We have been anticipating new devices at the Microsoft event on October 12, but rumors had been a bit light. Luckily, when it rains it pours and we now have details on three expected Surface devices — including a new Surface Studio 3.
A report from WinFuture (opens in new tab) analyst Roland Quandt tips the Microsoft Surface Pro 9, Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 and Studio 3 (not to be confused with the Laptop Studio) to all be unveiled at the October event. Quandt suggests that consumer-grade versions for the devices will be available towards the end of October, with commercial models releasing in November. The lone exception is the Surface Studio 3, which still lacks a rumored release date.
Admittedly, we had already suspected that the Surface Pro 9 would be appearing after seeing a potential FCC filing (opens in new tab) for the rumored device. The biggest development is clearly the possible new Surface Studio 3. The Surface Studio is Microsoft’s powerful all-in-one desktop computer that retails for north of $3,000. It seems likely to remain unchanged — along with most of the device. A recent FCC filing reported on by Windows Central (opens in new tab) showed the design of the all-in-one Surface largely unchanged from its second-generation predecessor as well.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only rumored disappointment about the high-end desktop.
Surface Studio 3: First impressions
First and foremost, the Surface Studio 3 looks set to remain an incredibly powerful device. It is rumored to come in just one configuration, at least in Germany (and presumably other E.U. countries). It should feature an Intel i7 System on Chip (SoC) processor with 32GB of RAM and 1TB SSD.
However, the latest rumors are suggesting that the i7 processor in question is not a 12th-generation CPU. Instead, the Surface Studio 3 is now likely to feature an 11th-generation Intel chip. While Microsoft may have reasons for this decision it seems odd not to include the latest chip in a brand new high-end PC. Especially since the 13th generation “Raptor Lake” CPUs are set to arrive on October 20. Having a two-generation old CPU is a bad look if true.
Microsoft set to streamline Surface Pro lineup with Surface Pro 9
The biggest news regarding the Surface Pro lineup is that the Surface Pro 9 is set to replace the Surface Pro 8 — and the Surface Pro X. We had already seen rumors that this was going to be the case, but Quandt’s reporting seems to confirm that the Surface Pro 9 will include an Intel-CPU version to replace the Surface Pro 8 and a Qualcomm-designed ARM SoC CPU version to replace the Surface Pro X.
Regarding specs, the ARM-based tablet is suggested to come in a 5G-enabled model (no WiFi only) with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen-3 chip customized and rebranded as the Microsoft SQ3. It starts with 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD but can be expanded to 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.
Unfortunately, the specs for the Intel-based CPU variant seemingly confirm that we will not see any 13th-generation chips from these new Surface devices. Both the Intel-based Surface Pro 9 and the Surface Laptop 5 are set to feature 12-generation chipsets, with consumer models tipped to feature either the Intel Core i5-1235U or the Intel Core i7-1255U chipsets. Commercial versions of the two new devices are rumored to get versions with higher base clock speeds and Intel vPro support. RAM is rumored to be expandable up to 32GB and SSD storage capacity caps out at 1TB, though Quandt suggests we could see a 2TB SSD model.
Microsoft October Surface event: Outlook
While it is great to potentially get some clarity on the new devices we could see at Microsoft’s October event, it is a bit disappointing to see these rumored specs. They give consumers updated hardware, particularly in the case of the four-year-old Microsoft Surface Studio 2. But these are largely iterative changes. Not redesigning the Surface Studio with the Surface Studio 3 or launching these devices feels like a miss for Microsoft. Hopefully, their reveal will give us something more inspiring.