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Microsoft Surface Laptops: Release Date, Price and Features Detailed For Australia

At its much-anticipated Copilot and Surface event, technology giant Microsoft doubled down on recent AI developments, announcing two redesigned ARM-based Surface laptops. Powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon X processors, the new Surface Laptop (7th Edition) and the Surface Pro (11th Edition) models cop a fresh new look, screen functionality and, to be expected, a tonne of new AI capabilities.

According to Microsoft, the switch to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite or Plus chips instead of Intel’s Core Ultra will make their laptops as powerful and efficient as Apple’s MacBooks, on paper at least. With both releases available for pre-order starting at AUD $1,899, we’re taking a closer look at what the Surface Laptop (7th Edition) and Surface Pro (11th Edition) bring to the table.

Microsoft Surface Laptop (7th Edition, 2024)

First and foremost, the new 7th Edition Surface Laptop breaks the old naming pattern. Instead of being called the Surface Laptop 6 after the Surface Laptop 5, Microsoft decided to skip a number and go with “editions.” The new 7th Edition Surface Laptop has a fresh design and lots of new features and improvements compared to the previous version. For starters, the laptop now has much thinner bezels around the display and a haptic touchpad.

You can choose between two sizes: a larger 13.8-inch touchscreen display and a 15-inch model. Microsoft claims these are the brightest displays it has ever put on its laptops, offering 600 nits of brightness and a P3 colour gamut. Both come with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and an adaptable 120-Hz refresh rate panel.

The New Surface Laptop 7 Edition comes in either 13.8-inch touchscreen display or a 15-inch model
The New Surface Laptop 7 Edition comes in either 13.8-inch touchscreen display or a 15-inch model | Image: Microsoft

Billed as the “most powerful Surface Laptop,” the 7th Edition Surface lets you choose between Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus processors (the 15-inch model only has the Elite chip). The tech company says the new Surface Laptop is up to 86 per cent faster than the Surface Laptop 5, with better battery life (up to 20 hours on the 13.8-inch model and up to 22 hours on the 15-inch). You can even get up to 64 GB of RAM and storage options go as high as 1 TB.

The new laptop gets an integrated NPU (neural processing unit) “with 45 trillion operations per second” that promises to “supercharge your productivity and creativity.” It also supports up to three 4K monitors, allowing you to have a total of four screens running—twice as many as with the latest MacBook Air. There’s also a new Full HD Surface Studio Camera with AI-powered features and dual studio mics with AI-enhanced voice focus and Dolby Atmos speaker support.

Microsoft 7th edition surface laptop 2
The 7th Edition Surface Laptops will come fitted with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus processors | Image: Microsoft

Microsoft says this “integrates perfectly with AI-powered Windows Studio Effects like Automatic Framing, Portrait Blur, Creative Filters, and Eye Contact,” thus ensuring “your teams show up clearly and with confidence on all video calls with apps like Teams and Zoom.” As for connectivity, the new Surface Laptop will come with Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4, along with a range of ports, including one USB-A port, two USB-C ports, a headphone jack, and a Micro SD card reader. 

Microsoft Surface Pro (11th Edition, 2024)

Just like the new Surface Laptop, Microsoft is also strangely skipping over number 10, with the new Surface Pro (11th Edition), which follows the Surface Pro 9. While the Pro model has fewer changes than the new Surface Laptop, there are still some highlights. Design-wise, the 11th Edition Surface Pro keeps the original Surface design, with its built-in kickstand (you still need to buy the keyboard separately).

But what has changed is the laptop now has a new OLED display option that supports HDR, along with the usual LCD screen choice, and now weighs just under 900 grams (895 to be precise). The 11th Edition Surface Pro has also gotten a big performance boost, thanks to the new Snapdragon X processors, which Microsoft says will deliver “incredible performance that is 90% faster than the Surface Pro 9.” The standard LCD version of the Surface Pro runs on the Snapdragon X Plus, while the OLED version gets the Snapdragon X Elite chipset.

