Microsoft’s upcoming special event on Sept. 21 is going to be more of the “let us tell you about how wonderful our AI is” that seems to be in this year’s marketing playbook, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be any Surface hardware, long a staple of Microsoft’s annual fall announcements.
According to photos and information gathered by site WinFuture.de based on retailer information in Europe, we can expect the Surface Laptop Go 4 and Surface Laptop Studio 2, small-to-modest updates of their predecessors, the Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Laptop Go 3. There’s usually a new model of the company’s Surface Pro tablet — most recently the Surface Pro 9 — so I wouldn’t necessarily discount that appearing.
The 14-inch Studio launched in 2021 and didn’t see any updates last year. This year, it will reportedly be getting a processor and graphics update to the Intel Core i7-13700H or i7-13800H (they’re essentially the same chip, but the latter can hit slightly higher clock speeds) and up to Nvidia’s 8GB GeForce RTX 4060 mobile. The chip upgrade brings with it an update to Wi-Fi 6E and a newer version of Bluetooth.
The pair is well suited to mainstream photo and video editing, and the 4060 will likely provide a solid bump for gaming and generative AI imaging over the RTX 3050 Ti GPU in the current model — which would be right in line with Microsoft’s business strategy.
There’s supposedly a version that uses the integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, but Intel’s H series processors are intended to be used with discrete graphics, so the integrated graphics aren’t the company’s most powerful. It likely does run cooler without discrete graphics, though.
There may also be an increase in storage capacity — up to a 2TB SSD — a new maximum of 64GB LPDDR5X memory and the welcome addition of a micro SD card slot and USB-A connection. The site mentions a brightness bump for the display in passing, but I’m hoping that also means more robust HDR support. The photos show it having the same screen bezels as before, which were pretty thick two years ago and aesthetically hold up even worse now.
These would leave the Studio in its somewhat oddball niche. I like the pull-to-tilt and lay-almost-flat design of the screen, and there’s not much need to go to a higher refresh rate than its 120Hz, but it never seemed to catch on and now we’re getting more attempts to address the convertible laptop market with foldable designs like that of the new HP Foldable PC.
The refresh for the Surface Laptop Go 4 sounds minimal — only a switch to a Core i5-1235U. Even the color choices are noted as unchanged. Note that the Go is primarily intended for the K-12 education market, which needs more stability in configurations from year to year than consumers’ models in order to ease replacement and upgrades.
Though WinFuture gives some pricing and October availability, those are for Europe and tend to bear no relation to the US’s price or ship.
Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.