The last few months have been a rocky time for Surface fans. With Panos Panay’s departure still on people’s minds, nobody is sure if Surface will continue as it has or fade into irrelevance as Windows Phone did before it. lets talk about Microsoft readies ‘next-gen’ AI-focused Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 with Arm chips and design upgrades for 2024
Microsoft has publicly affirmed its unwavering commitment to the Surface line, even with the departure of Panay, and the recent streamlined focus on core mainstream products is evidence of this commitment. In 2023, the Surface portfolio received updates for the Surface Hub, Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Laptop Go, and Surface Go, marked by minor spec enhancements and across-the-board price adjustments. Notably absent were new iterations of the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, prompting curiosity about the future direction of the Surface line.
Insider information suggests that Microsoft is actively working on substantial updates for the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, featuring enhanced designs, innovative features, and next-generation silicon in the form of Intel 14th-Gen and Qualcomm X Series chips. Anticipated to be unveiled in the spring, these upcoming devices are positioned as Microsoft’s inaugural true next-gen AI PCs.
In a notable departure, both Surface Pro and Surface Laptop will be offered in Intel and Arm configurations, both equipped with next-gen Neural Processing Unit (NPU) silicon. Particularly noteworthy are the Arm variants, expected to be powered by a custom version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Series chips, internally referred to as “CADMUS” PCs. These purpose-built devices are tailored for the forthcoming Windows version, codenamed Hudson Valley, and will incorporate advanced AI experiences slated for the 2024 Windows release.
Microsoft envisions CADMUS PCs as genuine competitors to Apple Silicon, boasting comparable battery life, performance, and security. The next Surface Pro and Surface Laptop are anticipated to be among the initial CADMUS PCs to hit the market, setting the stage for the Hudson Valley release later in 2024.
Surface Laptop 6
Surface Laptop 6 is poised for a significant overhaul, marking the first design refresh for the product line. It will feature thinner bezels, rounded display corners, and additional ports. The smaller model will sport a slightly larger 13.8-inch display, while the larger model remains at 15 inches. The Surface Laptop 6 will introduce a variety of ports, including two USB-C ports, one USB-A port, and the magnetic Surface Connect charging port. A haptic touchpad, likely featuring Sensel technology, and a dedicated Copilot button on the keyboard deck will enhance user experience, positioning the device as a direct competitor to the MacBook Air.
Surface Pro 10
The Surface Pro 10 is also slated for significant enhancements, primarily related to its display, featuring increased brightness, HDR content support, and rounded display corners. There are indications of a lower-resolution 2160 x 1440 display option for certain models, along with additions like an NFC reader for commercial customers, a wider Field of View (FoV) webcam enhanced with Windows Studio Effects, and new color options. The upcoming Arm chip promises substantial performance improvements, potentially rivaling the MacBook Air and iPad Pro.
While the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 take the spotlight for 2024, there are rumors of another Surface Laptop Go release. Additionally, Microsoft is reportedly exploring a commercial-only version of the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, maintaining existing designs but incorporating updated Intel 14th-Gen chips and minor enhancements.
Looking beyond 2024, sources suggest that Microsoft is actively developing a more significant design update for the Surface Pro line, targeting a late 2025 release. While specifics are scarce, there are considerations for an 11-inch Surface Pro model alongside the standard 13-inch variant.
In anticipation of the 2024 release, Microsoft’s unveiling of the ‘next-gen’ Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 marks a significant leap forward in AI integration and performance. The adoption of Arm chips promises heightened efficiency, while design upgrades reflect the company’s commitment to innovation. These advancements signal a transformative era for Microsoft’s flagship devices, catering to the evolving needs of users and reaffirming their dedication to pushing technological boundaries. As the tech landscape continues to evolve, Microsoft’s bold steps ensure that their devices remain at the forefront of cutting-edge technology.