Microsoft has just unveiled a slew of new products at its annual Microsoft Event, which just wrapped up. Some were expected, given leaks from the past few months, while others surprised us.
Announced were the new Surface Go 3, Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop Studio, and Surface Duo 2. Here’s what’s new.
Surface Go 3
The Surface Go line seems to be a popular one for Microsoft, especially during the pandemic where affordable PCs are in high demand and short supply. So it’s good to see Microsoft take it a step further with the new Surface Go 3.
While the exterior of the Surface Go 3 maybe be identical to its predecessor, the processor inside has received a respectable upgrade from the Surface Go 2, going from 8th gen Intel Pentium and Core M processors, to newer Pentium and full fledged 10th gen Core i3 chips.
Given its compact size, versatility, and price point, I expect that the Surface Go 3 will continue to be a popular choice among students and anyone looking for a small ultra portable PC.
Surface Pro 8
Since 2014, Microsoft has focused on refining the design of Surface Pro 3 for all of the subsequent models in the Pro line, rather than revolutionizing it. That’s because it was a good design and it worked well. The host of clones that were released from Windows OEMs and even Apple with its iPad Pro Magic Keyboard combo is testament to that. Then came the ARM-based Surface Pro X, which was the biggest change yet.
Now, Microsoft is bringing the same design and 13″ screen size of the Pro X to the Intel-based Surface Pro 8, which now runs at 120hz. Also featured are new 11th gen Core processors, Thunderbolt, up to 32GB of RAM, up to 16 hours of battery life, and support for the new haptic-enabled Surface Slim Pen 2.
Surface Laptop Studio
Arguably the highlight of the event was the new Surface Laptop Studio, the spiritual successor of the Surface Book. Like the Pro line, the design of the Surface Book has remained the same for several generations. But it changed today, it changed big time.
As the name suggests, this device is a combination of the Surface Laptop and the Surface Studio, and Microsoft calls it the most powerful Surface ever. Surface Studio features an all-new two-point hinge with a screen that no longer detaches from its base. While that may seem like a disadvantage to some, it was a necessary compromise to remove the thermal restrictions of having a processor behind the screen.
With all the components now in the base, Microsoft is able to fit new quad-core Intel Core processors that have higher thermal envelopes and thus higher performance as a result. Combine that with the included Nvidia RTX 30-series graphics and you have one powerhouse of a laptop.
Surface Duo 2
What I was personally looking forward to most is the successor to the Surface Duo, and Microsoft didn’t disappoint. The Surface Duo 2 improves on its predecessor in a number of important areas.
Duo 2 now comes with a new triple-camera setup which consists of a 16MP ultrawide camera, a 12MP wide camera, and a 12MP telephoto camera, which should be a significant improvement over the single camera in the Duo 1.
The displays are now larger, spanning 8.3 inches, and are both curved, enabling a cool new notification view while closed.
Other announced features include 5G, support for a magnetically attaching Surface Slim Pen 2, and a new color option: Obsidian black.
On the software side of things, Microsoft talked about some updated image capturing and editing experiences, expanded Your Phone compatibilities, and a partnership with Gameloft to optimize some of its popular mobile games for dual-screen experiences.
Pre-orders for all these devices open today. The Surface PCs will be available on October 5th, while the Duo 2 will be available on October 22.