Microsoft October Surface event 2022 as it happened: all the big reveals
Surface Pro 9 is real and we got to try it out
Microsoft's Surface event has now finished, and we got to see the Surface Pro 9 and the Surface Laptop 5, along with the Surface Studio 2+ and Microsoft Audio Dock as well.
We'll also be going hands-on with many of the new devices, and we'll post them here when they're live.
Read on to see all the big reveals from Microsoft's event as they happened.
We're now about 24 hours away from Microsoft's big hardware event, and we're keen to see what the company shows off. Leaks have been popping up all over the place, which makes us pretty confident that we're going to see some new Surface devices.
While we've liked a lot of previous Surface products in the past, thanks to their stylish designs and Windows 10 and Windows 11 integration, they haven't achieved the popularity that Apple has managed with the likes of its MacBooks and iPads.
Can this new generation of Surface products make more people fall in love with them? We won't have long to find out...
The last Surface Pro was the Surface Pro 8 which came out last year. We really loved it - our old computing editor Jackie was particularly impressed with the design and larger screen.
Personally, I've yet to be really blown away by a Surface Pro. They certainly are nice bits of kit, but they are a tad too expensive for me, and I don't really feel the need to use Windows 11 on a tablet like device.
If Microsoft is going to announce a new Surface Pro at tomorrow's event, could it change my mind? Unless it offers improved performance and a lower price point, then perhaps. Until then, I'm probably going to stick with my iPad.
Microsoft's official Surface twitter account has posted a poll asking people what they expect from the Microsoft event tomorrow. Could this give us a hint at what's coming?
If you had a crystal ball, what would you predict for the #MicrosoftEvent on October 12?October 10, 2022
The options are 'a next-level laptop', 'Personalization options' and 'operating system updates'.
All of those are pretty likely, though to be honest it's only the laptop that's interesting. If Microsoft has hyped up this event only to show off some operating system updates, there might be a riot.
By a clear margin, the 'next-level laptop' got the most votes, which suggests many people feel the same, and are hoping for a new laptop - perhaps the Surface Laptop 5, as rumored?
The Surface Laptop 5 is another device that's been hinted at, and again, this makes sense. The Surface Laptop 4 was a brilliant bit of kit - in fact, it's hovered close to the top of our best laptops guide for a while now.
This is definitely a product that needs a new version - and if Microsoft announce a new model tomorrow, I'll be very happy.
While we prefer to take leaks and rumors with a healthy dose of saline, current signs do point towards us getting a new Surface Studio all-in-one computer too. It's been years since the Surface Studio 2 came out, and at the time we felt it was a powerful platform for creative professionals.
There have been some worrying leaks stating that the next-gen Studio is indeed arriving soon, but will be equipped with older 11th-gen Intel processors. But hey, the Studio 2 had somewhat outdated components and we still loved it; a good GPU and display are arguably more important for a creative platform, anyway.
Current thought: will we get a redesigned Surface Pen with the next generation of Surface products? There haven't been any leaks suggesting that'll be the case, but given the products we're currently expecting it could make sense.
If current leaks are accurate, we're expecting to see a new Surface Laptop, a new Surface Pro tablet, and a new Surface Studio. This could be the perfect time for Microsoft to release a new version of its signature smart stylus.
One other thing we're hoping to see more about at this event is Microsoft's upcoming line of Adaptive Accessories. With more than 1 billion people around the world suffering from some form of disability, this selection of nifty peripherals is geared toward improving the accessibility of computer hardware.
This move was likely kickstarted by the success of Microsoft's own Xbox Adaptive Controller, which was released a few years back with the goal of making Xbox games easier to play for gamers with physical disabilities. We're really happy that Microsoft is pursuing this further, and hope to see the new suite of Adaptive kit during the live stream.
One of the biggest questions about the new Surface devices is whether Microsoft is going to continue with its push for Windows on Arm. Arm, in this case, refers to the processor architecture pioneered by British chipmaker Arm Ltd, which licenses out its processor design to the likes of Apple and Qualcomm.
