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  • Designing Surface Pro 4: a chat with a Microsoft hardware lead

    by 
    Devindra Hardawar
    Devindra Hardawar
    10.08.2015

    At first glance, Microsoft's new Surface Pro 4 doesn't look that much different than last year's Surface Pro 3. But there are a slew of upgrades on the Surface Pro 4, as well as its accessories, that should make for an even better computing experience. Its screen is slightly bigger, the Type Cover feels a lot more like a traditional laptop keyboard and using the Surface Pen now feels like actually putting pen to paper. At Microsoft's huge device launch event in New York City earlier this week, we talked with Dave Mitchell, the senior director of program management for the Microsoft Devices Group, who gave us the lowdown on how his team went about improving on the already great Surface Pro 3. Check out the interview below, and be sure to take a look at our hands-on with the Surface Pro 4.

  • Windows 10 Mobile begins its roll out this December

    by 
    Timothy J. Seppala
    Timothy J. Seppala
    10.07.2015

    What, you thought the Microsoft news would end once the keynote from the Windows 10 Devices showcase did? Guess again because Redmond's latest operating system hits existing mobile phones starting in December -- the outfit said as much on its Lumia Facebook page. However, as Winbeta notes, it's going to be up to carriers to actually push the updates out to your handset. A way to sidestep that, of course, is by signing up for the Windows Insider preview program. Is your device going to get the update? That's a little iffy. First off, it needs at least 8GB of internal storage, and then it needs to be running Lumia Denim (system version 8.10.14219.341) to be eligible. So if you have a low-end Lumia you might be left wanting.

  • ICYMI: HoloLens gaming, walking talking robot phone and more

    by 
    Kerry Davis
    Kerry Davis
    10.07.2015

    #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-619364{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-619364, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-619364{width:570px;display:block;} try{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-619364").style.display="none";}catch(e){}Today on In Case You Missed It: The RoBoHon is a 7-inch tall smartphone robot that can also dance, walk and talk and basically simultaneously creep out and amaze all your family and friends. Microsoft is busy dreaming up the next HoloLens game that we really want to play: Code-named Project X-Ray, it sends robots to do battle with you, right in your living room. And a virtual reality headset app wants to help train surgeons in a way that doesn't endanger any real people.

  • The HP Spectre x2 is like the Surface Pro, but cheaper and lower-specced

    by 
    Dana Wollman
    Dana Wollman
    10.07.2015

    What timing: Just a day after Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 4, HP is unveiling a similar-looking 2-in-1 of its own. Though HP has made laptop/tablet hybrids before, the new 12-inch Spectre x2 is one of the few from the company to rock a built-in kickstand, à la Microsoft's tablet. Far from being just an imposter, though, the x2 sets itself apart in several key ways, with a more adjustable kickstand and a sturdy, potentially more comfortable keyboard. Oh, and that keyboard actually comes in the box (ahem, Microsoft).

  • UK pricing for Microsoft's Surface Pro 4, Lumia 950 phones and other goodies

    by 
    Matt Brian
    Matt Brian
    10.07.2015

    It's fair to say that Microsoft's latest launch event was its most interesting for a long time. We finally learned that Hololens will be made available to developers early next year, clapped eyes on the first flagship Windows 10 phones, checked out the updated Microsoft Band and met the Surface Pro 4. Then the company surprised us all with the unveiling of its first laptop: the Surface Book. Microsoft is wasting no time in getting some of these to market, so you might be wondering how much each of them will cost. As always, we're more than happy to be your guide.

  • HoloLens 'Project XRay' lets you blast robot armies with a ray gun fist

    by 
    Andrew Tarantola
    Andrew Tarantola
    10.06.2015

    Microsoft took time during today's Windows 10 Devices event to give the audience a more in-depth look at what its new HoloLens AR system is capable of. Minds were blown, jaws were dropped and more than a few digital robots were blown to smithereens during the 8-minute demo.

  • Microsoft's upgraded Band is a little sleeker, and smarter too

    by 
    Chris Velazco
    Chris Velazco
    10.06.2015

    For all its promise and potential, the original Microsoft Band wasn't exactly a runaway hit. It's OK -- they can't all be winners. Even more surprising than the Band's existence in the first place is that Microsoft is taking another crack at the fitness gadget formula with a 2015 model of its oft-scorned wearable. It's a little smarter and a little sleeker, and maybe -- just maybe -- that'll be enough to change a few minds on the matter.

