Microsoft announces five new Surface devices and a phone

Ahead of today's Microsoft Surface hardware launch event, we've been tracking a number of developments, all the way to the actual leak.

Here's what was launched today:

Surface Laptop 3

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 will come in two sizes ― 13.5 and 15 inches. Both notebooks have all-aluminium bodies. And in a dig at the folks from Cupertino, Microsoft also said that the keyboard isn't compromised.

The 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3 will be powered by quad-core 10th generation Intel "Ice Lake" processors. Surface chief Panos Panay says it's three times more powerful than an Apple MacBook Air. The 13.5-inch Surface Laptop even has a modular design with a removable hard drive for easy repairs and upgrades.

The 15-inch Surface Laptop 3, on the other hand, will be powered by a custom AMD processor called the AMD Ryzen Surface Edition processor. Panay said it's the "fastest processor for any laptop in its class today." Not much else was said except that Microsoft co-engineered this processor with AMD and unique cores were created for the GPU.

Prices start at US$999 (S$1,380) for the 13.5-inch model and US$1,199. They are available for pre-order in the US now and will be available on October 22nd.

Surface Pro 7

The Surface Pro 7 finally gets a USB-C port and that's all we know. Little else was said about the Surface Pro 7 at the event. Instead, we got a demo about Edge and the Surface Pen. That said, it seems like it still has a 12.3-inch display and the USB-C port seems to have replaced the Mini-DisplayPort (yay!).

Available for pre-order today in the US and prices start at US$749.

Surface Earbuds

Everyone seems to be making true wireless earbuds and Microsoft is no different. This is the Microsoft Surface Earbud. It has a rather odd design with a conventional-looking tip but a large base. The large base contains touch sensors for controls. On the ears, they almost look like earrings.

Perhaps most crucially, these earbuds have Office integration. The microphones listen in and create captions in real-time. It can also change the language and translate as you speak.

The Surface Earbuds will be later this year and will be priced starting at US$249.

Surface Pro X

Microsoft calls the Surface Pro X a "cutting-edge 2-in-1." It has a 13-inch edge-to-edge PixelSense display and it's just 5.3mm thick and just 760g heavy. For what it's worth, that's slightly thinner but heavier than Apple's 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Inside, it is powered by a custom Surface SQ1 chip that's based on Qualcomm's design with an integrated AI accelerator. It has three times more performance per watt than the Surface Pro 6. It will run full Windows and full Office apps.

The GPU has over 2 teraflops of computing power, which is equivalent to that of an Xbox One.

But perhaps the niftiest thing is the new Surface Slim Pen. It slips into a hidden compartment in Type Cover keyboard and it's always charging when it's kept away.

The Surface Pro X is priced starting at US$999.99 and is available for preorder in the US now and will be available in November later this year.

Surface Neo

Microsoft also showed off the rumoured dual display device called the Surface Neo. It's not ready yet and Microsoft said it will only launch late next year Holiday 2020. That said, they are excited about it and wanted to show it off and share it with fans, partners, and developers.

It looks like two tablets joined together by an intricate 360-degree hinge. The display is 9 inches each, and are just 5.3mm thick. The entire device weighs just 655g.

Surface Neo can be used in multiple ways. You can open the device up and use the two displays side by side. Or, you can fold it over and use it as a 9-inch tablet. There's also a keyboard that attaches magnetically to the device. It folds up to cover about two-thirds of the second screen and it reveals what Microsoft calls the Wonder Bar. If you need a trackpad, you can move the keyboard upwards and use the second screen as a trackpad.

It runs Windows 10X, a new and special version of Windows 10 that has been optimised for dual-screen devices. It's also powered an Intel Lakefield processor with 11th generation graphics core.

The Surface Neo will be ready late next year Holiday 2020.

But wait, there's one more...

These are just about all the Surface devices that Microsoft announced today. But just when Panay was walking off stage, he turned around and there was one more thing. Microsoft also announced - you probably want to sit down for this - a new phone called the Surface Duo, which you can read about here.

Stay tuned also for our hands-on reports and first impressions for these new products.

This article was first published in Hardware Zone.