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What to expect from Microsoft's Surface event

Surface Pro X
(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft's big September 22 hardware event is almost here, and there's a lot of buzz this year around the Microsoft Surface devices we've missed out on in 2021. 

Other than the Surface Laptop 4 back in April, there hasn't been much on the hardware front from Microsoft, which has left some fans anxious to see more this year, and we're expecting the company to deliver this week with some major releases.

What's more, with Windows 11 right around the corner on October 5, there's even more reason to hope that Microsoft is going to be going big with their September 22 Surface event.

So what devices do we want to see this year? What devices do we think will get punted to 2022? Let's dig in and find out.

Microsoft Surface Pro X

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface Pro X

Starting with the most likely device reveal, the Microsoft Surface Pro X was already badly in need of a refresh, having been released all the way back in 2019. 

While there would be plenty of reason to speculate on its announcement just based on the timing of the event and how long its been since it was released, on Monday of this week, we saw a report that an Energy Star Certification for a new Surface Pro X device had been issued, listing a "Date Available On Market" as September 7, 2021.

This was no doubt a placeholder date that Microsoft listed on its application for certification, but they would have picked a date near to when they were expecting to launch the product, so we're positive that the Surface Pro X will be at Wednesday's event.

Microsoft Surface Go 2

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Microsoft Surface Go 3

The Surface Go 2 launched in the middle of last year, so it hasn't been out for long enough to absolutely ensure that a follow up Surface Go 3 will make an appearance at this week's event – but there's more than an outside chance that we'll see a new portable 10-inch Microsoft tablet revealed on Wednesday.

The main reason we anticipate a Surface Go 3 is that the Surface Go 2 was somewhat underpowered, even for the time. It's not really meant to compete with a full-fat operating system running on a beefier laptop, so it was really taking aim at the best Chromebooks on the market last year, like the Lenovo ThinkPad Duet Chromebook

But it does run a full version of Windows 10, so the specs genuinely struggled (especially for the starting configurations). With a new OS on its way very soon, there's an excellent opportunity to refresh the product line this week, starting with the Surface Go 3.

Surface Book 3

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface Book 4

The Microsoft Surface Book 4 is another possible hardware reveal on September 22, for a lot of the same reasons as the Surface Go 3. Released in May of last year, the Surface Book 3 was a more premium 2-in-1 laptop that didn't really match its premium price with its specs.

The Surface Book 3 was really held back by its lack of Intel's H-series processors, and now with Intel 11th-generation Tiger Lake pretty much the gold standard at the moment, the luxe 2-in-1 of Microsoft's Surface products is really going to need something more to compete against the likes of Lenovo, Asus, and Dell.

What better time than the launch of a new operating system to update one of its best laptops with some more premium hardware under the hood?

Microsoft Surface Duo

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface Duo 2

It's been a little over a year since Microsoft announced the Surface Duo, the Redmond company's take on a foldable tablet/phone device.

It definitely has some issues, but Microsoft has had over a year to fix what's broken and improve on what works with the device, and recent FCC listings indicate that Microsoft might be ready to try again with the Surface Duo 2.

The FCC certification document confirms that the Surface Duo 2 is inbound, and the approval date of September 17 puts it squarely in time to get a September 22 reveal. Given the paper trail, we're betting heavy that the Surface Duo 2 makes an appearance this week.

Surface Pro 7

(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 was released back in 2019, so most analysts believe that the Surface Pro 8 will be announced this week. Back in January, an FCC filing indicated that a new design and upgraded specs for the next iteration of the Surface Pro was all but finalized.

Yet, here we are, it's almost nine months later, and we haven't seen the Surface Pro 8, so if any device is going to lead the new lineup of Surface devices on September 22, the Surface Pro 8 is almost certain to be it. We really hope they do something about those bezels.

John Loeffler

John (He / Him / His) is TechRadar's Computing Staff Writer and is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.


You can find him online on Twitter at @thisdotjohn


Currently playing: Back 4 Blood, Metroid Dread, EVE Online