Blog Posts News

Microsoft announces the Surface Laptop 5, Surface Pro 9, Surface Studio 2+, and a glimpse at Android 12L for Surface Duo

In today’s Surface event, Microsoft took the opportunity to announce updates to its Surface lineup of PCs. While most of the changes are on the inside, there were a few surprises too. Here’s what’s new:

Surface Laptop 5

The Surface Laptop line has consistently been one of the most highly rated laptop PCs available, with their sleek, minimalistic design, long battery life, and a conventional, comfortable form factor. This year, the Surface Laptop 5 gets Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos. It’s also been updated with Intel 12th Gen U-series processors with Xe graphics but drops AMD processors from the lineup entirely.

It’s unclear why Microsoft decided not to include any AMD options this time around, as the Ryzen-based models were known to include higher performance, better graphics, and longer battery life than their Intel counterparts. It may be due to chip shortages, or possibly Microsoft waiting for the latest Zen 4 mobile chips to arrive for a mid-cycle refresh. Who knows.

Also new to the Surface Laptop 5, after years of petitions, a Thunderbolt port for faster transfers and more versatile connectivity. I know this is a cliche to say this in tech, but: FINALLY.

You can pre-order the device now to get your hands on one on October 25th for a starting price of $999, including one in the new Sage green color.

Surface Pro 9

The Surface Pro is arguably the most popular Surface product in Microsoft’s lineup of PCs. So popular in fact that it seems like no matter where you go, be it your local library, airports, college lecture halls, or the Starbucks down the street, someone is busy typing or writing on one.

With the Surface Pro 9, Microsoft has updated the line with new Intel 12th gen processors in Core i5 and Core i7 variants, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of SSD storage. The display features a dynamic refresh rate that goes up to 120Hz, and the USB ports on the device are now full-fledged Thunderbolt 4 ports.

What is surprising this time around is that Microsoft is also offering the device with an ARM chip, effectively merging the Surface Pro and Surface Pro X lineups into one. The Surface Pro 9 now features a model with the ARM-based Microsoft SQ3 processor, which also means that it will ship with 5G support built-in. The integrated neural processing unit (NPU) in the SQ3 gives it some unique capabilities that the Intel-based models won’t have, such as AI background blur when using the front-facing camera during video calls, and impressive active noise cancellation. The aforementioned Thunderbolt 4 ports are replaced with regular USB-C 3.2 ports on the ARM models. Something to keep in mind.

The Type Cover is the primary way people can customize their Surface Pro, with multiple color choices to personalize their devices. Today, Microsoft announced a new collaboration with Liberty Fabrics to bring us some fun new Type Covers that take personalization to a new level. As for the Surface Pro itself, buyers can choose from the usual Black and Silver options, but also the new Forest green and Sapphire blue colors.

Surface Pro 9 will be available on October 25th, starting at $999 without the keyboard. Pre-orders are open now.

Surface Studio 2+

Surface Studio was a groundbreaking innovation in the All-in-One desktop form factor when it first launched but suffered from outdated specs from day one. Microsoft opted to use older-gen processors and graphics for some reason and didn’t update the product for a number of years. The Studio 2 launched 2 years after that, with newer components but still one generation behind the latest available at the time.

Here we are, and even longer 4 years later, with the new Surface Studio 2+. The external design the remains the same but we have updated specs. The Studio 2+ features newer but not the latest Intel 11th Gen processors, Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics, up to 32GB of RAM and up to a 1TB SSD.

There are also 3 Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports at the back which should allow for some exciting expansion options for this desktop PC, including external graphics cards!

Pre-orders open now, with availability on October 25th for a substantial base price of $4,499.

Android 12L for Surface Duo

While not part of the main event, Microsoft took the opportunity to show off the upcoming Android 12L update on a Surface Duo 2. Without going into much detail, it appears to feature updated UI elements bringing it closer in line with the Fluent design system used in Windows 11, as well as an updated Settings app.

Image Credit: Future | Windows Central

Those were all of the Surface announcements from today. On the software side, Microsoft announced some new features coming to Windows 11 and a few new accessories, notably a new portable audio dock. Unfortunately, there was no Surface Duo hardware-related news. We expect the Surface Duo 3 will make an appearance in 2023.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s