Microsoft’s fall Surface event may be coming up this Wednesday September 22nd but a Twitter account Shadow_Leaker posted a retail image of the alleged Surface Pro 8. The image is clearly a Surface Pro X, but the specs are intriguing. We expect a major refresh of the Surface Pro 8 while the SQ3-powered Surface Pro X, Surface Go 3 will only see internal upgrades. Surface Duo 2 will see some welcomed improvements and the all-new Surface Book 4 will see an all-new design. The wild card devices will be an SQ3-powered Surface Laptop, Surface Neo, the long-overdue Surface Studio 3 and maybe a Surface Go X.
Surface Pro 8
The leak alleges Surface Pro X-style, 13-inch PixelSense display with 120Hz refresh rate, two thunderbolt ports and removeable SSDs. The Surface Pro X and Surface Pro 8 will differ externally in one major way, venting. Only one Surface Pro configuration utilizes a fan, the Intel Core i7. Both the Core i3 and i5 variants are fanless but still may need the vent to vent its heat. So, while the image is definitely a Surface Pro X most of the specs may be true. The only spec with a giant-sized question mark over it is Thunderbolt. Microsoft has cited Thunderbolt as a security risk in the past and unless that has actually changed we don’t expect Microsoft to support it.
It is clear that Microsoft is holding Surface Pro back, but what is not clear is why. Microsoft launched the Surface brand on with Surface RT and Surface Pro, so clearly Microsoft’s aging Surface Pro has had importance over 7-8 generations. Today, the Surface Pro 7+ (the latest Surface Pro) is near indistinguishable from a Surface Pro 5. Both devices were released 3-years apart and share the same chassis design, the same thick display bezels but each generation comes with newer Intel CPUs. So why hasn’t Surface Pro gotten any love? Because of Surface Pro X and the platform it represents…Windows on Arm. When Surface Pro X launched, it had followed two-years of Windows on Arm platform development and many 3rd-party OEM devices. Surface Pro X launched with the sleekest Surface Pro design yet, powerful cameras, a beautiful display, a show stopping pen charging cradle in the keyboard and Microsoft’s first-ever self-branded Arm CPU running Windows 10 on Arm. Surface Pro 7 was unveiled before Surface Pro X at the same event and for good reason, Microsoft was going to hold Surface Pro back, so that Surface Pro X and by extension Windows on Arm could grow. So, three years down the road now, will Microsoft finally deliver the Surface Pro 8 everyone has been waiting for or let the upcoming 3rd-generation Surface Pro X lead the Surface Pro category from now on?
What Surface devices are you most excited about for Microsoft’s September 22nd Surface hardware event? Let us know in the comments below.