Which Surface device are you looking forward to the most?

Surface Laptop 4 Amd 2021 Display
Surface Laptop 4 Amd 2021 Display (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Microsoft is set to announce a bevy of Surface hardware next week. The company will likely unveil the Surface Pro 8, Surface Duo 2, and several other devices on September 22, 2021. We want to know which device you're looking forward to the most.

Our senior editor Zac Bowden has a full breakdown of what to expect from Microsoft's fall 2021 Surface hardware event, but we'll run through the anticipated devices here as well.

The Surface Duo 2 looks to be a major step up from its predecessor. It's said to have flagship specs, bigger screens, improved cameras, and support for NFC. We also expect it to support 5G. Sources indicate that the Duo 2 will have a screen with a faster refresh rate as well. In short, the Surface Duo 2 looks to be an improvement across the board compared to its predecessor.

The Surface Pro 8 will probably be a minor update when it comes to external design. The display should be a bit bigger than that of the Surface Pro 7, but a design overhaul isn't likely. The Surface Pro 8 could ship with Thunderbolt support, which would be a first for Surface hardware. We do expect some new features in the Surface Pro 8, such as "wake on touch" and "wake to approach," both of which are Windows 11 features.

We predict a new Surface Pro X announced at the event, likely in a chip refresh capacity. It should also support Windows 11 features like "wake on touch." Both the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Pro X could support Dynamic Refresh Rate.

Surface Book Concept Render

Source: Ryan Smalley (Image credit: Source: Ryan Smalley)

The Surface Book 4 may be the biggest announcement of the day. We aren't sure the device will be called the Surface Book 4. We believe that Microsoft will unveil a flagship laptop with a non-detachable 2-in-1 design. There's enough speculation about the Surface Book 4 that you should read up on our coverage of the device before voting here.

The Surface Go 3 will likely see a chip refresh as well. We may also see the smaller Surface in a new color.

Maybe you're happy with your main Surface hardware but are excited about some new accessories. We expect Microsoft to announce a new Surface Pen and Type Covers. We could also see new Surface Headphones or Surface Earbuds, though Microsoft might not have new versions of these to unveil next week.

Tons of Surface news is forecast to drop next week. We'll cover all of it here and will even have a special edition of the Windows Central Podcast after the Surface hardware event.

While we wait for the event, please let us know your thoughts on the upcoming hardware. Which device are you most excited about? Vote in the poll above and share your opinions in the comments below.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

