It’s the busiest time of year for gadget makers, Microsoft included. We had some idea of what Microsoft had in store for today thanks to some well-timed leaks, details were thin. But now that Surface Event 2019 is underway, here’s everything we know about the latest and greatest Surface products.
Surface Laptop 3
This year, Microsoft is offering not one but two versions of its Surface Laptop 3 – the regular 13.5-inch, and a larger 15-inch model. Microsoft’s decided to power the laptops with a quadcore 10th generation Intel chip, which supposedly delivers performance that’s three times faster than the MacBook Air. The laptop also features Vega 11 graphics and AMD’s Ryzen 7. it’s got a 20 percent larger trackpad. As for finish, the laptops sport a machined aluminum finish. The controversial Alcantara fabric is also now optional. The laptops have both USB-C and USB-A, as well as a removable hard drive. Another big change is that if you remove three screws, the top of the surface can come off – a win for repairability. For battery life, the Surface Laptop 3 will purportedly let you charge up to 80 percent in an hour.
The 13.5 inch will cost $1000, while the 15-inch will retail for $1200 (UK pricing TBA). Both will be available October 22.
Surface Pro 7
Missing from last year’s sixth edition Surface Pro was the USB-C. Not so, this year. The USB-C port was front-and-center today, though not at the expense of a regular ol’ USB-A port. Otherwise, at a glance there wasn’t too much different about this year’s design – they’ll come in black and silver like last year. It’ll also feature new studio mics, to better capture sound for voice-to-text. Also new – phone calls are integrated into the OS, meaning calls from an Android phone will automatically pop up on the Surface.
Inside, the Surface Pro 7 is powered by Intel’s 10th generation processors. No big surprise there. Microsoft also demoed the new Surface Pen – which now allows you to delete and add information within a document. The Surface Pro 7 will retail for $750 (UK pricing TBA) and ship October 22. You can preorder today.
Microsoft’s new earbuds have productivity on the brain. They integrate with Microsoft Office, and one highlighted feature is that you can use them for dictation. You can also use them to navigate through Power Point presentations. At the event, Microsoft also demoed the earbuds as capable of real-time captions. You can also change languages. Android users can also tap to automatically open Spotify. Audio-wise, they feature omnisonic sound, a directional dual-array mic, and noise reduction.
They start at $250 (UK pricing TBA), and will be available later this year.
Surface Pro X
There’s been rumors that Microsoft has been working on an ARM-powered Surface for months. Well, turns out they were true. It’s a thin 5.3 mm, and spec-wise has some impressive features. Inside, it’s powered by a custom Surface SQ1 processor, a 2 teraflop GPU, has USB-C, as well as fast charging. It’s also got the Surface Slim Pen right in the keyboard, so it can constantly recharge while you’re not using it. The Surface Pro X weighs a mere 1.68 pounds and the display measures 13 inches in a 12-inch chassis (thinner bezels!), with a resolution of 2880 by 1920 resolution for 267 pixels per inch. For connectivity it’s got LTE advanced. Compared to the the Surface Pro 6, Microsoft says the performance on the Pro X is three times better per watt.
The Pro X will be available November 5 for $1,000 (UK pricing TBA).
Surface Neo and Windows 10X
Whoa. We won’t be seeing this beast until next year’s winter season, but get hype. The Surface Neo looks like a tiny notebook when closed, but then opens into a foldable, dual screen tablet. There’s no trackpad on the keyboard – it’s built into the display instead. The Surface Pen and keyboard will magnetically snap into place on the back. It’s 5.6mm thin, weighs a light 655 grams, is covered in Gorilla glass, and has a 360 degree hinge. Both screens measure 9 inches. Inside, the Neo is powered by an Intel Lakefield processor and an 11th generation graphics engine.
While there was a lot of chatter about the hardware, also important was the announcement of Windows 10x. It’s a specific OS that’s “designed and optimized” for two screens. It supports all apps, including Microsoft Office. In a demo, Microsoft showed off how opening an app on one side of the screen, will automatically reflow it onto the second screen. Also, when you flip the keyboard, it can automatically recognize that and change the second screen into a “wonder bar” – something akin to the Touch Bar on MacBooks.
No word on pricing, but it’s probably fair to say it’ll be somewhat expensive.
Well, Samsung might be shaking in its boots. The Surface Duo is like a tinier version of the Neo, except it’s also a phone. Microsoft says you can text, write, and all the things you expect smartphones to do. It’s got a two 5.6-inch displays, and a 360 degree hinge. Other huge news: Microsoft is partnering with Google to bring Android into its phone. Meaning, you get every single Android app...on a Surface phone.
Like the Neo, the Surface Duo will be available for the 2020 winter season.