Microsoft’s mystery May 20 event could finally give us the Surface Pro 10 vs iPad Pro fight we’ve been waiting for

Surface Pro 9 on a desk with the screen turned on and showing Windows 11
(Image credit: Future)

We now know when Microsoft will likely reveal its new Surface devices, and the much-rumored laptops are not coming as soon as the grapevine previously contended (or at least devices for the consumer aren’t).

Windows Central’s Zac Bowden informs us that Microsoft will reveal the consumer-targeted versions of the next-gen Surface Pro – and a new Surface Laptop – at a special event on May 20, while also touting new AI features for Windows 11.

The press event is confirmed for that date, although Microsoft hasn’t specifically announced the revelation of Surface devices – these are only expected to be launched. (According to Bowden, and also other sources, for example, that The Verge has spoken with).

It seems a good bet that this is where the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 consumer models will first be shown to the world, seeing as rumors about the devices have been buzzing around a lot lately, including leaked benchmarks. The latter typically indicates that a piece of hardware isn’t that far off release, of course.

Analysis: Two waves of Surface launches

Indeed, you may recall that Bowden previously asserted that these new Surface laptops would be revealed in an event Microsoft has organized for March 21, just two days away now. Sadly, we’re told that this is a purely business-focused event with no exciting revelations for consumers – but Microsoft will unveil Surface Pro and Laptop variants aimed at enterprise customers.

The leaker tells us that these will be powered by Intel Core Ultra (Meteor Lake) CPUs, and should go on sale in April, whereas the May 20 event will be for the consumer-facing Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6, featuring ‘refreshed designs’ and running with the ARM-based Snapdragon X Elite SoC under the hood. (Or a Microsoft customized version of that chip).

Unfortunately, the May event won’t be livestreamed, so if it does bring forth the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6, you won’t get to see it live – but we’ll be there bringing you all the juicy details, naturally.

The new Surfaces are expected to benefit from some major upgrades, such as a high-quality OLED screen for the Surface Pro 10 – and notably, it’s the first time the Surface Laptop 6 will see an ARM-based variant. Battery life on those models should be stellar, or that’s the hope.

If these products are revealed late in May, we might be looking at June for an on-sale date, which aligns with the previous chatter we’ve heard about Snapdragon X Elite devices hitting the market – complete with a new Germanium-based version of Windows 11. On the software side, the May event should also see Microsoft show off features including AI Explorer, too – the ability that could make Copilot a way more useful desktop assistant.

As ever with the rumor mill, take all these bits of speculation with a skeptical hat on, as they may not pan out this way.

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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).