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What I want to see from Microsoft’s October event

I expect to be disappointed

It’s that time of the year. The air is cooler, the leaves are changing, and there’s a tech event or hardware release just about every weekday. We’re kicking off October with Microsoft’s annual hardware event. The Surface Laptop, Pro, and Studio are expected to get much needed updates. These updates are not likely to be substantial but that doesn’t mean you can’t expect to regret that Surface Pro you bought 6 months ago.

Let me just say this now so I don’t have to keep repeating myself. For all new hardware, I hope to see completely refreshed internals. All devices need to be updated to Intel’s 8th generation CPUs and the Surface Studio needs a GPU refresh. When the Studio was released, Microsoft used Nvidia’s GTX 900 series cards when their vastly superior 1000 series cards were released earlier that year. In a perfect world, the new Studio would skip the 10 series entirely and include the new RTX 2000 series cards, although I doubt this will happen. It’s far more likely that the new Studio will utilize the 1000 series cards that it should have had from the start.

It’s also time that Microsoft finally sucked it up and put USB type C ports in their new lineup. They have been holding back on this for a while, claiming it didn’t want to switch to the new standard until the standard reaches maturity. Microsoft’s new Surface Go, released earlier this year, does have the new port. I’m hopeful this means Microsoft is now willing to adopt it throughout the entire surface lineup. 

Surface Laptop 2

Even a year later, I would recommend the surface laptop to anyone in the market for a reliable Windows laptop. That being said, it tends to look very 2017 compared to most laptops in its price range today. That’s thanks largely to its thick bezels and lack of USB type C ports. While my hopes aren’t high, I do want to see a refreshed design with slimmer bezels around the display.

MSSurface_B_Studio_4Q2A2042
Surface Laptop

When the initial reviews went out for the Surface Laptop, most of the press had doubts about the alcantara fabric covering the keyboard deck. One publication went as far as to perform a strenuous stress test with Cheetos. I haven’t heard any complaints about the fabric a year later so it must not need upgrading.

Surface Pro 6 

I’ll be honest, I don’t have much to say about the Surface Pro. The Pro line has reached a level of maturity and polish that other products strive for. Other than what I stated above, I’m hoping for a thinner Surface Pro. Tablets like the pro can and will always be more appealing the thinner they are. Thinner tablets mean lighter tablets and lighter tablets are more mobile.

 

The only other thing I want from the new Pro is something that’s been overdue for years, Included Accessories. The Surface Type cover has been sold separately from the very beginning. Just to rub salt in the wound, Microsoft stopped including it’s Surface Pen in the box last year. Both of these accessories are recommended to provide the complete Surface Pro experience. I would love to see one or both of these thrown in this year.

Surface Studio 2

When Microsoft first announced the Surface Studio two years ago, impressions were mixed. Microsoft had just announced arguably one of the most beautiful pieces of desktop computing hardware we have ever seen. That same desktop was not only beautiful, but functional too. It featured a massive touchscreen that could kneel down to a drafting table form factor that was perfect for artists. However, the specifications were lacking. A majority of the major components inside the Studio were the prior year’s releases. The Studio was certainly no slouch, but it couldn’t compete in the professional market.

Surface-Studio-Lifestyle-3
Surface Studio

I hope to see an internal refresh of the Surface Studio tomorrow. It doesn’t need to be a major hardware redesign, you now know my feelings toward the current design. If Microsoft just updated the internals to Intel’s 8th generation CPUs and Nvidia’s newer GPUs, the Studio would perform significantly better on the desks of professionals.

This is one of the few tech events this year that hasn’t had every announcement leaked long beforehand. We’ll Just have to wait and see what happens when Microsoft holds their event this Tuesday at 4pm ET. Stay on the lookout for my overview of the event.  

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