Surface

Microsoft working on foldable, dual-screen Surface device

Microsoft is working on a foldable, 'pocketable,' dual-screen Surface device, reports The Verge. The company has long been rumored to be working on such a tablet, codenamed Andromeda, but internal documents recently obtained by the outlet offer new details on the secret project.

DigiTimes: Microsoft Surface device orders much lower than original expectations

Orders for Microsoft's Surface devices, including the latest models, have been much smaller than the original expectations of Pegatron, the contract manufacturer which assembles them.

According to sources from the upstream supply chain cited in a DigiTimes report Tuesday, Pegatron Technology has seen weakening orders from clients recently.

Here's an excerpt from the report:

Since demand for Microsoft's Surface products has been seriously undermined by other first-tier vendors' similar devices, the software giant has been conservative about placing its orders, which have been much lower than than Pegatron's original expectations.

Pegatron also assembles iPhones alongside Apple's longtime manufacturer Foxconn.

The Windows giant unveiled a fifth-generation Surface Pro tablet on March 27 alongside a new Modern Keyboard with a built-in fingerprint reader and other accessories. Among other features, the device has 13.5 hours of battery life, Intel’s seventh-generation Core processor code-named “Kaby Lake”, a new Alcantara keyboard, a next-generation Surface Pen and more.

The same Intel chip also powers, Microsoft’s $999 MacBook rival, dubbed Surface Laptop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlZJw-zk0bU

Speaking of which, DigiTimes says that Surface Laptop orders are unlikely to boost Pegatron's revenues until later in the third quarter of 2017. Pegatron Vice Chairman Jason Cheng expects revenues in the second half of 2017 to at least stay flat year on year.

Microsoft is reportedly set to lay off thousands of sales staff around the world in the latest round of restructuring, TechCrunch said a few days ago. Bloomberg added that the redundancies would be “some of the most significant in the sales force in years.”

iFixit gives Surface Laptop repairability score 0/10: “It’s a glue-filled monstrosity”

Microsoft's Surface Book notebook/tablet hybrid from a couple of years ago scored a 1/10 rating on iFixit's repairability scale, but the company's new $999 Surface Laptop, introduced in May, scores even worse: 0/10. According to the repair experts over at iFixit, a teardown analysis of Microsoft Laptop has found an utterly unrepairable device.

“It’s a Russian nesting doll from hell with everything hidden under adhesive and plastic spot welds,” wrote iFixit. “It is physically impossible to nondestructively open this device.”

Not only are there no screws holding the case together, meaning prying apart the Alcantara fabric damages it permanently, but the internals are glued down as well, including the keyboard, the motherboard and even the battery, which is glued directly to the case.

Speaking of which, the battery was boosted from a two-cell 38.2 Wh battery to a four-cell 45 Wh one, a nearly 18 percent increase in battery capacity over the previous model. To squeeze in a bigger battery, Microsoft's engineers have ditched the removable blade SSD.

“Good luck if you need to recover your data from a bricked device,” warns iFixit.

According to iFixit:

Verdict: The Surface Laptop is not a laptop. It’s a glue-filled monstrosity. There is nothing about it that is upgradable or long-lasting, and it literally can’t be opened without destroying it. (Show us the procedure, Microsoft, we’d love to be wrong.)

The device's redesigned passive cooling and a four-armed “beast of a heat sink” allow Intel's Core i5 to run fanless. iFixit has also determined that Alcantara, the fabric used on the keyboard, is not “as stinky as rumors claim,” but cautions that the material looks liable to get nasty once your hands start sweating all over it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAI6yIZI3rg

Bottom line: no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to fix or change the components because Surface Laptop is totally unrepairable and non-upgradable.

Microsoft unveils fifth-generation Surface Pro

At today's media event held in Shanghai, China, where it promised to “show the world what's next,” software giant Microsoft announced a fifth-generation Surface tablet, now called Surface Pro. The tablet/notebook hybrid device is being launched globally on June 15, starting at $799, the same price its predecessor Surface Pro 4 started at.

Billed as “the most versatile laptop,” the new Surface has 13.5 hours of battery life, Intel's seventh-generation “Kaby Lake” Core processor (the same chip powering Microsoft's $999 Surface Laptop), a new Alcantara keyboard and a next-generation Surface Pen.

As per Microsoft, Surface Pro has up to 50 percent better performance and 50 percent better battery life than it predecessor and 35 percent better battery life than an iPad Pro. Its 12.3-inch PixelSense touch display supports Microsoft's Surface Dial and the new Surface Pen.

“Now better than ever, the new Surface Pro combines uncompromising mobility with exceptional power and performance,” says the Windows giant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwWs2jIy4js

The device looks just like on the recently leaked press shots and includes a few new pen and keyboard colors. It sports a single USB Type-A port and Mini DisplayPort, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack and Microsoft's proprietary Surface Connect port, but no USB-C.

The new Surface Pro will be available globally on June 15, starting at $799. Microsoft is offering Type Covers, now known as Signature Type Covers, in four color finishes—Burgundy, Platinum, Graphite Gold and Cobalt Blue—mirroring the colors of its Surface Laptop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCTExFYvL1g

The improved Surface Pen stylus features increased pressure sensitivity with up to 4,096 pressure points (from 1,024), tilt that adjusts the thickness and texture of your ink granularly, based on the angle of your pen, for artistic shading and true real-time writing.

“Like putting pen to paper or brush to canvas, the new Surface Pen supports a natural, immersive experience that sets you free to create, learn, and express yourself in completely new ways,” explains Microsoft.

Lastly, the new Surface will be available in an LTE cellular-enabled variant, which will be arriving this fall at a yet-to-be-disclosed price.

For the first time, Microsoft will be selling Surface Pen separately for $99.

Pre-orders for the new Surface Pro and Surface Pro Signature Type Cover begins later today in select markets at Microsoft Store, Microsoft.com, BestBuy.com and JD.com where available.

The new Surface Pen will be available in the coming weeks.

Surface Pro 5 images leak ahead of Microsoft’s May 23 event in Shanghai

Yesterday, prolific leakster Evan Blass posted a bunch of purported press shots of Microsoft's unreleased Surface Pro 5 tablet/notebook hybrid. The company's upcoming Windows 10 device should be re-christened as “Surface Pro”.

The software giant is expected to unveil it on Tuesday, according to Blass.

Microsoft said earlier that it would “show the world what’s next” at its event on Tuesday, May 23, in Shanghai. A successor to the company's Surface Book notebook is not expected to debut at the press event, according to a source familiar with Microsoft’s plans.

The Redmond company hasn't updated its flagship Surface Pro 4 for a year and a half.

If the leaked press photographs are anything to go by, the next Surface Pro will feature some new pen and keyboard colors. Presumably, it would run faster chips and feature other refreshed internals. It's interesting that the device shown on the leaked shots does not appear to have a USB-C port.

The recently unveiled Surface Laptop also has no USB-C port.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdg7P_kTb-c

The current-generation Surface Pro 4 released as a modest update to its predecessor.

Surface Pro 4 includes a stylus and a detachable keyboard. The device is powered by an Intel chip, allowing it to transform from a tablet to a full-on computer capable of running Windows, Office and other real desktop applications.

Microsoft has seen modest success with the Surface lineup.

Across nearly five years, Microsoft has sold only about 14-17 million Surface hybrids in total.

However, Surface revenue has shrunk by $52 million since its quarterly launch peak in 2015. Since its debut, Surface revenues have barely hovered around $1 billion quarterly.