The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is likely in the works after Microsoft’s success launching its predecessor, the Surface Pro 8 a year ago.
We’ve already heard a few promising reports about what to expect from the next big thing in the Surface Pro line, Microsoft’s flagship series of 2-in-1 Windows laptop/tablet hybrids.
The most recent model (pictured above) is still one of the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy. But if you read our Microsoft Surface Pro 8 review you’ll know there’s a few weak points Microsoft could shore up to make this a truly outstanding 2-in-1. Our fingers are crossed that the price bracket stays the same, but we’ve got plenty of Microsoft promo codes to save you a few extra dollars whatever it ends up costing.
But enough about the Surface Pro 9 upgrades we want to see — let’s talk about the upgrades we know (or are pretty sure) are coming in the next iteration of Microsoft’s Surface Pro series.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9 rumored release date
Microsoft has said nothing meaningful so far about the existence of a Surface Pro 9.
But the Surface Pro 9 could be one of the news devices set to be revealed at the Microsoft’s October 2022 event.
That event is, at the time of writing, is taking place today (October 12), and we’ll be bringing you all the latest from the event, as well as the rumors and our thoughts ahead of the main showcase, so make sure to check out our Microsoft Surface event live blog.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9 rumored design
We haven’t heard much of anything yet about how Microsoft plans to change up the design of the Surface Pro line for the Surface Pro 9, or indeed if it plans to at all.
We expect little to change from the design of the Surface Pro 8, which sported a 13-inch (2,880 x 1,920) 120Hz touchscreen and an 11th Gen Intel CPU in a slim chassis that measured 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches and weighed a little less than 2 pounds. It also had a decent pair of webcams (5MP front/10MP rear) and some surprisingly good speakers for a tablet, though they got too distorted at high levels.
Hopefully Microsoft will do a bit better on the next model. If a Surface Pro 9 does, er, surface it will almost certainly ship with Windows 11 pre-installed, though we’re less confident that Microsoft will do the right thing and also ship the 2-in-1 with a keyboard and stylus included.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9 reported specs
So far, we haven’t heard anything to suggest the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 will be a radical departure from its predecessors specs-wise. The most significant report we’ve heard about the specs of the Surface Pro 9 is that Microsoft plans to offer an ARM version in addition to a model with Intel chips inside.
If that proves true, it effectively spells the end of the Surface Pro X line, which featured ARM-based Surface 2-in-1s powered by Qualcomm chips. Instead, Microsoft will reportedly merge it (opens in new tab) with the core Surface Pro line by offering the Surface Pro 9 with either Intel or Qualcomm chips inside.
Specifically, the latest reports claim we can expect Surface Pro 9 models packing either Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake chips or a custom Snapdragon 8cx SoC from Qualcomm, reportedly branded as the Microsoft SQ3. Such a name would make it a clear follow-up to the Microsoft SQ2 which powered the 2020 Surface Pro X.
The other big spec change to expect as the result of this merger is the addition of a Surface Pro 9 model with 5G connectivity. That’s part of what the FCC was certifying in the aforementioned filing, and it makes sense given that a key value of the ARM-based Surface Pro PCs is their wireless connectivity.
If that proves true, it’s reasonable to expect such a model might be closer in size to the Microsoft Surface Pro X, which is nearly a tenth of an inch thinner than the Surface Pro 8.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9 outlook
Microsoft is almost certainly working on a Surface Pro 9, if only because it needs to demonstrate the value of touchscreen laptops that transform into tablets. Windows 11 is built to shine on such devices, and if you don’t have a touchscreen PC or don’t like using a laptop that transforms into a tablet, you won’t have as much reason to upgrade from earlier versions of Windows.
The Surface Pros have also gotten pretty good in recent years, so much so that we gave the Surface Pro 8 four out of five stars and lauded how it made Windows 11 feel like a natural fit.
Given how close Microsoft got to hitting a home run last time it stepped up to the plate, we have high hopes the company will knock it out of the park if it takes a swing at a Surface Pro 9. Intel’s 12th Gen chips have delivered outstanding improvements in performance and power efficiency, helping many of the best laptops for battery life stay productive for 12-plus hours. Packing such power-sipping silicon into a thin-and-light Windows 11 tablet is a recipe for success, particularly if Microsoft throws in a stylus and keyboard gratis.