21 Comments
  • 1. Duo 2... 2. Pro 8... 3. Book 4... 4. Pro x... Quite excited for this reveal... Really hope to see some software updates for my Duo when the Duo 2 is released...
  • Is the new Surface pro x gonna be on ARM???
  • Of course it is. If it weren't on ARM, it would have no reason to exist. It's essentially a Surface Pro on ARM. Without a Qualcomm chip, it's just a Surface Pro with a slightly altered chassis design. At that point, if they preferred that design and rejected ARM, they'd probably retire the existing Pro chassis. No point in having both if they're on the same CPU platform.
  • Hmm ok, thx mate
  • I am looking forward to the updated Surface Pro X with WiFi 6, a (hopefully) faster processor and perhaps improved x86/x64 emulation support on Windows 11.
  • I'm shocked at the number of folks still looking for a MS phone. I thought many of us learned our lesson after Windows Mobile 10. (And the Duo).
  • Two big reasons: 1. The Windows 10 Mobile (and Windows Phone 7-8-8.1) failures were driven by app support. By being on Android, the Duo doesn't face this issue. It's not like the Nokia/Microsoft phones were using incapable hardware. 2. The form factor offers unique use cases. Side-by-side app usage is better than the vertically stacked multi-window solution you get on a single-screen Android device. You could go with a Fold, but it's going to cost more and be a bulkier package. Microsoft's inking has also been pretty strong in the past, and some might prefer that single-pen solution for their phone and laptop (especially if the have a Surface Pen already) to adding the S-Pen to their Fold (potentially with a chunky carrying case).
  • Erm, they were the two main reasons but they were contributing factors. The primary reasons 1)kernel switches. 2)OEM partners being burned in the process. 3)Sales rep biases. 4)Microsoft draconian approach during the Wm6.5 switch to Wp7 (the htc diamond could run Wp7 but since it didn't have the three mandated buttons it wasn't allowed to upgrade). 5)Wp7 not having any enterprise features of WM6.5 6)literally cutting of wm 6.5 rom developers with the switch to 7. 7)No landscape support at all. 8)Pig headness in not allowing a notification centre. 9)Locking the best of bing rewards to the US. 10) no ability to back on device or sd card (which was gobbled up part of the o/s in wp7). 11)no file explorer - in wm6.5 you could literally navigate to the windows folder on the phone without issues. 12)Too stringent of requirements to get xbox certification for games. 13)No cloud back up support within the o/s - left upto devs to include. Just to a name a few. Despite all that Microsoft did pick up momentum all to squander it by axing the mobile division just when they were about to tip the balance and make WM a viable third ecosystem. Which would have served as a solid foundation for xcloud and the duo. As UWA can dynamically adjust to different screen UXs by design. Duo with continuum and xcloud that's what we should have now. But.....
  • To your specific points: 1. Yes and no. From WP7 to WP8, this was a real issue, as WP7 didn't support dual-core. With W10M, they released it to Insiders on WP8 devices, then cut off support at launch. IT was a garbage thing to do, use your existing install base just to leave them behind. 2. Yeah, and the crap partnership on the 930 with Verizon only made things worse. Verizon rebadged it to the ICON and didn't do much to help it sell. Meanwhile, the 920 user base was left on AT&T without a proper successor until the 950, which launched 3 years (since they skipped the year of a 940) after the 920 and after the merger that saw the brand change to Microsoft Lumia. If you were on AT&T (read: an early US WP supporter), the 1520 was your only upgrade path (the 830 wasn't an upgrade and 6" devices like the 1520 were still very niche). 3. Somewhat, but I'd more put it on ignorance. Never did I have a rep at AT&T or Verizon (dealt with several between getting my own phones and going with others to get theirs) try to talk someone out of a Windows Phone, nor were hey demeaning about the decision. They were, without fail, much less knowledgeable about the phones than I was as an interested customer. One Verizon rep gave my sister a 928 instead of the ICON when she went to buy the latter because he didn't know the difference. Reps didn't use the devices or have useful training on them, it seemed. 4. I'd still say 8.1->10 was a bigger failure, in this regard. 5. Forgivable as a complete reset of mobile, but certainly wouldn't have hurt to have. 6. Seems like a repeat of the 4th point, and I'd repeat my response. 7. Irrelevant in the grand scheme, IMO. I don't even remember this being a thing, let alone hearing complaints of it. I knew quite a few people with Windows Phones, and they ALL came to the same conclusion over time--"I love my phone, but I need X app." 8. This seems like another "not that big of a deal" issue. They ran Windows phones for several years with that resolved. In fact, I'd imagine a lot of users joined AFTER this was fixed. 9. This couldn't be less important if it tried. No one was getting a Windows Phone for Bing Rewards. 10. Relative to Android especially, WP7 was pretty small. I don't think this would have affected anyone's decision. Nowadays, people happily snap up devices with no microSD slot whatsoever. They barely notice/care about backups. 11. We're really digging into the depths of niche complaints that aren't relevant to the overall issues of the platform. Many folks never use a File Explorer and would be completely unaffected by this. 12. This sucked, but more/better software needed to embrace the platform for this to become a significant factor. If more big-name titles had been on Windows phones, then I think this would have been spotlighted as a potential issue and resolved. 13. Cloud support was far from as ingrained into people's daily lives back then. Having it would have been nice, but also ahead of the curve, really. Your last, like, 8 points are niche complaints that didn't have major impact on anyone I knew who owned, or considered owning, a Windows phone. Microsoft wasn't about to tip the balance. They half-assed their efforts on Windows 10 Mobile. Nadella was against the Nokia acquisition and it showed with how slowly they released devices and how lacking the Lumia line was in excitement and innovation from when it was a Nokia brand. UWP wasn't picking up any steam and Astoria failed to get Android apps on Windows phones. As much as I liked my 950, the writing was already on the wall with W10M.