Microsoft has been working on getting Windows to work on Arm chips for the past few years, with fairly limited success in our opinion. Can Microsoft do better this time around? Should it even bother?
That remains to be seen, but we expect we'll see one way or the other soon enough.
As we mentioned before, we also hope to see more in the way of accessibility tools where Microsoft, for all its faults, has shown itself to be a genuine leader. The Surface Adaptive Kit was a small but major step forward, followed by Microsoft Adaptive Accessories, which was an even bigger advance toward making Microsoft Surface products more accessible for more users.
We genuinely hope to see more of these kinds of advances at tomorrow's Surface event, and we think that there will be a high likelihood of something new making an appearance.
Given our speculation on the likely appearance of a new Microsoft Surface Studio product based on the artsy image used by Microsoft for its October event teaser, it does make us wonder whether we'll see a Surface Studio desktop or a laptop. We're hoping for the latter, but the former could definitely use a refresh.
Today's the day! In six hour's time, Microsoft's October hardware event will begin, and we'll likely see a new Windows 11 tablet and laptop from the company.
The rumors of a new Surface Pro 9 have been pretty convincing, so I'd be surprised if we didn't see it later today. In a world where Apple continues to dominate the tablet market with its iPads, will the Surface Pro 9 finally be the tablet to change that?
The pressure is certainly on Microsoft to deliver the goods - and it had better show off something to justify interrupting Amazon's October Prime Day sales.
Well, this is interesting. Aggiornamenti Lumia, an Italian website that specialises in Microsoft leaks, has apparently found that you can already pre-order the Surface Pro 9 from Amazon.
What about pre-ordering the new Surface Pro 9 before the #MicrosoftEvent? Yes, you can pic.twitter.com/6IvGpKMCKrOctober 12, 2022
Has the retailer accidently posted links to the new device before the event? Perhaps. According to the screenshots there will be several configurations of the Surface Pro 9:
- Microsoft Surface Pro 9 - Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD for £1,165.83 (around $1,300, AU$2,000)
- Microsoft Surface Pro 9 - Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for £915.83 (around $990, AU$1,600)
- Microsoft Surface Pro 9 - Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD for £1,332.50 (around $1,500, AU$2,300)
According to the screenshots, the delivery will be between November 2 and November 11, giving us a hint at when the Surface Pro 9 will launch.
Of course, this leak should be taken with a hefty amount of salt, as it's not confirmed. The prices are also a little odd (£915.83 is strangely specific, for example) and could be placeholders from Amazon. It may also be taking into account that the devices could be shipped from the UK to Italy.
If they are real, then the Surface Pro 9 looks set to be another very expensive tablet - especially if you have to pay extra for the Type Cover, which turns it into a laptop-like device.
The fact that the storage seems to be just 256GB is a bit concerning as well, to be honest. With Windows 11 Home preinstalled, that storage space will fill up fast, especially for creatives working with large file sizes.
So, hopefully this leak is either incorrect - or there are other configurations of the Surface Pro 9 coming with more storage capacity. Luckily, we won't have too long to find out.
To delve a little further into that pricing, the original US MSRP for the Surface Pro 8 was $1,099. This was due to Microsoft cutting Intel Core i3 models from the lineup, but it did cause some disappointment among Surface fans when no 'budget' option was available.
If this latest pre-order leak is to be believed, it looks like Microsoft is sticking to i5 for the lower-spec Surface Pro, but managing to keep the price down a bit. A generational price drop along with new 12th-gen Intel processors could be exactly what the Surface line needs right now.
One strange thing about these prices is the RAM - namely, the significant jump between the 8GB and 16GB i5 models. It's likely DDR5 memory, which is more costly, and our general recommendation would be to spring for the 16GB version, but we're not entirely convinced it's worth this asking price.
