What to expect from Microsoft’s spring 2024 Surface PC announcements – Windows Central

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New “AI-powered” Surface hardware will arrive in two waves this April and June.

Microsoft is gearing up to make a number of Surface product announcements over the next several weeks, starting with new Surface PCs for commercial customers on March 21. The company is planning two waves of hardware launches this spring, with the second wave expected to feature a more significant refresh for consumers.

2024 is a big year for Surface, as it’s expected to be the first time that Microsoft brings Arm to more of the Surface portfolio. Until now, Surface Pro has been the only device in Microsoft’s lineup with an Arm option, but that’s set to change with the Surface Laptop 6 in June.

So, what’s coming, and when? Here’s my breakdown of the Surface devices you can expect to see each month leading up to the summer. Let’s dig in!

March: New Surface PCs with Intel for business

The new Surface Laptop for business will look familiar. (Image credit: Windows Central)

First, Microsoft will take the wraps off a new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, on which it has worked closely with its commercial customers. These devices will be unveiled during a commercial-focused event on March 21, with new Surface lead Brett Ostrum expected to make an appearance to talk about the hardware.

These devices are likely to feature new Intel Core Ultra 5 and 7 chips with integrated NPUs (neural processing units) and designs similar to that of their predecessors. My contacts say these refreshed devices will have a handful of new features that appeal to commercial customers.

The new Surface Pro for business (codenamed OEMHT) will include an updated anti-reflective screen with support for HDR content, a new ultrawide camera, a built-in NFC reader, and a more powerful NPU compared to the Surface Pro 9 5G. This device will be available with up to 64GB RAM for the first time, and Microsoft is also working on a new Type Cover, which includes a dedicated Copilot button.

The new Surface Laptop for business (codenamed OEMBL) will also include a new dedicated Copilot button on the keyboard, as well as a 64GB RAM config. Microsoft will tout the new Surface Laptop as being up to 50% faster than the Surface Laptop 5, with support for Windows Studio Effects thanks to the integrated NPU. My sources say Microsoft is also planning to launch a special configuration of the Surface Laptop for business that includes a built-in CAC reader.

These new Surface PCs will be marketed as commercial-specific, meaning they will only be available in Microsoft’s commercial storefront and commercial channels, similar to the Surface Pro 7+ when that was first unveiled.

April: New Surface PCs for business start shipping

The new Surface Pro for business will begin shipping in April. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

My contacts say the commercial-focused Surface PCs announced on March 21 will begin shipping to customers in April. Consumers will be able to purchase these devices if they wish, but my recommendation is to wait for the consumer-focused devices that will be unveiled later this spring.

May: New Surface PCs with Arm for consumers

A mock-up of what the display bezels on Surface Laptop 6 are expected to look like. (Image credit: Windows Central)

While the actual date is still in flux, I understand that Microsoft is targeting sometime in mid/late May to take the wraps off a more significant Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 update, which are expected to feature tweaked designs and new Arm processors. I also hear the company is expected to make the Surface Go 4 available for consumers around the same time.

The new Surface Pro 10 with Arm (codenamed OEMMN) will feature all the same display improvements as the earlier Surface Pro for business customers but with the addition of an OLED display panel. The design is expected to remain roughly the same as the Surface Pro 9, with one or two minor tweaks.

The Surface Laptop 6 with Arm (codenamed OEMBR) will include a more significant design refresh compared to the Surface Laptop 5, with thinner display bezels and rounded corners, an updated haptic touchpad that’s larger, and a new selection of ports, including two USB-C and one USB-A on the left.

Both of these devices will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite-based SoC, and I’m told Microsoft is very excited about the performance and efficiency gains these chips deliver compared to the chips found in Surface Pro 9 and Surface Laptop 5. Internally, the company describes these PCs as rivaling the performance and efficiency of Apple’s iPad Pro and MacBook Air.

I am unsure if there will be Intel variants of these devices for consumers. Sources say the new Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 will feature true all-day battery life, support many of Windows’ upcoming AI features including on-device live captions, AI Explorer, Super Resolution, and generative AI features. The company will likely begin talking about the new Windows AI features in the next couple of months.

June: Surface PCs for consumers start shipping

The exciting new Surface hardware won’t be here until June. (Image credit: Zac Bowden | Windows Central)

I understand that the second wave of Surface PCs, which includes the Surface Go 4 for consumers and arm-powered Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6, will begin shipping in June. These are the devices you should be waiting for if you’re a consumer looking to purchase your next Surface PC.

That’s all we’re expecting to see from Surface this spring, but I’m already hearing whispers that Microsoft is eyeing up the fall for further hardware launches. We’ll have to wait and see if that comes to fruition, but for now, what spring Surface PC launch are you most looking forward to?

Source: Windows Central

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