Microsoft’s 2019 Surface refresh

Microsoft revealed a whole bunch of shiny new Surface hardware at its launch event last week and there were a few surprised between the familiar faces joining the family.

The Surface Duo 

There were rumours, sure, but given Microsoft’s track record on phones, the new Surface Duo phone was a bit of a surprise.  This dual screen phone/tablet will aim to take on the Samsung Fold and other folding phones coming out over the next year.  It’s a little behind as it launches ‘Holiday 2020’ but the Surface branding should help see it through.

The company weren’t giving much away on the specs for this one, save that it runs Android (they’re working in conjunction with Google) and there will be 2 5.6″ screens.

The Surface Neo

Like the Duo, the Neo is a dual screen device, but this time a larger tablet form factor (think a traditional book with 2 screens on the inside) and running a new version of Windows called Windows X which has been written especially to take account of 2 screen devices.  The 9″ screens will be able to move around 360 degrees and an added keyboard can slide between the lower screen if needed.  This, like the Duo, will be released late next year.

Surface Pro X

Another surprise, the X is a slimmer Surface Pro with thin bezels providing a great looking 13″ 2,880×1,920 resolution screen in the same sized case as a standard Surface Pro.  Not only that but it uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor rather than Intel, albeit a specially made one, It features an updated flatter Surface Pen which can be recharged from within a fold in the keyboard case. 2 USB C ports have been added for connectivity (as if Microsoft were making up for lost time!)

 

Surface Laptop 3

With no sign of a Surface Book upgrade, the Surface Laptop gets the top spot for the full laptop form factor this year and it’s a big change. The 13.5″ and new 15″ laptops will feature both 10th gen Ice Lake Intel architecture and, for the first time, an AMD option for the new 15″ model in the form of a specially produced AMD Ryzen Surface chip.  It adds USB C, like the rest of the family, and looks a lot thinner.

 

Surface Pro 7

The ‘old reliable’ of the family, it wouldn’t have been the same without an update to the standard Pro line.  The Surface Pro 7’s new features are a much better wide field microphone and USB C, in addition to the 10th gen Ice Lake Intel chips under the hood in i3, i5 and i7 flavours.  Initial reports suggest the battery life suffers a little due to the new faster chip but we’ll wait for more comprehensive testing to know for sure.

 

So there you have it, a mix of old and new and some very exciting ideas coming from Microsoft as they enter both the dual screen market and go back into mobile at the same time.

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