Microsoft Announces New Surface PCs and Devices

Posted on September 22, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 19 Comments

Today, Microsoft announced major updates to Surface Book, Pro, Pro X, Go, and Duo, plus several new Surface-branded peripherals.

“Today, on the threshold of Windows 11, we are revealing the largest update to the Surface portfolio in its history,” Microsoft’s Pete Kyriacou announced. “With PixelSense displays, new pen technology, premium mics and cameras, powerful silicon, and versatile form factors, the new Surface devices are designed to take Windows innovation to the next level.”

There’s a lot to digest here, so here’s a quick rundown of the announcements.

Surface Laptop Studio. This stunning replacement for Surface Book dispenses with the detachable Clipboard display and instead uses a pull-forward display that remains attached to the keyboard base whether it’s in Laptop, Stage, or Studio mode. It features a 14.4-inch PixelSense display—splitting the difference between the previous Surface Book display sizes—storage space for the new Surface Slim Pen 2, 11th-generation H-series Intel Core processors, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics. The most powerful Surface that Microsoft has ever built starts at $1599 and is available for pre-order today.

Surface Pro 8. The first major update to this design since Surface Pro 3 features a larger 13-inch PixelSense display with Dolby Vision and Adaptive Color capabilities, 11th-generation Intel Core processors with Evo capabilities, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 5 MP front-facing webcam, a 10 MP 4K rear-facing camera, Dolby Atmos sound, and dual far-field Studio Mics, and Microsoft says it will deliver up to 16 hours of battery life. It starts at $1099 and is available for preorder today.

Surface Pro X. This year, Surface Pro X is getting a new Wi-Fi-only model that brings this ARM-based design to its lowest price point yet. Everything else is the same, from the design to the internal components, but of course with Windows 11, Surface Pro X is more useful thanks to its 64-bit software emulation capabilities. The Wi-Fi version of Surface Pro X starts at just $899 and is available for preorder today.

Surface Go 3. Microsoft’s smallest Surface PC is now up to 60 percent faster thanks to the addition of a more acceptable Intel Core i3 processor option, optional 4G/LTE connectivity, and Dolby Audio. It appears that everything else is the same as before, including the basic form factor and the 10.5-inch display. Surface Go 3 starts at $399 for a Wi-Fi-only model and is available for preorder today, with LTE models arriving in the coming months.

Surface Duo 2. Microsoft’s questionable entry into the smartphone market is updated this year with a new version that features larger 8.3-inch PixelSense Fusion displays, a more powerful Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform architecture, a triple-lens camera system, stereo audio, NFC, and an array of optional new accessories. Surface Duo 2 will be available in Glacier or a new Obsidian color and will start at $1499 (ugh). It’s available for preorder today.

In addition to the core new devices noted above, Microsoft also announced a slew of new accessories and peripherals. These include:

Surface Pen Slim 2. This updated carpenter’s pencil-style smartpen can be stored in the Surface Laptop Studio base or the Surface Pro 8 Signature Keyboard cover. It features a redesigned and sharper tip and a built-in haptic motor, and it integrates with the custom Microsoft G6 processor in Surface Laptop Studio and Pro 8 to provide the most natural pen-on-paper feel yet. Surface Pen Slim 2 will cost $129 and it’s available for preorder now.

Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse. Thanks to a collaboration with SABIC, this new eco-friendly mouse is created using a resin made of 20 percent recycled ocean plastic. It costs $24.99 and is available for preorder now.

Surface Adaptive Kit. Designed to make computing more accessible for those with disabilities, the Surface Adaptive Kit includes keycap labels, bump labels, port indicators, and device openers that you can apply to computers and other devices. It will be available later this year.

Surface Pro Signature Keyboard. This new version of the Signature Type Cover looks and works like the version for Surface Pro X (and is, I assume, interchangeable), and it includes a full-sized keyboard, a touchpad, and a charging slot for the Surface Pen Slim 2.

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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Microsoft Announces New Surface PCs and Devices”

  1. Brent Morris

    Your posted pre order link for Surface Duo 2 --- is wrong Paul.

  2. jgraebner

    While it isn't remotely as sexy as the new devices, I think the Surface Adaptive Kit may have been the most important item announced today. I really hope Microsoft starts a trend with that and every manufacturer starts offering similar kits for their products.

