Microsoft Surface celebrated 10 years of Surface yesterday, with the 2022 line up, which saw Surface Pro 9 with 5G, Surface Laptop 5 and Surface Studio 2 + being launched.
With what was a modest event, compared to previous years, Microsoft unveiled a handful of new and updated Surface devices including:
- Surface Pro 9
- Surface Pro 9 with 5G
- Surface Laptop 5
- Surface Studio 2+
- Audio Dock and Microsoft Presenter +
The keynoted by Panos Panay, EVP and Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, kicked off the event taking viewers through the history of Microsoft’s journey with Surface.
Surface Pro 9
Always my favour form factor that makes Surface a Surface is the Pro range. Microsoft Surface Pro 9 tablet was annouced with a new Liberty floral print design in blue colour, which has been created in collaboration with design house Liberty London.
Like the Laptop 5, The Surface Pro 9 comes equipped with Thunderbolt connectors and has a 120Hz, 13-inch PixelSense display which makes it perfect for use both as a hand-held tablet and as a laptop when attached to a type cover keyboard.
Microsoft displayed how the Windows 11 adapts with larger spacing between apps when the keyboard is detached from the tablet. Microsoft showcased just how quickly Windows 11 adapts to the change in use, with larger spacing between apps when the keyboard is detached from the device.
Surface Pro 9 is the first in the series with 5G capabilities. This variant is built on the ARM-based Microsoft SQ3 processor powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon and has a battery life of up to 19 hours.
Other variants of the tablet are powered by Intel’s 12th-generation EVO processor.
The front facing camera is centred and field of view has been widened. The (optional) Surface Slim Pen 2 The tablet has a microactuator inside, which, according to Microsoft means “its ink-focussed view makes writing on the screen feel like writing on paper with digital ink that appears to flow”.
Exlusive also to the Surface Pro 9 5G model, is a new NPU (neural processing unit) which Microsoft said is the most powerful ever in a laptop. The NPU gives the Pro 9 the ability to dynamically focus on the subject at all times, even if the subject is moving. It can automatically creates blur effects and smooth auto framing.
Also provided by the NPU, is a new Voice Focus, which drastically cuts out all kinds of background noise. This was showcased with a leaf blower and hair dryer and seemed extremely impressive (almost magical).
Surface Laptop 5
Laptop 5 was first new product revealed at the event and follows last years Surface Laptop 4, released in 2021.
Following the same popular design size, Laptop 5 was shown being opened with just one hand revealing a new, quieter keyboard which has been further optimised for responsiveness. As you’d expect, the design is sleek and light and available in four colours, including the newest colour, sage green.
Surface Laption 5 is built on the latest Intel EVO platform and now has Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Microsoft says that the laptop is up to 50 percent more powerful than its predecessor. It has up to 18 hours of battery life and features a fast charge feature, which powers up the laptop in 30 minutes to provide 9 hours of battery life.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 has the usual 3:2 PixelSense display for both their 13.5-inch and 15-inch models and feature Dolby Vision IQ to deliver richer details and sharper contrast that are tuned to automatically adjust colour accuracy. The screen is also 120hz.
From an audio perspective, we get Dolby Atmos 3D spatial processing speakers, placed right behind the corners of the keys on the keyboard.
Surface Studio 2+
A superb device that many thought had been forgotten was also brought back to life. Oddly called Studio 2+, rather than 3, this could suggest a design change might come in the future, but for now it keeps the futuristic design of Studio 2 and is beautiful.
Surface Studio 2+ is powered by Intel i7 quad-core processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, which Microsoft say is “five times more powerful than the original Surface Studio.”
It comes with three Thunderbolt ports in keeping with rest of the line up and has a 4K display with a colour depth of DCI P3. This also naturally features both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos audio.
The gorgeous 28inch screen can be adjusted with just a one-finger push which allows it to intelligently glide and stay in what ever position works for the mode of work. Leveraging Windows 11’s snap layout feature, the screen is large enough to have four separate 14-inch display windows open at the same time, something designers love.
Audio Dock and Microsoft Presenter+
Two other hardware products were revealed at the event. These were Microsoft Presenter+, which is a Teams remote with a mute button, and Audio Dock with multiple ports and spacial speaker and mic
Windows and Surface Together
Whilst the focus was of course about the new Surface line up, most of which were inline with the predictions, the importance and development of Windows was also front of stage. As such, Microsoft used this event to showcase new features for Windows 11, many designed specifically around Surface and other multi form factor devices like Surface Studio Laptop, a Surface Pro and Studio 2+.
Following up from the Windows 11 22H2 update that is now rolling out, Microsoft highlighted so of the new accessibility features that are built in to Windows 11. This incudes a system-wide live captions from audio content, which automatically appears on the screen when any audio from any source is playing.
Among other accessibility features showcased was system wide voice access for voice control and navigation which include new natural voices.
Pricing and Availability
No official announcement of the price of any new Microsoft Surface product was made during the event.