Microsoft launches new Surface devices with chip and design upgrades

Microsoft Corp. today refreshed its Surface line of Windows devices with three new products including the Surface Pro 9, a two-in-one that can be used as both a tablet and a laptop.

The Surface Pro 9 is joined by the Surface Studio 2+ workstation. Additionally, Microsoft has launched a new laptop based on Intel Corp’s latest Alder Lake 10-nanometer processor series.

The Surface Pro 9, Microsoft’s latest two-in-one Windows device, is available in two editions. The former can be configured with a Core i5 or Core i7 CPU from Intel’s Alder Lake series of processors. The other edition of the Surface Pro 9 includes the SQ3, a custom chip based on semiconductor designs from Arm Ltd.

The SQ3 chip includes 5G support and a neural processing unit that can accelerate applications with artificial intelligence features. The chip is believed be based on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, a processor developed by Qualcomm Inc. for the laptop market. Besides a neural processing unit, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 also understand an eight-core processor and graphics processing unit described as 60% faster than Qualcomm’s previous generation silicon.

The Alder Lake and SQ3 editions of the Surface Pro 9 feature a 13-inch display with a resolution of 2,880 pixels by 1,920 pixels. Microsoft has packed the Surface Pro 9’s display and processor into a package that offers more color options than the company’s previous two-in-one Surface device. The Surface Pro 9’s detachable keyboard, meanwhile, comes with a new laser-etched design.

By default, the Surface Pro 9 comes configured with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Users with more advanced requirements can purchase the Intel edition of the device with 32 gigabytes of RAM and one terabyte of storage. The SQ3 edition, in turn, provides up to 16 gigabytes of RAM and a 512 gigabyte storage drive.

The latest iteration of Microsoft’s all-in-one Windows personal computer is the Surface Studio 2+, which debuted today alongside the Surface Pro 9.

The machine has a 28-inch screen with a resolution of 4,500 pixels by 3,000 pixels. It is powered by a high-end Core i7-11370H chip from Intel’s Rocket Lake series of processors. According to Microsoft, the chip offers 50% more performance than the processor in its previous all-in-one Surface desktop.

The Rocket Lake series of processors are produced using less advanced manufacturing technology than the Alder Lake chips available with the Surface Pro 9. But while the Surface Pro 9 relies on its processor’s integrated GPU, the Surface Studio 2+ includes a more advanced standalone graphics card. Microsoft says the graphics card, Nvidia Corp.’s RTX 3060, is twice as fast as the GPU in its previous all-in-one Surface computer.

The third new addition to the Surface series of products, the Surface Pro 5 Laptop, is available with a 13.5-inch or 15-inch display. Both editions of the laptop offer resolutions of 2,256 pixels by 1,504 pixels and 2,496 pixels by 1,664 pixels, respectively. Both editions are based on Intel’s Alder Lake series of processors.

Microsoft said the 13.5-inch Surface Pro 5 will be able to run for up to 18 hours per charge. The 15-inch edition, meanwhile, should offer 17 hours of battery life.

Microsoft will offer a variety of customization options to customers. According to the company, the Surface Pro 5 laptop can be powered by one of several Core i5 or Core i7 chips from Intel’s Alder Lake series of processors. Customers can configure the laptop with between 8 gigabytes and 32 gigabytes of RAM, as well as up to 1 terabyte of flash storage.

Picture: Microsoft

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