What is a Surface event without a Panos Panay? Microsoft answered the existential question today during a New York City Windows event. The company broke out the big guns in the absence of the longtime division head Panay (whose hasty exit from the company was announced earlier this week), as CEO Satya Nadella took the stage. But hardware was the real star of the show today — specifically the Surface Laptop Go 3 and Surface Laptop Studio 2.
Fifteen months after the Laptop Go 2 debuted with a new fingerprint reader, its successor arrived with new internals. The system is powered by the 12th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU and Intel Iris Xe graphics. Microsoft is comparing performance to the original Surface Laptop Go, which arrived at the end of 2020, stating that it represents an 88% speed bump.
As the name implies, portability is very much the thing here. It weighs in a bit less than 2.5 pounds — quite good for a 12.4-inch machine. That’s a touchscreen, naturally, in keeping with the rest of the line. It features a pair of Studio mics, coupled with Dolby Atmos–tuned speakers. Microsoft is also promising 15 hours of life on a charge.
The new Laptop Studio measures in at 14.4 inches. It’s powered by a 13th-gen Intel Core H-class processors. The system has optional Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050, 4060 or RTX 2000 graphics. It sports two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, one old-school USB-A port and microSD card reader — a nod to the Surface line’s embrace of the creative pro category. It’s a solid, well-rounded system, from the looks of things.
Both systems are up for preorder now and set to start shipping October 3. The Laptop Go 3 starts at $799 and the Laptop Studio 2 is $1,999.
The devices arrive amid reports that Panay left the division over budget cuts and cancelations of more experimental Surface devices.