Microsoft has announced upgrades to two of its Surface laptop lines in the Surface Pro 9 and the Surface Laptop 5, both of which bring Intel’s 12th-generation CPUs and integrated graphics.
These two new Surface laptops are what Microsoft describes as its vision for the next era of personal computing which is an intersection between the cloud and artificial intelligence.
Surface Pro 9
The Redmond, Washington giant says that Surface Pro 9 is the 2-in-1 to beat, offering top-of-the-line laptop performance in a form factor of a tablet. The new computer is encased in a “high-grade” aluminum and comes in a set of anodized colors: Platinum, Graphite, Sapphire, and Forest. On one side is the Surface line’s iconic kickstand that has multi-position support at up to 165 degrees while on the other is a 13-inch PixelSense display, Microsoft’s branding for its 10-point multi-touch sensitive screens.
That display is a 2,880 by 1,920-pixel resolution screen that has a dynamic refresh rate of up to 120Hz, “Adaptive Color,” a contrast ratio of 1,200:1, has a color profile of either sRGB or Vivid, and is made of Gorilla Glass 5.
Under the hood, the Surface Pro 9 is powered by either the Intel 12th gen Core i5-1235U or the Core i7-1255U processor and up to 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 1TB of removable SSD. On the GPU front, the computer is powered by Intel’s integrated Iris Xe graphics. The laptop also supports Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6E.
For connectivity, the Surface Pro 9 is a modest affair and brings two USB-C ports that support Thunderbolt 4 as well as the Surface Connect port and the Surface Keyboard port. The front-facing camera capture 1080p full-HD while the rear camera can shoot up to 4K video through its 10-megapixel sensor.
Microsoft is also offering the Surface Pro 9 with a pared down Microsoft SQ 3 Processor — powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon — and its SQ 3 Adreno 8CX Gen 3 graphics as well as putting a cap on its RAM to 16GB in exchange for 5G support, which makes the laptop truly wireless anywhere.
Because of the possible configuration options, the Surface Pro 9 has a lot of possible prices, but it starts at $1,000 and can get as high as $2,600 for the standard laptop version, while the 5G-enabled version starts at $1,300 and goes as high as $1,900. The Graphite, Sapphire, and Forest colors are not available on the 5G equipped version of the laptop.
The Surface Pro 9 will be available starting on October 25 in select markets.
Surface Laptop 5
If a more traditional laptop is desired, Microsoft has that covered with the Surface Laptop 5. This computer comes in either 13.5 or 15-inch configurations and multiple color options thanks to the anodized aluminum exterior: Platinum, Sage, Matte Black, and Sandstone.
The 13.5-inch PixelSense display bears a 2,256 by 1,504 (201 PPI) resolution while the 15-inch version ups that to 2,496 by 1,664 pixels (201 PPI). Both support Microsoft’s 10-point multi-touch and support for Dolby Vision IQ.
Inside, the Surface Laptop 5 brings either the Intel 12th gen Core i5-1235U or the Core i7-1255U processor and is built on the Intel Evo platform. In all cases, the laptops feature Intel’s Iris Xe Graphics and can be outfitted with a 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB capacity removable SSD. Both laptops can be equipped with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM, but only the 15-inch comes with a 32GB RAM option.
For connectivity, it’s again a modest affair that supports one USB-C port that supports Thunderbolt 4, one USB-A port (USB 3.1), a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port. The front-facing camera brings 720p resolution. Microsoft touts the Surface Laptop 5 as capable of bringing up to 17 hours of battery life.
The Surface Laptop 5 13.5-inch starts at $1,000 and ranges as high as $1,700 while the 15-inch version starts at $1,300 and caps out at $2,400. The Surface Laptop 5 will be available starting on October 25 in select markets.