  • Lumia 950 XL vs. the competition: The big flagship phones are here

    by 
    Nathan Ingraham
    Nathan Ingraham
    10.06.2015

    It's become commonplace for phone manufacturers to offer two sizes of their flagship phones: big and bigger. Microsoft is following suite with the new Lumia 950 and 950 XL, the latter of which is poised to compete directly with devices like the brand-new iPhone 6S Plus and the Nexus 6P. If you're looking for a flagship phone running your platform of choice, now's a great time to be in the market. The most notable difference about these devices is what operating system they run, but if you want to see how they stack up on a spec-by-spec basis, check out the table below.

  • Microsoft's Surface and Lumia event: by the numbers

    by 
    Daniel Cooper
    Daniel Cooper
    10.06.2015

    The dust is settling on Microsoft's Windows 10 Devices event where the company showed off all the shiny devices that it's about to start selling. But if you weren't able to sit through our excellent liveblog, then perhaps you'd like to read this breakdown of the show based on the key numbers. It's like an extended highlights reel, but with a more statistical edge. Get all the news from today's Microsoft event right here.

  • The Lumia 950 vs. the competition: A battle of flagships

    by 
    Billy Steele
    Billy Steele
    10.06.2015

    The smaller of the new Lumias is quite the powerhouse on paper, but how does it stack up against the latest iOS and Android devices? At first glance, Microsoft's newest flagship, the Lumia 950, seems plenty powerful with its 1.8GHz hexa-core Snapdragon 808, 3GB of RAM and 5.2-inch Quad HD AMOLED display. However, we've got the face-off after the break with a side-by-side comparison between the Lumia 950, iPhone 6s and Nexus 5x so you can decide for yourself which one best suits your needs.

  • Surface Book vs. the competition: Flagship laptops go head-to-head

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    10.06.2015

    And then there were three: with the introduction of the Surface Book, Microsoft has joined Apple and Google in offering a premium laptop that runs its own platform. But how does it stack up next to its rivals, the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the Chromebook Pixel? We've put the specs of each side by side to help you sort things out. As you'll soon see, the three only share a few things in common. They reflect the unique philosophies of their creators, whether it's Microsoft's fondness for tablets, Apple's preference for powerful (if conventional) laptops or Google's desire for lean-and-mean web machines.

  • The Surface Pro 4 vs. the competition: Tablets for productivity

    by 
    Nathan Ingraham
    Nathan Ingraham
    10.06.2015

    It's been an up-and-down ride for Microsoft's line of Surface tablets -- but the company finally hit on a formula that worked with the Surface Pro 3. It's a device that has inspired a number of competitors, most recently from Microsoft's long-standing rivals Apple and Google. The newly-announced iPad Pro and Pixel C both take clear and obvious cues from the Surface lineup, but fortunately for Microsoft it now has a brand-new Surface Pro 4 to compete with these newcomers. While much of your interest in these devices will likely come from which operating system you prefer, we've lined up the specs below so you can get an idea as to how these tablets will all stack up when they hit stores later this year.

  • High-end Windows Phones make a comeback with the Lumia 950 and 950 XL

    by 
    Chris Velazco
    Chris Velazco
    10.06.2015

    You could be forgiven for forgetting that Windows Phones were ever really a thing -- iOS and Android devices keep making headlines. After all, it's been ages since we got a high-end phone from Microsoft or one of its partners. It was... frustrating to say the least, especially if you were one of those people who fell under the spell of Microsoft's mega-marketing blitz. Now, though, we've got two new high-end Windows Phones -- the Lumia 950 and 950 XL -- ready to bring the best of Redmond's new vision of software straight into our pockets. I spent a little time here in New York City to futz around with both, and one thing seems clear: While the hardware doesn't feel like Microsoft's best, there are plenty of good ideas here.

  • Hands-on with Surface Pro 4, Microsoft's ideal hybrid tablet

    by 
    Devindra Hardawar
    Devindra Hardawar
    10.06.2015

    The Surface Pro 4 is here and ... it's pretty much just like the Surface Pro 3. Microsoft basically refined its design from last year to create a hybrid tablet that's slightly thinner and 30 percent more powerful. It also included a slightly larger 12.3-inch screen in the Surface Pro 4 (0.3 inch bigger than the SP3) without making the case larger. Instead, Microsoft just chipped away at the bezel around the screen. All that makes for a Surface Pro that feels exceedingly familiar, but also wonderfully refined. While the Surface Pro 3 was good enough to replace most laptops for me, the SP4's improvements should make that true for even more people.