  3. angusmatheson

    When did Microsoft announcements become clones of Apple announcements. Hell, they even used the same song - the willie wanka pure imagination for the surface book that Apple used for the purple iPhone. I do not believe there is no other way to announce a product that to do what Apple does. Maybe wouldn’t have been so bad if just last week we hadn’t watched an Apple event. But I think is speaks to a deeper problems, in hardware Microsoft wants to be Apple. Zune, surface RT, windows phone. The rest of Microsoft is so much more. I wish the confidence and power that follows out of the azure or teams could flow into windows and hardware and let them understand what they do and present that in a way that was genuinely Microsoft. Not a copy of Apple.

    • solomonrex

      Well, they closed the stores I enjoyed. That must make you thrilled.

      • angusmatheson

        The store was a complete Apple rip off. However, the idea of a physical place where you could take your computer to get fixed was really appealing. I think had it not tried to copy the Apple store and been something more authentic Microsoft it could have been more successful. It was always going to be a sad empty copy of an Apple store as it was. A physical manifestation of the zune. Microsoft is an amazing company creating the future, and it is woven into all our lives - they should be proud of what they are and make stores and products that reflect who they are not who they think Apple fans think they should be.

    • RobertJasiek

      At least one common thing of Apple's and Microsoft's keynotes I appreciate: they present people of all origins (including colour) and ability (including handicaps) as natural part of our societies and mankind. They take their responsibility when being a model of tolerance and integration.

    • angusmatheson

      I was wrong - but actually more right. Apple used the pure imagination song (I think it was the same woman’s slow cover) for the 2016 MacBook Pro. Yes, surface studio laptop was introduced with the MacBook Pro song. Yes, as panos says they focus on even the smallest details.

  4. blue77star

    Everything seems over priced and Microsoft only managed to put quad core Tiger Lake instead of 8 core for top of the line $3000+ laptop. iMac for $3800 having 10/20 Intel and Radeon 5700XT with 16Gb of RAM is hell of better option for example.

  5. bats

    This is very nice, but let's get real here. NO ONE is going to buy this. C'mon, as good as the Surface computers, ...and they are very good, but hardly anyone buys them. Nor are they very popular at all. Between this line and the recently announced HP new lineup, the latter is much better. But you know what? Ya know what Microsoft should really do, to help their Surface line of computers make some dent in marketshare? Being that they waved the white flag on old Microsoft Edge and made the Chromium Edge, they should do now do the same and re-develop, wait for it .....





    Android-Surface phone! A low to mid-level priced Android-Surface phone would work, where as a re-developed "Windows Phone" would DOA. A popular Android-Surface phone would (IMO) help the Surface line of computers as iPhone did for the iMac computers. I forgot , but wasn't the Microsoft "Galaxy Fold" (aka Surface Go v1) their so-called data phone? Why go half way? Just go all the way and make a full fledged smart phone?

  6. pbeiler1

    The Surface Pro 8 preorder is only for Win 11 Home. My chat with Microsoft says Win 11 Pro is not yet available on this.

    • wpcoe

      I have an unused Product Key for Win 10 Pro, I'm wondering if there's a way to use that to upgrade an SP8 with Win 11 Home to Win 11 Pro. Would I have to install Win 10 first to get activation and then upgrade back to Win 11? It would be nice to just enter the Win 10 Pro key directly into Win 11 Home.

    • jgraebner

      If you want Pro pre-installed, you would likely need the business model. Same for LTE.

      Of course, you can pay to upgrade from Home to Pro after purchase.

  7. davepete

    Most of these look like great improvements, although I can't see anyone choosing a Surface Go 3 over an iPad 9.

    • wright_is

      We might. We currently use Atom based rugged Windows tablets. If a Go 3 with a rugged case works out cheaper and just as robust (and the camera can be used to scan barcodes at a distance* - the key function of the tablet, the ones we currently have use a laser scanner), it might be an option.

      Often it is the software and peripheral hardware that dictates which operating system and platform you can use. In our case, the software is only available on Windows. At a previous employer, they used the same tablets, but with Linux installed.

      (*) Our current tablets can scan a normal barcode at 5 meters in a fraction of a second, no fiddling with the camera and trying to focus.

    • jgraebner

      Unless, of course, they want a small Windows-based PC instead of an iOS tablet...

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