4 Surface Neo features we're hoping to see at launch this year
LTE, haptics, colors, and more — here's what we want to see with the Microsoft Surface Neo.
Microsoft's first dual-screen PC is launching later this year under the name Surface Neo, and it'll also be Microsoft's first device to ship with Windows 10X. It's a new form factor, which means there's a lot of exciting potential for Microsoft and customers to take advantage of this new device. We still don't know a lot about Surface Neo, so here are a few things we're hoping to see part of the product at launch.
A new dock
Surface Neo is the first Surface PC in a while that doesn't include the magnetic Surface Connect port for charging and other peripherals. It has a single USB-C port, which is a capable replacement. Still, there's no official Surface Dock from Microsoft that works natively with a USB-C port, and that might be a problem for anyone looking to dock Surface Neo up to an external display with multiple peripherals plugged in at the same time.
The current Surface Dock is super old, being released back in 2015 alongside the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. So it's fair to say that the Surface Dock is overdue a refresh, and one that has USB-C support would be an excellent update for newer Surface owners as all Surface PCs now include USB-C in some capacity.
Haptics on a tablet seems like an unnecessary addition, but when you consider the fact that Surface Neo is actually a PC with a virtual keyboard and trackpad, haptics becomes much more important. If Microsoft expects anyone to take Surface Neo seriously as a PC, it needs to make the virtual keyboard and trackpad the best it can be.
One way to enhance this experience is with good haptics. Apple already understands this and has been putting excellent haptics into the iPhone for a while. MacBook also has something called a force trackpad, which doesn't physically move yet provides a satisfying click regardless. If Microsoft can build that kind of technology into the Surface Neo, that would go a long way to enhancing the typing and touchpad experience.
So far, Microsoft has only showcased the Surface Neo in white. It's a glass device, meaning it can be made available in different colors if Microsoft wanted. I'd love to see a black version, along with a red and blue version for those who like a little more vibrancy.
These colors could easily extend to the Surface Neo's accessories too. The magnetic keyboard and slim pen could also be made available in similar colors to match the Surface Neo, and I think the different combinations of colors would go a long way to helping customers make Surface Neo their own.
This one is a given, but I'd love to see LTE capabilities built right into Surface Neo. Neo is a mobile productivity PC, and mobile makes it nimble enough to carry in a bag. It's the perfect form factor for an always-connected modem built right in, whether that be with a physical NanoSIM or via eSIM. And in many ways, it could be a huge mistake to avoid having LTE built into Surface Neo.
What are your thoughts?
That's what we're hoping to see in Surface Neo when it launches later this year. What are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.
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Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.