Microsoft could be about to unleash Surface Pro 10 with big upgrades including an OLED screen and a truly killer AI feature

Surface Pro 9 on a desk with flowers
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Get ready for the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6, new devices from Microsoft which are about to be revealed later this month – and should go on sale from April 2024, if this rumor is right.

It comes from Zac Bowden, a reliable leaker over at Windows Central, who has had word from sources about the spec of these laptops – and a major new development with AI in Windows 11 that’ll come with the devices. (Don’t forget – these are a new breed of AI PCs, of course, and we’ll return to that shortly).

First off, though, the purported spec details on the Surface Pro 10 (much of which has been aired before, mind). We’re told that the hybrid will be powered by an Intel Core Ultra processor (with NPU, for AI acceleration), or there’ll be an ARM-based alternative running the Snapdragon X Elite we’ve been hearing so much about lately (though it might be the firm’s own spin on this chip).

The inbound Surface Pro will have a better quality, brighter, and HDR-supporting anti-reflective OLED screen, which sounds like a large stride forward on the display front. Take all of this with the appropriate amount of skepticism needed for any rumor, naturally.

We can also expect an ultrawide front-facing webcam – complete with AI tricks – and an integrated NFC reader, Bowden believes. Those hoping for a redesign are going to be left wanting, though, as the Surface Pro 10 will remain much the same as its predecessor in terms of looks and build.

What about the Surface Laptop 6? Again, there’s a choice of CPUs between Intel Core Ultra and Snapdragon X Elite, which is interesting as this is the first time this particular range has seen an ARM option.

Equally interesting is that Bowden asserts that the Surface Laptop 6 will be revamped in terms of its design, including thinner bezels around the display (featuring rounded corners). There’ll also be a new haptic touchpad, plus a fresh array of ports (including a pair of USB-C connectors and one USB-A), and a dedicated Copilot key.

Overall, from both Surface refreshes we can expect ‘huge’ performance increases as well as better efficiency, meaning the prospect of a full day’s worth of battery life.

Bowden reckons the Surface devices will be unveiled on March 21, and models will ship in two stages. First, we’ll get the Intel CPU-powered devices in April, then the ARM versions in June.

Screenshot of Windows Copilot features

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Coming back to the AI PC angle that Microsoft is laying on as thick as it possibly can, what do the new Surface machines offer in this respect?

Well, there’s Copilot, of course (and that dedicated button for the AI assistant), a nifty accessibility addition in real-time live captions, plus AI-powered translation features, and some kind of AI upscaling for boosting gaming frame rates as previously leaked.

The big move, though, is ‘AI Explorer’ and again this is a concept Bowden has talked about in the past, but we get a bit more flesh on the bones of the rumor this time around.

This will be the real differentiation between an AI PC and a ‘normal’ (non-AI) Windows 11 PC, with AI Explorer tapping a history of your entire computer usage, basically, to find anything you want. Whether that’s a file, web page, or a conversation you had where something was mentioned in a messaging app, you can just query AI Explorer and off it goes to find the relevant info.

If you wrote a document about solar panels, for example, and have no idea where it went, or what you called it, you can simply type ‘Find me that thing about solar panels’ and AI Explorer will toddle off and quickly return with results, hopefully including the document in question.

As Bowden observes, when you conduct a search with AI Explorer, Windows 11 returns every “word, phrase, image, and related topic” or file/app that you’ve previously opened on the PC.

Surface Laptop 5

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Analysis: Dream or privacy nightmare?

What we’ve got in AI Explorer, then, is basically a supercharged, AI-powered natural language version of File Explorer. Pretty nifty? To say the least – indeed it could be a massive timesaver and an absolute dream feature for finding whatever content you need on your PC, fast.

Could the dream turn into a privacy nightmare, though? Well, it’s too early to speculate about that, given that we don’t know much about AI Explorer, and what we do know is just chatter on the grapevine.

But this idea is bound to make some people nervous, and with AI rifling through all the content on your PC, privacy must surely be respected. More paranoid types who try to turn off all of Microsoft’s various Windows 11 telemetry aspects, though, won’t likely have this idea sitting comfortably with them, though.

Away from the AI elements, the Surface Pro 10 sounds like a more than worthy upgrade. Okay, so the design stays pretty much the same – that’s to be expected in many ways, as Microsoft has kept this hybrid in a similar vein since its inception. However, the screen sounds like an excellent upgrade, and the performance boosts – and crucially battery life – appear to be huge steps forward for both the incoming Surface Pro and Surface Laptop.

In theory, we’ll see these machines in just over a fortnight, and we can’t wait – with the performance of the new Snapdragon X Elite being another element that we’re keen to find out more about.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).