Microsoft at yesterday’s media event in New York shared exciting news concerning their updated Surface notebooks and hybrid devices, including an unexpected product announcement— a wireless headphone with AirPods-like smarts and some notable features.
Here’s a quick recap of the event:
Surface Pro 6
The refreshed tablet/laptop hybrid now runs a 67% faster eighth-generation quad-core Intel chip, comes in a new matte black finish, rocks an 8-megapixel autofocus HD camera, weighs in at 1.7 pounds and boasts up to 13.5 hours of battery life.
Pre-order your Surface Pro 6, starting at $899, ahead of October 16 launch.
Surface Laptop 2
The new Surface Laptop 2 runs an updated eighth-generation quad-core Intel chip and boasts up to 14.5 hours of battery life. Like Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2 is available in a new matte black finish. It has a 13.5-inch display and retains the Alcantara fabric keyboard cover.
Pre-order your Surface Laptop 2, starting at $999, ahead of November 15 launch.
Surface Studio 2
Microsoft’s second-generation Surface Studio with its stunning, adjustable 28-inch display continues to challenge Apple’s iMac all-in-one computers. The machine hasn’t been upgraded since its December 2016 release so the new Surface Studio 2 offers 50 percent improved graphic performance, 35% faster CPU performance and a built-in Xbox Wireless that will be compatible with the Surface Dial accessory (which wasn’t refreshed at the event).
Pre-order your Surface Studio 2, starting at $3,499, ahead of October 16 launch. This is the entry-level configuration with an Intel Core i7 chip, 1TB flash storage and 16GB RAM.
Say hello to Microsoft’s very first premium headphones with sleek design and some smart features. Just like AirPods, Surface Headphones feature built-in sensors so they play/pause automatically when you insert/take them out of your ear.
The over-the-ear wireless Bluetooth headphones also sport seamless pairing. They one-up AirPods thanks to the inclusion of adjustable noise cancellation that blocks out the world so you can focus on audio (the volume and noise-cancellation dial is built into the cups).
And with a tap, you can summon Microsoft’s personal assistant Cortana to ask questions hands-free. They charge via USB-C, have a battery life of up to 15 hours, weigh 0.64 pounds and come in a light gray color. Surface Headphones are $349 and will be available in the United States and the United Kingdom in time for the holidays.
You can sign up on Microsoft’s website to be notified when they arrive.
Surface All Access
A new way to purchase Surface devices, this is basically your All Access program that permits you to bundle a Surface device with accessories and Office 365 and pay for it with monthly installments. Microsoft has said Surface All Access will be available first only in the US.
App mirroring is a new Windows 10 feature that makes it possible to view and use any app on your Android phone from a Windows desktop. To achieve this, you’ll need a new piece of software called Your Phone. With it, you’ll be able to easily access your texts and photos from an Android phone right on your PC.
This will in turn let you do things like respond to a text or interact with a notification on the phone without breaking your focus. The app is built into the new Windows 10 October update.
- Word: New intelligent functionality in Ink Editor lets you add a word, split words or add new lines to your document without touching a keyboard.
- PowerPoint: When inking a flow chart or diagram, draw words and shapes to have them converted into searchable text and snapped shapes. Alternatively, use an AI-powered Designer feature if you’d like to be recommended slides for you to choose from.
- Embedded 3D animations: In PowerPoint and Word, dynamically animated movements are now built into animated 3D objects that bring your projects to life.
- Family Safety for Microsoft Launcher: Parents who set up Microsoft Launcher for Android and their family accounts can stay up to date on their kids’ location, check in on their app activity on Android device, including which apps are accessed and time spent on each app. With Xbox One or a Windows 10 PC set up in their family portal, parents can also view their activities on those devices through Microsoft Launcher.
- To-Do Integration with Outlook.com & Skype: You can now drag a task on Outlook.com into your calendar. Dragging a task from an email message into To-Do automatically creates a new task. In Skype, you can now select a message and tap “Create a task” to add, edit and check off tasks.
- Windows Timeline on phone: Available since April 2018, Windows Timeline is now available on iPhone and Android. This app makes it easy to scroll back in time and find the files and websites you were using across your devices.
- Windows 10 October update: Available starting today, the software update for all Windows 10 PCs brings new features like support for the new Your Phone app, search previews in the Start menu, a new scresnhotting tool (invoked via a new keyboard combination Windows-Shift-S) with built-in markup and sharing tools, Edge improvements (the browser can now stop videos from autoplaying sound), an easier HDR setup process, platform support for Nvidia’s new ray tracing GPUs (RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti), app power usage information in Windows Task Manager, adjusting system-wide text size, new Game Bar features, a cloud-based clipboard, a dark theme for File Explorer and much more.
And that’s pretty much it, girls and boys.
What do you make of all the product updates from the Surface event? Which new Microsoft products or announcements are you most excited for, and why?
Let us know by leaving a comment below.