Microsoft held its annual Surface event today, but you definitely couldn't call it a by-the-numbers presentation. The tech veteran unveiled a flood of new devices, and updates to its existing Surface Laptop and Surface Pro lines were really just the start. It also introduced its first ARM-powered Surface Pro, true wireless smart earbuds and not one but two dual-screen devices -- including its first phone in years.
Surface Laptop 3
The Surface Laptop 3 may look like its predecessor, but it's really a major revision with a 15-inch AMD-powered model and 10th-gen Intel Ice Lake Core processors in the 13.5-inch system. You'll also find a host of refinements that include fast charging, USB-A and USB-C ports, a serviceable chassis and far-field microphones to aid voice recognition. You can expect the new PCs to arrive October 22nd starting at $999 for the 13.5-inch variant and $1,199 for its larger edition.
Surface Pro 7
Microsoft's venerable Surface Pro tablet got a mostly welcome update as well. The Surface Pro 7 makes the leap to 10th-gen Intel chips, USB-C (plus USB-A) and more powerful microphones, although some may not be thrilled by battery life shrinking from a claimed 13 hours to 10. The starting price is dropping, though, as the Pro 7 will start at $749 when it ships on October 22nd.
Surface Pro X
The Surface Pro line now includes a model with a mobile chip inside, and it rethinks many aspects of what you'd expect from the company's two-in-one tablets. The 13-inch Surface Pro X runs on a custom, Snapdragon-influenced SQ1 processor that allows for an extremely slim and light (0.2in and 1.68lbs) body even though it packs LTE connectivity. There's a Slim Pen that charges in the tablet's keyboard cover, too. The Pro X arrives November 5th starting at $999.
After introducing over-ear headphones in 2018, Microsoft has hopped on the true wireless bandwagon with the Surface Earbuds. They charge in a portable case, like you'd expect, but they also have touch controls that enable native Spotify control and Office 365 tie-ins. It can automatically caption what y you're saying in a PowerPoint presentation or help you check Outlook email. They ship during the holiday season for $249.
The company hopes to usher in a future of dual-screen PCs with the Surface Neo. The folding Windows tablet packs two 9-inch screens that combine into a 13-inch area that helps with multitasking. And if you need to type a long message, there's a compact, wirelessly charging keyboard that effectively turns the Neo into a laptop. This is the first known device to use Intel's Lakefield processor, too, and it'll be the flagship hardware for Windows 10X (more on that shortly). You'll be waiting a while to try it, though, as it won't ship until holiday 2020.
There was only one real software introduction at the event, but it was a big one -- Microsoft is making an operating system built for dual-screen PCs like the Surface Neo. Windows 10X is considerably more efficient than standard Windows and sports an interface optimized for dual screens, including more elegant app placement and a more touch-friendly Start menu. It'll arrive alongside the Surface Neo and other dual-screen PCs in fall 2020.
Here's the one thing the leaks didn't reveal: Microsoft is making a phone again, and it's not running Windows. The Surface Duo will run Android across two 5.6-inch screens that provide a total 8.3 inches of space for multitasking or comfortable thumb typing. It can fold 360 degrees to help you take a phone call, too. The Snapdragon 855 currently inside is powerful enough at the moment, although it may feel old if it's still in the finished Duo shipping in holiday 2020.
Follow all the latest news from Microsoft's Surface event here!