Microsoft’s October 2019 Event is expected to host a flurry of devices. But Microsoft hasn’t revealed much about what to expect, apart from that there will be at least one Surface product there as well as “experiences.”
The company invited the press to New York on Oct. 2, and while there’s nothing confirmed just yet, we have quite a few expectations about what’ll show up.
Here’s what you can expect from Microsoft next month.
Surface Pro 7
There are Surface Pro 7 rumors coming every which way out of the woodwork, but given the launch date of the previous Surface Pros, we might not see the Surface Pro 7 until mid-2020. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Microsoft will skimp on that announcement onstage.
Regarding pricing, signs point to the starting model making a leap to $999, as the other models gradually increased $100 over time. We’re hoping that the new Surface Pro will finally come with a keyboard and pen, but we’re not holding our breath.
We’ve seen quite a few patents around a potential new Type Cover and Stylus, which could lead to a sleeker, more exciting Surface Pro 7 with a USB Type-C port along with a modular pen. We’ve also seen an FCC filing that indicates that the pen might have wireless charging. As far as specs go, we’re anticipating a 10th Gen Intel Core processor, although the next Surface has been rumored to arrive with an ARM-based variant running on Qualcomm 8cx SoC. It’s worth noting that German tech site WinFuture claimed to have uncovered all Surface Pro configurations, which includes a Core i3 model.
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However, what we want to see is a USB Type-C port, or even a Thunderbolt 3 port, which, if the patent is any indication, is covered. We need a faster SSD, especially since the last 256GB SSD hit only 327 MBps for a $300 price jump. A discrete GPU would be nice for creators on the go; nothing crazy, but maybe a variant with an Nvidia MX230 or MX250. And as it stands, those Surface bezels are thick by 2019 standards, so we want them as narrow as the space between two keys on a keyboard.
Surface Laptop 3
As with the Surface Pro 7, there’s a lot of buzz around the Surface Laptop 3. Interestingly, the Surface Laptop line has had a similar release pattern as the Surface Pro line, so while it’s possible that it’ll show up at the October event, signs point to mid-2020. But we’re hopeful we’ll see it sooner.
If Microsoft is pitting the Surface Laptop 3 against Apple’s MacBook Air, we could expect a starting price around $999. However, there are rumors floating around about an AMD model, so it’s possible that it’ll be even cheaper than that.
Speaking of specs, we’re anticipating that the Surface Laptop 3 will boast 10th Gen Intel Core processors, especially since a possible Surface product was benchmarked with it. If the AMD rumors are true, AMD will introduce a 12-nanometer SoC code-named Picasso that introduces a Zen+ Core with Vega graphics to the Surface Laptop 3. Regarding the design, a WinFuture reported that there will be a 15-inch version of the Surface Laptop 3 with a 3:2 aspect ratio, which sounds badass.
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What we want from the Surface Laptop 3 isn’t far off from what we want in the Surface Pro 7, as they have similar issues. We need some USB Type-C action, a faster SSD and some thinner bezels. Cheaper upgrades would be nice, too. As noted with the Surface Pro 7, it’s a $300 upgrade from a 128GB to 256GB SSD, and that’s on both machines.
Surface Book 3
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the Surface Book 3 will show up at Microsoft’s event, especially since the rumors are scant. Considering that WinFuture’s report left out the Surface Book 3 entirely, we might not see it.
However, if it somehow surprises us all, we’re predicting that the pricing of the Surface Book 3 will be in line with the price of the current Surface Book 2. So that means a starting price of $1,499 on a 13-inch model and a max price of $2,299 on the 15-inch model.
Though there haven’t been any rumors on specs, we imagine that the Surface Book 3 will make the jump to 10th Gen Intel Core processors. And since the Surface Book 2 boasted a GTX 1050 and 1060, we predict that the update will land somewhere between a GTX 1650 and RTX 2060. It would be nice to see the Surface Book expand into a full on 2-in-1 with a thinner and lighter design.
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Although Microsoft added a USB Type-C port to the Surface Book 2, it’s going to need a Thunderbolt 3 port to compete with Apple. And it would be nice to see the 15-inch, 3000 x 2000 screen upgrade to full-on 4K with some slimmer bezels.
Microsoft’s “experiences”: A dual-screen Surface?
Microsoft didn’t just promise to show off Surface hardware at the event, but it also promised “experiences.” While it’s all speculation, we have an inkling that it has something to do with the rumored Windows Core OS and the dual-screen foldable Surface.
According to a Forbes report, this new Surface will not use a foldable display but two 9-inch, 4:3 aspect ratio panels. We’ve seen patents for this possible design, and it does look rather cool, but it may function more of a phone/tablet than an actual laptop. Another supposed key feature is that the foldable Surface will run Android apps.
We’ll be on the ground in New York for Microsoft’s big Oct. 2 event, so stay tuned to Laptop Mag for the biggest announcements as they happen.
Credit: Laptop Mag