Although the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop ranges picked up new models in October 2019 (and the ARM-based Surface Pro X was launched), the larger Surface Book 2 remained in the portfolio, even with its older specifications. Now it looks set to be sent to pasture, as the Book 3 is prepared for the public. Long-time Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley notes the details:
“Before the coronavirus hit, Microsoft had been expected to roll out its second Surface Go tablet, the Surface Book 3 laptop, and the delayed Surface Earbuds this spring. (Some also had predicted the arrival of a new, second-generation Surface Dock.)
“Based on various tips and leaks, it sounds like all these items are still on the docket. Some of them recently appeared in retailer listings. I’m hearing from my contacts the Surface Go 2 is possibly on tap for a May 2020 launch and the Surface Book 3 for June.”
I suspect the launch of the Surface Book 3 is going to gather the most attention. The third iteration of the silver laptop that allows the screen to be detached and used as an oversized tablet has been some time in coming. The second Surface Book was launched in 2017, and three years latest the specs are not the numbers you would expect from a top tier machine.
The update from Intel’s eighth generation chipset to the tenth generation is long overdue, along with graphics support to focus on media editing and a refresh of other areas around the machine. You can read more on what to expect here on Forbes.
With the current pandemic conditions, any launch event is going to be a virtual one. That could be as simple as ‘launch by press release’, or the Surface team could put together an introduction video or lifestream. It’s also likely that the Surface Book 3 may take longer to reach retail than previous Surface machines.
The Surface Go 2 has a different challenge. The first Windows 10 powered Surface Go did make for lightweight and flexible consumer device, but it was targeted towards enterprise markets looking for front of house terminals, hardware to use in the field, and for extensive use in factory and shop floor environments. With the world’s economy slowing down, the Surface Go 2 may find itself facing up to the iPad Pro as consumers look for cheaper alternatives.