Microsoft debuts the first Surface PCs with a dedicated Copilot AI button

Microsoft is releasing its first Surface PCs to include a dedicated Copilot button on the keyboard for quick access to the chatbot, following through on a promise it made in January.

The addition of the button to the left of the arrow keys represents the biggest change to a computer keyboard in decades. Although Microsoft is not the largest seller of personal computers – that distinction belongs to Lenovo – it runs the most popular Windows operating system. Lenovo has announced its own PCs with Copilot keys, as have Dell and HP.

But the Surface has historically been a showcase for what a Windows machine can be, and Microsoft is trying to articulate the convenience of having generative AI at the touch of a key with two new computers: the new Surface Pro 10 business convertible and the Surface Laptop 6 business .

When people type a few words into Copilot, which is based on AI models from Microsoft-backed OpenAI, servers in remote data centers do the necessary computing to produce a response.

The Copilot key on the Microsoft Surface Laptop 6 for Business appears to the left of the arrow keys.


Microsoft calls these new machines AI PCs. A new key that allows users to open the Copilot panel at any time on the right side of the screen helps matters, along with the silicone inside. Each computer is shipped packaged with Intel A Core Ultra processor containing a dedicated Neural Processing Engine, or NPU. Surface PCs have had NPUs since 2019.

When these NPUs are on a PC, benefits include faster responses and better security. Recently added AI features in Windows 11, such as automatic audio transcription and eye contact simulation during video calls, run on the NPU, which frees up the rest of the chip for other tasks.

The introduction is coming in two weeks An apple introduced MacBook Air laptops that come with an upgraded Neural Engine accelerator in the custom M3 chip. “MacBook Air continues to be the world’s best consumer laptop for AI,” Apple said in a statement.

The new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop start at $1,199 and can be configured with up to 64GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. They are available for pre-order today in select markets and will ship from April 9th.

Microsoft isn’t immediately releasing these Surface models to consumers.

“We remain fully committed to consumer devices,” a CNBC spokesperson said in an email. “Building great devices that people love to use is closely aligned with our company’s mission to empower individuals and organizations. We are excited to bring to market devices that deliver great AI experiences to our customers. This commercial announcement is just the first part of that effort.

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