Microsoft Launches The New Surface Laptop 2, Surface Studio 2 and Surface Headphones
Microsoft launched an updated range of the current Surface devices and added some new products in their current line-up in this year’s surface event. The event was held in New York City on October 2nd. The new devices released are the Surface Laptop 2, Surface Studio 2, Surface Headphones and the Surface Pro 6. Microsoft has set the launch of the new devices for the upcoming holiday shopping season.
1. Surface Laptop 2:
This is an updated version of the Surface Laptop that Microsoft released last year. The device has the new 8th Generation Intel Core processor. The user can opt for the Intel Core i5 or i7 processor as per their needs. It has a 13.5 inch PixelSense Display with a 2256 x 1504 px resolution and has a pixel density of 201 ppi.
PixelSense is Microsoft’s technology that can sense the amount of pressure that is being put on the display of Surface devices. This technology broadens the possibilities of what a touch screen is capable of. Microsoft is utilising this technology in their surface accessories like the Surface Pen and the Surface Dial. The display has 10 point muti-touch capabilities. In terms of storage, the users can select the SSD storage capacity which ranges from 128 GB to 1 TB. The RAM can be configured to either 8 GB or 16 GB. The device runs the Intel UHD 620 Graphics irrespective of the processor selection.
In terms of I/O ports the device has one USB 3.0 connector, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, mini display port and one surface connector port which is compatible with the Surface Dial screen interactions. The laptop also has a 720p HD webcam, dual stereo microphones and an ambient light sensor. The Surface Laptop 2 is available in four different colours: Burgundy, Platinum, Cobalt Blue and Black. The laptop price ranges from $ 999 for the base variant and goes all the way upto $ 2,199 for the top end variant.
This is an updated version of the previously launched Surface Studio. Now Microsoft has updated the processor, graphics card and the storage. The Surface Studio 2 has an easy tilt screen which can be used to write and even draw on. Microsoft is targeting this machine towards design professionals. The screen is a 28 inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. Like the Surface Laptop 2, the Surface Studio 2 also has a 10 point multi-touch screen.
It runs on the 7th generation Intel-core i7-7820 HQ which is a step up from last generation that used an intel 6th generation processor. The pc has 1 TB or 2 TB SSD storage options and RAM can either be configured to 16 GB or 32 GB. There are two graphics card options to choose from, the Nvidia GTX 1060 with 6 GB of DDR 5 Ram or the Nvidia GTX 1070 with 8 GB of RAM (Note: This is the graphics card RAM and not the system’s main RAM).
In terms of camera, video and audio, it has a 5 MP front facing camera with 1080 HD video recording, dual microphones and 2.1 Dolby Stereo speakers. In terms of wireless connectivity, it has an 802.11 ac A/B/G/N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. The device weighs in at 9.56 kg. Other than Surface Studio 2, the box packs the Surface Pen, the surface keyboard, the surface mouse and the power cord for the device. The Surface Studio’s base model starts at $ 3,499 and goes upto $ 4,799 for the top of the line variant.
The Surface Pro was first launched in 2013 and has reached its 6th generation. The Surface Pro is Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s iPad. But the Surface Pro and iPad are fundamentally very different. The Apple iPad is very app driven and a mobile version of the complete computing experience whereas the Surface Pro 6 is a full fledged computer. The Surface Pro is Microsoft’s take on building a portable computer. The Surface Pro 6 has a detachable physical keyboard and it has a kick-back stand that can be adjusted to different angles to make it stand upright. The detachable keyboard is sold seprately.
The device has a 12.3 inch 10 point multi-touch display. The screen has a resolution of 2736 x 1824 px and a pixel density of 267 ppi. Powering the tablet is an 8th Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. The device has Intel UHD 620 Graphics built-in. Like the Surface Laptop 2, the RAM can be configured to either 8 GB or 16 GB. SSD storage can be selected from 128 GB upto 1 TB. The device has Bluetooth 4.1 technology and 802.11ac A/B/G/N Wi-Fi. It has an Accelerometer, a Gyroscope and an Ambient light sensor.
The I/o ports device has are: one USB 3.0 port, 3.5 mm headphone jack, Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connector (Microsoft’s proprietor connector) and a microSDXC card port. Microsoft claims the device has a battery backup of upto 13.5 hours which will vary depending upon the usage of the device. The tablet weighs at 775 grams for the i5 variant and 792 grams for the i7 variant. The price of the device varies between $ 899 and $ 1,899 depending upon the configuration.
- Surface Pen: It is an active stylus and a digital pen that Microsoft developed to work alongside their Surface devices with PixelSense technology. It has variable pressure sensitivity points that allows it to work like a real life paint brush or a pen. Microsoft is mainly targeting it towards professionals in the design industry. People in this field can take advantage of the technological advancements that a digital design canvas offers compared to the traditional pen and paper.
- Surface Dial: This is yet another accessory that is mainly targeted towards designing professionals. The dial sits on top of the screen of the Surface Laptop or Studio. It provides functionalities like zoom in and out, selecting paint-brush and a bunch of other features that can ease the work of professionals.
This is another key product that Microsoft announced at this year’s Surface event. Microsoft Surface headphones have a lot of handy features. The headphones automatically pauses the audio as you remove them from your head and then resumes audio as you put them back.
They have Cortana integration. Cortana is Microsoft’s virtual assistant with whom the user can interact to perform certain tasks. You can ask Cortana to set reminders, inquire about the weather, etc. This is just a small example of what the virtual assistant is capable of. To control the volume of the headphones you can simply rotate your fingers around it’s ear cup. They also have variable active noise cancellation. The headphones have four microphones that helps in improving the noise cancellation quality. With this feature the user can filter or allow the amount of ambient sound that gets to your ears. The headphones are compatible with Windows 10, Android, iOS and macOs. They are available in Light Grey colour and have a price tag of $ 350.
Additionally, Microsoft also demostrated their application “Your Phone” for Windows. With this application the user can directly respond to text messages they receive on their Android phone. This a really convenient feature and the user does not need to switch back and forth between the computer and phone to respond to text messages.