Microsoft held a live-streamed launch event on Wednesday where the company announced three new Microsoft Layer computers, among other things Windows 11 updates, new AI platforms for creativity, and an audio dock that serves as a USB-C hub.
An interesting offering here is the Surface Pro 9, which comes in both ARM and Intel variants. With this tool, Microsoft strengthens Windows 11’s ARM support and removes doubts about running applications on Windows 11 for ARM.
The Surface Studio 2 Plus launched back in 2018 as a refreshed version of the Studio 2 with updated internals, additional Thunderbolt 4 ports and improved graphics performance.
Meanwhile, the Surface Laptop 5 gets mostly internal upgrades, and like the Surface Pro 9, there are more colors to choose from, including Platinum, Sage, Black, and Sandstone. The 13.5-inch model has an Alcantara keyboard finish.
Surface Pro 9
The Surface Pro 9 will see some very significant upgrades this year. In addition to selling both ARM and Intel-based variants, the new Surface Pro model also gets new color options, along with matching cover keyboards. The ARM variant is powered by Qualcomm SQ3 and also comes with support for 5G connectivity.
Both variants support Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6E, but the Qualcomm version gets a lot more connectivity, including support for GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou positioning systems, NanoSIM and eSIM support, and sub-6 GHz/mmWave 5G networks. only), as well as support for LTE.
There is a 13-inch PixelSense Flow display (2880 x 1920 pixels; 3:2 aspect ratio) compatible with Surface Slim Pen 2 for 120Hz refresh rate support. Right in the middle is where the pen takes (and refills). Where surface machine meets type cover.
The Intel-powered Surface Pro 9 can be configured with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U or Core i7-1255U processor. Storage options start with 8GB of RAM along with 128GB of storage. Meanwhile, the Snapdragon SQ3 version features a neural processing unit (NPU) that uses some new front-facing camera features, including auto-focus, high-resolution enhancement, and a new noise reduction implementation similar to those developed by Discord and Nvidia.
Battery life is highly rated between the two models. The 5G Snapdragon variant is rated for up to 19 hours of battery life, while the Intel version gets up to 15.5 hours of usage. Another difference is USB-C support. While the 5G variant has 2 Thunderbolt 3.2 ports, the Intel version uses two Thunderbolt 4 ports.
The Intel model uses LPDDR5 RAM: either 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB. The 5G variant comes with either 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM. This model can be configured with up to 512GB of storage, while the Intel model goes up to 1TB.
Special Edition Liberty Floor Pro 9
The Surface Pro 9 starts at $999 with an Intel i5, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. The Intel i7 version starts at $1599, while the 5G model starts at $1299. If you want a cover-style keyboard, you’ll have to add $279 to the price of the Surface Pro 9.
Surface Studio 2 Plus
Microsoft last announced the Surface Studio in 2015. It’s with Studio 2 in 2018. A new facelifted model arrived – with mostly the same exterior. Most of the improvements come from the internal hardware.
There’s a capable 11th Gen Intel i7-11370H processor and a mobile version of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 with 6GB of discrete video memory, 32GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of storage.
The 28-inch PixelSense display supports both sRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces, and has a 3:2 aspect ratio with a resolution of 4500 x 3000 pixels. There is also support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
The all-in-one desktop has three USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports that support up to 3X external 4K displays, two USB-A 3.1 ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Gigabit Ethernet port.
The Surface Studio 2 Plus comes with a Surface Pen, Surface Keyboard, Surface Mouse and a power cable. The Surface Studio 2 Plus comes in just one configuration, and that’s a hefty $4499 — aimed at professional and business customers.
The Surface Laptop 5 gets a minor refresh with updated processors. The 13.5-inch model comes with either an Intel Core i5-1235U or an Intel Core i7-1255U processor. Meanwhile, the 15-inch version only comes in a Core i7-1255U configuration. All models come with 8GB, 16GB or 32GB of LPDDR5x RAM and up to 1TB of storage.
The 13.5-inch version is rated for up to 18 hours of “typical device use,” while the 15-inch version is rated for 17 hours. Both displays have a 3:2 aspect ratio and are protected by Gorilla Glass 5 (Gorilla Glass 3 if you opt for the Alcantara version of the laptop).
Surface Laptops are equipped with one USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, one USB-A port, one Surface Connect port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Surface Pro Laptop 5 starts at $999 for the 13.5-inch variant, though only in the Platinum color option. The base model gets 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Meanwhile, the 15-inch Surface Laptop 5 starts at $1299 with the same amount of RAM and storage.
All new Microsoft desktop computers will begin shipping on October 25.
Microsoft Audio Doc
The Microsoft Audio Dock is a speaker system that acts as a USB-C hub for any laptop. There is a 20W speaker and a 5W subwoofer. It has powerful omnidirectional microphones so you can take meetings, and there are two giant buttons on the top of the unit. One is the special key that launches Microsoft Teams and the other is the microphone toggle. Even if you don’t use Windows or Teams, AudioDoc supports macros and works with other conferencing applications.
The audio dock has HDMI-out, two USB-C and one USB-A port for external display support. There are also dedicated volume and playback controls at the top. The Audio Dock will retail for $250 and, like other Surface hardware, will go on sale on October 25.