Microsoft's first AI PCs Surface with Intel cores and a Copilot key

Upgraded fondleslab and laptops limited to business buyers only, for now

At a virtual press conference on Thursday, Microsoft showed off the latest additions to its Surface hardware via an updated tablet and business laptops that Redmond assures us are built for using AI for just about everything.

All of the devices announced today are powered by Intel's so-called AI PC chip - the H-Series Core Ultra processor, from the Meteor Lake family, that comes with a neural processing unit (NPU) built in. These chips aren't cheap, and prices for the tablet and laptops start at $1,199 for a bare-bones system and go up to $3,000, without including accessories.

With the base spec Surface Pro 10 tablet [specs PDF] you'll get a 13-inch LCD screen running an Ultra 5 135U processor with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB hard drive. Upgrading to an Ultra 7 165U processor will set you back another $500 and the fullest spec machine, with 64GB of RAM and a terabyte of storage, will cost $2,799 in all.

The tablet comes with two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports and a charging socket, although hubs are available as accessories. The Pro also has a built-in NFC reader for more secure logins with the option to add a 5G card as well. Microsoft claims the battery life is 19 hours and the base unit weighs in at 1.94 lbs (879 g).

However, you'll still need a keyboard to use the system, which adds another $139, or $279 if you want a pen and better trackpad. During the launch Microsoft noted that the keyboard has been redesigned to have a bolder font and better backlighting, something many Surface users have found to be an issue in the past.

Redmond has also added a non-reflective screen coating and a wide-angle 114° camera that uses AI (of course) to keep the speaker constantly in frame.

And for traditionalists

The upgraded Surface 6 touchscreen laptops [specs PDF], which come in 13.5 and 15-inch flavors, also have improved cameras and Redmond claims the AI image enhancements made by Windows Studio Effects running in the NPU will make video meetings a lot easier.

Those with the 13.5-inch version get a single Thunderbolt 4 port, as well as a standard USB 3.1 slot and a 3.5mm jack, while the 15-inch design adds a second Thunderbolt port and has an optional smartcard security reader, although the latter option is only for customers in the US and Canada.

The 13.5 and 15-inch models weigh in at 3.06 lbs (1.38 kg) and 3.70 lbs (1.68 kg) respectively and Redmond claims the batteries should be good for 19 hours of normal use and that the chassis design allows Intel's chips to run at full speed without overheating.

In a nod to the ecowarriors, Microsoft promises that the Surface Pro 10 will be made of 72 percent recycled kit, although this drops to just over 25 percent of the Surface 6 laptop range. Key parts come with QR codes they claim will make repairing these pricey pieces of kit much easier.

The new range is designed to be sold exclusively to business customers from April 9, direct or via resellers. It's expected that consumer versions of the latest kit will be announced in May.

All about the AI

While a Surface hardware refresh ahs been expected Microsoft made today's event all about AI - specifically Copilot.

As expected, the kit will feature the dedicated Copilot key to summon the machine learning system baked into increasing numbers of Microsoft applications. Judging from the promotional video, which you can see below, it looks like the PrtSc or right Control key will be replaced by Copilot.

Youtube Video

With Copilot spreading across more of Microsoft software lines Redmond was keen to show off what the kit could do. Demons included taking meeting minutes in OneNote, using Copilot to summarize action points and to do items in real time, and draft business documents based on simple prompts.

Naturally Microsoft is keen to get as many people using Copilot as possible, given its $10bn investment in OpenAI. As Redmond explained at November's Ignite conference, Copilot is going into everything possible, although Microsoft has explained to shareholders that there's going to be no quick cash bonanza from the technology for a while.

The Surface refresh is Redmond's chance to show what Copilot can do on hardware specifically designed to handle AI workloads, backed up by Windows 11. While these aren't the only Intel Ultra-powered laptops on the market, it's going to be interesting to see what if Redmond can show a significant Copilot advantage to woo buyers. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like