Surface Laptop 2: An upgrade in speed and style
The Surface Laptop 2 offers some seriously upgraded internals, which the company claims deliver 85 percent improved performance with Intel's newer eighth-generation Core CPUs. Otherwise, most of the changes here aren't immediately obvious, save for the sharp new color option. There's still no USB-C, oddly enough, but they'll start shipping October 16th for $999 and up.
Surface Pro 6: Same looks, but a huge speed bump
Microsoft isn't revolutionizing anything with the Surface Pro 6 -- it has the same basic design as last year's Surface Pro, except there's a black case option. But the hardware upgrades make it even more compelling, especially for demanding users. Microsoft claims it's 67 percent faster than the previous model, mostly thanks to Intel's eighth-generation Core CPUs. You can also stuff in up to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD -- not the sort of specs you'd expect to see in a tablet. Prices start at $899, and it'll be available as of October 16th.
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Your phone is the future of Windows 10
Microsoft is gearing up to bring the benefits of Timeline to your Android and iOS devices with the October Windows 10 update, which is available for direct download today. (It's coming to Windows Update next week.) Integration with smartphones is the broader trend with this release -- Microsoft is also finally debuting the Your Phone app, which lets you transfer files and handle text messages from Android devices on your PC.
It's also updating Microsoft Launcher on Android with some new features, including the long-awaited Timeline support. And, mobile general manager Shilpa Ranganathan previewed a Windows 10 feature that would mirror your Android phone's entire screen on the desktop.
Surface Studio 2: A graphic designer's dream
On the outside, the updated Surface Studio 2 looks largely similar to the original model, but some hardware upgrades will set it apart. It features NVIDIA's next-generation Pascal graphics, includes a 2TB SSD and Microsoft claims it's the fastest Surface ever. Oh, and the all-in-one features a brilliant touchscreen that should be great for creating masterpieces on. The Surface Studio 2 starts with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for $3,500, which should offer plenty of power when it starts shipping on November 15th.
Microsoft's Surface Headphones pack Cortana into some premium cans
Forget the Zune. Please. The biggest surprise during Microsoft's Surface launch event wasn't a PC -- it was a pair of noise-canceling headphones. The Surface Headphones are Microsoft's first entry into premium cans, but they have just about everything you'd want: They're wireless, noise-canceling and have Cortana directly integrated. At $350, they're competing with audio stalwarts like Sony and Bose, but Devindra Hardawar, who tested out the cans, believes Microsoft has got a lot right.
Microsoft's Surface device subscriptions start at $25 per month
This new subscription model finances your PC while throwing in some of the services you need. On top of the computer itself, you're also getting "accessories," Office 365, dedicated help and Microsoft Store perks.
Leaked footage reveals a Harry Potter RPG that's in the works
Redditor VapeThisBro briefly shared footage of an apparent new RPG set within J.K. Rowling's wizarding world, starring your own custom-built character. The clip was up briefly before it was pulled from YouTube and replaced with a notice that Warner Bros. Entertainment Interactive had filed a copyright claim. Filmed in third-person, the leak showed a wand-waving protagonist battling goblins and sauntering into Hogwarts' famous hall. Details are otherwise scarce, but it seems this game is really happening. Grab your yellow-and-scarlet scarf.
Toys 'R' Us could make a comeback?
After announcing bankruptcy and shuttering most of its stores, Toys 'R' Us' top lenders -- the billions of dollars in debt is what did the toy store in -- have canceled an auction that would've sold off the Toys 'R' Us name.
Instead they're working to revive the names, which they have ownership over everywhere except Canada. Now Geoffrey LLC will own "trademarks, ecommerce assets and data," so we'll see if it actually turns into a store or if we just end up getting targeted ads based on gifts purchased eight Christmases ago. With the holiday season approaching, many of the 33,000 workers laid off are still fighting to see any severance pay. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that private equity firms Bain and KKR were putting together a fund to pay them.
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