What to expect from Microsoft’s 2022 Surface event

Microsoft’s big October 12 hardware event has almost arrived, and there’s plenty of buzz surrounding which new Surface products we might see.

Since the Surface Laptop 4 launched back in April 2021, there hasn’t been much on the hardware front from Microsoft barring a few releases in October 2021. We’re expecting a lot of new hardware announcements from this event, although our current expectations are based mostly on leaks so temper your excitement until the day itself.

With Windows 11 growing in adoption and a big update for the new OS recently arriving, it seems like Microsoft is on a roll. But the tech giant’s Surface products have never quite reached the widespread dominance of Apple’s MacBooks and iPads. Could a new slate of products finally change that?

So, what new devices do we want to see this year? Let’s take a look.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

One of the leaked devices – and one we fully expect to see at this point – is the next Surface Pro tablet, running on Windows 11. The Surface Pro line has been around for a long time, and has generally put out solid hybrid tablets – barring the odd misstep that was the ARM-based Surface Pro X.

That’s the letter X, not the Roman numeral for 10: the next Pro tablet from Microsoft will presumably be called the Surface Pro 9. Current leaks point towards a 12th-gen Intel processor running Intel Xe integrated graphics, which sounds about right to us. The display is expected to be the same 2880 x 1920 screen seen in the Surface Pro 8.

Naturally, we’d also expect a new Surface Pro to feature Windows 11 and Wi-Fi 6. Some leaks have suggested that we’ll see a model powered by a new Microsoft SQ3 processor designed in collaboration with Qualcomm – if this proves to be accurate, that model could come equipped with 5G LTE capabilities.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5

While the Surface Laptop 4 was a great little Windows laptop, its detractors complained that it wasn’t enough of a generational upgrade from the Surface Laptop 3. We’re hoping to see a Surface Laptop 5 at this event, which will hopefully represent a bigger leap forward – enough to make it into our best laptops list, ideally!

Current leaks (somewhat unsurprisingly) put the next-gen Surface Laptop on similar footing to the leaked specs of the Surface Pro 9 tablet, powered by a 12th-gen Intel Core processor – presumably with a few different models available, if you’d prefer an i7 over an i5.

The Surface Laptop line is Microsoft’s attempt to kick back at the best Chromebooks, providing a lightweight laptop experience running Windows rather than ChromeOS. We’d like to see an upgraded 120Hz display on the Surface Laptop 5, but there’s nothing that’s been leaked so far to suggest that will be the case.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface Studio 3

It’s been almost exactly 4 years since the Surface Studio 2 launched, and we described it as ‘the ultimate digital drafting table’ at the time. We stand by it; the all-in-one system aimed at creative professionals was a great product, and it’s about time we got a new model.

If the leaks we’ve seen are to be believed, we might be getting just that. Unfortunately, those leaks also detail the new Surface Studio model as using an 11th-gen Intel processor – an odd move, considering that Intel’s 13th generation is almost here and the performance leap between the 11th and 12th gens is very significant.

Still, the Studio 2 had some arguably dated components inside, and it still served as an excellent platform for creative work. As long as the Surface Studio 3’s physical design is fresh and up-to-date, it could be a new killer all-in-one system for artistic types.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface Duo 3

Alright, this one might be wishful thinking on our part. Microsoft’s foray into folding smartphone tech has been an unsteady one; we were a bit unsure what to make of the Surface Duo 2 when it arrived last year. It was cool, but seriously expensive and limited by its Android-powered OS.

But the third time’s the charm, right? Microsoft released Surface Duo devices in October 2020 and 2021, so we’d still love to see an unexpected Duo 3 arrive on October 12. If Microsoft could actually nail the design and keep the price reasonable, the Duo remains a somewhat unique device that could find a good niche in the market.

A new patent for a different type of foldable display was filed by Microsoft in September 2022, so it looks like Microsoft isn’t abandoning the Duo line completely just yet. There are currently no leaks or rumors suggesting that the Surface Duo 3 will show up, but a tech journalist can dream…

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