It's the best time of the year to be a fan of new technologies once again. "Techtober" is just around the corner. Microsoft's annual Surface Hardware Event is part of the many new devices to be announced this fall.
From a smaller 12.5-inch Surface laptop, a successor to the Surface Pro X, here's a rundown of everything you need to know about Microsoft's announcements.
When will the Surface hardware event be?
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Microsoft has not yet officially announced its hardware event. After similarly timed events from Apple and Google, Microsoft holds a special hardware event every fall where new Surface hardware is released.
Usually this event takes place in person in New York City in late October. For the past two years, the event took place on October 2nd, which would fall on a Friday this year.
We naturally assume that the event will be a purely virtual affair, as Microsoft has announced that all events will only take place online until mid-2021.
Surface Pro X 2
First on the list of expected events is the follow-up to Surface Pro X from last year. Of course, we don't know much about what this 2-in-1 will officially be called, but the latest rumors suggest that Microsoft will be releasing an updated model this fall. A surface event is the perfect time to show it off.
It is currently rumored that the next Surface Pro X model looks little different from the last. It will supposedly have the same sleek and lightweight design, but come in a new platinum color. The Type Cover accessory, which can be purchased separately with the device, may also be available in new colors to match the needs of the rest of the Surface Pro X lineup.
Internally, the next Surface Pro X is said to have a new custom Microsoft SQ2 processor. This processor is based on the recently announced Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cX Gen 2. It offers additional energy efficiency, improved performance benefits and additional 5G support.
Microsoft could also work on tweaking Windows 10 to improve app compatibility for the Surface Pro X as well. Windows Central reported that the company is working on 64-bit app emulation for Windows 10 on ARM devices. This fixes the problem with the original Surface Pro X, which only emulates 32-bit apps.
Affordable 12.5-inch Surface laptop
A 12.5-inch Surface laptop is also expected from Microsoft this year. Rumor has it that this 12.5-inch Surface laptop could hit the ground running with an updated Surface Pro X model at a Surface event this fall, if the Surface Pro X follow-up is any indication .
Much like the Surface Go 2 released in early 2019, this 12.5-inch Surface laptop is apparently all about affordability. Rumor has it that it costs $ 600 and could take many design elements from the larger 13- and 15-inch Surface laptop models, but in a smaller package.
That said, keep the metal or alcantara fabric finish, touchscreen, and thicker frames around the screen, but downsize the overall design so it fits on a 12.5-inch screen. According to Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott, the device may not even have a Windows Hello IR webcam and instead have a fingerprint reader.
The device is reportedly codenamed Sparti, and Windows Central reported that the entry-level model could come with a 10th Gen Core i5 Intel Ice Lake processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage.
Priced between $ 500 and $ 600, this Surface laptop model could be significantly cheaper than the starting price of $ 1,000 for the current Surface Laptop 3. It's also well below the price of the Pixelbook Go. It could even compete with Apple's alleged 12-inch MacBook Pro.
Surface Pro 8, Surface Studio 3, and Surface Laptop 4 don't appear
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With the pandemic affecting the PC industry and supply chain, we expect a lot of things not to be revealed at a Surface event from Microsoft in October. As noted by Thurrott, that list of no-shows may include the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Studio 3.
An update to Surface Studio is long overdue (it was last updated in 2018), but apparently Microsoft is finding it harder to market premium devices due to the economic pressures of the pandemic. This means that it's unlikely anyone would want to pay more than $ 2,400 for a new flagship all-in-one like the Surface Studio 3.
But what about Surface Pro 8 or Surface Laptop 4? According to Thurrott, Microsoft could release the Pro 8 if the company "thinks the timing is right" and the "timing is not for this fall". This may take into account the late release of Intel's new Tiger Lake CPUs, which will debut later this year.
The Surface Pro 7, introduced in 2019, used an older design compared to the Surface Pro X with its thicker size and bezels. In contrast to the Surface Pro X, however, an Intel processor with more conventional performance and app support is used.
It's also noteworthy that the Surface Laptop hasn't been updated. The 15-inch model unveiled last year included an option for an AMD Ryzen 3000 model that lacked some of the performance offered by the new Ryzen 4000 chips. If a Surface Laptop 4 were to hit the market, it would be the highest quality Ryzen 4000 laptop out there.