Microsoft Surface Pro 8 and Laptop 4 to “soft launch” in 2021

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Leaked images show the next Surface Pro and Surface Laptop have passed through certification in Korea.

It appears that Microsoft will launch new versions of its Surface Pro and Surface Laptop early next year. And now images of those products have recently appeared online as they pass through certification in Korea.

The leaked images confirm that the devices won’t be featuring any new design elements. It seems Microsoft is opting to keep the external chassis for each model the same as that of the previous version.

A Korean-based Twitter user called cozyplanes leaked photos of the new models. This user posted on Twitter what appear to be Microsoft’s 2021 versions of the current Surface Pro 7 tablet and Surface Laptop 3. Cozyplanes also noted that the certification listings confirm the model number of each: 1950 for the Surface Laptop and 1960 for the Surface Pro.

Microsoft appears to be planning to announce the new models in January 2021, after the holiday season.

The devices will most likely feature Intel 11th-generation processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics. And once again, the Surface Laptop will have AMD option.

Zack Bowden of Windows Central wrote that the launch will most likely be a soft one. “I understand that this launch will be a quiet one, with little fanfare outside of the initial announcement,’ he says.

“The Surface Pro 8 is also expected to feature an LTE option for customers who need it, I’m told. I’m also hearing that Microsoft is hoping to start rolling out the Surface Duo in more markets shortly after the new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop launch.”

Going head to head with Apple

Microsoft’s unusual release schedule might be due to the fact that this year its Windows on Arm Surface devices are going to compete directly with Apple’s popular Macs equipped with the new Arm-based Apple Silicon M1 processors.  

The Macs with an M1 processor include the MacBook Air, the Mac mini, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Microsoft’s Arm-based Surfaces will face stiff competition from Apple’s M1 options. 

However, Microsoft does have the Surface Pro X with an SQ1 processor, and all its Surface lineup have touchscreens, which no MacBook has. 

Tip: Review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3