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Report: Surface Laptop 3 Will Feature AMD Processors

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Microsoft recently invited the press to an event in New York City where it's expected to announce new versions of its Surface hardware. The new version of at least one of these products might be more different from its predecessors than many people expected, according to WinFuture, which reported today that Microsoft plans to announce a new Surface Laptop equipped with AMD processors rather than merely adopting the latest chips from Intel.

So far Microsoft has released two generations of Surface Laptop: the first debuted in May 2017 and the second arrived in October 2018. Both exclusively featured Intel processors. Rumors about the next generation featuring another company's chips started pretty soon after the Surface Laptop 2's debut, though, with The Verge reporting in November 2019 that Microsoft could use AMD's Picasso accelerated processing unit (APU) in the Surface Laptop 3.

Petri published a similar report in June, saying that Microsoft had made prototype Surface devices featuring Picasso APUs as well as Snapdragon chips from Qualcomm, meaning the company had experimented outside the x86 architecture. (Which doesn't come as too much of a surprise, given Microsoft's efforts to support Arm processors in Windows 10.) It seemed like Surface devices featuring non-Intel processors were becoming more likely.

Now we have WinFuture reporting that, according to "a series of corresponding entries in non-public databases of European retailers," Microsoft plans to release a Surface Laptop 3 with a 15-inch display and AMD CPU. (Quote translated from the original German via Google Translate.) WinFuture said it found three Surface Laptop models featuring AMD processors, but the database entries didn't make it clear which of AMD's chips were being used.

This shift could result in future Surface devices offering a mix of Intel and AMD processors. AMD's certainly prepared enough APUs to serve Microsoft for a while: in addition to the Picasso APUs announced in January, the company's also believed to be working on new Renoir APUs featuring Zen 2 cores, as well as Dali APUs based on Raven Ridge. Those APUs would purportedly cover the high (Renoir) and low (Dali) ends of the laptop and tablet market.

We should find out more when Microsoft announces the Surface Laptop 3. If the rumors are true, that should happen at the New York City event on October 2, so we shouldn't have to wait long to learn if the company's finally decided to put something other than an Intel processor in the Surface Laptop.