The last decade of personal computing was focused on consumption whether it was doing more browsing, shopping or more binge-watching. But if Microsoft has its way, the next ten years will be all about creating and amplifying what humans can do.
That was the message emanating from Microsoft CEO Satya Madella at the company's Surface event which was held in New York and broadcast live over the Internet. The Redmond, Washington software giant used the event to roll out a series of new laptops and Surface devices, which it says will empower people to create more. It also piqued the interest of attendees and viewers on the Internet by debuting a Surface Duo, a foldable tablet and the Surface Neo, which is a foldable smartphone. The latter two will be available for the holidays in 2020.
Surface Laptop 3 makes its debut
First out of the gate was the Surface Laptop 3, a lightweight, an extremely thin laptop that is instantly on when you open the device. The keyboard gives users a silent typing experience and trackpad that is 20% wider. The new laptop has a quad-core tenth generation Intel chip, which Microsoft claims makes it three times more powerful than an Apple Macbook.
"You're getting incredible performance with the same thinness and beauty," said Chris Capossela, chief marketing officer and executive vice president, marketing and consumer business during the event.
Aiming to make its Surface laptop similar to a mobile phone, 80% of the battery can be charged in less than an hour. The laptop comes in a 13-inch version which will sell for $999. A 15-inch version will sell for $1199. Both devices are open for preorders and will be in stores by October 22. The laptop comes in new colors including a sandstone finish.
Surface Pro 7 makes data transferring even quicker
Microsoft also used the event to announce the Surface Pro 7, which is similar to the Surface Pro 6 but includes a USB-C port that makes it easier to transfer data. The new device works with Microsoft's Surface Pen with users able to draw on the screen including in Excel. The device starts at $749 and will be available later in the month.
Apple isn't the only one with wireless earbuds
Aiming to take on Apple and its AirPods, Microsoft also announced wireless earbuds that have a 24-hour battery life, two mics in each ear and filters to reduce noise. The earbuds work with any platform and balance between two points in the ear to create all-day comfort. Users access music and answer phone calls without the need to use their smartphone but rather with natural gestures.
Microsoft Office is also built into the earbuds, enabling users to send captions to Microsoft applications. It can support 60 languages and is able to translate as you speak. The earbuds will be available later this year selling for $249.
Surface Pro X claims to be the thinnest 2-in-1 laptop
The Microsoft Surface Pro X marks the first time the company used an ARM-based processor in about six years. The device comes with a 13-inch screen display and is what the company says is the thinnest 2-in-1 laptop in the market. It weighs 1.68 pounds and is 5.3mm thin. The device will be available in November with Microsoft accepting preorders right now.
A glimpse into the future
Microsoft also used the event to give the world a glimpse of what it's working on just in time for the holiday season 2020. Marking the first time Microsoft has done this at a Surface event, it debuted Surface Neo. The foldable device comes with an attachable keyboard and pen that can be used to write directly on the screen.
"There's truly nothing else like this out there," said Capossela, noting it will be the thinnest and lightest on the market weighing in at 650 grams. The device is surrounded by gorilla glass and is 5.6 mm thin on all sides. The pen is housed magnetically on the back, constantly charging.
Not to be left out of the smartphone craze, Microsoft also teased a new foldable mobile phone that can make calls, stream videos and can be used for work and play.
Dubbed Microsoft Surface Duo. Partnering with Google to bring Android into one product. It will be available for the holidays in 2020.