  • Sorry about the upcoming wall of text. It just kept coming out. I keep seeing people saying things like they won't trust Microsoft with regards the Duo after what happened with Windows Phone but, to me, that makes no sense. If you had a Windows Phone - I had a Lumia 925 and a 950 XL - then you were into that ecosystem and, when Microsoft pulled the plug, the whole ecosystem went with it and everyone had to switch. With the Duo, even if Microsoft do give it up after an iteration or two, it was still an Android phone and part of the Android ecosystem so no one has to switch to anything else. They will just have to get an Android phone from a different manufacturer, which will be no different than switching between any other two Android OEMs. People do that all the time without drama. I currently have an LG V40 and LG are out of the flagship phone game now so I'm going to have to get a different brand next time anyway. It's not a major drama because, whatever I get, it will still be an Android phone so all my apps and account info and accessories will come across as well. The same will be the case for anyone who gets a Duo device if Microsoft eventually give up on them. The only thing that will be useless will be a case but that's true from phone to phone even from the same manufacturer.
  • Very well said. It's still an Android device underneath, so there is no ecosystem risk provided we assume Android is here to stay for the foreseeable future. I think it's just an emotional knee-jerk response naysayers keep touting everywhere. For whatever reason, they just can come to terms with moving on, or getting over their so-called 'wasted' investments in the previous MS phone ecosystems (whatever that even means).
    Anyway, I'm personally looking forward to all the devices. I use as many as I can responsibly afford lol!
  • MS phone optimization and performance utilization is a key factor in comparison to other platforms really, WP/WM would perform on 1 gigs of Ram, as a mobile platform Windows really did have good optimization, sadly app support is what mainly affected the experience.
  • I really like my Duo and initially dismissed it, but having bought one am really quite impressed. I really enjoy using it because of the two distinct screens and the hardware is amazing... This why I am looking forward to seeing this develop... I know this form factor won't be for everyone but I think MS are really onto something here...
  • What's your favorite app experience on the Duo?
  • The Duo 2. My Galaxy A50 is running out of memory these days, so I'm hanging in until I can get the Duo 2. I already have a Pro 7, but am thinking of a new Surface Go for my father.
  • The Duo should EASILY rank as the most intriguing device here. It's the one with the greatest potential to help Microsoft grow a new base of customers. Those interested in the SP8 or new SPX are primarily going to be existing Surface customers looking to upgrade. That is, if you haven't been interested in Surfaces so far, neither is likely to do anything to change your mind now, while the Duo is trying to establish a new form factor in a market where Microsoft has a nearly non-existent install base. The Duo is definitely the one I'm most likely to buy. I like the form factor, and I'll pay the premium. They have to get the hardware right, though. I can accept imperfect software, but if the hardware is inept again, there's no fixing it with updates, and I don't care to pay a premium for an eternally hamstrung device. After that, I'm really only interested if Microsoft offers us something new that isn't Intel-based. I've accepted this to be highly unlikely, but it's really the only way I'll buy in. Seems impossible AMD powers a Pro 8, but I'd buy it if it did. The Book seems a little more likely to do it (but still unlikely), since it's establishing a new product/form factor, but I still doubt it happens. I would buy one if it does, but my hopes aren't high. The Pro X is an interesting device, but it isn't capable enough for me. My laptop gets used for work that includes quite a bit of legacy software, so an ARM-based chip just won't cut it. The Go interested me before the Duo became a thing, since I liked the idea of a highly portable device with inking support. Now, the Go doesn't mean much because it would have been a companion device with inking in mind, and the Duo covers that. The Go products are too small, at least for me, to be primary computing devices.
  • Intel chips will very soon achieve efficiency parity with AMD for sure, probably within the next 2 years if not sooner. The 10nm enhanced superfin process (now Intel 7) on which Alder lake is fabricated closely approaches the efficiency of TSMC 7 currently used by AMD. It's really only a matter of time. Performance wise, the Intel chips are actually impressive where energy efficiency is not a bottleneck. Fabrication process advantage is a known, solvable problem. Architecture is where Intel needs work on bringing their complex scale chips down to mobile. They are getting there, but not quite yet there. That's where ARM has an advantage because it's design roots are in mobile.
    AMD does not even have a single fanless x86 offering. The reason why they can't be used in Surface Pro. At least Intel has the low power core i5 used in Surface Pro.
  • None of what you said makes real sense. So, in 2 years, Intel can match TSMC's process that's been up and running since 2019 (and revised in 2020)? By then, TSMC will be well into 5nm and doing early 3nm products. You can say that the fab process is solvable, but Intel's failed left and right with 10nm for 6 years. They're now where they should have been by 2017, so I'm not going to assume they're magically going to go from completely stymied in node progression to running full speed without issue. As for AMD and fanless design, that's not for lack of capability. There aren't many devices that are fanless on the market. AMD's got chips that hit the same power targets of the fanless Intel offerings. I don't think there's any issue with whether or not an AMD device CAN be fanless, given they are tunable to the same 10-12W that fanless Surface Pros target. There just aren't that many fanless offerings, and none are in devices that have targeted AMD in the past.
  • 1- Surface "Book 4" (doubt that will be the name) 2- Surface Pro 8 (if it's going to have 12th gen Intel CPU) 3- Surface Pro X 4- Surface Duo 2
  • Hope Duo 2 won't disappoint...
  • Book 4 and Duo 2. My Book 2 is the best machine I've ever owned. I love it. I will have either a Samsung fold or Duo 2 by years end but I must admit I too am wary of buying a phone from MS. I have seen them drop support for devices so many times in the past not sure if I would want to invest my $$ there.