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The Morning After: Microsoft's Surface event and our dual-screen future

And Tesla's Smart Summon has already been used 550,000 times.
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Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to Thursday and the aftermath of a very hectic Microsoft event that encompassed Surface Laptops, portables and the dual-screen future. Meanwhile, Sony's PlayStation is warming up to cross-play possibilities, and we offer guidance in the confusing world of soundbars.


Our dual-screen future is here... next year.Surface Neo and Duo

Microsoft's Surface Neo, the larger laptop-sized device, and Surface Duo (pictured above), a more svelte phone, are bets on the future of dual-screen devices. They hearken back to the original Surface, which paved the way for the plethora of 2-in-1 and convertible PCs we see today. Devindra Hardawar even got some hands-on impressions of both -- unfortunately they weren't turned on for him to use.

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. Currently scheduled to ship for the 2020 holiday season.

The Surface Neo 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. It's also scheduled to ship late next year.


Meet Windows 10x.Microsoft is making an operating system for dual-screen PCs

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.


You knew they were coming.Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro X

Leaks exposed a lot of the Surface lineup early, but since these are the devices that will be available this year, we'll run down the details quickly.

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. According to Cherlynn Low, its PixelSense display looked bright and inviting, and it felt lighter than the Galaxy Tab S6 and iPad Pro. It goes on sale November 6th -- with a new Slim Pen stylus -- at a starting price of $999.

The Surface Pro 7 makes the leap to 10th-gen Intel chips, USB-C (plus USB-A) and more powerful microphones -- although the battery life has shrunk to about 10 hours. It'll come with 10th-generation Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors and start at $749, lower than its predecessor's $899 base price, when it goes on sale October 22nd.

Finally, the Surface Laptop 3 brings major revisions to the line with a 15-inch AMD Ryzen-powered model and 10th-gen Intel Ice Lake Core processors in the 13.5-inch system.


Your new office headphones?Microsoft's Surface Earbuds are productivity-focused true wireless headphones

Amid all the laptops and multi-screened devices, Microsoft's Surface Earbuds broke cover. They're touch- and voice-enabled with omnisonic sound and boast a pair of mics in each bud. They come with a charging case and have a battery life of up to 24 hours. The Earbuds are designed with Office 365 in mind and include Outlook calendar and email access with your voice.

If you wear them while giving a presentation, Microsoft will be able to display captions of what you're saying in real-time on the screen and even translate your speech into one of more than 60 languages. The Surface Earbuds will start at $249, and they'll ship during the holiday season.


Whether or not it's turning a profit is another story.Tesla's Q3 electric car deliveries set another record

Tesla's record-setting second-quarter deliveries weren't a fluke, it seems. The EV builder has broken its record again with about 97,000 cars reaching customers over the summer. That's not a huge leap over the 95,356 EVs delivered in Q2, but it's a stark contrast to the sharp drop-off at the start of 2019.

And crucially, these are newcomers adding to Tesla's ranks. Much like in Q2, "nearly all" of the 79,600 Model 3s delivered in the period went to customers who didn't hold a reservation. That's a sign of "strong organic demand," if you ask Tesla. For the company, the challenge will be turning this momentum into profit. Shrinking US subsidies have made it more expensive to buy a Tesla, and competition is looming.

Meanwhile, Tesla's Smart Summon has been used more than half a million times -- and regulators are carefully watching all those "fail" videos...


'Fortnite' and 'Rocket League' were among the first to add it through a beta.Sony opens up PS4 cross-platform multiplayer access to all developers

For a long time, Sony was resistant to letting people play PS4 games with their friends on other consoles and platforms. It eventually cracked open the door with a cross-play beta for Fortnite a little over a year ago, and now it's allowing all developers to make use of cross-platform capabilities. Sony didn't announce the news with huge fanfare. It was almost as an aside in a Wired story about its cloud-gaming ambitions. Let's see how many developers bite.

But wait, there's more...


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