The Surface Pro turns 10 this year, but it doesn’t look like Microsoft will be marking the occasion with a new model.
Its flagship 2-in-1 has come a long way since 2013’s original – an updated version of the very first Surface from a few months earlier. However, it’s retained the same core design throughout that time, consisting of a large tablet with optional detachable keyboard.
But with mixed reviews of last year’s Surface Pro 9, will Microsoft make any big changes on its successor? It’s looking possible, but don’t expect the device anytime soon. Here’s everything you need to know.
When will the Surface Pro 10 be released?
It might look like Microsoft has settled into an annual update cycle for the Surface Pro, with the two-year gap between the Pro 7 and Pro 8 the only recent exception:
Surface Pro 9 – October 2022
Surface Pro 8 – September 2021
Surface Pro 7 – October 2019
Surface Pro 6 – October 2018
But according to Zac Bowden at Windows Central, there will be no Surface Pro 10 at Microsoft’s event on 21 September. Instead, the Surface Laptop Studio 2, Laptop Go 3 and Go 4 are expected.
Bowden goes on to say that he expects them to arrive in 2024, potentially alongside Windows 12. That’s likely to be in September or October like usual.
How much will the Surface Pro 10 cost?
Again, the pricing of recent Surface Pro devices serves as a useful guide for the Pro 10:
Surface Pro 9 (Intel) – from $999.99/£1,099.99
Surface Pro 9 (5G) – from $1,299.99/£1,299
Surface Pro 8 – from $1,099/£999
Surface Pro 7 – from $749/£799
Surface Pro 6 – from $699/£749
As you can see, prices have been rising steadily in the last few years. Considering the current rate of inflation in many countries, further hikes are possible on the Pro 10 – even if there’s only minor upgrades.
It’s likely you’ll still pay a premium for the ARM-based 5G models, despite Intel versions being a better buy for most people right now. But if rumours of a new 11in model materialise, it would likely be significantly cheaper than the 13in version.
Just remember, the prices usually quoted are just for the tablet. Adding the Type Cover keyboard to the Pro 9 (a required purchase to get the most out of it) will cost at least $129.99/£124.99. The full experience, including a stylus, costs $299.99/£259.99.
It would make sense to keep the same accessories on the Pro 10, but hopefully this is the year a Type Cover is finally included in the price – it’s already expensive enough.
What about the Surface Pro 10 specs and design?
The Surface Pro 10 is expected to be an iterative update, but could we see two models for the first time?
That’s what Zac Bowden says in an April 2023 Windows Central article, with a new 11in model joining the existing 13in version. A more compact Surface Pro 10 would supposedly have slimmer bezels, but it wouldn’t be a huge change for the line – the first two generations of Surface Pro had a 10.6in screen.
But unlike the Go 4, Bowden says the 11in Surface Pro would include premium features such as a 120Hz display and be more powerful.
The latter will almost certainly come from new processors. These will likely be from the latest 13th-gen Raptor Lake range on the Intel side, with a choice of Core i5 or i7 once again. U-series chips on the Pro 9 aren’t the most powerful Intel makes, but are still able to deliver excellent performance for everyday tasks.
Things are less clear on the ARM side, although we may still see an update to the SQ3 chip found in the Pro 9. That’s based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, so it’s logical to expect something based on the upcoming 8cx Gen 4. However, Qualcomm may not launch it in time.
Microsoft will still probably keep 5G support exclusive to the ARM model, but hopefully the NPU (neural processing unit) will make its way into Intel versions. That would enable some of the useful video calling features introduced on the Pro 9.
Similarly, an SQ4 processor would allow for the faster USB4 standard, something the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 doesn’t support. But Thunderbolt 4 is Intel technology, so it won’t be available here.
There’ll probably only be the option for integrated graphics across the lineup once again, but a discrete GPU from Nvidia would make a big difference on high-end models.
Ports are another area that needs attention. There’s just two USB-C and Surface Connect for charging on the Pro 9, meaning most people need an adapter or hub. At least one USB-A and HDMI would make a big difference.
It’d be nice to see an upgrade to the display, potentially to OLED or even Mini LED. But the PixelSense (IPS LCD) panels on recent Surface Pro devices are still excellent. There’s also no need to go beyond the 120Hz refresh rate available on the Pro 9, which provides a nice boost to fluidity without rapidly draining battery life.
A fingerprint sensor on the Type Cover would be nice, and at least one version of the keyboard accessory could be made thicker to allow for a more convincing typing experience.
The Windows 11 tablet experience is already very good, but further enhancements are likely before the Surface Pro 10 launches. According to Windows Central, a more touch-friendly File Explorer, lock screen and desktop environment are all coming to Windows 11 soon.
Looking further ahead, the next Surface Pro is almost guaranteed to get Windows 12, if it arrives as expected in 2024. Alongside the focus on AI, the tablet experience could be even better.
We’ll update this article once more is revealed about the Surface Pro 10.
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