The Surface Pro is Microsoft’s high-end 2-in-1 PC. Its annual refresh has been eagerly anticipated ever since the original model launched back in 2013.
No sooner had the dust settled on the Surface Pro 7, people were already speculating on what its successor might be like.
The Surface Pro 8 isn’t expected until the Autumn, although there are already a few rumours on what we might expect.
Surface Pro 8 release date
Microsoft holds hardware events twice a year, and has chosen to unveil the Surface Pro each autumn for the last few years.
The Surface Pro 7 was announced on 2 October 2019, ahead of release on 22 October. We imagine it will be a similar story for its successor.
Despite reports that the foldable Surface Duo may arrive as soon as this summer, we’d be surprised if the Pro 8’s release date is also brought
Surface Pro 8 price
With nothing confirmed, our best guess on the Surface Pro 8 pricing again comes from how much the Surface Pro 7 cost.
That device started at £799/US$749/AU$1249, although the maximum configuration set you back £2249/US$2299/AU$3749. A similar pricing structure looks likely, although that could rise if there are substantial upgrades.
Don’t forget that you only get the tablet in the box: if you want a keyboard (the Type Cover) and a stylus, both are optional – and quite pricey – extras.
What are we expecting from the Surface Pro 8?
As with previous models, Microsoft will undoubtedly use the latest-available Intel Core processors. This might include the 11th-gen Tiger Lake processors, thought to be released at some point in the second half of 2020. Among the expected benefits are a doubling of graphical performance over the current Ice Lake chips, which could boost the already-excellent performance on the Surface Pro.
It’s also possible that – as we saw with the Surface Pro X – that an ARM-based Surface Pro 8 could exist, but Microsoft may launch a second-generation Pro X instead: the SQ1 processor was its own design in collaboration with Qualcomm.
It’s really too early for any leaked spec sheets or photos, but a couple of patents have been spotted for tech which could well make its way into the Surface Pro 8.
Shortly after the release of the Surface Pro 7, a Microsoft patent was published with the title ‘EXPANDABLE ENCLOSURE FOR ELECTRONIC DEVICE RESONANCE BOX’.
From the included diagram above, it looks like Microsoft is planning for a dedicated speaker system to be attached to future iterations of the Type Cover accessory. Should this be available with the Surface Pro 8, it could deliver serious improvements to the audio experience.
Further rumours on the Surface Pro 8 come courtesy of Windows Latest. In January, they reported on another patent that suggests Microsoft may include solar panels on the very same Type Cover, which may offer an alternative method of charging the Surface Pro 8. While it’s unlikely both would be included, it shows Microsoft is thinking outside the box when it comes to upgrades.
Elsewhere, there’s no real need for any huge changes. People clearly like the form factor, as it strikes a good balance between screen size and usability. Plus, other screen sizes are already catered for by the Surface Pro X, and the Duo and Neo. We’re looking forward to finding out how much those two will cost in particular, but as and when more rumours crop up for the Surface Pro 8, we’ll be sure to add them here.
Surface Pro 8 wish list
Concrete rumours are relatively thin on the ground this far ahead of release, so here are five things we’d love to see on the Surface Pro 8:
USB-C for charging – Although Microsoft finally embraced USB-C on the Surface Pro 7, it still stuck with the clunky Surface Connect port for charging. It feels like a logical next step to use the port for charging.
Thunderbolt USB-C – Following on from the above point, we hope the USB-C port will get Thunderbolt 3 support, which enables much faster data transfer.
Slimmer bezels – The Surface Pro 7 might have significantly slimmer bezels than the Go 2, but we feel Microsoft could go further here. The Surface Pro X has shown us what is possible here, and there could still be plenty of room for a front-facing camera.
Better webcam – Talking of cameras, Microsoft has stuck an 8Mp sensor in the last three generations of Surface Pro. It’s far from the worst webcam around, but with so many people currently relying on video calls, further improvements would be welcome here.
Bigger battery – While the Surface Pro 7’s battery life wasn’t a dealbreaker, it often struggled to make it through a full 8-hour day. Delivering upgrades that help it catch up to the competition in this regard should be a priority.
New size options – The Surface Pro line has maintained a 12.3in screen since the release of the Surface Pro 4 in 2015, and never opted for more than one size. A display closer to 13in would provide a direct iPad Pro rival, while it would also provide scope to introduce a smaller-sized alternative.
Considering other options in the Surface lineup? Check out our in-depth buying guide.
Looking to buy a Surface product right now? Check out our guide to the best Surface deals.