Firstly, Gadgets Fix has learnt that the next Microsoft Surface Pro has some very big shoes to fill. After years of struggling to receive a proper update, the 2-in-1 pro laptop-cum-tablet has finally got the upgrade it deserves with the Surface Pro 8.
Secondly, Touting Tiger Lake Intel chips along with a better display, longer battery life, and a higher resolution rear camera with 4K video capabilities, the Surface Pro 8 has modernized the line in a way that its predecessors struggled with. And, while we would stop short of calling it the perfect device, it certainly comes close, which leaves its successor with very little to work with in terms of upgrades – short of incorporating an entirely new innovation, at least.
Still, the Surface Pro 8 has left a bit of room for improvement. Will its successor fix these issues? For its sake, we hope so. At the very least, it should already come bundled with the Type Cover, on top of some powerful internals – Intel Alder Lake, perhaps – that will make it truly worthy of its name.
However, it’s too early to tell. Rumours surrounding the next Surface Pro are still scarce, as are speculations and leaks. We’ll update you on any piece of Surface Pro news that reaches our desks, but, for now, here’s everything we’ve heard, along with some speculation of our own.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9: cut to the chase
- What is it? The new Microsoft Surface Pro
- When is it out? Likely Q3 2022
- What will it cost? Hopefully starting at £999 / US$1,099
Microsoft Surface Pro 9: release date and price
2020 came and went without a trace of a new Surface Pro, likely due to the pandemic and the massive supply chain shortage that ensued. Outside of that, Microsoft hasn’t missed a year, rolling out an updated model every year from 2013 to 2019, usually in the third quarter, then releasing the Surface Pro 8 in Q3 2021.
Unless we experience another components shortage or factory closures, there’s no reason not to expect the next-generation Microsoft Surface Pro to hit the shelves around October 2022.
Of course, that’s assuming that Microsoft doesn’t plan on alternating the release of its Pro devices. We already know that the new Surface Pro X is coming out this year. This line originally launched back in 2021 – the same year Microsoft skipped the Surface Pro. So, if Microsoft is indeed avoiding the release of two new Pro devices in the same year, we might not see the Surface Pro until 2023.
In any case, we hope that the next-generation Surface Pro will inherit the same prices as the Pro 8, which starts at £999 / $1,099 and tops at £2,459 / $2599. Any jump in price at this point will be a deal-breaker for most users, especially because the keyboard and trackpad Type Cover still isn’t included.
Speaking of which, it would greatly increase the Surface Pro’s value if Microsoft just bundled this vital accessory with every purchase. After all, it is pushing it as a 2-in-1 laptop, and not having the $179 / £159 Signature Keyboard included kind of beats the purpose – not to mention, turns off the more budget-minded set.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9: design
There are still a few places where we can potentially see Microsoft improving the Surface Pro’s design, despite the fact that the Surface Pro 8 is already pretty terrific in its own right.
For example, will Microsoft give the new Surface Pro a 4K display or offer it as an option for the highest configurations? Most of the Surface Pro 8’s upgrades are display-focused, narrowing the bezels for a slightly bigger screen size and largely the same footprint, giving it a new resolution to keep the 3:2 aspect ratio, and slapping on a 120Hz refresh rate for good measure. However, if this device were to keep up with the demands of its target users, which are designers and creators, adding a 4K option would be a good idea.
Also, for a device that’s positioned to be a laptop, it’s severely lacking in ports and it doesn’t come with a keyboard and trackpad out of the box, just like the previous models. That’s while asking another £100 / US$100 on an already expensive device to begin with.
One of the things we missed from the older Surface Pros is the USB Type-A port, with the Surface Pro 8 opting, and rightly so, for the Thunderbolt 4 instead. But, for the same reasons that Microsoft should include the Type Cover without extra cost, the next model should have more input and output ports on hand. While it’s at it, the company should get rid of the Surface Connect port.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9: performance
The Surface Pro 8’s battery life and charging capabilities are among the best we’ve seen on a high-powered laptop, let alone a tablet. And, we hope that Microsoft keeps that same longevity (or better) on the next-generation Surface Pro, even with more powerful internals.
Lastly, the 2022 Surface Pro should have more powerful internals, moving from the Pro 8’s Tiger Lake chips to Alder Lake processors, Intel’s answer to Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. With these 12th-gen chips powering them, the line might get just enough boost to give the iPad Pros a good run for their money. Check out our other blogs on gadgetsfix.com.