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Microsoft Surface Pro 9 rumored release date, specs, size and more

Surface Pro 8 open on desk
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is presumably in the works after Microsoft's success launching its predecessor, the Surface Pro 8 a year ago.

We've already heard a few promising reports about what to expect from the next big thing in the Surface Pro line, Microsoft's flagship series of 2-in-1 Windows laptop/tablet hybrids. The most recent model (pictured above) is still one of the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy, but if you read our Microsoft Surface Pro 8 review you'll know there's a few weak points Microsoft could shore up to make this a truly outstanding 2-in-1.

But enough about the Surface Pro 9 upgrades we want to see — let's talk about the upgrades we know (or are pretty sure) are coming in the next iteration of Microsoft's Surface Pro series.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 rumored release date

Microsoft has said nothing meaningful so far about the existence of a Surface Pro 9. As a result, there's no official word of a release date or even a release window.

Surface Pro 8

The Surface Pro 8 was released in late September 2021 alongside the debut of Windows 11, but without a similar September anchor the Surface Pro 9 may be unveiled later in Fall 2022. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

That said, some eagle-eyed 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. Presuming that's the case, the device could be on sale as soon as October 2022. 

Microsoft has traditionally held events to reveal its Surface hardware in the fall, so if it has a Pro 9 in the works it wouldn't be odd for us to see it unveiled in October ahead of a Fall 2022 release. 

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 rumored design 

We haven't heard much of anything yet about how Microsoft plans to change up the design of the Surface Pro line for the Surface Pro 9, or indeed if it plans to at all. 

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)

We expect little to change from the design of the Surface Pro 8, which sported a 13-inch (2,880 x 1,920) 120Hz touchscreen and an 11th Gen Intel CPU in a slim chassis that measured 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches and weighed a little less than 2 pounds. It also had a decent pair of webcams (5MP front/10MP rear) and some surprisingly good speakers for a tablet, though they got too distorted at high levels.

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 is a bit thinner and offers cellular connectivity. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Hopefully Microsoft will do a bit better on the next model. If a Surface Pro 9 does, er, surface it will almost certainly ship with Windows 11 pre-installed, though we're less confident that Microsoft will do the right thing and also ship the 2-in-1 with a keyboard and stylus included.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 reported specs

So far, we haven't heard anything to suggest the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 will be a radical departure from its predecessors specs-wise. The most significant report we've heard about the specs of the Surface Pro 9 is that Microsoft plans to offer an ARM version in addition to a model with Intel chips inside.

If that proves true, it effectively spells the end of the Surface Pro X line, which featured ARM-based Surface 2-in-1s powered by Qualcomm chips. Instead, Microsoft will reportedly merge it (opens in new tab) with the core Surface Pro line by offering the Surface Pro 9 with either Intel or Qualcomm chips inside. 

Specifically, the latest reports claim we can expect Surface Pro 9 models packing either Intel's 12th Gen Alder Lake chips or a custom Snapdragon 8cx SoC from Qualcomm, reportedly branded as the Microsoft SQ3. Such a name would make it a clear follow-up to the Microsoft SQ2 which powered the 2020 Surface Pro X.

Surface Pro X 2021 with accessories

The Surface Pro X (pictured, with accessories) may no longer exist after the Surface Pro 9, which will reportedly be available in both ARM and Intel variants. (Image credit: Microsoft)

The other big spec change to expect as the result of this merger is the addition of a Surface Pro 9 model with 5G connectivity. That's part of what the FCC was certifying in the aforementioned filing, and it makes sense given that a key value of the ARM-based Surface Pro PCs is their wireless connectivity. 

If that proves true, it's reasonable to expect such a model might be closer in size to the Microsoft Surface Pro X, which is nearly a tenth of an inch thinner than the Surface Pro 8.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 outlook

Microsoft is almost certainly working on a Surface Pro 9, if only because it needs to demonstrate the value of touchscreen laptops that transform into tablets. Windows 11 is built to shine on such devices, and if you don't have a touchscreen PC or don't like using a laptop that transforms into a tablet, you won't have as much reason to upgrade from earlier versions of Windows.

The Surface Pros have also gotten pretty good in recent years, so much so that we gave the Surface Pro 8 four out of five stars and lauded how it made Windows 11 feel like a natural fit. 

Given how close Microsoft got to hitting a home run last time it stepped up to the plate, we have high hopes the company will knock it out of the park if it takes a swing at a Surface Pro 9. Intel's 12th Gen chips have delivered outstanding improvements in performance and power efficiency, helping many of the best laptops for battery life stay productive for 12-plus hours. Packing such power-sipping silicon into a thin-and-light Windows 11 tablet is a recipe for success, particularly if Microsoft throws in a stylus and keyboard gratis.

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.