Microsoft 7th edition surface laptop OLED Display
The Surface Pro (11th Edition) comes with a new OLED Display and is powered by the Snapdragon Elite X chipset | Image: Microsoft

The new laptop has an integrated NPU, which the company says “delivers almost 20% more TOPS for AI processing than the Apple iPad Pro M4 making it exceptionally well-suited for running multiple AI models simultaneously.” You can load it up with up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage, and it features a 120Hz display with Dolby Vision IQ. Similar to the new Surface laptop, the Pro model also supports up to three external 4K monitors and Wi-Fi 7 but comes with an option to add 5G. Microsoft has redesigned the keyboard cover for the Surface Pro, now called the Surface Pro Flex Keyboard.

The keyboard can be detached and positioned anywhere for a more flexible typing experience, while the haptic touchpad is now 14% larger than before. The company has even added a bold key set option to help people with low vision and reduce eye strain. Plus, it still works with the older Surface Slim Pen stylus.

Microsoft Copilot + PC Features

The new Surface Laptop 7th Edition and Surface Pro 11th Edition are part of Microsoft’s ‘Copilot + PC’ lineup, which sets some pretty high standards for AI-powered PCs and laptops. These include 16GB of RAM, at least 256GB SSD storage, and an integrated NPU. As per the company, “Copilot+ PCs are the fastest, most intelligent Windows PCs ever built. With powerful new silicon capable of an incredible 40+ TOPS (trillion operations per second), all–day battery life and access to the most advanced AI models, Copilot+ PCs will enable you to do things you can’t on any other PC.”

Microsoft announced several features exclusive to Qualcomm-powered devices, which will soon be available to all Copilot+ PCs running Windows 11. Here are a few features that you will be able to enjoy:

1. Recall

Can’t find that photo, email, or file from a few days ago? Recall makes it all easy. Microsoft’s new Recall feature will let you search your entire PC with a simple query. It uses advanced language models to understand text, images, and videos across any application. For example, if you’re looking for a “blue dress” you saw online, just type it in, and Recall will find all the related items you viewed. If you need a specific one sent via a messaging app, like “blue pantsuit with sequin lace from grandma,” Recall will locate it without you scrolling through endless messages. Microsoft says that the Recall index is stored locally, keeping your data private and not used for AI training. You can also customize it to exclude certain websites or apps.

2. Live Translations 

As the name suggests, Live Translations will offer you real-time translation from 44 languages into English for any video or audio call. Powered by the NPU and available across all Copilot+ PCs, you will be able to use it for movies, turning live captions into English subtitles instantly.

3. Windows Studio Effects 

New Surface computers come with AI-powered webcam features called Windows Studio Effects to enhance video calls. These include creative filters (illustrated, animated, watercolour), Portrait Light for better lighting, Eye Contact to adjust your gaze towards the camera, Portrait Blur for a blurred background, and Voice Focus to reduce background noise. You will also be able to use three new creative filters (illustrated, animated or watercolour) to add “an artistic flare.”

4. Cocreator 

In Paint, the Cocreator feature will take advantage of AI to enhance your drawings. Simply type in what you want to create, draw it, and Cocreator will generate an AI version to add to your canvas. “Powerful diffusion-based algorithms optimize for the highest quality output over minimum steps to make it feel like you are creating alongside AI. Use the creativity slider to choose from a range of artwork from more literal to more expressive. Once you select your artwork, you can continue iterating on top of it, helping you express your ideas, regardless of your creative skills,” says Microsoft.

2024 Microsoft Surface Laptops
2024 Microsoft Surface Laptops | Image: Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Laptop Australian Pricing

Available in four colourways, namely, silver, black, blue, and bronze, the Surface Laptop (7th Edition) and the Surface Pro (11th Edition) are now available for pre-order in Australia starting at AUD $1,899 for the 13.8-inch model. On the other hand, the 15-inch Surface Laptop (7th Edition) is priced AUD$2,399, while the Surface Pro (11th Edition) with the Snapdragon X Elite and OLED display will set you AUD $2,699 back. These will be hitting stores on June 18