Microsoft is gearing up for its annual Surface fall event, with this year being a special milestone as the company celebrates the 10th anniversary of Surface. As we always do here at Windows Central, here’s a roundup of everything we’re hearing and expecting to see Microsoft announce at this year’s Surface event.
The event is taking place on October 12 at 10 am ET. The event will be streamed live, though it’s currently unclear if the event will have in-person attendance or be digital only.
(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)
First on the agenda is the next Surface Laptop, which is well overdue for an update, as it’s been a year and a half since the Surface Laptop 4. I know the least about this new Surface Laptop, so we’re going off reputable reports from other vendors.
According to recent reports, the next Surface Laptop will only be available with Intel 12th-gen U series chips, with no AMD Ryzen options.
This would be the first time since the Surface Laptop 3 that Microsoft has shipped a Surface Laptop without AMD options. This is perhaps due to the ongoing component shortage. My sources tell me that internally, Microsoft has designed new Surface Laptops with AMD Ryzen 6000 series chips, but we’ll have to wait and see if those end up shipping this fall.
I expect Surface Laptop to ship in the same 13-inch and 15-inch sizes as last time and in the same colors. But we may also see the new Sage green colorway as was seen on the Surface Laptop Go 2 earlier this year.
There should also be Thunderbolt 4 in the Surface Laptop series for the first time.
Here are the SKUs I am expecting to see ship:
Surface Pro 9
(Image credit: Future)
I’m also expecting a new Surface Pro this fall, with significant changes coming to the product line in the silicon department. According to my sources, Microsoft is planning to merge the Surface Pro X with the mainline Surface Pro brand this fall, meaning the Surface Pro “9” will be available to order with either Intel or Qualcomm chips.
The Qualcomm variant (codenamed Arcata) is expected to feature the Microsoft SQ3, a customized Snapdragon 8cx Gen3 SoC that will significantly increase performance over the existing Surface Pro X. The Intel model (codenamed Zaca) will ship with 12th-gen chips, though I’m unsure if this will be of the P-series or U-series variety.
P-series in the Surface Pro line would be huge, as it would offer a big performance increase over the Surface Pro 8 and position it head-to-head with Apple’s iPad Pro. That said, P-series chips run hot and are less energy efficient compared to U-series chips, so perhaps U-series makes more sense for a device like Surface Pro.
Another headlining feature for the new Surface Pro will be the inclusion of 5G LTE for the first time in a Surface PC, specifically for the ARM models (which just passed through the FCC). I don’t expect there to be any major external design changes over the current Surface Pro design, except for new device colors and, possibly, new Type Cover patterns.
Here are the SKUs I am expecting to see ship for both Intel and ARM models.
Surface Pro 9:
Surface Pro 9 with 5G
Surface Studio 3
(Image credit: Future)
I’m also expecting to see Microsoft finally ship a new Surface Studio (codenamed Chehalis), featuring modest updates to its design and more up-to-date specs under the hood. We’ve already looked at its refreshed accessories, which feature an updated colorway and a slightly new design on the Surface Pen.
Notably, the pen design is of the thicker variety and not an updated Slim Pen design. This suggests the Surface Studio 3 won’t have a dedicated wireless charging bay for the Slim Pen 2, as some had expected. It’s worth noting that the Surface Pen and Surface Slim Pen are two different product lines, with one not being a replacement or successor to the other.
Like previous Surface Studios, I’m told this device will be powered by an Intel chip, though I’ve not been able to confidently confirm whether that will be 11th-generation or 12th-generation series. I had heard over a year ago that the Surface Studio 3 would ship with a Tiger Lake processor, but hopefully, the device has been updated since then.
I expect only one SKU of the Surface Studio 3 to ship, though it may be purchasable without a keyboard, mouse, and pen for commercial customers.
What is believed to be Surface Studio 3 has just been filed through the FCC.
(Image credit: Microsoft)
Project Volterra (codenamed Black Rock) was announced earlier this year, but I expect Microsoft will be gearing up to ship the first units around the same time as the other new Surface devices. Project Volterra features a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 under the hood and is Microsoft’s first mini-desktop PC, though the company only plans to sell it as a developer kit.
Fun fact: Project Volterra was built by the Surface team and is a Surface product in everything but its name. So even though it isn’t branded as a Surface, it’s still a Surface at heart.
Here’s a first look at the refreshed Surface Keyboard and Surface Pen, which I assume are being updated for the upcoming Surface Studio 3 this fall pic.twitter.com/RJs8qYrkarAugust 31, 2022
As is the case every year, we’re also expecting to see a handful of new accessories launch alongside new Surface PCs. Refreshed versions of the Surface Keyboard, Surface Pen, and Surface Mouse are expected, which will likely be included in-box with the Surface Studio 3 but also purchasable standalone for people who don’t want to fork out over $3500+ for a computer.
We may also finally see Microsoft’s new Adaptive Accessories begin shipping. These were announced earlier this year but haven’t yet gone on sale, and they did recently pass through the FCC, so their launch should be imminent.
There is also a chance Microsoft could announce the new Android 12L update for Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2.
Finally, I have heard that we may be getting a second-generation pair of Surface Earbuds (codenamed Ella). Unfortunately, I have no idea what’s going to be new with them. Still, it’s been over two years since the first Surface Earbuds launched, so we’re well overdue a refresh.
What not to expect
(Image credit: Future)
There’s always a list of Surface devices we don’t expect to make an appearance this fall. This year, those include:
Of course, there may be one or two surprises, but I’m confident we won’t see a successor or new versions of the Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Go, or Surface Duo this fall.