While online speculation right now is pointing towards a new Surface Studio all-in-one PC for creatives, we'd like to see more of the Surface Laptop Studio, Microsoft's creative-focused sidegrade to the Surface Book 3.
We weren't entirely convinced by it in our review - the high price and unexciting components stopped us from giving it a higher score - but we did have to admit that it offered a fantastically unique form factor thanks to its easel-style hinge and vibrant touch display.
The Surface Studio is a highly effective platform for artistic professionals, so it would be great to see an updated version of its portable counterpart. We might even be willing to let a high price tag slide if it packs some more powerful internals.
Whatever products are announced at the live event later today, we're very interested to see what components they use. Leaks have pointed towards the Surface Laptop 5 and Surface Pro 9 both using 12th-gen Intel processors, potentially qualifying them as Intel Evo products.
For those not in the loop, Intel Evo is a 'badge of quality' awarded to Core-powered laptops and tablets that meet Intel's own strict criteria. The list of requirements is long, but broadly speaking an Evo device needs to have at minimum a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity.
Evo laptops must also adhere to specific battery life and charging requirements, as well as wake-from-sleep times of less than 1 second. The idea is that these devices should be powerful, flexible, and ready to go whenever you need them. Sounds a lot like the Surface brand to us.
Staying on the topic of components, we're curious to see whether Microsoft has any further plans for the 'SQ' processors it co-developed with Qualcomm. The SQ1 and SQ2 chips have so far only been used in the fairly unimpressive Surface Pro X.
The main problem with the SQ chips is that they're ARM-based; a less complex instructional set for computing functions than the x86 and x64 sets used by Intel processors. That throws up a tonne of compatibility issues if you want your ARM system to run Windows; loads of apps just aren't designed to run on ARM.
Qualcomm mostly produces ARM-based processors, which you can commonly find in phones and Android tablets. There are benefits to them; they're cheaper to produce and typically very power-efficient, and their overall performance is swiftly closing in on Intel and AMD's mobile processors.
Could we see a new SQ3 chip unveiled today? Some leaks have suggested it, but nothing concrete. It could potentially arrive in a new Surface Pro X variant, or a different model of the suspected Surface Pro 9 tablet.
For reference, the Microsoft SQ1 was really just Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8xc mobile processor, just with a new name and upgraded integrated graphics. The SQ2 isn't an entirely new chip either - it's the SQ1 with a slightly newer GPU core and a faster clock speed.
One interesting feature of Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips is their potential support for 5G LTE connectivity. Back in September, Microsoft registered an FCC filing for a 'portable computing device' with 5G capabilities. Could we finally be getting a Surface tablet with true go-anywhere internet?
One thing we're not expecting to see during today's event - but would really like to - is the long-rumored Surface Gaming Laptop. There haven't been any leaks indicating that we're going to see such a product today, but there have been whispers for years about whether Microsoft would take the Surface brand into the gaming space.
A few months ago, a website called theprimegaming.com appeared. It's not a games journalism source, nor is it connected to Amazon Prime's gaming ventures. It simply features a spec sheet for a suspected Microsoft Surface Gaming Laptop - with details that look just about sensible enough to be true.
Gaming laptops are immensely popular, so it would make sense for Microsoft to break into the gaming hardware scene. After all, the Steam Hardware and Software Survey consistently demonstrates that the vast majority of PC gamers use Windows as their OS of choice for gaming.
With this in mind, there's definitely cause for Microsoft to enter the gaming laptop arena. The leaked spec sheet - which may be entirely bogus, remember! - describes a pretty conventional gaming laptop setup; an i5 or i7 processor matched to an RTX 3050 Ti or 3070 Ti respectively, 16GB or 32GB of RAM, and a 16-inch 1440p screen.
It's nothing revolutionary, though there are some points of interest; the spec only lists a single USB-C port and Surface Connect slot, indicating that it could be a super-slim gaming laptop. The screen is also referred to as a 'PixelSense Flow Display' - PixelSense is Microsoft's brand name for Surface displays, but we have no clue what the 'Flow' part could mean.
