Microsoft is set to hold its fall event on October 2. While the official word is that Microsoft will be talking about hardware, software, and services, the rumors suggest that Microsoft will be making a lot of interesting Surface announcements for multiple new models.
So, what could be announced? Let’s run down the list of possibilities.
The Upcoming Windows 10 Update
We expect Microsoft to talk quite a bit about the upcoming Windows 10 October 2018 Update and updates to important software. It was first announced at IFA and will be the next big update to Windows since the April 2018 Update.
What will the new version of Windows 10 include? Well, inter-connectivity has been a major theme for Microsoft lately, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see more Windows 10 compatibility with other devices and platforms. We already know that the update, called Redstone 5, will have changes like a new Notepad, a Cloud-powered Clipboard, a better Game Bar, and the SwiftKey app (which Microsoft now owns). But we don’t know much else, so expect a specific release date and full update notes at the event.
Surface Laptop 2
The Surface Laptop is a lower-budget line for those who wanted a Surface computer, but preferably not at the price of a Book. In this the Laptop was more or less successful, but there was a lot of compromise, too, especially in the switch to Windows 10 S. But now that Windows 10 S has been replaced with S Mode, Microsoft’s approach toward this products may be have been altered.
Upgrades to the display, processor, and storage are all likely if Microsoft is bringing a new model to market. There’s also a good chance the new Surface Laptop could be black as well if recent leaks are to believed.
Surface Pro 6
It’s a good time for a new Surface Pro, particularly since Intel recent announced 8th-gen mobile processors that would be a perfect fit for an updated Pro model. While an updated processor is a guarantee, we don’t have much information beyond that. We could see it come in black, and we might also have it come with a USB-C port.
Rumors also suggest that an updated Surface Pen may also be likely, as Microsoft looks for new ways to add usability to the model. Other rumors caution that Microsoft may be planning on a full redesign of the Pro line, which would push any new model announcements into 2019 — or would at least mean this year’s update will be fairly minimal.
Surface Book 3
If Microsoft wants to stick with a yearly schedule for the Surface Book line (which it has thus far), then we will definitely see a new Surface Book model announced this October. Last year we saw an updated Surface Book 2 with an option for a larger screen, and even more power. However, we suspect and hope that a Surface Book 3 is still on its way. The Surface Book 2 was certainly an improvement, but it still has its problems, including a power charging issue and a USB-C port that was already a little out of date on release.
A new Surface Book could keep the 15-inch model option, update the power cable and USB ports, and give us an even more refined tablet mode. Patent notes indicate that there could also be more hinge changes on the way, maybe even with a swivel option. Changes like these could do a lot to convince buyers who are still on the fence about the Surface Book.
Surface Dial 2
The original Surface Dial was a cool concept – a movable, customizable button that you could put on the surface of the Studio and use to control things. Not all of that novelty transferred to the real world—outside of some artistic and design applications, it can be hard to find a novel use for the Dial. Some users also found the device a little awkward to use, while others disliked how it blocked off a part of the Studio screen.
The new Surface Dial, however, could take quite a different approach to make the tech puck as attractive as possible to a broad audience. Patent filings from Microsoft indicate that the Dial 2 could have a transparent design that makes the screen below easier to see. If such a device really were in development, the October event would be a great place to talk about it. Which brings us to…
Surface Studio 2
The first Studio was an ambitious and beautiful desktop PC specifically aimed at artists, engineers, architects, and all types of designers. It had an incredible, adjustable screen, but the hardware didn’t exactly impress. Fortunately, there are many ways that Microsoft could improve the Studio, and a Studio 2 announcement seems likely this time around.
We would love to see a more powerful processor than the rather underwhelming Studio provided, a full SSD drive, and a greater number of useful ports on the Studio 2. A lower price tag would also be great, but that’s a lot to ask with all the other improvements.
Surface Go with LTE
We compared the Surface Go to the iPad a lot in our review, because this is definitely the market spot that Microsoft was aiming for (although the Go is a bit more keyboard-dependent). And like the iPad, it largely fills that on-the-move tablet space while still have plenty of room for upgrades.
Even though it’s only been a couple months since the Go was released, Microsoft indicated LTE would be coming soon, and it would be an easy way to capitalize on the recent release of the tablet.