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Microsoft Surface Laptop 6 rumors: Expected release date and what we want to see
Update, December 28, 2023 (01:58 PM ET): We have updated our Microsoft Surface Laptop 6 rumor hub to include new information about its “next-gen AI PC” status and the possibility of simultaneous Arm-based variant releases.
Original article: When it comes to the Surface Laptop, Microsoft doesn’t like to get too crazy with the build. You’ll usually see an improvement here and there, but from one generation to the next, these laptops are largely iterative. Despite Microsoft’s iterative design philosophy, the Surface Laptop line is still one of the best laptops you can buy. Will Microsoft try to do something innovative with the following model in the line? We won’t know for sure until the Redmond tech giant officially announces its next-generation laptop, but here’s everything we know about the Microsoft Surface Laptop 6.
Will there be a Surface Laptop 6?
With a few exceptions, Microsoft usually launches a new Surface Laptop each year. Although nothing has been announced, there have been numerous leaks about a next-gen Surface Laptop. Considering the most recent Surface Laptop is the 2022 Surface Laptop 5, it would be safe to assume that there will be a Surface Laptop 6. When it will launch, however, is a different question.
What is the most likely Surface Laptop 6 release date?
- Surface Laptop: May 2, 2017
- Surface Laptop 2: October 2, 2018
- Surface Laptop 3: October 2, 2019
- Surface Laptop 4: April 13, 2021
- Surface Laptop 5: October 12, 2022
Despite all of the leaked information, one detail that has managed to stay under wraps is the Surface Laptop 6 release date. Based on Microsoft’s history, the company tends to choose October as its launch window. So, one would have assumed that the company would pick October 2023 as its rollout date for the Surface Laptop 6.
However, 2023’s Surface event landed in September, and the Surface Laptop 6 was absent from the show.
With the Surface event now in the rearview mirror, it’s anyone’s guess as to when Microsoft will launch the computer at this point.
What specs and features could the Surface Laptop 6 have?
It’s unknown when the notebook could launch, but some details about the Laptop 6 have emerged. For example, when the Laptop 6 launches, it will likely have six years of firmware support and possibly be custom-tuned for the next big launch of Windows, tentatively known as Windows 12.
As mentioned earlier, Microsoft likes to play it safe when it comes to the Surface Laptop. So safe, in fact, that some reviewers have begun chiding Microsoft for seemingly making no improvements to the chassis from generation to generation. The Surface Laptop’s design has essentially become the embodiment of the proverb, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
At the moment, there’s no information on the design of the Laptop 6. But it wouldn’t be surprising if Microsoft tried to squeeze a little more juice out of the existing design. However, criticism has been loud enough that it’s possible Microsoft may try to, at least, make some slight changes. But we don’t expect any extreme deviations from last year’s model.
AI and processors
According to Windows Central, the Surface Laptop 6 (and its expected sibling, the Surface Pro 10) could land as Microsoft’s “next-gen AI PC.” While it’s unclear what this will mean exactly, Microsoft is a huge investor in OpenAI, the company that owns ChatGPT. Microsoft’s own Windows AI chatbot — Copilot, formerly known as Bing Chat — is based on OpenAI’s work. It is likely the Surface Laptop 6 could see deep integration with AI systems.
As for the laptop’s processor, it’s basically a given that the Surface Laptop 6 will come with the latest 14th-gen Intel CPUs. However, rumors suggest there could also be Arm-based variants that launch at the same time, which would be a first for a Surface product. These models would allegedly work with a custom version of Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon X chip.
With either flavor, you would also get a new neural processing unit (NPU), which would greatly help with those rumored AI-based tools.
What could the Surface Laptop 6 price be?
- Surface Laptop: $999
- Surface Laptop 2: $999
- Surface Laptop 3: $999
- Surface Laptop 4: $999
- Surface Laptop 5: $999
No official price has been given yet. We’ll likely have to wait until Microsoft officially announces the Surface Laptop 6 before we get an official price. But we can speculate as to what the price will be based on older laptops from Microsoft.
Since its inception, the Surface Laptop line has always launched with a starting price of $999. As such, it would be safe to assume that the Redmond-based tech giant is aiming for the same price point for its sixth-generation laptop. If not, we wouldn’t expect for Microsoft to deviate too far from this range.
Should you wait for the Surface Laptop 6?
Whether you should wait for the Surface Laptop 6 or stick with your current solution is up to you and your situation. Obviously, if you’ve had your current laptop for a while and you have the money, the Surface Laptop 6 would probably be a good investment. If you go down this route, here are a few things you can do with your old laptop.
But if you bought the Surface Laptop 5 or some other notebook in 2023, it may be harder to justify moving on from that to this laptop. However, the Surface Laptop 6 will almost certainly offer improved performance and battery life compared to the 2022 model. That alone may be enough to have a reason to upgrade.
At the same time, there are plenty of alternatives you can consider. For example, Dell’s perennially excellent XPS 13 ($849 at Dell) launched at a starting price of $999. Or if you don’t mind playing in Apple’s ecosystem, the MacBook Air with M2 ($1095 at Amazon) is a solid choice.
Surface Laptop 6: What we want to see
Bring back bold colors
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop line wasn’t always so bland and unexciting. There was a time when these computers would sport colors like Graphite Gold, Cobalt Blue, and Burgundy. But these have since been replaced by much more subtle colors like Black, Sandstone, and Sage. Although we’re not getting our hopes up, it would be nice to see Microsoft make a return to form with a few new bold colors.
The Surface Laptop 5 wasn’t the worst offender out there in terms of bezel size, by any means. But in 2024, there’s no reason why we should still be putting up with thick bezels on our laptop screens, especially for a device that’s $1,000 or more. We hope that Microsoft can take a page out of the Dell XPS 13’s playbook and do something to minimize the bezels on the Surface Laptop 6. This would be a big enough update to get rid of the staleness that has plagued the Surface Laptop’s design after years of reusing the same chassis.
Premium feature parity with other Surface devices
The strange thing about the Surface Laptop line is that Microsoft has continually chosen to omit certain premium features that appear in other Surface devices. For example, the Surface Pro 8 has a display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 1080p webcam. The Surface Laptop 5 didn’t get either of these features. Even the Surface Go 3 got a 5MP 1080p webcam. We want to see Microsoft finally give the Surface Laptop line some love with these premium features.