Of course, there's enough in this particular leak to arguably debunk it. For starters, it specifies the use of LPDDR4x memory - this isn't entirely impossible, but the 12th-gen Intel CPUs listed are also compatible with DDR5 memory, which would make more sense for a gaming-focused device.
The leap from the RTX 3050 Ti right up to the RTX 3070 Ti also calls this spec sheet into doubt. Why not an RTX 3060, or 3060 Ti? That, combined with the weird wattage specifications for the power supply, make us more than a little dubious.
Still, we'd absolutely love to see a Surface Gaming Laptop make an appearance at today's event. Too many gaming laptops are chunky beasts; we could trust Microsoft to make something sleek and stylish.
Microsoft has now pinned the original event tweet on Twitter. There's not yet a placeholder video on the official Surface YouTube channel, but we imagine it'll turn up shortly. You can also tune in directly on the Microsoft website to enjoy a static image and some very pumped-up hold music.
Speaking of the image - that outline certainly looks like a Surface Pro with the Type Cover attached. As others have pointed out, the artistic flourish here indicates a creative focus for this event, further solidifying rumors that we're getting a new Surface Studio device.
Join us Wednesday, October 12 at 10am ET to see what's next for Microsoft Surface. #MicrosoftEvent https://t.co/vYHG0odexJSeptember 27, 2022
We'd like to ask you to join us in a moment's silence as we pay our respects to the ill-fated Surface Neo. Sleep well, sweet prince. The world just wasn't ready for you.
Maybe the world is a bit more ready for foldable tech now, though. The Surface Duo, compact little brother to the never-released Neo, has already been through two iterations. Other manufacturers are getting in on the trend too; earlier this year, Asus launched the huge foldable Zenbook 17 Fold OLED laptop.
Do we think the Neo will resurface in today's live stream? Hah, no. If it does, we'll eat our collective hats - but we'll do so gladly, because the Neo looked cool as all hell.
T-minus 45 minutes, folks. Excitement is building; there's a lot of other stuff going on at Microsoft Ignite, the three-day media event Microsoft is hosting in the US. We're expecting to see a lot of Cloud-based stuff, with an apparent focus on programs such as Teams.
As tech journalists, we're obviously most excited about the Surface reveal, though. We've got boots (or possibly comfortable sneakers) on the ground at the event and will be handing this live blog over to the lovely Lance Ulanoff for real-time coverage of the new products as they are announced.
Just half an hour until we get our first look at the next generation of Surface products. What are you hoping for? We'd really like to see a new Surface Laptop Studio, but there's not much in the leaks currently circulating to suggest that.
For a last-minute recap, what we are expecting is the Surface Laptop 5, the Surface Pro 9 tablet, and a new Surface Studio all-in-one PC - probably the Surface Studio 3, although the name 'Surface Studio 2+' has popped up in some leaks.
We wouldn't be too surprised if Microsoft has kept one big reveal in the chamber to end the presentation on a high note, but don't get too excited. We're more likely to see some new peripherals and accessories for the next Surface products.
If you'd prefer to use Twitter to keep track of the event, you can check out the #MicrosoftEvent hashtag!
Just fifteen minutes left, people! Still nothing to be seen on the official Microsoft Surface YouTube channel; could it be that the event will only be livestreamed from Microsoft's own website?
In fact, that YouTube channel hasn't posted anything in a month. Perhaps that will change once the new products land!
Lance Ulanoff, US Editor in Chief for TechRadar, taking over for Christian and all the others who have been manning this live blog since yesterday.
We're just minutes away from the start of this event and I have the good luck to be sitting at the Microsoft Experience Store on Fifth Avenue in NYC with Computing Staff Writer Allisa James. We're watching the live stream from a loft space and then, right after, we may have some treats for all of you.
