Microsoft's new Surface devices have launched, but they're not what we expected

The Surface Laptop 6 and Surface Pro 10 indicate a change of direction for Microsoft's laptops and tablets

Microsoft Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The most interesting thing about the new Microsoft Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 isn't their Core Ultra CPUs (or the apparent lack of the widely rumoured Snapdragon X Elite versions), their customisation options or their new Copilot keys. It's that most people might not know they exist. 

According to Engadget, you won't find either of these devices on the shelves of your local computer retailer, or online from the usual consumer outlets. And that's because these Surface devices aren't for consumers, as the suffix "for business" on each device makes clear. 

So what are consumers missing out on here? The designs aren't exactly revolutionary but there are some significant improvements to the specifications.

Microsoft Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6: key specifications

The Surface Pro 10 gives you a choice of Core Ultra 5 135U or Ultra 7 165U CPU. You can spec it with up to 64GB of LPDDR5x RAM, and its SSD storage options go up to 1TB. There's also what Microsoft calls an "AI enhanced camera", a 1,440p webcam with a wide 114-degree field of view. The AI bit is because it can use the Core Ultra's AI for enhancing and adding effects to video.

As before the Surface Laptop 6 is available in two sizes, 13.5 inches and 15 inches, and its CPU options are the Core Ultra 135H or Core Ultra 7 165H with up to 64GB of RAM and 1TB SSD storage Both of these processors are faster than their equivalents in the Pro, whose processors are U series rather than H series, but they're still behind the 14-inch Surface Laptop Studio 2: the selling point of the new processors is their AI power rather than their horsepower. 

In all but the cheapest model of the Surface Laptop 6, which has standard Intel integrated graphics, there's intel Arc graphics. There's no new camera here, just the same 1080p camera as before.

Microsoft denies suggestions that it's exiting the consumer laptop business, but the Surface hardware currently available for the consumer market is getting on a bit. Here's hoping that's because Microsoft is working on something more exciting for later this year: we know that Microsoft is developing more foldable devices, and a foldable Surface would be very interesting. 

Microsoft will be holding a consumer event in May that should hopefully give us some clues about what's coming next.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).