Microsoft announces new Surface lineup with Qualcomm Snapdragon X chips

Female couple sitting on sofa with Microsoft Surface tablet, both laughing
(Image credit: Unsplash / Surface)

Microsoft just announced its new lineup of Surface devices on Monday at a special 'AI Era' press event at its Washington state headquarters. The new devices will come with Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X chips, potentially making them a very compelling competitor to the latest Apple MacBooks and iPads.

We've seen two new devices so far, the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro. That's right - no numbers appended to the end of these two as part of Microsoft's rebranding push under its 'AI Era' of AI-powered Surface products.

Surface Laptop 2024

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The new Surface Laptop sports impressive battery life thanks to the new Snapdragon X Elite processor, with up to 22 hours of local video playback and 15 hours of web browsing. Microsoft was also keen to show off Adobe Photoshop (and other Creative Cloud apps) running natively on the Arm-based processor at twice the speed of Apple's competing M3 MacBook Air, along with new Prism emulation to bridge the gap between Windows on Arm and existing x64 and x86 software.

It'll have up to 64GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage paired with a 120Hz HDR touch display in either 13.8- or 15-inch sizes. USB-A is alive and well here, too, joined by two USB-C ports, a headphone jack, and a Micro SD card reader. It's available in four colorways: silver, black, blue, and bronze.

A shot from Microsoft's AI Era live event, showing the new Surface Pro tablet.

(Image credit: Future)

Meanwhile, the definitely-not-the-Surface-Pro-11 is reportedly a massive 90% faster than the 2022 Surface Pro 9 5G thanks to its new Snapdragon chip. It offers an impressive QHD front-facing camera and a rear camera that can capture 4K video. Microsoft was keen to tout the new accessibility-focused design features baked into the keyboard and trackpad, too.

It'll pack up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage with a 120Hz display with Dolby Vision IQ. There is an OLED screen option, but it will cost you more. It comes with Microsoft's AI-powered Cocreator tool, and there's also a new Surface Slim Pen that can be garaged in the new 'Surface Pro Flex Keyboard' type cover as well as triple external monitor support via USB-C. All of this could make this the perfect device for digital creatives.

Both the new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop will feature Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4, with the former having optional 5G functionality. They also feature dual studio mics with AI-enhanced 'voice focus' and Dolby Atmos speaker support.

A new era of Surface

Both devices fall under Microsoft's 'Copilot + PC' umbrella, which mandates a set of minimum requirements for new AI PCs and laptops. Copilot + PC requires 16GB of RAM, at least 256GB SSD storage, and an integrated NPU from either Qualcomm, Intel, or AMD (in this case, the former).

The new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop will both start at $999 / AU$1,899 (UK is yet to be announced) for the entry-level models. That'll get you 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for both devices.

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Christian Guyton
Editor, Computing

Christian is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing Editor. He came to us from Maximum PC magazine, where he fell in love with computer hardware and building PCs. He was a regular fixture amongst our freelance review team before making the jump to TechRadar, and can usually be found drooling over the latest high-end graphics card or gaming laptop before looking at his bank account balance and crying.

Christian is a keen campaigner for LGBTQ+ rights and the owner of a charming rescue dog named Lucy, having adopted her after he beat cancer in 2021. She keeps him fit and healthy through a combination of face-licking and long walks, and only occasionally barks at him to demand treats when he’s trying to work from home.

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