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Microsoft event set for Oct. 12 — Surface Pro 9, Surface Laptop 5 and more

Microsoft October event 2022 invite image
(Image credit: Microsoft)

October's heating up now that Microsoft has invited everyone to attend a Fall 2022 broadcast on October 12 where "the company will talk about devices" starting at 10AM Eastern/7 AM Pacific.

Of course, we also expect an Apple October event during which the company may unveil new iPads and MacBooks alongside the delayed launch of iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura. Now that Microsoft has just announced a device-focused press event happening in the same month, suddenly October 2022 is shaping up to be a pretty exciting month for gadget fanatics.

So, what do you suppose Microsoft wants to show us in October? Other than the mention of "devices" in the invite and the barest hint of leaves in the accompanying graphic (likely a reference to the Fall season) we don't know for sure -- but we have some pretty good ideas based on what we've seen and heard from trusted sources over the past year.

While we can't say for sure until we tune in October 12th, here's what we expect Microsoft to show off during its big Fall 2022 event.

How to watch the Microsoft Fall 2022 event

The event will be broadcast live via Microsoft's event website (opens in new tab) on October 12. The broadcast is scheduled to begin at 10 AM ET/7 AM PT, and it will likely be livestreamed on Microsoft's YouTube channel at the same time.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

More than anything, we expect to see a Microsoft unveil a Surface Pro 9 during its October 2022 event. The Surface Pro 8 was released in September 2021, and as of September 2022 Microsoft has said nothing about a successor -- but earlier this month some reporters (opens in new tab) spotted an FCC filing (opens in new tab) in September 2022 which reveals that a device believed to be the Surface Pro 9 has been certified in compliance with FCC guidelines.

Surface Pro 8

The Surface Pro 8, seen here, is already quite a svelte Windows 2-in-1 that nonetheless packs a vivid 13-inch 120Hz touchscreen. It's not great for gaming, but whizzes through basic productivity tasks. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If that's true, the Surface Pro 9 could be on sale as soon as October 2022, which makes it a prime candidate for unveiling at Microsoft's October event. 

In terms of what we expect such a device to look like, odds are it won't be much of a departure from the design of the Surface Pro 8. We expect a Surface Pro 9 ship with Windows 11 and sport the same 13-inch (2,880 x 1,920) display as its predecessor, though it will likely pack the latest Intel 12th Gen CPUs instead of the 11th Gen chips in last year's model.

However, we have heard a believable report that Microsoft will reportedly merge (opens in new tab) its Surface Pro X line of ultra-mobile 2-in-1 laptops with the core Surface Pro line by offering the Surface Pro 9 with either Intel or Qualcomm chips inside. If that proves true it will spell the end of the Surface Pro X, which were effectively Windows tablets with detachable keyboards (sold separately) that ran on Microsoft-branded versions of Qualcomm SoC (system-on-chip) processors. 

Person drawing on Microsoft Surface Pro X 2021

The Surface Pro 9's design might share more in common with the Surface Pro X tablet (pictured), which offers cellular connectivity. (Image credit: Microsoft)

On the plus side, if it's true it also means that we'll see a Surface Pro 9 being sold later this year with 5G connectivity and a Qualcomm SoC (likely branded the Microsoft SQ3) inside.

Surface Laptop 5

A device-focused Microsoft event in October is likely to be all about the company's Surface family of devices, and one branch of that family that hasn't been showing much life lately is the Surface Laptop line. Microsoft released the Surface Laptop 4 in April 2021, and since then we've heard nary a peep about when (or if) we should expect a Surface Laptop 5.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review

(Image credit: Future)

That's a bit surprising given how effective an ultraportable the Surface Laptop is for work and school. In our Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review I called it one of the best Windows laptops on the market, lauding its comfy keyboard, impressive speaker setup and decent (11+ hours tested) battery life. It's also pretty powerful thanks to its 11th Gen Intel chips, but there's a lot of room for improvement. 

That's why I wouldn't be too upset to see a Surface Laptop 5 unveiled during Microsoft's October 2022 event. With every iteration Microsoft gets closer to making the ideal Windows ultraportable, and it would be nice to see the company knock it out of the park next time it steps up to the plate. The Surface Laptop 4 is pretty good and comes in both AMD and Intel varieties, but both the 13-inch and 15-inch models lack a decent port array, a good webcam and the graphical muscle of a discrete GPU. Now that Apple's done such a good job of designing a powerful, stylish macOS laptop with the MacBook Pro 2021, it would be nice to see Microsoft deliver something similar for Windows 11. 

Microsoft Studio 3

On the more radical end of the spectrum, a Microsoft patent from 2016 fueled rumors that the next Surface Studio all-in-one may be unveiled at Microsoft's event and may not be an all-in-one at all, with hints of a modular design that relies upon a standalone Surface monitor with the same touch capability and zero-gravity hinge, but without the PC hardware in the base. Such a change could move the Surface Studio away from the all-in-one design of past models and toward something closer to a high-end display paired with a compact desktop, similar to the best mini PCs.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2

The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 (pictured) might get a successor (Image credit: Microsoft)

Separating the display and PC would open up the benefits of the Surface Studio to a larger market, it would be a drastic departure from Microsoft's current product line, turning a single, complete package into less impressive mini PC paired with a great monitor. While I would love for Microsoft to offer a Surface monitor with the benefits of the Studio's ergonomics and input capabilities, doing so with the Surface Studio name would effectively reduce the most innovative Windows all-in-one on the market to nothing more than a nice monitor. 

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2

I've heard nothing so far about the potential for a Surface Laptop Studio 2, so don't get your hopes up about seeing one unveiled during the October Microsoft event. The original Surface Laptop Studio was released in September of 2021 alongside the Surface Pro 8, and since Microsoft regularly goes two years or more between iterations of new Surface hardware it's quite possible that even if it's working on a Surface Laptop Studio successor, we might not see it this year.

Surface Laptop Studio on a table

The Surface Laptop Studio is one of the coolest Surface devices Microsoft has released in years, and while we've heard no word yet about a successor, it's possible we could see it unveiled in October. (Image credit: Future)

But if the company is considering launching a Surface Pro 9 or a Surface Laptop 5, it only makes sense to seriously consider a follow-up to the Surface Laptop Studio because it's an ideal Windows 11 device for creators. In fact, it's the only Surface device Microsoft has released in recent memory which really feels like a flagship for Microsoft's software -- and Windows 11 in particular, given its renewed focus on touch input and ease of use as a tablet OS. 

In our original Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio review I called it the laptop Windows 11 was meant to run on because it's powerful, well-designed and sports a unique 14.4-inch 120Hz sliding touchscreen that can slide down over the keyboard like an easel or sit flat like a tablet. When paired with the Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2 stylus it's a great laptop for creating art or taking notes by hand, and the onboard discrete GPU gives it enough power to run games pretty well. 

The speakers aren't bad either, but the Surface Laptop Studio does have a few flaws that keep it from being an outstanding laptop. That's why I hope Microsoft takes another crack at it sooner rather than later. 

Microsoft event 2022 outlook

Mark your calendars: October is the month new laptops are dropping from Microsoft and Apple. Sure, neither has confirmed it yet, but all signs point to a slate of new Surface devices being announced October 12th, and whenever Apple has its event we'll likely see a new MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and perhaps a new iPad Pro 2022, if the latest leaks are to be believed.

Of course, there's only one way to know for sure -- stay tuned!

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.