While we expect all those cool new Surface products, I think Microsoft might take this opportunity to roll out some stuff related to Microsoft's broader Windows platform and strategy efforts. But we'll see.
Our view. Of course, we chose the first row because we're tech's best students. Wouldn't want to be squinting at the new Surface products from the back of the room.
Five minutes until the big product(s) reveal.
And here we go. Microsoft Chief Product office Panos Panay kicks things off. He's talking about creating the perfect input device and replacing the mouse.
How do we connect through all interaction models? "That's when Surface was born."
Surface is 10 years old, by the way.
Microsoft wants to expand on what they've built thus far. Panos says that, once again, it all starts with you (I guess he means me).
Here's the new Surface Laptop. And it comes in sage green!
It does not look like a major redesign, but a tuning of the current design.
Built on the latest Intel EVO platform and could be 50% faster than the last gen. Also supports Thunderbolt 4.
There's a 13.5-inch screen and better front-facing studio microphones.
18 hours of battery life! Fast charging, too.
Windows 11 is now Carbon Aware. It'll schedule Windows updates when your grid has renewable options available.
Windows Studio Effects? That looks new. One thing I noticed is built-in background blurring capabilities, which takes the weight off of the CPU.
As always, every Surface device is a showcase for Windows 11.
Microsoft says that 1 billion people require some level of system accessibility.
Now has system-wide live captions from any form of audio content.
Voice access for voice control
Natural Voices for Navigator.
Also covering Windows Security:
It can block scripts from the internet, a common Ransomware vector.
Hard to tell if any of this is news.
We have seen the Tabs in File Explorer before and the Snap adjustments.
I wish Microsoft would stick with just the news stuff.
This is NEW:
Windows Studio Camera and Audio Effects. It's enabled by AI.
There's also a new remote and a premium speaker, all for presentations and video streaming and meetings
Oh, this is big. iCloud for Windows on your iPhone can bring iCloud photos to the Photo App in Windows
Also, Apple Music and Apple TV app are launching on Windows next year. That's also big.
I can't decide which is bigger, I think the photos. That's a pain point for so many people who open both a Windows PC and an iPhone.
Microsoft just officially announced the Surface Pro 9. It's built on the Surface Pro X model. There's an 5G, ARM model and an Intel one.
There's a new, special edition with a Liberty Floral Print model.
13-inch Pixel Sense display. There's large icon spacing in the tasks bar to accommodate touch.
The Pen is hidden in the fold. Pen has a micro-actuator. There's also new ink focus view in One Note to make it feel like you're writing on paper.
Also, GoodNotes is coming to Windows and Surface.
The front-facing camera is centered. The field of view is wider.
The Intel Surface Pro 9 has a 12th Gen Processor on the Intel EVO platform.
There's also a Surface Pro 9 5G
It runs the SQ9 ARM processor.
19 hours of battery life(!). [Want]
The Surface Pro 9 with 5G apparently has more AI tricks up its sleeve than the Intel model. Wonder if that will upset those who choose Intel.
The camera uses Windows Studio Effects to track subjects and includes updated eye tracking feature.
There's portrait blur and MPU-based voice focus. Love the demo with the leaf-blower guy. Pretty good. Why can't Microsoft bring that to its Surface Buds?
If you're looking for more details on the Surface Pro 9, check out our Everything you need to know.
Here are some key details:
Surface Studio + is now a thing.
It does not look wildly redesigned. New Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Panos Panay is so excited about this.
The touch screen is so big and can basically fit, essentially four, 14-inch display windows. I could use that
Microsoft is integrating Dall-E 2 into a new Designer tool.
Helps you create from your own content and ideas. Panos says it's fast.
The images are generated just for you.
He uploads an image of the original Surface prototype.
Takes a moment for, Dall-E to find what you want based on the words you type in. And then you can edit the design in Designer and post it directly to social accounts like Instagram.
Dall-E 2 is also coming to a new Bing Image creator "soon".
This may be the first broad-consumer, application of Dall-E. Wild.
