Microsoft has a big surprise in store for the upcoming Surface Pro 9

UPDATE: We may have a time and a date for Microsoft’s big Surface Pro 9 launch event… or not. If we are to trust generally reliable Twitter leaker WalkingCat, we should circle October 11 in our calendar… apps, with a mystery “announcement” likely to kick off at 12 pm EST on that date (which is a Tuesday, in case you’re wondering).
Unfortunately, Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, who is usually equally skilled at predicting these types of things, says he’s not so sure that’s indeed the “correct date/time.” Either way, a Surface event is virtually guaranteed for October (at some point), and a 2-in-1 Pro 9 powerhouse with Intel and Microsoft SQ3 configurations will almost certainly capture the spotlight.
Said spotlight is unlikely to be shared with a new member of the compact and affordable Surface Go family, by the way, with an upgraded Surface Laptop and possibly a Surface Studio 3 all-in-one PC instead expected to take the stage alongside the aforementioned Surface Pro 9 tablet. Meanwhile, there are no words on a dual-screen Surface Duo 3 handset or a new attempt at making the Surface Neo happen, although we’ll be sure to keep our ears to the ground and let you know if that changes. Our original post follows below.

Unlike many of their competitors, Microsoft’s Windows-powered Surface tablets rarely leak in a lot of detail months ahead of an official announcement. That means it’s not entirely surprising that we haven’t heard anything about a prospective Pro 9 model almost a full year after the Pro 8’s commercial debut.

With said Surface Pro 8 powerhouse following in the footsteps of a Pro 7 generation released all the way back in the fall of 2019, this complete silence on the rumor front could have suggested a Pro 9 edition wouldn’t happen until next year, but those expectations have all of a sudden changed.
That’s because the (almost) always reliable Roland Quandt now claims a Surface Pro 9 with SQ3 “is a thing indeed.” This somewhat vague and not extremely revealing tweet made us realize we missed a very juicy Windows Central report from around a week ago anticipating a big change for Microsoft’s Surface hardware family.

The company is apparently preparing to merge the aforementioned Surface Pro 8 sequel with what would have been a third-generation Surface Pro X, releasing the combined lineup under one name at some point this fall.

Said name is unsurprisingly expected to be Surface Pro 9, and like Roland Quandt today, Windows Central last week predicted both Intel and ARM-based configurations for this undoubtedly impressive next-gen iPad Pro alternative.
Microsoft SQ3, of course, should be the name of the ARM-based processor developed by Microsoft itself in collaboration with Qualcomm to come after the SQ1 and SQ2 chipsets currently found inside the Surface Pro X.

Compared to Intel variants, which are likely to use 12th generation P-series silicon to provide a nice performance upgrade over the Pro 8 with 10th gen Intel Core power inside, the SQ3 Surface Pro 9 configurations should be at least slightly cheaper and potentially significantly slower.

Given the very few other differences one can note between the existing Surface Pro 8 and Pro X, it definitely makes sense to come out with just one new product to rule all of the best Windows tablets this holiday season. And yes, you can absolutely expect Microsoft to (finally) offer optional 5G connectivity, as well as “new Type Cover colors and designs” but a largely unchanged design for the 2-in-1 high-end tablet itself.

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