Microsoft has unveiled two new Surface devices, the Surface Pro 10 for Business and Surface Laptop 6 for Business, marking the company's first foray into AI-powered PCs. Both devices feature Intel's latest Core Ultra processors, a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for accelerating AI-powered features in Windows 11, and a new Copilot key for quick access to Microsoft's AI assistant. However, unlike previous Surface releases, these devices will not be sold directly to consumers and will only be available to commercial customers through Microsoft's channels and authorized resellers.

The Surface Pro 10 for Business maintains the same design as its predecessor, the Intel version of the Surface Pro 9, but boasts significant upgrades under the hood. It offers a choice between Core Ultra 5 135U and Core Ultra 7 165U processors, with memory options ranging from 8GB to 64GB of RAM and storage starting at a 256GB Gen4 SSD. The device also includes two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports and Microsoft's Surface Connect port for charging, with a promised battery life of up to 19 hours.

One of the standout features of the Surface Pro 10 for Business is its improved 13-inch display, which now features a new antireflective coating and a 33 percent increase in brightness. Despite rumors suggesting the device would sport an OLED display, Microsoft has confirmed that the Surface Pro 10 for Business will ship with an LCD panel. However, sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have indicated that a consumer-focused version of the Surface Pro 10 with an OLED display will be announced at a May 20th hardware and AI event.

The Surface Pro 10 for Business also boasts a significantly upgraded front-facing camera, offering a 114-degree field of view and capturing footage in 1440p resolution. Nancie Gaskill, general manager of the Surface business, noted that "it will be the first camera with the ultrawide field of view on the PC market today." The device's NPU chip enables access to Windows Studio Effects, including background blur and automatic framing during video calls. Additionally, Microsoft has included an NFC reader for easy use of security keys like YubiKey and plans to offer a 5G option for the Surface Pro 10 for Business.

The Surface Laptop 6 for Business, while maintaining a similar design to the Surface Laptop 5, has been "redesigned from the inside out," according to Gaskill. It features Intel's Core Ultra H-series chips, designed for desktop-grade performance, with options for the Core Ultra 5 135H and the Core Ultra 7 165H processors. The base model, priced at $1,199, includes 8GB of RAM (configurable up to 64GB) and a 256GB Gen4 SSD (upgradeable to 1TB).

The 15-inch model of the Surface Laptop 6 for Business introduces two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, while the 13.5-inch model offers a single USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port. Both models include a headphone jack and Microsoft's Surface Connect port for charging. Although the display remains largely unchanged, Microsoft has added an antireflective coating and upgraded the front-facing camera to 1080p resolution. The device also supports Windows Studio Effects and features the new Copilot key for quick access to Microsoft's AI assistant.

Microsoft claims that the Surface Laptop 6 for Business will be twice as fast as its predecessor, thanks to the Ultra H-series processors. The device also offers an optional smart card reader in select markets.

While the decision to sell these devices exclusively to businesses has raised questions about Microsoft's commitment to the consumer PC market, the company has reassured that it remains dedicated to building products for consumers. Gaskill stated, "These products are built exclusively for business, that doesn't mean that we are not building products for consumers going forward. We remain committed to that, but we're announcing these that are specifically built for commercial."

Microsoft has also emphasized the improved serviceability of both devices, with QR codes on internal components and markings on the Surface Pro 10 for Business to facilitate easier identification of screws and driver types for certain components.

As Microsoft gears up for its "year of the AI PC," the Surface Pro 10 for Business and Surface Laptop 6 for Business serve as a preview of the company's vision for AI-powered hardware. While the full range of AI features Microsoft plans to add to Windows later this year remains under wraps, the company has scheduled a special Windows and Surface AI event on May 20th, where CEO Satya Nadella is expected to share Microsoft's "AI vision" for both software and hardware.