Today is a big day for Microsoft. The tech giant hosted its big Windows 10/Surface PC event and boy oh boy did Microsoft go all out. The company announced a handful of new products, including the brand new Surface Studio PC, the New Surface Book i7 laptop, new VR headsets, and new apps like Paint 3D and the Creator's Update for Windows 10.
1. Windows 10 - Creators Update
Windows 10 got a big upgrade and is now fully immersed in 3-D. During the event, several Microsoft reps noted the success of Minecraft and how the younger generations today are learning in 3-D, so that's when the company decided to invest in its 3-D technology.
Available early next year, the Creators Update will let anyone easily work with 3-D with the Paint 3D app. The update also lets you take and edit photos in 3-D. The features are also integrated into Powerpoint, gaming apps, and, once you've created a 3-D masterpiece, you can print the object out with a 3-D printer.
The Creators Update will be available in spring 2017.
2. Surface Studio PC
The Surface Studio PC, available now for $2,999, aims to turn your desk into a studio. Its 28-inch touch screen has a PixelSense display, 3:2 aspect ratio, 32GB of memory and a 2TB hybrid Drive. At 1.3mm thick, it's the thinnest LCD monitor ever built. On top of that, it also has 13.5 million pixels, which is 63 percent more than a 4K TV. Limited quantities are available for the holidays.
The Surface Studio has a built-in microphone so you can access Cortana, it supports the Surface Pen and includes palm rejection, so your hands won't smudge what your pen is doing. There's also another accessory called the Surface Radial that will give you tools such as color sliders and radial menus.
3. The new Surface Book "most powerful Surface ever"
Microsoft is showing off with the next generation Surface Book. One of the biggest highlights of this powerful laptop is the increased battery life - 30 percent more battery life, to be exact. That winds up being around 16 hours!
The new Surface Book also includes an i7 Intel processor with an improved cooling system with an extra fan to prevent overheating. Additional features include a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M GPU, which provides better graphics performance (1.9 teraflops!) and helps to extend the laptop's battery life.
You might think that all of these improvements would mean a complete redesign for the Surface Book, but the product still has the same frame as its predecessors. However, it now weighs 3.63 pounds instead of the former 3.48 pounds of previous models. This extra weight is probably due to the larger battery the new Surface Book requires.
When can you expect it? The new Surface Book will be available on November 10, but you can preorder it today. The cost is $2,399.
4. Virtual Reality
Every teenager will want this on their Christmas list! But, unfortunately, they'll have to wait a while. A new virtual reality headset will soon be available at a much more reasonable price of $299, making it comparable to other gaming devices.
Microsoft is now partnering with manufacturers like HP, Dell, Lenovo and ASUS to make this possible. These new headsets will include inside-out tracking sensors and will no longer require external cameras or laser systems to operate. This is what really makes them stand out from other VR headsets on the market, such as the Oculus Rift.
Until now, the virtual reality headset market has been predominately ruled by HTC, Sony, Samsung and Oculus (which is a Facebook-owned company). Although Microsoft is now stepping into the ring, the companies it has partnered with have all been working within the VR headset space for some time.
5. Surface Dial
Another big announcement was around the Surface Dial, which works with the Surface Studio to help designers and artists create incredible effects.
The Surface Dial is a puck-shaped device that sits on your desk near your computer and can be twisted to navigate through various menus. You can also touch the device to the screen to bring up a color palette and special menus, such as brush options.
Designers and artists aren't the only ones who can use the Surface Dial. The gadget also can be used with music streaming apps, such as Pandora and Spotify, to scroll through playlists and change songs.
From what we've heard so far, the Surface Dial will be compatible with the Surface Studio, as well as the Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. The cost is $99, and the Dial will be available on November 10. One perk is that if you order the Surface Studio, the Dial is included and does not need to be purchased separately.