Microsoft’s annual Surface event has wrapped up, and it brought a ton of big announcements this year. In total, it announced close to 10 new products, including the surprising Surface Duo phone that runs Android. Some other big announcements include Windows 10X, the Surface Neo, Surface Pro X, Surface Earbuds, the Surface Pro 7, and the Surface Laptop 3, the latter of which will be available in two sizes.
Check out our live blog to see photos and insights from the event as they happened. But if you’re catching up, and just want to look at the headlines, you’ll find the key takeaways below.
Microsoft has announced an Android-powered foldable tablet-meets-phone. It looks similar to the upcoming Surface Neo, but it’s smaller, has phone functionality, and since it runs on Android, it has access to the Google Play Store.
The Duo has two 5.6-inch displays merged by a 360-degree hinge. It allows greater cross-functionality between Windows 10 and Android than we’ve seen before.
It’s coming holiday 2020.
Microsoft has developed a new version of Windows 10 called Windows 10X. It’s made specifically for multiscreen devices, like the Surface Neo. Microsoft says that it can run all apps, and it must be expecting an influx of devices like these to hit the market.
The big surprise of this event is Microsoft’s new Surface Neo. It’s a multiscreen device that features two 9-inch displays held together by a sturdy 360-degree hinge. (The screen itself isn’t foldable, like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold.) Microsoft says that this product is still in development, and it’s targeting a holiday 2020 release date.
Microsoft has engineered a new keyboard for the Neo that can rest on top of the display. It features a Touch Bar-like interface called the WonderBar above it, and when you slide it up toward the hinge, a on-display trackpad section is revealed.
It runs new software called Windows 10X, which has been engineered specifically for multiscreen devices like this one.
Microsoft announced the Surface Pro X, a 13-inch 2-in-1 that takes the basic formula of the Surface tablet and refines it. The bezels are smaller, it runs Windows 10, and the Type Cover seems to have been reengineered with a dedicated spot for the Surface Pen.
It’s powered by Microsoft’s custom SQ1 chipset, which is ARM-based and allows for LTE connectivity. Microsoft says that it has three times the amount of performance per watt than the Surface Pro 6. The GPU apparently pushes over 2 teraflops, which my colleague Tom Warren says is roughly equivalent to what the Xbox One is capable of.
It’s available for preorder right now for $999, and it will be available in November.
Microsoft introduced the Surface Earbuds, a set of truly wireless headphones that offer up to 24 hours of battery life with its charging case. These feature what it calls omnisonic sound and a directional dual-array microphone. They feature standard headphone controls, like skipping songs by tapping on the sides. But they also have tight Office integration, surprisingly, like being able to advance slides in PowerPoint.
They’ll be available later this year for $249.
The latest iteration of Microsoft’s tablet-meets-laptop gets a big upgrade this year. It charges via USB-C instead of the proprietary Surface Connector the company has used with most of its previous Surface computers. The Surface Pro 7 also has Intel’s 10th Gen processor.
It’s available for preorder starting today, and the base model costs $749.
The next iteration of the Surface Laptop will be available in 13- and 15-inch models. It will arrive with Intel 10th Gen quad-core Ice Lake processors with Iris Plus graphics, and Microsoft says that this product is three times faster than Apple’s current MacBook Air. Microsoft worked with AMD to co-engineer the new Ryzen Surface Edition processor in its 15-inch Surface Laptop 3. Microsoft says this processor brings the “fastest graphics performance” of any laptop in its class. Both processors allow this device
Notably, Microsoft will be offering an option without the Alcantara fabric laid over the keyboard area, which will allow it to more easily be repaired — a big issue for previous versions of this device. Its trackpad is 20 percent bigger than the one found on the Surface Laptop 2.
Both sizes are available for preorder now, starting at $999 for the 13.5-inch model and $1,199 for the 15-inch model.
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