Computing

Surface Pro 10: all the major changes rumored for new model

The Surface Pro 9 in laptop mode on a table.
Microsoft

Microsoft has consistently put out a new version of its most popular Surface device, the Surface Pro. With it due to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, it’s an important milestone for the device and may herald some exciting changes and upgrades over the still-impressive last-generation device, the Surface Pro 9.

As we edge closer to its impending release, here’s what we know about the Surface Pro 10 so far.

Rumored release date

The Surface Pro 10 was a no-show at the last Surface hardware event, which was held in September 2023, with  Microsoft instead focusing on two new Surface devices: the Surface Laptop Studio 2 and the Surface Laptop Go 3. The Surface Go 4 also got a nod, though it’s only available for businesses.

But according to reporting by Windows Central, now we’re hearing that the Surface Pro 10 will be announced at a launch in “late spring or early summer.” The Surface Laptop 6 will reportedly be launched alongside it.

It’s also reported that Microsoft will launch a commercial update earlier in the year, possibly on March 21. It’s rumored that the company will launch the Surface Pro 9+ — assuming it follows the established naming scheme used for the Surface Pro 7+.

Design and display changes

The green Surface Pro 9 open on the ground.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

According to a report from Windows Central, we shouldn’t expect a major shake-up in the overall design of the Surface Pro 10. It’ll keep its sleek 2-in-1 design, which includes a built-in kickstand and attachable Type Cover keyboard.

The design was last updated for the Surface Pro 8, which received slimmer bezels, a new charging slot for the Surface Slim Pen, and a higher refresh rate display. Last year’s Surface Pro 9 was a more iterative update, focusing more on the split between its Intel and Qualcomm models.

According to Windows Central, there are a few tweaks in the works. First off, the screen may feature rounded top corners, following the lead of the Surface Laptop Studio. The screen may also get a new anti-reflective coating to reduce glare, one of the ongoing complaints about the devices. It may even be brighter this time around with “support for HDR content.” That could mean we’re finally getting a bump to mini-LED or OLED, but there’s no word on that just yet.

Setting that aside, the Surface Pro 10 will likely feature a very similar design. As much as we’d like Microsoft to debut something flashier to mark the 10th anniversary, the slower evolution of the design is more in step with how the company has treated its Surface products over time.

Embracing ARM

A graphic open on the screen of a Qualcomm demo laptop.
Fionna Agomuoh / Digital Trends

Surface has been on the forefront embracing ARM chips for years now. However, it’s always offered an Intel or AMD alternative. But if you believe the reports, the Surface Pro 10 will finally fully embrace ARM as the exclusive option. That’s a huge deal.

The reason, of course, has to do with the performance claims being put forth regarding Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon X Elite. For the first time, Qualcomm is gunning not just for Intel — but also Apple, claiming that the new chips are up to 21% faster than the M3. The efficiency of ARM also means significantly improved battery life. Microsoft won’t be the only player in the game. Nearly every major laptop manufacturer will partner with Qualcomm for new Windows ARM laptops, and if Microsoft can clean up the ARM support on the software side, this could be a big moment.

Beyond the system on a chip, the Windows Central report claims that a 64GB configuration is being tested, in addition to the standard RAM and storage options.

Smaller, cheaper options?

Microsoft Surface Go 3 stand.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Earlier in 2023, the report from Windows Central was indicating that a smaller, 11-inch Surface Pro was in the works. Given that Microsoft already has the Surface Go in the lineup, that never made a lot of sense.

But now, it appears that Microsoft may instead offer some kind of lower-resolution model. Microsoft has always offered the same great display across all the configurations — not unlike Apple — but now, that may change. It certainly doesn’t seem impossible for Microsoft to remove other display features like the higher refresh rate.

Whether it’s a smaller or lower-resolution version, Microsoft is clearly attempting to reduce the entry-level price of the Surface Pro while still offering a premium version on the higher end.

Windows 12 tie-in

A major Windows update is in the works — at one point, referred to colloquially as Windows 12. Whether or not that name actually sticks, it’s clear that a significant AI-focused update to Windows 11 is being planned. More importantly, it seems as if Microsoft wants to tie this update to the release of the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6.

What exactly these AI updates will be is yet to be seen, especially since Copilot has already been integrated across the board.

We do know, however, that the Windows Central reporter’s sources claim that more tablet optimizations are coming in future updates of Windows 11. Perhaps some expanded touch capabilities and tablet mode features could be in the works to enhance the Surface Pro when not attached to the Type Cover keyboard.

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Courtesy by: Digital Trends

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