One of the best-received laptops on the market isn’t on everyone’s radar, but it’s still managed to shake up the computer industry in a major way. We’re talking, of course, about the Surface — Microsoft’s very own line of laptops and tablets that combine elegant design with deep Windows 10 integration.
We’ve previously covered the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop in our technology roundups, and have recommended the products strongly thanks to their excellent build quality and stability. But now, Microsoft is turning up the heat with a keynote event of its own.
Nobody expected Microsoft to reveal a smartphone of its own design, but that’s just one of the many new products unveiled at the 2019 Surface event. With so many innovative new computers and gadgets coming down the pipeline, will Windows-branded products finally have what it takes to go head-to-head with Apple? Here’s what we know about the latest new hardware from Microsoft.
Guess who’s back: A Windows branded smartphone with a shocking twist
Microsoft’s announcement of its own new smartphone was enough to turn heads across the internet, but nobody expected that it would do it with so much style. The Surface Duo is a dual-screened, foldable smartphone in a similar vein to the Samsung Galaxy Fold, but from what attendees have seen, it looks to boast substantially better build quality.
The Surface Duo contains two, 5.6-inch screens with a 360-degree hinge for maximum flexibility. Plus, Microsoft is partnering with Google to bring Android to the Surface Duo, so you’ll have an incredible diversity of software available right off the bat. No price has been announced, but the gadget is poised to go on sale in time for the 2020 holiday season.
The Surface Neo is a device in a class of its own
Clamshell-style laptops are nothing new, but how about a dual-screened laptop with an entire tablet for the bottom half? That’s the idea behind the radical Surface Neo, which looks like an upscaled version of its Surface Duo phone.
This innovative laptop has no physical trackpad but easily functions as though it has one thanks to its touch-screen design. What’s more, it comes with the touch-sensitive Surface Pen that magnetically attaches to the back along with its detachable keyboard.
Notably, the Surface Neo will ship with a brand new version of Windows 10 called Windows 10 X, which is designed and optimized for dual-screened devices. No price has been set yet, but it’s likely to be one of the Surface line’s flagship products — so expect a hefty price tag.
Bye-bye AirPods, hello Surface Earbuds
They just couldn’t leave Apple alone, could they? Microsoft, as part of the Surface product line, unveiled a new set of wireless earbuds designed to pair with its tablets and laptops.
These function similarly to Apple’s AirPods, and feature Bluetooth connectivity and wireless charging. What sets them apart, however, is deep integration with Microsoft Office and built-in dictation features to help with productivity apps. Finally, a pair of hip wireless headphones for those of us who spend more time at the office than the gym!
The Surface Earbuds retail for $250, and will be available for holiday season 2019.
Updates to the Surface Laptop
The Surface Laptop and Surface Pro received updates of their own with powerful hardware and beefed-up internals. The Surface Laptop now comes in both a 13 and 15-inch display size and offers a larger trackpad as well as USB Type C compatibility. Plus, there are a few custom trims you can get for your laptop ranging from supple Alcantara keyboard covers to sturdy machined aluminum.
The new Surface Laptops are available for pre-order now, and ship on Oct. 22. They start at $1,000 for the 13-inch and $1,200 for the 15-inch model.
USB Type C comes to the Surface Pro, as well as more powerful models
The Surface Pro is Microsoft’s standard-bearer for the line. It embodies the company’s philosophy of an all-in-one tablet and offers quite a bit of bang for the buck. Last year, however, the company’s newest model was noted to be lacking USB Type C ports. This has changed with the latest Surface Pro, which will go on sale on Oct. 22 for $750. It’s available for pre-order today.
That’s not all for the Surface Pro, however. The Surface Pro X is also on the way and features a powerful ARM processor like the kind found in Apple’s high-end iPad Pro. This model is built for speed and professional use and features a slimmer design with a custom keyboard that has a slot for charging the included Surface Pen.
The Surface Pro X will retail for $1,000 and will go on sale Nov. 5.