March 27, 2024

Meet the latest AI-empowered devices from Microsoft Surface

Angelo Depaz
Surface Solution Specialist

Introducing Surface Laptop 6 and Surface Pro 10, the two newest devices that are showcasing exactly how seamless the collaboration between software and hardware (and even AI) can be, and how that harmony translates into easier, faster, and more secure user experiences.

Below I look at what’s new with each commercial-only device release, beginning with the most visible aspects, moving through to the internal specs and software capabilities, and finishing with my take on these latest devices. Spoiler! There’s more power, stronger security and more user-centric features than ever.

First out of the gate is Surface Laptop 6.

Its predecessor – released back in October 2022 – was a favourite among power users, owing to its blistering-fast performance and multitasking capabilities. This continues with the Laptop 6, with some minor and major bumps to software and hardware.

Design and build

Like Surface Laptop 5, Surface Laptop 6 will continue to turn heads with its largely unchanged sleek and portable design. Durability remains a priority with the laptop’s build quality proving it will easily withstand the bumps and knocks of daily use. The Surface device also remains fully repairable, with on-site repair as an optional warranty uplift. Its familiar chassis is now just 1mm taller to accommodate the new processor. The 13.5″ model weighs in at 1.38kg with an impressive 18.5 hours of typical device usage while the 15″ weighs 1.68kg and lasts up to 19 hours.

Performance and storage

The most notable change with the Laptop 6 is the replacement of the 12th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processors in favour of the latest 14th Gen Intel® Core™ Ultra Processor H-series. This leap to a newer generation of processor features Intel-NPU, an integrated AI engine for low-power AI acceleration, and CPU/GPU off-load – basically that represents a serious upgrade in computing prowess! These power-efficient, AI-focused chips offer more robust performance for intensive applications and multitasking.

Storage options are generous, ranging from 256GB to 1TB, ensuring a spectrum of user needs fare accommodated.

Audio and video (and AI)

The visual and auditory experience got a decent upgrade in the Laptop 6 with a 1080 pixel Studio camera (up from Laptop 5’s 720 pixels) and premium audio too. It’s all delivered on either a 13.5” or 15” PixelSense with AR Touchscreen, with a Microsoft-designed anti-reflective coating that is promised to reduce glare in different light. Quick side note while we’re talking about the visuals… if you’ve heard whispers of an OLED screen, allow us to set the record straight – it isn’t part of the current configuration.

On the software side, the AI-powered Windows Studio Effects enriches virtual interaction with features such as eye contact, background blur, automatic framing, and voice focus. These effects rely on dedicated AI silicon to work in tandem with the built-in camera and mic to elevate video calls. In just a few clicks, users can fine-tune video and audio settings from the taskbar’s quick settings – almost instantly optimising video calls for Microsoft Teams and other apps.

The result is vibrant, life-like visuals and responsive touch interaction to support professional video calls, editing and multimedia experiences.

Updated keyboard with your one-touch Copilot helper

The familiar menu key has given way to the new Copilot key, and is the fastest way to launch Windows Copilot. Pressing this key brings you a conversational AI – similar to ChatGPT – ready to assist with your questions, or to perform tasks within Windows. It’s not often that Microsoft tweaks the keyboard layout, so this change underscores their goal of integrating sophisticated AI functionalities directly into their hardware as a staple feature.

Connectivity and ports

While the 13.5” has a single USB-C and USB-A, the 15” model offers an additional USB-C — subtle yet significant touches for those who demand a bit more from their hardware.

For users seeking 5G connectivity, Laptop 6 does not yet offer that feature, but we’re hopeful it will be included in future iterations (but it’s a different story for the Surface Pro 10 – more on that below).

Our wrap on Surface Laptop 6

This generational iteration is focused largely on internal improvements and user experience enhancements, rather than a complete overhaul. Still, Surface Laptop 6 looks poised to carry on the lineage of high performance and reliability, whilst also showing Microsoft’s willingness to evolve with user feedback and technological advancements.

Surface Pro 10

The Surface Pro line has made a name for itself as the ultimate mobility device – flexing from laptop, to tablet, to portable digital canvas; matching whatever task is at hand. Like the Surface Laptop 6, it’s under the hood where the new Surface Pro 10 really distinguishes itself, catering to the ‘road warriors’ of the mobile world with just the right amount of power—no re-engineering required.

Design and mobility

Unchanged in appearance from the previous generation, the Surface Pro 10 remains the quintessential companion for professionals on the move. It retains that famous yet durable profile that looks great on any desk, lap, or café table, and can take the odd knock as it travels with users from meeting to meeting, site to site, and back again. Like its counterpart, the Surface Pro 10 will also be fully repairable with on-site repair via the optional warranty uplift.

Performance and innovation

The Surface Pro 10 contains the new 14th Gen Intel® Core™ Ultra processor U-Series with Intel® AI Boost, offering sufficient power without the need for a larger chassis or cooling system overhaul – as is needed for the H-class. It’s a choice that reflects a commitment to what the Pro series does best – deliver potent performance in a portable package.

Camera and interactions

Like Laptop 6, the Pro 10 offers an upgraded camera experience. The 13” PixelSense Flow display boasts a 120Hz refresh rate and 600 nits of brightness, all enhanced by an anti-reflective coating for optimal readability under any lighting. The smart framing adjusts to the device’s angle – a nod to its versatile kickstand usage – ensuring users are well framed in video calls whatever mode they are in. Plus, a 114° field of view captures a wide-angle, allowing users to broadcast clearly from any location.

Security and authentication

Surface Pro 10 continues to uphold Microsoft’s high standards in device security. The Pro 10 introduces Near Field Communication (NFC) technology which will significantly benefit sectors like mining and healthcare. This addition facilitates rapid, secure scanning operations – vital for tasks such as accessing patient records or verifying identity at work sites. NFC benefits are two-fold – it enhances security by enabling encrypted, short-range communication, and also simplifies the authentication process for those on-the-go workers who might share devices.

There’s more to come with Surface Pro 10

Responding to customer feedback, a 5G variant is set to launch in July (replacing the Pro 8 LTE device), complete with eSIM and nano-sim capabilities. These additions will help users maintain productivity without interruption, as users can expect to stay connected in even more places, whether they’re in the office or on the road.

Our wrap on Surface Pro 10

Packed with performance and unbeatable form factor flexibility, the Pro 10 really distinguishes itself by catering to the ‘road warriors’ of the mobile world. There’s just the right amount of power with no re-engineering required. The addition of NFC capabilities further elevates the Pro 10, transforming it into an even more versatile tool that meets the needs of professionals who prioritise both robust security and operational efficiency in their daily tasks.

Adaptive accessories for Surface

I’d also like to take a moment to highlight the Microsoft adaptive accessories, which have now been made available for commercial customers. While their debut lacked fanfare, the range deserves recognition for their genuinely helpful features that enhance accessibility and functionality for a diverse range of users.

How to get your hands on these latest devices

There is no more qualified reseller in Australia than Data#3 to support you with your Surface device decisions and investments. As the 2023 Microsoft Surface PC Reseller Worldwide Partner of the Year, our investment in people, programs, solutions and customer success is testament to this success. Contact our Surface team today to discuss your fleet needs, or to organise a demo device (subject to availability).

Both Surface devices will be generally available on April 9 in the US (April 10 in Australia). Reach out to our Data#3 Surface Specialists today to find out more!