Everything Microsoft announced at its Surface 2022 launch event
Here's everything you need to know about the Surface Pro 9, Surface Laptop 5 and Surface Studio 2+, including Australian pricing and availability.
It's not just Apple and Google having big multi-device product launches right now. Overnight, Microsoft announced a whole slew of new Surface devices designed to entice everyone from students to creative professionals.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9
Microsoft has made one of the biggest changes in its Surface Pro line-up for quite some time, although that might not be apparent at first glance.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 features a 13-inch "PixelSense" display with a 2880x1920 resolution and no included keyboard, as is Microsoft's style. That always costs extra with the Surface Pro line.
Where the big difference comes in lies under the hood, with a choice of either 12th Gen Intel Core i5 to Core i7 processors, or a new Microsoft SQ3 processor instead. Prior models with SQ processors – co-designed with Qualcomm – were sold as the Surface Pro X, but that line has been folded into the Surface Pro 9 family entirely.
What the SQ3 gives you is expanded battery life, up to a claimed 19 hours of typical usage compared to the up to 15.5 hours claim for the Intel models, as well as sub-6Ghz 5G compatibility for on-the-go computing action.
Like the Surface Pro X line, that also means that the Surface Pro 9 5G – which is how Microsoft delineates the Surface Pro models if you're not keen on cracking the screen open – uses Windows 11 ARM, with slightly different app compatibility to the x86-based Surface Pro 9 lines.
The Surface Pro 9 – remember, that's the Intel version – will ship in Sapphire, Forest, Platinum or Graphite finishes, while the Surface Pro 9 5G comes in a Platinum finish only.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9: Australian pricing and availability
Pricing on the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 depends on configuration, especially considering that split between Intel and Qualcomm processors.
The entry-level Surface Pro 9 ships with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 Processor, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD for $1,649. Configurations vary, but you can punch that all the way up to the top-tier 12th Gen Intel Core i7 model with 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD if you've got $4,149 to spare.
For the Microsoft SQ3 5G compatible model, there's just a single configuration in play with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for $2,599.
All Microsoft Surface Pro 9 models will ship in Australia from 8 November 2022.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 5
Microsoft made its big changes with the Surface Laptop line with the Surface Laptop 4, offering up a choice of Intel or AMD processors.
In 2022, Microsoft has walked back from that variety choice, as the Surface Laptop 5 ships only with 12th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors.
As a full laptop, the keyboard is very much included. Otherwise, the technical improvements are relatively minor, with a shift to Thunderbolt 4 compatibility for its USB-C port and the use of DDR5 memory.
The Surface Laptop 5 sells with either a 13.5-inch or 15-inch display, although the 13.5-inch model gets a lot more colour choices. The smaller model sells in Platinum, Matte Black, Sage or Sandstone finishes, while the bigger 15-inch model only comes in Platinum or Matte Black finishes.
As with a lot of Surface devices, you can't get every possible processor and storage combination in every colour.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 5: Australian pricing and availability
Pricing for the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 5 starts at $1,699 for a model with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, up to $2,699 for a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 model with 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.
The 15-inch Surface Laptop 5 sells for $2,149 with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Doubling RAM and storage to 16GB and 512GB respectively on that model will cost you $2,899
The Surface Laptop 5 will go on sale in Australia a little earlier than the Surface Pro 9 line, shipping on 25 October 2022.
Microsoft Surface Studio 2+
If laptops and tablets aren't your style, Microsoft has also refreshed its gigantic all-in-one Surface device in the form of the Surface Studio 2+.
The Surface Studio 2+ features a 28-inch touchscreen display with a flexible hinge; the idea here remains that you'd buy a Surface Studio 2+ for design work where being able to tilt the screen down to sketch out ideas or change blueprints or similar was a definite need you might have.
The Surface Studio 2+ is powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11370H processor with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Since it's meant for design professionals, it's not just resting on Intel's comparatively weaker graphics solutions, instead sporting a 6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU.
Microsoft Surface Studio 2+: Australian pricing and availability
The Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ retails in Australia for $7,279 and will go on sale locally from 1 November 2022.
Did Microsoft announce anything else at its Surface launch event?
The new Surface devices were clearly the stars of the show, but that didn't stop Microsoft also announcing a few new peripherals and an array of new software features and partnerships.
The Microsoft Audio Dock provides USB-C, USB-A and HDMI out ports for any PC, but its big selling point is an integrated speaker and microphone array, designed for online meetings and the sort.
There's no sign of local availability or pricing for the Audio Dock in Australia at the time of writing.
Speaking of online meetings, Microsoft also has a new presentation remote control. The Microsoft Presenter Plus is designed around Microsoft's Teams product (what a surprise!) with integrated controls, haptic feedback and a specific Microsoft Teams button on board.
No sign of local pricing or availability, though Microsoft reckons it'll sell for US$79.99 in its home USA market.
Microsoft Designer is an AI-powered graphic design app that leans on the kinds of image generation technology found in networks such as DALL-E 2 to create images based on descriptions.
It'll be available to Microsoft 365 subscribers and eventually in Microsoft's Edge browser and Bing search engines.
If images aren't your thing but you love video, Microsoft has a new video editing tool called Clipchamp that it's adding to Microsoft Office, as well as for free via an online web service.
Finally – and rather surprisingly – Microsoft also announced that it's integrating access to Apple's iCloud network for users of Microsoft's Photos app, so you can browse your iPhone snaps on your PC if they're already being uploaded to Apple's network. That's a feature that's still to actually hit the market though, so look for it in a future Windows 11 update.
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