  • Here's our first look at the Surface Book, Microsoft's answer to the MacBook Pro

    by 
    Dana Wollman
    Dana Wollman
    10.06.2015

    Wow. Microsoft finally did it. After years of rumors and speculation the company finally unveiled its very own laptop. Not a tablet that could replace a laptop (although there's that too), but a bona fide laptop, with an attached keyboard. Well, almost. The Surface Book, at first glance, looks like a traditional clamshell notebook with a touchscreen. In fact, though, it's more like a lovechild between the Surface and Lenovo's Yoga line. Which is to say, it has a removable display that supports pen input but, if you reattach the screen facing away from the keyboard, you can also fold it down into tablet mode. Oh, and on the inside, it has enough horsepower to take on the MacBook Pro.

  • Artists rejoice: The Surface Pro 4's stylus has 1,024 touch levels

    by 
    Jamie Rigg
    Jamie Rigg
    10.06.2015

    At the big Windows 10 devices event today, Microsoft's Panos Panay said that 53 percent of Surface Pro 3 owners use the device's stylus. So, when it came to building the improved Surface Pro 4, it made sense to upgrade the writing and doodling experience, too. Most importantly, the new "Surface Pen" has 1,024 degrees of pressure sensitivity, four times that of the Surface Pro 3, and an "all-year" battery life, which is something of a double-edged sword since you can't actually recharge it. The Surface Pen also has a tail eraser for manual undoing, and a selection of interchangeable tips for different tasks that change how the Pen feels and responds.

  • Microsoft has a docking station for your Surface Pro tablet

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    10.06.2015

    Microsoft isn't just unveiling a phone dock today -- it has a dock for your computers, too. The tech giant's new docking station gives the Surface Pro 3, Pro 4 and Surface Book the kind of connectivity you'd expect from a desktop. There are two 4K-capable DisplayPort outputs, four USB 3.0 ports and an Ethernet jack for your wired internet link. Microsoft's Surface Dock is available for pre-order now (with an expected release date of October 26th) at $200, which should be inexpensive enough that you can forget about buying a second PC. Get all the news from today's Microsoft event right here.

  • Microsoft's Surface Book is its first (and 'ultimate') laptop

    by 
    Sean Buckley
    Sean Buckley
    10.06.2015

    And then Microsoft dropped a bombshell on stage. "What if you wanted a Surface -- but you wanted a laptop Surface, something with a bigger screen, something with the perfect typing experience of a laptop?" Microsoft's Panos Panay asked at the company's Windows 10 devices event. "We made the ultimate laptop; we made Surface Book." That's right, it's Microsoft's first in-house laptop -- with a 267 ppi, 13.5-inch display, a sixth-generation Intel Core processor, up to 16GB of RAM and a claimed 12-hour battery life. Microsoft is calling it the "ultimate" laptop ...but just like every other Surface in the product line, it's still a detachable, convertible PC.

  • Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 type cover has 'laptop class' feel

    by 
    Steve Dent
    Steve Dent
    10.06.2015

    Microsoft has completely remade its Surface 4 Pro Type Cover, adding better type feel, a fingerprint sensor, a larger trackpad and more. For starters, the company gave its Surface Pro 3 users some love by making the new keyboard compatible with the older model. It's also the thinnest and lightest yet, and since the Surface Pro 4 itself shrunk from 9.1 to 8.4mm, the whole package is much smaller. The keys are also quieter, have more space between them and a better feel, which may finally make it a viable option for folks who couldn't handle the Surface Pro 3's slightly mushy keyboard.

  • Microsoft announces Surface Pro 4

    by 
    Devindra Hardawar
    Devindra Hardawar
    10.06.2015

    In the span of a few years, Microsoft's Surface has gone from a genuine surprise, to a big disappointment, to a solid hybrid tablet (thanks to the Surface Pro 3, and to a lesser extent the Surface 3). Now, we have the Surface Pro 4, which comes just in time to go toe to toe with plenty of other Surface-like competitors, including Apple's new iPad Pro, Lenovo's Miix 700 and Dell's rumored new XPS 12. It looks pretty similar to last year's model, but it's thinner at 8.4 mm and sports a larger 12.3-inch display. However, the revamped specs and the fact that it was built specifically for Windows 10 might make it a much bigger draw than past Surfaces.