Surface Laptop Studio 2: Everything we’re expecting

Surface Laptop Studio 2: Everything we’re expecting

The Surface Laptop Studio is one of Microsoft’s most interesting devices in a long time, and one of the coolest laptops around. This new form factor for Surface combines the Surface Book and Surface Studio lines to create something different and better. We loved the Surface Laptop Studio in our review, and it was certainly one of the best laptops out there when it launched. But you know how things roll in technology – we’re always looking forward to the next thing. So what can expect from a potential Surface Laptop Studio 2? Is it coming any time soon? Here’s what we know, what we expect, and what we’d like to see.


First off, let’s lay out the basics of the current Surface Laptop Studio. This is a laptop powered by Intel’s H35 series processors, a new type of processor that has a higher power consumption than a typical laptop, but not as high as 45W processors you might find in a gaming rig. It also comes with dedicated NVIDIA graphics in the form of a GeForce RTX 3050 Ti. Overall, the Surface Laptop Studio is powerful, but it’s one year old at this point, and some of its specs are starting to look outdated compared to newer laptops.

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What is the release date of the Surface Laptop Studio 2?

The first thing you’re probably wondering is when can we expect the Surface Laptop Studio 2. With this being a new lineup in Microsoft’s Surface family, this is a particularly hard question to answer. The rate at which Surface devices come out is largely dependent on their success. The Surface Book and Surface Studio lines both had at least two years between new launches. Whether the Surface Laptop Studio sells well enough to warrant a successor more quickly remains to be seen. However, anywhere between one to two years seems like a reasonable amount of time for a successor to launch.

Front view of Surface Laptop Studio

As it stands, we’re not expecting a Surface Laptop Studio 2 to launch this year, however. A Surface-focused will be taking place on October 12th, and everything we’ve heard points to devices like the Surface Pro 9 (including a new Arm-powered version), Surface Laptop 5, and potentially even a Surface Studio 3 (the desktop all-in-one PC). It seems as though the Surface Laptop Studio isn’t getting refreshed just yet.

What new features will the Surface Laptop Studio 2 have?

So, when a Surface Laptop Studio 2 does launch, what can we expect it to include? It’s probably safe to assume we won’t see huge design changes in the second iteration of this lineup. Microsoft typically waits a couple (or more) of generations to make significant changes to the design of its Surface devices. There’s also nothing that’s necessarily wrong with the Surface Laptop Studio as it is right now, and no rumors to indicate any big changes to the design.

A spec bump

The one thing you can surely expect with a new Surface Laptop Studio is upgraded specs. That’s the one thing you can almost always count on with a new device launch. Microsoft could go a couple of ways here. It’s currently using Intel’s H35 series of processors, which strike a balance between power and battery life. However, Intel Alder Lake processors could change things.

With Intel’s 12th-generation processors, 35W CPUs are no longer a thing. Right now, we have the P series, which has a TDP of 28W, or the regular H series, with a TDP of 45W. It seems likely that Microsoft will have to choose one of these series, but it probably won’t be a 12th-generation processor. Intel should be launching its 13th-generation CPUs in the next few months, and seeing as we’re not expecting a Surface Laptop Studio 2 this year, that’s most likely what we’re going to get. Assuming the Surface Laptop Studio 2 launched in 2023, that is.

Surface Laptop Studio in stage mode

Aside from that, we could also be looking at an upgraded graphics card. Nvidia introduced its GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs for desktop on September 20th, and laptop models are likely to debut in early 2023, if past generations are any indication. Depending on when the laptop ends up releasing, it may feature a new Nvidia GPU from that lineup.

What do we want to see in a Surface Laptop Studio 2?

Of course, outside of what we can expect, there are things we’d simply like to see in a future version. The current Surface Laptop Studio is great, but there are a couple of ways we’d like to see Microsoft improve it even further. The expectation is that Nvidia will introduce the GeForce RTX 4000 series later this year, but usually, it’s the desktop GPUs that launch first. Laptop variants will probably show up sometime in 2023.

A more flexible design

The form factor of the Surface Laptop Studio takes clear inspiration from the Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel, allowing you to pull the display towards you or fold it over the keyboard base for drawing. However, that’s all the Surface Laptop Studio does. Acer’s laptop is designed to more easily allow you to have the display in many more different positions. You can make it so that the display “floats” above the keyboard, for example, or spin it completely backwards if you want to show something off across a table.

An Acer ConeptD 3 Ezel Pro with the display flipped backwards

The Surface Laptop Studio design locks you into three different positions, and while you can move it freely, it doesn’t really hold any other position very well. One could argue that’s an intentional part of Microsoft’s design, but it could definitely change in the future. When the first Surface RT and Surface Pro iterations were released, the kickstand only supported a few positions, but it eventually became a free-moving kickstand.

A refined design

The Surface Laptop Studio is cleverly designed to house the Surface Slim Pen 2 underneath the keyboard base. To accommodate it, Microsoft designed the laptop to have this cutout all around the base, which can look a bit odd. The Surface Slim Pen can only be stored in one position alongside this cutout, so the rest of it is only there for aesthetic consistency, but it would probably be better without it.

Pen stored under Surface Laptop Studio

The cutout should be designed to fit the Surface Slim Pen more snuggly. And while we’re at it, the pen should probably be included with such an expensive laptop. That way, the pen garage isn’t empty out of the box and it helps the design feel more balanced.

More ports

Seeing Microsoft adopt Thunderbolt for the first time with the Surface Laptop Studio (and Pro 8) was huge news, and we hope to keep seeing them in future iterations. But as capable as these ports are, it’s a shame to see this powerful laptop including almost nothing else aside from Thunderbolt. A more traditional display output like HDMI would be great to see, as would USB Type-A and an SD card reader. Surface devices typically haven’t had a ton of ports, but if Apple can learn its lesson for the 2021 MacBook Pro, we hope Microsoft can learn the same for a Surface Laptop Studio 2.

Side view of Surface Laptop Studio

What will be the price of the Surface Laptop Studio 2?

While it’s definitely early to take a guess at exact pricing for a device that’s still a way out, there’s something we do know. Microsoft hasn’t typically raised (or lowered) the base price of its devices by a whole lot each generation. The exception to that was the Surface Pro 8, but keep in mind that was a major upgrade in terms of design and screen. Plus, Microsoft also left behind some configurations like 4GB of RAM and the Intel Core i3, so the starting point for the Pro 8 is very different from the Pro 7.

As such, it’s fair to expect that the base price of a Surface Laptop Studio 2 stays around $1,599 when it does launch. Of course, it could increase, but it’s hard to imagine it going much higher than that. As for the maximum price, it will depend on whether Microsoft decides to introduce new configuration options, whether that’s a more powerful GPU or some other kind of upgrade.

For now, that’s all we know about a potential Surface Laptop Studio 2, and frankly, it’s not a lot. That’s not too surprising, though, considering it doesn’t look like a Surface Laptop Studio 2 will launch in 2022. There’s no reason to wait if you want this kind of form factor right now. We’ll be updating this article if any new information or rumors pop up about the Surface Laptop Studio 2, so be sure to check back later. If you’re interested in other form factors, check out the best Surface PCs you can buy today. Microsoft makes some great devices for different use cases.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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