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Microsoft announces three new Surface laptops at its fall event

Microsoft had a lot to talk about during its 2022 Fall event, but the major highlights were its Surface Studio 2 Plus, Surface Laptop 5 and Surface Pro 9 laptops. The Surface Studio 2 Plus is the most expensive of the bunch, coming in with Intel’s 11th Gen Core i7-11370H and Nvidia RTX 3060 at an eye-watering $4,299.

Surface Pro 9 is a different story altogether, combining the Surface Pro X and Surface Pro lines into one machine allowing users to pick between an SQ3 ARM-powered processor with 5G support or an Intel 12th Gen processor. Finally, the Surface Laptop 5 gets a rather incremental refresh with no AMD offerings this time around. On the bright side, you do get Thunderbolt 4 support.

The Surface Laptop 5 will start shipping on October 25 with prices starting at $999.99 for the 13.5-inch model and $1299.99 for the 15.5-inch model. For the Surface Pro 9, the shipping begins on October 25 as well with prices starting at $999.99 for the Intel model and $1,299.99 for the SQ3 model. As for the Surface Studio Plus 2, the laptop comes in two variants priced at $4,299 and $4,499 including a stylus, keyboard and mouse. There’s no word on shipping at the moment. 

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Surface Studio 2 Plus: Underpowered gamble?

Instead of releasing a proper upgrade, Microsoft’s decision to go with a Studio 2 Plus is only compounded by the laptop being powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11370H. Considering the price and the fact that Intel’s 13th Gen processors have already been announced, it’s a rather strange decision from Microsoft.

That said, the rest of the internals make up for any loss in performance you might incur coming in with 32GB of DDR4 memory, 1TB SSD and Nvidia RTX 3060 with 6GB VRAM. 

That said, the all-in-one’s saving grace is its 28-inch Pixelsense display. The touchscreen display comes in at a 4500 x 3000 resolution with Dolby Vision support while still maintaining the smooth hinge action that we’ve come to expect from these devices. You also get three Thunderbolt 4 ports at the back, allowing for up to three 4K monitors to be run simultaneously. 

All this performance and sleek styling come in at the aforementioned price tag of $4,299, and if you want the stylus, keyboard and mouse along with the computer you’ll be paying $4,499. Microsoft hasn’t announced a shipping date yet but expect it to hit the shelves by the end of October. 

Surface Pro 9 merges the Pro X and Pro lineups

Microsoft has merged the Surface Pro X and Pro lineups into one product this year with the Surface Pro 9. While the option to extend your colour choice beyond the Alcantara cover is great, the two processor options that Microsoft has provided with this laptop might throw customers in a dilemma. 

While you get a bunch of performance (and a cheaper price tag) with the 12th Gen Intel processors, the 5G connectivity is only limited to the SQ3 processor variants. Microsoft has worked with Qualcomm to optimise the ARM processors for the Surface lineup and they actually seem to be working rather good, at least good enough for Microsoft to merge the Surface Pro X line into the main Pro series finally this year. 

The Surface Pro 9 is an interesting device thanks to the processor choices. | Source: Microsoft.

One final advantage of choosing SQ3 is the presence of the NPU or the Neural Processing Unit which provides enhanced camera and audio features including automatic framing, portrait background blur and a new background sound removal feature. 

Outside of the processor choice, you get the same 2880 x 1920 13-inch PixelSense display running at 120Hz on both models. Both screens also 3:2 aspect ratio and a 1200:1 contrast ratio. However, Dolby Vision IQ support is limited to the Intel variants only. 

Maximum RAM is limited to 16GB on the SQ3 model and 32GB on the Intel model. In terms of storage, both models start at 128GB but can go as high as 1TB on the Intel and 512GB on the SQ3 variants. 

The Surface Pro 9 will start shipping starting October 25 with prices starting at $999.99 for the Intel model and $1,299.99 for the SQ3 model. 

An incremental upgrade for the Surface Laptop 5

Microsoft is shifting its focus on Intel’s 12the Gen line of processors for the Surface Laptop 5 as the company totally drops AMD offerings for the laptop in this refresh. You do however get Thunderbolt 4 support. 

There are two display configurations coming in at 13.5-inches with a 2256 x 1504 resolution and a 15-inch variant with a 2496 x 1664 resolution. Both screens also support Dolby Vision IQ.  

The Surface Laptop 5 comes with only Intel options this time. | Source: Microsoft.

The smaller Surface comes with Intel’s 12th Gen Core i5-1235U processor, the Core i7-1255U being an optional upgrade. The 15-inch variant only comes with Core i7-1255U. RAM options start at 8GB and can go as high as 32GB LPDDR5x with storage starting at 256GB and going up to 1TB. Both laptops are powered by Intel Iris Xe graphics. 

The Surface Laptop 5 will start shipping on October 25 with prices starting at $999.99 for the 13.5-inch model and $1299.99 for the 15.5-inch model.

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