What you need to know
- Microsoft announced the Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Pro 8, and Surface Duo 2 today.
- The company also announced a refreshed Surface Pro X and the Surface Go 3.
- To go along with the Surface devices, Microsoft announced the Surface Slim Pen 2, the Surface Adaptive Kit, and the Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse.
Microsoft announced a slew of Surface devices at its hardware event today, including the Surface Laptop Studio, the Surface Pro 8, and the Surface Duo 2. We saw old favorites get refreshed, the introduction of a new form factor, and the announcement of several accessories. To help you catch up on all of today's news, we've gathered all of the highlights into one piece. If you want to hear our experts dive into the new hardware, make sure to check out our special edition of the Windows Central Podcast.
Most of the Surface devices are available for preorder today and will start shipping on October 5, 2021, but there are exceptions. The Surface Duo 2 will be up for preorder today but won't be available until October 21, 2021.
Surface Laptop Studio
The Surface Laptop Studio is the most powerful Surface that Microsoft has ever built. It runs on an 11th Gen Intel Core H35 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPU. It's a non-detachable 2-in-1, which is a first for the Surface family of devices. The Dynamic Woven Hinge of the Surface Laptop Studio allows its display to shift between modes. As its name suggests, the Surface Laptop Studio looks like a marriage of the Surface Studio and the Surface Laptop.
The display of the Surface Laptop Studio is a 14.4-inch PixelSense touchscreen. You can pull the screen of the device to any angle between the look of a traditional laptop and completely flat over the keyboard. Microsoft calls the angled view "Stage mode" and the flat view "Studio mode."
The Surface Slim Pen 2 can be stored underneath the keyboard of the Surface Laptop Studio. People can then take it out to draw on the display of the laptop or take notes.
The Surface Laptop Studio starts at $1,600 and is available for preorder now in select markets.
This unique laptop has its display on a Dynamic Woven Hinge. You can pull the display into different modes for inking, gaming, presenting, and productivity.
Surface Duo 2
The Surface Duo 2 is likely the device that received the biggest jump compared to its predecessor. The original Surface Duo introduced a new form factor but lagged behind in many smartphone categories. The Surface Duo 2 closes many of those gaps. It runs on a Snapdragon 888 processor, supports 5G, and has NFC. It has a dynamic triple-lens camera, which looks to be significantly better than that of the original Surface Duo.
Each of the displays on the Surface Duo 2 are slightly larger than those of the Surface Duo (5.8 inches vs. 5.6 inches). That increase comes largely from the thinner bezels of the Surface Duo 2, though the device still has noticeable top and bottom bezels.
The Surface Duo 2 starts at $1,500 and is available for preorder starting today.
The Surface Duo 2 is a major leap over the original Surface Duo. It runs on a Snapdragon 888 processor, supports 5G, and has NFC. It also has significantly improved cameras.
Surface Pro 8
Microsoft calls the Surface Pro 8 the "most significant leap forward since Pro 3." The Surface Pro 8 is more than twice as fast as the Surface Pro 7. The newest Surface Pro has an 11th Gen Intel Core processor, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and is built on the Intel Evo platform. Thunderbolt support is significant as Microsoft has held off until this generation of Surface devices.
The Surface Pro 8 has a 13-inch PixelSense touchscreen display. That display expands close to the edges of the device, much like the Surface Pro X. In a first for the Surface Pro lineup, the Surface Pro 8's display is 120Hz. This should work well with the Dynamic Refresh Rate of Windows 11. The Surface Pro 8 supports Dolby Vision and Adaptive Color Technology as well.
The 2-in-1 has a 5-megapixel camera on the front and a 10-megapixel camera on the back, the latter of which supports 4K. The Surface Pro 8 also has Dolby Atmos sound and dual far-field Studio Mics, which should help people studying or working from home.
The Surface Pro 8 also works with the Surface Slim Pen 2.
Microsoft calls this the most significant leap forward since Pro 3. The Surface Pro 8 is more than twice as fast as its predecessor and has thinner bezels.
Surface Slim Pen 2
Speaking of the Surface Slim Pen 2, Microsoft's new stylus has a sharper tip, ultra-low latency, and supports haptic feedback. The Surface Slim Pen 2 can be magnetically attached to the Surface Laptop Studio or stored within the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard.
The Surface Slim Pen 2 works with new features in Windows 11 and Microsoft's G6 processor that's in the Surface Laptop Studio and the Surface Pro 8 to provide tactile signals. For example, a person will receive tactile feedback when circling to select content in Microsoft 365 apps or using tools in Adobe Fresco.
Feels like real paper
The Surface Slim Pen 2 has a taptic signal engine that makes it feel like you're writing or drawing on real paper. It has a haptic engine that vibrates to deliver feedback.
Surface Pro X
The Surface Pro X didn't receive a design overhaul or a chip update like many of its Surface siblings. Microsoft did, however, lower the entry price of the Surface Pro X by offering a model without support for LTE. The Wi-Fi model of the Surface Pro X starts at $900, which is $100 less than the starting price of LTE models.
Microsoft's improvements to Windows on ARM will also be showcased on the Surface Pro X. Windows 11 supports both x86 and x64 emulation, allowing devices to run far more applications. Several big-name apps have also been optimized for Windows on ARM, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Teams. These improvements will also help other Windows on ARM devices like the Samsung Galaxy Book Go, but they will also boost the capabilities of the Surface Pro X.
