Technology

Microsoft shows off new Surface hardware, including a dual-screen phone

Microsoft shows off new Surfac...
The new Surface hardware line-up for 2019 (and 2020)
The new Surface hardware line-up for 2019 (and 2020)
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The new Surface hardware line-up for 2019 (and 2020)
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The new Surface hardware line-up for 2019 (and 2020)
The Surface Pro 7 just tweaks the existing formula
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The Surface Pro 7 just tweaks the existing formula
Work on the go from anywhere with the Surface Pro X
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Work on the go from anywhere with the Surface Pro X
The Surface Laptop 3 offers a more conventional laptop form factor
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The Surface Laptop 3 offers a more conventional laptop form factor
The Surface Earbuds are here to compete directly with the Apple AirPods
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The Surface Earbuds are here to compete directly with the Apple AirPods
The Surface Neo is effectively two Surface tablets locked together – but it's not out until late 2020
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The Surface Neo is effectively two Surface tablets locked together – but it's not out until late 2020
The Surface Duo is a smaller Surface Neo, and runs Android rather than Windows
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The Surface Duo is a smaller Surface Neo, and runs Android rather than Windows
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Microsoft had a host of new Surface hardware to show off today at a special event in New York – two new Surface 2-in-1s, a new Surface laptop, and two intriguing dual-screen devices, that the company is hoping will fill some of the hardware gaps between phones, tablets, and laptops.

Perhaps the most conventional of the new devices is the Surface Pro 7, which at long last brings the USB-C port to the Surface Pro line. Alongside some upgraded internal components, the 2-in-1 comes with a 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 pixel display, which is the same as last year's Surface Pro 6. It launches on October 22, starting at US$749.

Then there's the Surface Pro X, which is an even thinner and lighter take on the Surface Pro blueprint – it comes with a mobile chip and LTE connectivity, which means it's designed to be connected to the web at all times, much like your phone. The 13-inch screen runs at a 2,880 x 1,920 pixel resolution. That'll set you back $999, and it launches November 5.

Work on the go from anywhere with the Surface Pro X
Work on the go from anywhere with the Surface Pro X

A more traditional laptop can be found in the form of the Surface Laptop 3, offering a choice of top-end Intel or AMD processors, as well as discrete graphics, if you need that extra visual oomph. New this time around is the option of a 15-inch as well as a 13.5-inch version – prices start at $999 and $1,199 respectively.

The stars of the show, however, were Surface products that won't be available until this time next year. First up is the Surface Neo, a dual-screen tablet-sized device that connects two screens together (it's hinged rather than foldable) – Microsoft is describing this as a whole new category of product, and it runs Windows 10 X, a stripped-down version of the operating system optimized for dual-screen devices.

Then there's another dual-screen device, effectively Microsoft's return to the smartphone market: it's called the Surface Duo, it has two displays hinged together a bit like the LG G8X ThinQ, and it runs Android rather than any variant of Windows. Like the Surface Neo, it's arriving for the end of 2020, so details are thin on the ground – but we do know both displays measure 5.6 inches corner to corner.

The Surface Duo is a smaller Surface Neo, and runs Android rather than Windows
The Surface Duo is a smaller Surface Neo, and runs Android rather than Windows

There was even time for Microsoft to unveil some true wireless earbuds in the form of the Surface Earbuds, which are arriving later this year for the not-insignificant price of $249. Microsoft is promising up to 24 hours of battery life, and says they're equally capable of playing your music as making business calls.

If there was any doubt that Microsoft is taking its hardware business seriously, this event should completely blow them away – the Surface laptop, 2-in-1 and now foldable line-up is stronger than ever, and it's going to be interesting to see how these products are received over the next 12 months, before Microsoft comes back and does it all again.

Product page: Microsoft

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