Microsoft held a livestream launch event on Wednesday where the company announced three new Microsoft Surface computers, along with some other updates to Windows 11, new AI platforms for creativity, and an Audio Dock that doubles as a USB-C hub.
The interesting offering here is the Surface Pro 9, which comes in both ARM and Intel variants. With this device, Microsoft is solidifying Windows 11’s ARM support, shaking away any doubts you might have about running applications on Windows 11 for ARM.
The Surface Studio 2 Plus is a refreshed version of the Studio 2 that launched back in 2018 with updated internals, more Thunderbolt 4 ports, and beefed-up graphics performance.
Meanwhile, the Surface Laptop 5 gets mostly internal updates, 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 sees the most significant upgrades this year. In addition to selling both ARM and Intel-based variants of the new Surface Pro model, It also gets new color options, with matching Type Cover keyboards as well. The ARM variant is powered by the Qualcomm SQ3 and it comes with support for 5G connectivity as well.
Both variants will support Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6E, but the Qualcomm version gets plenty more connectivity including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou positioning systems support, nanoSIM and eSIM support, Sub-6 GHz/mmWave 5G networks (mmWave is US only), as well as support for LTE.
There’s a 13-inch PixeSense Flow Display (2880 x 1920 px; 3:2 aspect) with support for 120Hz refresh rate, compatible with the Surface Slim Pen 2. There’s a place for the Pen to stow away (and recharge) right between the Surface machine where it meets with a Type Cover.
The Intel-powered Surface Pro 9 can be configured with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U or a Core i7-1255U processor. Storage options start at 8GB RAM with 128GB storage. Meanwhile, the Snapdragon SQ3 version features a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) which leverages some new front camera features including Auto framing, Super Resolution enhancement, and there’s also a new noise-reduction implementation akin to those developed by Discord and Nvidia.
Battery life is rated a big differently between the two models. The Intel version is rated for up to 15.5 hours of use while the 5G Snapdragon variant is rated for up to 19 hours of battery. 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 tiehr 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM. While this model can be configured with up to 512GB of storage, the Intel model gets up to 1TB.