The Surface Pro has a lower starting price now that Microsoft offers a non-LTE version.
Surface Go 3
The Surface Go 3 improved the Go line's speed thanks to a spec bump. The Intel Core i3 version is 60% faster than its predecessor. The Surface Go 3 has models with LTE support on the way to help people stay connected.
The Surface Go 3 keeps the compact form factor that's earned the love of many fans. It has a 10.5-inch touch display and only weighs 1.2 lbs (0.54 kg). It also keeps its low starting price of just $400, which is in the same range as the best budget tablets.
The Intel Core i3 model of the Surface Go 3 is 60% faster than its predecessor. You can order it with LTE support or Wi-Fi connectivity exclusively.
Surface Adaptive Kit
Microsoft's Inclusive Tech Lab created the Surface Adaptive Kit. It's designed to make devices more accessible. It does this with a combination of keycap labels, bump labels, port indicators, and device openers.
The Surface Adaptive Kit will be available later this year.
Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse
Last but not least (at least for the environment), Microsoft announced the Ocean Plastic Mouse. The Bluetooth mouse is made of 20% recycled plastic recovered from oceans and waterways. It is shipped in a box that's 100% recyclable. The shape of the mouse strongly resembles the Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).
Kudos for getting these articles up so fast. Exciting stuff!
Yeah, maybe a little too fast as he kept mixing the names up. " the Surface Studio Laptop looks like a marriage of .... Is it Surface Laptop Studio or Surface Studio Laptop? 😕
Sooooooo excited for the laptop studio! Duo 2 hinged notifications looks so rad!!
That laptop studio only comes with a 3050 - probably why its listed as "Nvidia GeForce RTX" - doesn't even show the model on MS listing. Luckily, BestBuy has it in specs.
Still not a bad gpu for a 14.4" device and the RTX 3050 Ti is efficient too.
Alright. I am going to need some help on this. Currently have an i5 SP7. Its a little under powered for what I do and I have a heat problem every once in a while. That said I was looking to upgrade to an i7 SP7 a few months ago but thought it best to wait it out and see how these new devices pan out. Obviously thinking go wiht an i7 SP8. So, pricing out a i7 SP8 with 16/256 new Type cover with pen comes in at $1880. I checkout out the new i7 SLS (Laptop Studio) with 16/512 and the new pen its $2230. Difference of $350. People are going to need some research and real world experiences to help them decide.
SP7 i7 owner here. I also feel constrained in terms of power at times. I think there's going to be a substantial difference in power between the SP8 and SLS if you go with the i7. We're talking 28 W (or 35 W? not sure) vs. 15 W in the SP8 (albeit a powerful one). Plus, better thermals, a larger screen, and better inking (probably). (I don't know what GPU you get with the config you mentioned here at $2230.) I am willing to bet the ~$300 difference is worth it. Of course I'd wait for the reviews too! Personally I'm not in the market and am willing to wait as I like my SP7 and most of the time I'm not maxing out the CPU.
The SLS while having 'only' a quad core cpu, the sustained performance per core is very good since its at 35 watt. The screen is also noticeably bigger. Finally the RTX 3050 Ti is good for 3d design jobs (architects and the like).
I would say Surface Pro if you need to use it as a tablet or want low weight, else SLS.
One of the few events where everything they showed was amazing and yet somehow I didn't walk away jelly. Probably because the devices I'm most interested in aren't must haves. The Go 3 isn't different enough from my Go 2 (m3) to warrant upgrading (and I'm still very happy with my Go 2). And I don't need any of the features of the Duo 2. Even the processor on the Duo 1 still feels good enough to me. Everything else isn't stuff that I was gonna buy anyway.
Awesome lineup , i would have gone for the Surface Duo if it wasnt for the large screen bezel. but the surface studio laptop is on my target list. not sure how much it will be priced in Australia.
What was missing from the announcement: The date for when the original Duo getting Android 11.
Wow, that surface studio is WAY over priced for an RTX 3050. Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel seems much better.
Duo is a great concept, but price point is at least $500 to high to gain real traction. It is not a "designer brand", that people will pay an exclusivity premium for, to WOW their friends, like a flagship Apple. Consumers, not companies, are the purchasers of phones... different than SurfacePro, where companies are often the purchasers. If they want to get any real consumer adoption, they will need to bait people to take chance.....and going to have to get it below the price in range of last year's Apple, on SWAPA.... If/when it becomes a "cool device to have", then they can get the $1500-2K price on next year's flagship.
Hard to say, Duo is still a new player but I think Surface is as premium brand as Samsung Galaxy is and the newest Fold is slightly more expensive. Duo will also amaze people in real life, no doubt about the design (/thinness). That being said, I still think they should reduce the price of the Duo 2, the hardware is good but eg camera software is likely not yet on par with Samsung/Apple. Not to mention that the Fold is too expensive imo and Samsung seems to slowly drop the price each gen. Two things that seem to be in favor of the Duo is that the OS has less bloat and the better inking experience (bigger screens and the flatpen + magnets).
Apple is not really a good comparison since they do not have a Fold or Duo competitor and have iOS (and as a result a different update support), that makes it hard to compare them.
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