Microsoft announced five new Surface devices and three new accessories at yesterday's hardware event. With that many new pieces of hardware, there's something for just about everyone here at Windows Central. We know from our recent poll that our readers are most excited about the Surface Duo 2, but did that hold true with our writers and editors? Let's take a look at the Surface devices the Windows Central team is most excited about.
Surface Pro 8
Brendan Lowry is part of our team focusing on gaming. His head was turned by the Surface Pro 8:
I've been in the market for a new laptop for a few months now, and Microsoft won me over with the Surface Pro 8. Between its fantastic specs and its impeccable compact design, it's perfect for people like me who need something portable yet also quick and responsive to use while away from my beloved desktop. The addition of Thunderbolt 4 ports also means I can potentially plug in an eGPU and do some serious gaming while away from home (or in my living room).
Our senior writer Cale Hunt has seen plenty of laptops and tablets in his day. He's also excited for the Surface Pro 8:
There's no shortage of laptops and PCs in my life due to work as a reviewer, but the Surface Pro 8 is finally a Pro that I'd consider buying and using for work. My main gripe about the Pro lineup has always been port selection, but that's changed with the inclusion of not one but two Thunderbolt 4 connections. Surface Connect is still there, but the best Thunderbolt 4 docks and hubs do a better job than the Surface Docks. With Intel Tiger Lake performance, a new inking experience (though I'm a dreadful artist), and a larger display, the Pro 8 definitely seems like it can handle my daily workflow. I could also add LTE connectivity and forget about working from my home office on warm summer days.
Our senior writer Richard Devine saw the refreshed design of the Surface Pro 8 as a welcome change to the flagship 2-in-1:
Admittedly, I've never really been a Surface person; they just don't generally fit what I want from a laptop or what I'm prepared to pay. I also still have a perfectly good Surface Go 2 LTE which really doesn't need replacing. As such, I'm not going to be buying anything Microsoft announced, but the Surface Pro 8 was the standout for me. It's been a long time coming, but the redesign, the addition of Thunderbolt, and the improved display finally make it almost impossible to pick fault with.
Surface Laptop Studio
The Surface Laptop Studio introduced a unique form factor to the Surface family. It's a non-detachable 2-in-1 and the most powerful Surface ever, according to Microsoft.
Cole Martin has reviewed devices like the XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro. As a writer with a particular set of skills with a pen, Martin was intrigued by the Surface Laptop Studio:
I only have desktop devices, so I've found myself drooling over the Surface Laptop Studio. It's reminding me it would be nice to draw on the go when we're out camping or even if I just want to sit on the couch instead of at my desk sometimes.
Editor-in-Chief Dan Thorp-Lancaster is excited about the Surface Laptop Studio. He's even promised he won't spill a glass of water on it if he ever picks one up:
My time with my Surface Book 2 (which met an untimely demise involving a glass of water) was, for my money, one of the best Windows laptops around. So color me intrigued when Microsoft replaced the Book line with a completely new take on what a Surface can be: the Surface Laptop Studio. While you lose the ability to detach the display, the Studio makes up for it with Microsoft's signature Surface hinge magic.
It won't be for everyone, and the weight alone will turn some off. But, I've got to say, the ability to shift between a standard screen orientation for work, then pull the display forward (or flat!) for immersive gaming or drawing in a traditional laptop form factor is plain awesome.
I won't be killing my wallet on a Surface Laptop Studio any time soon, but it's the one device that got me most excited for this year's Surface slate.
Surface Duo 2
Anyone who's listened to the Windows Central Podcast or follows our senior editor Zac Bowden on Twitter knows his passion for mobile Surface devices. It should come as no surprise that his favorite new Surface device is the Surface Duo 2:
I'm a huge fan of the first Surface Duo, and I've wanted nothing more than for that hardware to improve. The Duo 2 is finally a better phone with good cameras, which makes it so much more useful for me. I can use it to pay for things, and the touch digitizer is much more responsive compared to the Duo 1. Fit and finish is much better too, and it has stereo speakers.
Honorable mention: Surface Pro X
Microsoft didn't announce a spec bump or design refresh for the Surface Pro X yesterday. It did announce a version without LTE for a lower starting price. I wrote a piece yesterday about why the Surface Pro X without LTE is perfect for me.
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