Everything we know about upcoming Microsoft Surface and Xbox hardware

Surface logo
Surface logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft is always working on new hardware, and thanks a whole bunch of leaks spanning all the back to 2017, we know that we can expect to see at least some of that new hardware within the next 12 months. Everything from a new 10-inch Surface tablet, to a mythical dual-screen mobile pocket PC codenamed Andromeda. Here's everything Microsoft is currently working on for release over the next year or two.

Surface "Andromeda" (2018)

Microsoft's secret Andromeda project is something we first learned about towards the end of 2017. It's a dual-screen, mobile pocket PC that's designed to look and feel a little like a digital journal. According to our sources, Andromeda is one of Microsoft's first shipping products to use the new Windows Core OS modular base of Windows 10, along with a new shell experience dubbed "Andromeda OS" using CShell. We can expect to see this device announced towards the end of this year.

It is widely expected that this device is going to be Microsoft's "re-entry" into the mobile market, that being a device that you can take with you that is always-on, and always connected. Current prototypes feature telephony capabilies, which mean it'll be able to make calls and send texts just like you could on Windows phone. Andromeda is definitely not a "Windows phone" however, so don't expect Microsoft to position this device as a competitor to the iPhone or Pixel.

Surface "Carmel" (2018/2019)

Surface Carmel

Thanks to a leak last week, we now know that the next Surface Pro is codenamed Carmel and is currently in the works for a release within the next 12-18 months. It is rumored to feature an updated design, refreshed specs, and a USB-C port to match the Surface Book 2. Not much else is known about the device at this time, including a firm time-frame for release. It could be at the end of this year, or it could be sometime next spring or summer.

Perhaps this new "design" will feature a more bezel-less display, akin to a patent that Microsoft won not too long ago that would allow Microsoft to add a virtual bezel to the display when in tablet mode so that you can grab onto it. This would retain the ability to comfortably hold the Surface Pro when in tablet mode, but when in laptop mode, feature a bigger screen that goes almost all the way to the edges of the device. That would be pretty sweet, but at this point, we're just speculating.

Surface "Libra" (2018)

Surface Libra

Thanks to the same report, we also know that the rumored 10-inch Surface tablet is codenamed Libra. I've personally heard that we could see this device show up as early as August, which is rather soon. Rumors suggest it'll feature an Intel Core M-based CPU, a slightly redesigned body with rounded corners, and updated accessories to go with it. This is very likely to be pitched as some kind of Surface 3 successor, which is pretty exciting.

Not many people realize this, but the Surface 3 was an incredibly popular Surface when it first went on sale thanks to its lower price compared to the Surface Pro at the time. It started at $499, which managed to grab the attention of many more people who otherwise wouldn't be interested in Surface products. Microsoft targeted that device at students, and it's likely they'll do the same with a new 10-inch Surface that costs less than the Surface 3 did, according to the rumors.

Surface "Capitola" (2018/2019)

Surface Capitola

I've heard that Microsoft's next Surface Studio is codenamed Capitola and is currently in the works. Obviously, a new Surface Studio would feature updated internals, which would be much appreciated considering the original Surface Studio was made available with rather lackluster specifications for an incredibly steep price. I'm told the Surface Studio 2 will fix this, with improved specifications in the higher-tier models, and perhaps even a lower-cost option for those that can't afford $3000 out of the gate.

Regarding design, we don't know much. Treading into speculative territory, but perhaps Microsoft could introduce that same awesome swivel hinge found on the Surface Hub 2, that would allow you to adjust the Studio in not only an "up or down" position, but horizontal or vertical position too. Not sure how practical that'd be, but it'd be cool anyway. Regarding release, I had originally heard a Surface Studio 2 would make its debut later this year and given the fact the original Surface Studio is out of stock basically everywhere, that doesn't sound too outlandish. But, that could change of course.

Surface "Aruba" (2019)

Surface Aruba

Surface Hub 2X (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft's Aruba project is now commonly known as the Surface Hub 2, and is scheduled for launch in early 2019. Microsoft has already unveiled this device, being the successor to the original Surface Hub, with a huge screen, brand new swivel hinge, and is also one of the first devices to ship with a version of Windows 10 build on Windows Core OS and use CShell. It features dynamic wallpapers, and a brand new experience built specifically for the Surface Hub.

Redmond hasn't shared many details, not even specifications. I've been told the Surface Hub 2 is Intel-powered and will likely ship with top-of-the-line Intel Core i5 or i7 processors for those that need it. It'll also only be available to commercial and enterprise customers, meaning normal people like you and me likely won't be able to just go out and buy one, not that we'd need to, since it'll likely be super expensive like the original Surface Hub was.

HoloLens "Sydney" (2019)

HoloLens Sydney

We first talked about Sydney back in April this year, and we believe it's the codename for the next HoloLens which is currently pegged for release early next year. We wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft announce it this year alongside the likes of Andromeda and maybe even the Surface Studio 2 at an event this October. Just because it's releasing next year doesn't mean it can't be announced sooner than that. HoloLens 1 was announced a whole year and a half before it started shipping, after-all.

According to my sources, Sydney features an ARM processor, an updated design, and will also run a version of Windows 10 built on Windows Core OS, and fully utilize CShell. It's likely we'll also see an improved field-of-view, which is something many complained about on the original HoloLens, along with LTE capabilities meaning HoloLens 2 can remain connected even when you're on the go. With Windows 10 on ARM, it also features always-on capabilities including instant-on, which will make it feel a lot snappier when waking up.

Xbox "Scarlett" (2020)

Xbox Scarlett

I first mentioned the Scarlett codename back in July 2017 when I heard it was the project name for the next Xbox, which we recently learned may show up as soon as 2020. Not much is known about Xbox Scarlett, outside of the fact that it might be part of a much larger family of Xbox branded devices. I have heard Microsoft is toying with an audio-accessory that could pair with the next Xbox, akin to the likes of an Alexa or Invoke.

This would allow you to control your Xbox using a dedicated speaker that can also be used for other things. We already know Microsoft is working on this functionality for the current Xbox, but the next Xbox may see Microsoft's own first-party take make an appearance designed for gamers. Regardless, the next Xbox is already in architectural stages and is likely going to be much more powerful than the current consoles on the market today.

More to come

That's just everything we know about right now. We haven't heard anything about the next Surface Book, likely because it's too soon to even begin thinking about one as the Surface Book 2 isn't even a year old yet. Of course, release windows for any device listed here can and likely will change, so don't plan around them. Regardless, do any of the devices listed here interest you? Let us know in the comments!

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