Windows Central reported the Surface Event is coming 9/21 - right between the iPhone 15 release and Apple’s fall hardware event - and it sounds uninspiring:
“ The special Microsoft event will take place on Thursday, September 21, 2023 in New York City. Microsoft did not share details about what will be unveiled at the event, but our Senior Editor Zac Bowden expects a focus on AI capabilities making their way to Surface devices and Windows.
Personally, I hope they stay in it. Even if they don’t do anything inspiring. I imagine in ~2-3 years when I’m in the market for a new mobile computer a latest gen SP is probably what I’d look for even if it is just an iterative silicon update.
I mean, the Surface Laptop Studio 2 was extremely weak from its inception (quad core for a flagship laptop, seriously?!) and has been long in the tooth from day 1 because of that oversight, so that refresh is at least okay and perhaps even borderline good if after continual pleas from Surface users they add an SD card slot. I am actually contemplating that one since I use my Surface Pro more like a laptop and less like a tablet these days.
I wish you luck, but the singular fact that the only real hardware of note are the Laptop, Laptop Studio, and Surface Go 4 shows this is a used car sale with yellow primer (extra points for identifying that quote).
I’m two thirds of the way with you. Go 4 is going to be weak yet again, the Laptop line has been pretty meh as MacBook Air clones and I don’t see that changing, but Laptop Studio 2 is something else entirely. They are taking things from a ho-hum, middle spectrum quad-core (11300H) to a top-of-the-line 14-core (13800H) with nearly three times the multicore performance and 30% higher single core performance. That’s worthy of some recognition in my estimation.
This makes me curious. Has anyone used the Phone-link auto-hotspot feature extensively (especially for those of you with an Android phone)? I have it enabled on my Surface and previous mobile computers but since I am so rarely away from Wifi networks, I haven’t used it much (it has worked well when I needed it though). Is that feature reliable?
N200 is built on an older 10nm process vs. 7nm for the SQ1
I’m also worried about the power efficiency of this budget x86 chip, that may fall behind WOA. So I’m curious, how much performance/battery life would you be willing to sacrifice for the smaller form-factor?
Worse yet, I have an SQ2. That’s why I’m being so picky. From what I read about the N200, it should clock higher than the SQ2 and the graphics will obviously out perform the ARM’s integrated GPU. My Pro X has struggled with the limited video clipping I do with the device.
As far as battery life, although the Pro X (SQ2) is more efficient than the old M3 in my Go2, it’s no great shakes. The N200 is being redesigned as a 6watt TDP, so I think power consumption, although probably a bit higher, will not be significant. I am looking for a device that can get me through an 8 hour day on the road without needing an outlet anywhere nearby.
I would guess that I’ll sit out this permutation and hope for the development of the 11" Pro. But you never know. I greatly miss the size of the Go, which is a true one-handed tablet.
I honestly don’t expect anything Microsoft does to impress me anymore, but either way I’ll be keeping an eye out. I’ve got a preorder on a Framework 13 with Ryzen that’s likely in the early Q4 timeframe after their recent delays, so at the very least Microsoft is timing their event pretty much perfectly for me to make a decision.
Not a completely reliable predictor but both the N100 and N200 chips are more performant than “raw specs” would lead you to believe, at least based from the testing we’ve done with a couple of HP Chromebooks already shipping with them.
Plus comparing NM die size between X86 and Arm architecture is truly a pointless exercise which has little to nothing to do with real world performance. RISC VS CISC is still what matters despite both platforms getting more like the other with each new generation.
PS: One thing that gets underreported in the PC blogs is the improvements in efficiency both thermally and power consumption in 13h gen Intel
And there is a good argument to be made that one of the major limits of 13th gen Intel performance is lack of optimization in both Windows and 3rd party Apps.
ARM has a huge head start here as they have had asynchronous cores from very early on (and that Apple absolutely nails with the M chips and MacOS)
Uninspiring is putting it mildly. As I have written elsewhere, I can’t blame MSFT for settling in and getting comfortable with the SPro form factor. Say what you will about lack of innovation, but MSFT has had this device nailed since the SP3, based on its many imitators. And this is also true with much of its other hardware lineup. So incremental improvements are most likely to be the collective future.
However. However, incremental improvement is its own independent degree of freedom, and in that regard, we are amply justified in criticizing MSFT for being too damned timid! At least some version of SPro or SGo or SLaptop ought to be focused on bleeding-edge performance and features, the sort of Corvette to their mid-range line of Chevys.
Maybe if they had a true performance model in their product line, it might help them to get a little unstuck from their current, and uninspiring, attitude about hardware updates…
This is sort of where I am at. I’m not really sure what I’d even want from MS in terms of an inspiring update. That may be because of the limited role my SP9 holds in my device line-up (or limited imagination on my part), but it pretty much nails the needs I have from it.