Today, Microsoft held a keynote where they announced their next iterations of their Surface devices as well as a number of surprise entrants.
Microsoft refreshed both the Surface Laptop and the Surface Pro with newer models that have few changes.
Surface Laptop 3
Starting off with the Surface Laptop 3, it now comes in two versions: 13 inch and the new 15 inch model.
It still retains its design that is minimalist to the core. You can either get it in the usual Alcantara fabric or an all aluminium metal finish which is more than welcome. There is now a 20% bigger glass trackpad and an inclusion of a type C port which was one of the gripes of the older version.
The Surface Laptop 3 will also feature fast charging where you can charge the laptop from 0-80% in an hour. Microsoft says that this will have an all day battery life (upto 11.5 hours as per their measurement) which is great.
The Surface Laptop 3 will be powered with either a 10th Generation Intel Core processor for the 13 inch version or an AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 with Vega Graphics 9 or 11 for the 15 inch variant.
The Surface Pro 13.5″ starts at $999 and the Surface Laptop 15 starts at $1199.
Surface Pro 7
The Surface Pro line started the whole Surface line of products and now we are in its 7th iteration.
Microsoft now says that the Surface Pro 7 is twice as fast thanks to the quad core 10th generation processors. It now features an USB C port that is a cool addition to this formfactor.
The Surface Pro 7 will start at $749.
The New Stuff
Microsoft surprised us with a bunch of new hardware at their keynote and they are pretty cool
Microsoft announced the Surface Earbuds which join the Surface Headphones in the company’s line of audio products
They are completely wireless and feature rather large circular surfaces for touch controls. The touch controls can be used to navigate streaming platforms like Spotify. You can use them with Office 365 to access your Outlook calendar and email with your vice and in some regions (US), get on screen captions and translations on PowerPoint.
They last 8 hours on a charge and with the included case, they can go for 24 hours.
These are priced at $249, $100 less than the Surface Headphones and right up there competing with Apple’s Powerbeats Pro and Sony’s WF-1000-XM3s.
This was a legitimately interesting product from Microsoft and it is not intended to be released soon yet.
Panos Panay, Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer also lamented at being ‘nervous’ when he was about to announce this product since it was still in development, but it was still cool nonetheless.
Surface Neo is Microsoft’s way of showing that they are committed to folding devices in the future. It is a dual screen PC that runs Windows 10X, a fork of Windows 10 for dual screen devices. It looks like a multitasking dream due to the dual displays and running apps on different screens simultaneously. The dual 9 inch screens opensupto an equivalent of a 13 inch display which is as big as a lot of PCs out there.
You can attach a bluetooth keyboard on top of a screen and the software will identify it and adjust the screen accordingly. The extra space you get can be used as a second screen or as a mouse.
Microsoft says that this will be available during the 2020 holidays.
Surface Duo is the other dual screen device in development from Microsoft and it looks like a mini Neo. The difference is that it runs on Android and can make phone calls.
The Surface Duo has two thin 5.6 inch screens with a folding hinge at the middle, just like the Neo. It doesn’t have a folding screens like the Galaxy Fold or the Huawei Mate X but this move by Microsoft looks like a safe one, for now.
We don’t know much about it for now, like the display quality or its materials or whether it will have cameras or its eventual price. However, we know that it will be available next year during the holidays, just like the Surface Neo.
Surface Pro X
This is what Microsoft thinks the future of the Surface Pro will be. They say it is their “lightest, most powerful and most connected Surface Pro ever”
It has a number of unique features over the normal Surface Pro. It has the ARM based Microsoft SQ1 processor which they co-developed with Qualcomm and pushes an insane 2 teraflops of power (same as a PS4). This chip also allows one to use LTE so this can be used everywhere if you have a SIM card and a data plan. It also has an AI engine that Microsoft is particularly excited about.
It has 33% thinner bezels making the 13 inch screen look ‘modern’. It also has a pen docking system for storing and charging the new Microsoft Slim Pen.
This will start at $999 and seems like a solid contender in the premium tablet space that is dominated by the iPad Pro.