Microsoft Refreshes its Surface Lineup with Intel’s Latest 12th Gen Processors
Microsoft will soon hold its annual fall Surface event, with the company already unveiling the new Surface Laptop 5, and also the Surface Pro 9. What is new here? You might ask. Well, sadly not a lot. The new devices are best seen as refreshes, as they get the latest Intel 12th Gen Processors along with new colorways.
The new Surface Laptop 5
Not a lot of changes from last year’s Surface Laptop 4, apart from Intel’s new 12th Gen Core i5-1235U, and Core i7-1255U CPU options. The new Surface Laptop 5 even comes in the familiar 13.5 inches (2256 x 1504) configuration or the 15 inches (2496 x 1664) configuration. Although, the bigger 15-inch version is only available with the i7-1255U CPU.
Interestingly enough, this time around Microsoft has excluded an AMD variant. Last year’s Surface Laptop 4 offered the AMD Ryzen™ 5 4680U and the AMD Ryzen™ 7 4980U as options. As for the display, it features the same PixelSense™ Display with a resolution of 2256 x 1504 (201 PPI), for the 13.5-inch variant, and a resolution of 2496 x 1664 (201 PPI) for the 15-inch variant. The RAM has also been upgraded to LPDDR5x, coming with 8GB, 16GB or 32GB options.
Coming to the pricing, the smaller 13.5-inch model now starts at $999, going all the way up to $1,699 for the fully specced i7 option, with 512GB storage and 16GBs of RAM. The larger 15-inch variant starts from $1,299, going all the way up to $2,399 for the fully specced i7 option with 32GBs of RAM and a 1TB SSD. And yes, the pricing in general has moved up by $100 or so, as last year’s base Surface Laptop 4 started at $899.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9
The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 follows a similar story, where there aren’t a lot of changes over last year’s Surface Pro 8. This time around the Surface Pro 9 features Intel’s new 12th-generation processors with either the Core i5-1235U or the Core i7-1255U as options. Interestingly, there’s also a Qualcomm option for those who want 5g connectivity. Microsoft and Qualcomm have worked together on the custom SQ3 chip, although Windows on ARM is still hit-and-miss.
As for the design, things are unchanged from last year’s Surface Pro 8, but there are now two new colorway options, including blue sapphire and forest green. Even the display is the familiar PixelSense™ Flow Display with a resolution of 2880 x 1920 (267 PPI), with 120Hz refresh rate support. There’s also Dolby Vision IQ support, although only on the Intel variants.
As for the pricing, the base Core i5-1235U model with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage starts at $999. This goes up to a whopping $2,599.99 for the fully specced out Core i7-1255U variant with 32GB RAM and 1TB storage. The SQ3 variants are significantly more expensive, and start at $1299 for the base 8GB RAM, 128GB storage option. This extends all the way to $1899.99 for 16GB RAM, 512GB storage option. Sadly, for the premium price there’s no Thunderbolt 4 or even USB 4 support, on the SQ3 models, unlike the cheaper Intel option.