A quick look at the calendar and we can see that a Microsoft Surface Pro 9 should be arriving soon. And lo and behold, we have a Microsoft event on October 12, I wonder if these could be related.
Last year’s Surface Pro 8 finally made a significant break from its predecessors with a refreshed design, including a larger 13-inch 120Hz display and a dramatic reduction to comically large bezels for a modern 2-in-1 laptop. It wasn’t all good news though, a price jump to $1,099 for the base model (up from $749) caused some sticker shock, and the roughly nine hours of battery life was fine, but no threat to the laptops with the best battery life.
Given last year’s changes, we aren’t expecting any massive shakeups for the Surface Pro 9, but here’s a look at everything we know so far, including the rumored release date, specs, features and more.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9 release date
While Microsoft hasn’t come out and referred to its October 12 event as a Surface event, the invite said it would “talk about devices.” For those keeping score at home, the majority of Microsoft devices are Surface products, so if our arithmetic is correct, that means this is a Surface event.
The Surface Pro 8 launched at a Microsoft event on Sept. 22 last year, and the Surface Pro has generally maintained a yearly cadence, so it would be a shock if we don’t get the Surface Pro 9 at this event.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9 price
We have no rumors on the pricing, but it’s a safe bet that it won’t be going up from the $1,099 starting price that Microsoft established last year. If anything, we are holding out some hope that Microsoft manages to bring it down to $999 as you have to remember to factor in the $129 Type Cover if you want to actually use the Surface Pro as a 2-in-1, which virtually everyone does.
Given the ongoing supply chain issues, a price drop for any device is probably wishful thinking, but hope springs eternal.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9 design
We haven’t seen any leaks regarding a new design for the Surface Pro 9, which is precisely what we would expect following last year’s shakeup. Given that any meaningful design change would break compatibility with the new Type Cover, most Surface Pro fans are likely rooting for this form factor to remain for a few years so upgrading that Surface Pro doesn’t mean picking up a new Type Cover.
Speaking of the Type Cover, we will reiterate forever that we wish it was included with the Surface Pro. I haven’t met anyone who uses the Surface Pro as a standalone tablet, however, given that Microsoft raised the price by $350 last year, and still didn’t bundle the Type Cover, it is probably time to let that dream die.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9 specs
Finally, some more enticing rumors to dig our teeth into. According to a WinFuture report, a leak revealed that the standard Surface Pro 9 models should feature Intel 12th Gen CPUs. No surprise there; tipster Roland Quant specified that it will be the Intel Core i5-1235U and Intel Core i7-1255U CPUs to be specific. They are the direct successors to the processors in the Surface Pro 8, so again no surprise, although some may have hoped to see the more powerful P-Series.
The more intriguing option is the Surface Pro 9 5G mentioned in the leak. This model will feature a customized Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, which Microsoft will call the Microsoft SQ3. This follows the pattern we’ve seen in the last two generations of the Microsoft Surface Pro X. If this model launches as the Surface Pro 9 5G, that almost certainly marks the end of the Surface Pro X line, which we won’t shed a tear for.
Quant went on to say that the Pro 9 will come with 256GB of storage in the base model (a step up from 128GB last year) and top out at 1TB.
The Surface Pro 9 faces considerable competition in the detachable 2-in-1 market these days, and while last year’s Surface Pro 8 was undeniably among the best in that category, the price bump on top of the necessary separate purchase of the Type Cover (and the Slim Pen 2 for those inclined) make it a tougher sell.
The Surface Pro has enough diehard fans that the standard model should satiate, but the Surface Pro 9 5G is the standout rumor for this year in my mind. 5G laptops are hardly new, but the majority have been specifically business laptops. Conversely, the Surface Pro 9 targets mainstream consumers. On top of that, you have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 inside, which promises solid performance for productivity tasks and outstanding battery life. Even running on a cellular connection, the ThinkPad X13S Gen 1 with the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 delivered 13 hours and 40 minutes on a charge — and that bumped up to 15 hours and 3 minutes on Wi-Fi.
We don’t have much longer to wait and find out everything about the Surface Pro 9 with the virtual event on Oct. 12 rapidly approaching, but we’ll keep our ears on the ground for any late-breaking leaks and rumors. Make sure to follow our coverage on Oct. 12 for all of the latest as it’s announced.