Microsoft’s big Surface event popped off yesterday and for fans of the Surface line, it didn’t disappoint. Microsoft revealed refreshes and new hardware for this season and some exciting hardware headed for shelves in the 2020 holiday season. Here’s a quick refresher of what Microsoft showed off.
The Refresh: Surface Laptop 3 & Surface Pro 7
The Surface core products have their fans, and those fans have some neat stuff to look forward to with this year’s refresh. The Surface Laptop 3 adds a 15-inch version that features AMD Ryzen processing and graphics chips, a bigger trackpad, USB Type-C, and quick charging.
The Surface Pro, meanwhile, is a more modest refresh with a new processor and USB Type-C charging as the brunt of the changes. Familiar but faster.
New & Now: Surface Pro X & Surface Earbuds
On the new frontier for Microsoft are the Surface Pro X and Surface Earbuds. The Surface Pro X feels like the peak of the current generation of Surface devices. It features LTE integration, a clever-looking storage/charging drawer for the Surface Pen, and two USB Type-C ports. It’s also massively more efficient; Microsoft says it gets three times as much power per watt as the Surface Pro 6. Finally, it’s nearly 40% thinner, dropping from 8.38mm to 5.3mm.
The Surface Earbuds, meanwhile, are the next step from the Surface Headphones. The buds can be paired to an iPhone, Android, or PC, and they’ll access your voice assistant of choice. You’re not locked into Cortana. They look a little odd with those large discs, but the discs offer touch sensitivity to justify the large size. When connected to a PC, you can use these to add live captions or even live text translation to PowerPoint. Microsoft is promising extensive Office integration.
Much Later: Surface Duo & Neo
Coming next year are the Surface Duo and Surface Neo. These are a pair of similar-looking but very different devices that share a new form factor that Microsoft wants to get out into the market. Both devices feature dual screens and a folding hinge, making for a device that closes and opens like a book.
The much bigger Neo runs a specialized version of Windows called Windows 10X that supports dual-screen functionality as well as the Bluetooth keyboard that, when placed over the lower screen, turns that lower screen’s remaining area into a trackpad or media bar. This version runs an Intel chip and supports Windows applications.
The Duo, meanwhile, is a phone. It runs Android on a Snapdragon processor and runs apps installed through the Google Play store. Right now, the device doesn’t have a rear-facing camera, and Microsoft doesn’t want you to call it a phone. We’ll see how the next year shapes up.
Microsoft’s Surface event had a ton of interesting tech on display and we’re looking forward to seeing how it all shapes up later this year and into next. Check out our coverage of these devices in the links above, where you’ll also find links to pre-order the devices coming this year.