After several years of minor upgrades, Microsoft released the Windows 2-in-1 many people were asking for in 2021.
The Surface Pro 8 introduces a slew of upgrades over its predecessor, including a larger 120Hz display with slim bezels, better battery life and improved cameras. We also got the customary processor upgrade, while it’s one of the first devices to run Windows 11 out of the box.
But assuming Microsoft reverts to its traditional update cycle, we’re expecting the Surface Pro 9 before 2022 is out. Here’s everything we know at this very early stage.
When will the Surface Pro 9 be released?
Microsoft is yet to confirm the existence of a Surface Pro 8 successor, let alone any potential release date. With no other rumours so far, our best guess comes from the release date or previous entries:
- Surface Pro 8 – October 2021
- Surface Pro 7+ (for business and education) - January 2021
- Surface Pro 7 – October 2019
- Surface Pro 6 – October 2018
- Surface Pro 5 – June 2017
Aside from the pandemic-affected 2020, it looks like Microsoft has settled into a regular update cycle for the Surface Pro. That makes it likely we’ll see the Pro 9 in October 2022, although that’s just speculation at this stage.
How much will the Surface Pro 9 cost?
Again, our best guess on Surface Pro 9 pricing comes from the original RRP of previous generations:
- Surface Pro 8 – from £999/US$999.99
- Surface Pro 7+ - from £909/US$899.99
- Surface Pro 7 – from £799/US$749
- Surface Pro 6 – from £879/US$899
- Surface Pro 5 – from £799/US$799
As you can see, the cost of the Surface Pro has fluctuated in recent years. The price increase for the Pro 8 reflects several key upgrades, but its successor isn’t likely to be much more affordable.
What specs and new features will the Surface Pro 9 have?
Microsoft only launched the Surface Pro 8 for Business in January 2021, complete with new 4G/LTE models that are slightly more expensive. While the Pro 9 is probably being worked on at the time of writing, there are no concrete rumours so far.
However, unless Microsoft surprises us with more big changes, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect. The most likely upgrade is a move to Intel’s new 12th-gen CPUs – probably a choice between i5 and i7 once again. Given the Ryzen 6000 Series also launched at CES 2022, it would be nice to see an option for AMD chips on the Surface Pro, but there’s no indication that’ll happen anytime soon.
Assuming the Pro 8 shifts to Alder Lake processors, its new hybrid architecture includes specific cores for performance and power efficiency. The latter should benefit battery life, so Microsoft could claim more from a single charge than the ‘up to 16 hours’ you get from the Pro 8. If battery capacity also increases, we could see some serious battery life improvements.
The Surface Pro is the most likely Windows device Microsoft makes to make the shift to 5G. By the end of 2022, the technology will have widespread adoption across a range of mobile devices, so it makes sense to see it come to Microsoft’s premium 2-in-1.
Both USB-C ports on the Surface Pro 8 support Thunderbolt 4 for fast data transfer, but it still uses the proprietary Surface Connect. This magnetic charging system tends to be more frustrating than useful, so hopefully Microsoft will ditch it in favour of USB-C charging on the Pro 9. Adding a few extra ports wouldn’t go amiss either.
The 13in, 2880x1920 display is unlikely to change, especially with Microsoft introducing a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate on the Pro 8. There’s no need for a higher resolution, but it would be nice for the PixelSense (LCD) screen to be replaced by OLED at some point. That would pave the way for an in-display fingerprint sensor to be added, but there’s no sign of it coming to the Pro 9.
This preview of the Surface Pro 9 is primarily based on guesswork so far, but leaks and rumours probably aren’t far away. When they emerge, we’ll update this article.