And that's the end of the live stream. Time to go touch all these cool products. Stay tuned for hands-on updates!
Computing Editor Christian Guyton back now, while we let Lance and Allisa get some quality time with these new products. You can expect our hands-on reviews to land very soon!
Here we go: our first proper look at the Surface Laptop 5, shown here in three different colors. As you can see, some versions will come with the soft Alcantara fabric that Microsoft has made synonymous with the Surface line. Alternatively, you can opt for a sleek metal wrist rest.
The trackpad is a decent size and the 3:2 aspect ratio display looks very vibrant even in a brightly-lit room. The keyboard has the same near-silent operation as previous Surface Laptop models.
The Microsoft Surface X Liberty London collaboration has led to some very stylish-looking variants of Microsoft's newest tablet...
These probably won't be everyone's cup of tea, but these designs are fun. Microsoft auctioned off the bespoke Surface products from a previous Liberty collaboration to raise money for special needs charity SpecialEffect, and we can safely say we approve of that.
As you can see from the image below, Microsoft is sticking to the same single-fan cooling system for the Surface Pro 9 that was seen in previous models of the Pro tablet. We're still not sure how they manage to get as much travel on the keys when the keyboard is so thin.
We also spied that pesky Surface Connect port still sticking around. C'mon, Microsoft, it's time to let it go. We all just want USB-C now, haven't you heard?
The Surface Pro 9 will come with Microsoft's existing Surface Slim Pen 2 - no new smart stylus for us this year, it seems.
Still, the Slim Pen 2 is a decent little stylus, as you can tell from Lance's not-at-all-terrifying sketch that definitely won't be haunting my nightmares for the next three days.
The Surface Pro 9 will likely be an excellent choice for digital artists, with the Slim Pen 2 garaging neatly into a charging slot at the top of the Type Cover keyboard - which can be snapped up against the bottom bezel of the tablet to lock it in place.
This is the Microsoft SQ3, the latest SoC designed in collaboration with Qualcomm, which will be powering the 5G version of the Surface Pro 9 tablet. Doesn't look like much, does it?
While we don't yet have the full performance details for this chip, Microsoft obvious has high hopes for it after the stumbling performance of the SQ1 and SQ2 found in the Surface Pro X.
We're looking forward to testing it ourselves; hopefully we'll get an opportunity to directly compare it to the Intel Core i5 and i7 models of the Surface Pro 9. Even if it doesn't perform quite as well, though, the 5G connectivity will be a big draw for many users.
Pictured below is the new Microsoft Audio Dock - well, the exploded components of it, at least. Designed for use with Microsoft Teams, this USB-C-powered block is part device hub, part loudspeaker.
There's a main woofer, a tweeter, and two smaller side-firing radiators that should hopefully provide clear audio for video conferencing. It's got USB-A and USB-C ports, as well as HDMI and a USB-C power passthrough cable.
The whole assembly is wrapped in black fabric, which makes it look a lot more appealing than its closest relative, HP's 'G2 with Audio' Thunderbolt dock.
Here we have some of the new Microsoft Adaptive Accessories. We'd like to properly test these all out in a nice big round-up at some point - keep an eye out if you're interested in how these new peripherals can help users with disabilities.
Following on from the success of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Microsoft has designed each of these to fulfil a specific purpose.
There are modified mouse models for users who may struggle to grip or click a conventional mouse, shaped thick styli for easier handling pf the touchscreen, and more.
A little aside from the new Surface hardware: coinciding with the Surface live stream, Microsoft and Apple have announced that some of the latter's services will officially be coming to Windows 11 in the near future.
Apple TV, Apple Music, and iCloud Photos will all enjoy full compatibility on Windows 11 devices (including, naturally, the new Surface products). iCloud support for the Windows 11 Photos app will arrive in November, while Apple TV and Apple Music are getting dedicated apps in 2023. It looks like iTunes on Windows is finally going the way of the dodo!
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