5G is big as well--not for that which merely exists presently--, but for what is forthcoming. The near latency to the Cloud is the greatest advantage of 5G at present moment. Absence of 5G is not a killer if Microsoft is able to launch Duo fairly soon, but would be if Duo is not out in the near future. Personally, the aging bezels is not a deal breaker for me, but a so-so camera would be a game ender. Microsoft also needs do a far better job of promotion than in past endeavors and in the US it's imperative to have Mobile carriers on board. Duo has great potential and Microsoft has the resources to do this right.
  • Surface duo is my focus here, and like a few other people lack of wireless charging is a deal breaker. That's just how I charge my phone at my desk, pre-covid I was getting up a lot and moving around for meetings or pairing with other developers so cables were a pain to manage. NFC I don't mind so much since my bank are absolute bankers and don't allow any transaction over £10 through Google Pay (Halifax!) 5G doesn't matter. So long as I can get 20mbit/s (which I can with 4G) then that's all my mobile usage covered. The surface duo is still of interest for productivity reasons and because my Mi Mix 3 is aging. I think by slapping an adhesive Qi receiver coil that connects to the USB C port on the back I can get along with it, plus that has the benefit of covering up the surface logo :P