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Microsoft Surface launch event: what to expect

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We’re getting closer and closer to discovering what new products will be announced at Microsoft’s Surface event, which will take place on October 12 at 10 a.m. ET. Microsoft’s Surface range includes phones, laptops, hybrid 2-in-1 tablets and desktop computers, so there’s a good variety of hardware that could make an appearance.

While we can make some safe assumptions about what will and won’t be shown (we don’t expect a new Surface Duo foldable, unfortunately), Microsoft may still have a few surprises in store as this year marks the 10th anniversary of Microsoft’s first-ever Surface product. which was released in October 2012.

Here’s everything we’re looking forward to at the upcoming Microsoft Surface launch event.

The Surface Pro X is (allegedly) dead: long live the Surface Pro 9

The Surface Pro range is one of Microsoft’s most consistent annual releases, so when the Surface Pro 9 was spotted in a recently published FCC Document, it was safe to assume it has an imminent arrival. Since the Surface Pro 8 has made some pretty significant updates over its predecessor (including a larger screen, 120Hz refresh rate, and Thunderbolt ports), the Surface Pro 9 isn’t expected to receive any stunning updates this generation.

WinFuture anticipates that it will come with a choice of Intel 12th Gen Core i5 or Core i7 U-series chips, which should result in a performance boost of about 20 percent over the equivalent 11th Gen processors in the Surface Pro 8. Like its predecessor, we think the Surface Pro 9 will be available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB RAM options and 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB storage configurations.

If you’re hoping that the Surface Pro 9 will have a fresh new look… keep hoping. It’s highly unlikely.
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

There is no word on port updates, but various rumors suggest we get new blue and green color options on top of the usual black and silver offerings.

The Surface Pro 9 could also mark the end of the line for another Microsoft product, the ARM-based Surface Pro X. Windows Central reports that the Surface Pro 9 will offer both Intel and ARM options under one product line. The ARM variant is said to be powered by the Microsoft SQ3, a custom Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 SoC, and it’s likely to be the first Surface PC to ship with 5G.

The price is honestly a guess at the moment. If the Surface Pro 9 includes ARM-based configurations, prices can start at $899.99, the entry-level price for the base Surface Pro X configuration. But if Microsoft decides to ignore the fact that the Arm-based Surface Pro X was cheaper than the Surface Pro 8, it could be significantly more expensive. The base-model Surface Pro 8 sold for $1,099, a whopping $250 more than the equivalent Surface Pro 7. It’s also worth remembering that Microsoft typically doesn’t include Type Covers with its Surface Pro products either, so expect a additional $129.99 to your cart if prices remain the same for the Surface Pro 9 compatible cases.

The Surface Laptop 5 could get minor generation upgrades

The Surface Laptop 5 could make an appearance at the Microsoft event as it needs a facelift as the Surface Laptop 4 hits the market in April 2021. don’t really expect any major changes beyond generational updates.

Rumor has it that “Sage green” is a new color option available for the Surface Laptop 5

WinFuture reported on some information reportedly provided by retailers claiming that 13-inch and 15-inch versions of the Surface Laptop 5 will be available, with a choice of Core i5-1235U and Core i7-1255U processors. Both the battery and overall design are apparently unchanged from the previous generation of Surface Laptops a new green color option could add some fresh variety to the existing black, blue, silver and pink offerings currently available.

Like the Surface Laptop 4, SSD storage is unlikely to increase over the 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB options currently on offer, and memory will likely still be available in 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB configurations; however, we could see LPDDR4x being updated to the new, faster LPDDR5x standard.

The Surface Laptop Go is tilted slightly to the left.

The Surface Laptop 5 will likely look almost identical to its predecessor, the Surface Laptop 4.
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

If you’re hoping for an AMD-powered model, you’re probably out of luck. There is no mention of such a configuration in FCC records or any reputable leak for this generation, suggesting that Microsoft would ditch Ryzen CPUs for this generation of Surface Laptops altogether. Regardless of what processors are available, it’s highly unlikely that the Surface Laptop 5 will come with a dedicated GPU, but Intel’s integrated Xe graphics should be more than capable of most everyday tasks.

A few updates we would do Like it to see would be an improved webcam, boosting the current 720p camera to a Full HD 1080p resolution to be more in line with competing laptop offerings like the M2-powered MacBook Air. Boosting the current 60Hz display to 120Hz would also be a nice upgrade, and it’s not too far-fetched as both the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Laptop Studio already have a 120Hz PixelSense Flow display. At least one website seemingly confirms that both updates will, in fact, be released (and leak what appears to be the full spec sheet for the laptop), but since that’s all that’s posted on the site… well, better not to get our expectations too high.

Reports suggest the Surface Laptop 5 could be cheaper than previous-generation models

There have been no price leaks for the US market, but we could get some good news from abroad. WinFuture’s retail resources claim that the pricing of Surface Laptop 5 in Europe starts from €1,200 for the base 13.5-inch model (lower than €1,499 on the equivalent Surface Laptop 4), while the larger 15-inch model starts from €1,500 (lower than € 1999). For context, US prices for the base Surface Laptop 4 were $899 for the base 13.5-inch model and $1,299 for the 15-inch model, respectively, so there’s a chance we could see prices drop to around $799. and $1,199 for any size configuration of the Surface Laptop 5. There’s no guarantee the latest model will be more affordable than its predecessor, but Microsoft does have some catching up to do if it wants to stay competitive with Apple’s MacBook Air prices.

Are we And last but not least get the Surface Studio 3?

One of the most highly anticipated products we expect is the Studio Surface 3, an all-in-one desktop computer designed for creative professionals. A FCC Document from Microsoft describes an “All-in-one Desktop Computer” believed to be a new Surface device, and leaks of the updated Surface Keyboard and Surface Pen earlier this year strongly suggest that Microsoft is preparing to announce the Surface Studio 3 later this month.

Microsoft Surface Studio 3 is being tested

Is that a Surface Studio 2? No. Apparently the upcoming third-gen Surface Studio is just rocking a very similar look.
Image: FCC

It is it was about time we got a new Surface Studio desktop, as the last iteration we saw of this product line was the Surface Studio 2, which was released in October 2018. Giving an almost identical look to the first Surface Studio desktop, the second-generation model has received some criticism for its high price tag (starting at $3499) and outdated CPU and GPU. A FCC Report immediately test image of what appears to be the upcoming AIO computer also suggests that the Surface Studio 3 will still have an almost identical design to its predecessor, so if you’re hoping for a fresh new look, you might be out of luck.

Worse, though, rumors suggest that Microsoft could maintain a very nasty trend with the Studio and once again put older chips in its very expensive brand new product. Zac Bowden, Editor-in-Chief at Windows Central, reported that the upcoming Surface Studio 3 will be equipped with an Intel Core i7-11370H CPU, despite Intel’s 13th generation processors coming later this month. But on the plus side, it could also have an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU, which isn’t the most powerful GPU in Nvidia’s lineup, but is at least a current one. Bowden also claims that the Surface Studio 3 will actually be called the “Surface Studio 2 Plus” and will have three USB-C ports and a 60Hz display. WinFuture additionally reports that the Surface Studio 3 will be available in a single configuration, equipped with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.

But we’ll have to see how many of these rumors and leaks hold up when Microsoft shows off the new products on October 12.


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