Tuesday, Microsoft is holding an education-focused conference in the US city of New York (#MicrosoftEDU). The event could see the firm reveal new hardware and software solutions aimed specifically at students.
In terms of hardware, the tech world is still waiting for Microsoft to present its new generation tablet, the Surface Pro 5. The Redmond-based firm could use its education-themed event to do that — so long as the device has something specific to offer students. In any case, rumours are heating up on specialist websites, suggesting that the tablet could feature the latest-generation Intel processors (Kaby Lake), boosting performance and battery life. However, Microsoft is unlikely to unveil the eagerly awaited new range of Surface Phone smartphones or a Surface Book 2 PC at the May 2 event.
Above all, Microsoft could present a Surface 4 — a low-cost device tailored to users on tight budgets. This new tablet could also be the first device to run Windows 10 Cloud, a pared-down and partially cloud-based version of Microsoft’s famous operating system. The concept is similar to Chrome OS, used in Google’s low-cost Chromebook PCs popular with students.
The Cloud OS aims to provide a lightweight operating system for the least powerful computers on the market. As the name suggests, the system is focused on cloud computing, which is useful for PCs that don’t have much storage space. Users can, for example, use Microsoft programs already available in the cloud, such as MS Office, rather than installing them directly on their computer.
Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled the Surface Laptop: the company's first device that's meant to be a standalone clamshell-style notebook rather than a hybrid laptop-tablet device.
Aimed at college students and shipping on June 15, it runs on new software called Windows 10 S, which can only run apps from Microsoft's Windows Store. In some ways, it marries the best aspects of laptops like Google's Chromebooks and Apple's MacBooks: high quality, premium hardware and an easy-to-use experience.
One of the Surface Laptop's most noteworthy characteristics becomes evident as soon as you open the lid. Unlike most notebooks, this laptop features a 3 x 2 aspect ratio, giving it a taller, larger-feeling screen. It doesn't sound like a major change, but it's much more captivating than my MacBook Air's 4 x 3 screen. The Surface Laptop's 13.5-inch 2,256 x 1,504 resolution display made photos and text on web pages look crisp, bold, and colorful.
Microsoft has tried hard to reshape what a notebook could be over the past few years. But, it turns out, not everyone wants a computer that can double as a tablet. So with its latest device, the Surface Laptop, Microsoft is completely embracing the notion of a traditional notebook. There aren't any gimmicky features this time around -- like the Surface's Type Cover and kickstand, or the Surface Book's detachable display. But Microsoft didn't need one.
It's a very nice laptop! That's the gist of it. The Surface Laptop is basically Microsoft's direct competitor to the MacBook Air and lower-end MacBook Pros. It's thin and incredibly light — but then, so are plenty of ultraportables these days. What makes it special are Microsoft's many other design touches. The case is made out of smooth metal that simply feels great. It's a well-balanced and solid-feeling machine all around. And the keyboard area is draped in Alcantara, a comfortable cloth-like material commonly seen in cars, which makes it ideal for your wrists.
Speaking of the keyboard, it feels similar to the Surface Book's, but it's even easier to type on. The large trackpad is also one of the smoothest I've seen on a Windows PC. I didn't have much time to stress the Surface Laptop, but it had no problem juggling a few web pages and loading up a 4K YouTube video. That, by the way, made the Laptop's 13.5-inch screen shine. It's bright and colorful, just like the displays on its Surface siblings.
My main takeaway: I loved touching and holding the Surface Laptop. And I can't wait to do it again.
Surface Laptop vs Surface Book: How does Microsoft's new Windows 10 S laptop stack up against the Surface Book? Everything you need to know – including all the key specs – is right here.
Microsoft has just taken the wraps of its new Windows 10 S operating system along with a device to show off the OS: the Surface Laptop.
What's it all about, and how does it stack up against the company's high-end Surface Book? Here's all you need to know.
The new ultra-thin and portable Surface Laptop is designed for students, and Microsoft is making a big deal of how sleek this new device is. At 1.25kg, it's lighter than the MacBook Air, although with that device ageing very badly it's not really much of a surprise.
There's no screws or hinges visible, and no visible speaker grilles as Microsoft has integrated the actual speakers below the keyboard.
It comes in Platinum, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue, or Graphite Gold and has fabric (imported from Italy, apparently) covering the keyboard, with plastic, backlit keys. The screen doesn't detach, like on the Surface Book, but this is a laptop, after all.
Surface Laptop vs Surface Book – hardware and performance
With Windows 10 S, the laptop should start up and log in quicker than the standard Windows 10-powered Surface Book. The whole OS runs on apps from the Windows Store, and as such, Microsoft claims it will have the same performance on "day 1000 as it did on day 1". In reality, it's a limited experience that you'll probably want to pay to upgrade. Pricing from Windows 10 S to Pro shouldn't be too significant, but it's still an extra cost to consider to get the most out of your laptop.
The Surface Book, on the other hand, runs standard Windows 10, so you can download apps from anywhere and generally have a more customisable experience. For us, more flexibility is always better.
In terms of hardware, on the Laptop you can choose to have up to a 1TB SSD and Microsoft claims it comes with 14 and a half hours of battery life. In reality we doubt it'll get that far, but a full working day sounds like it's very much possible.
Microsoft is holding an event this month, the company announced tonight, at which it says it will “show the world what’s next.” The event will take place in Shanghai on May 23rd, but Microsoft didn’t specify either the precise location of the event or exactly what it will be showing. The company did tell The Verge to expect new hardware, however.
There are some additional clues to that new hardware to be gleaned from social media. Panos Panay — Microsoft’s vice president of devices and the creator of the Surface — tweeted the announcement alongside the hashtag “#Surface.” The tag, and Panay’s planned attendance in Shanghai, could mean that Microsoft is ready to show off the Surface Pro 5.
If you've been waiting for Microsoft to announce the Surface Pro 5 tablet, then I have bad news for you — Microsoft's Panos Panay told CNET last week that "there's no such thing as a [Surface] Pro 5."
That's a huge bummer for lots of people who were hoping that Microsoft would unveil a new Surface Pro 5 at its upcoming event in Shanghai on May 23rd. It also makes that event even more mysterious, since Panay himself has hinted via an Instagram post that the event will see some kind of Microsoft Surface hardware announcement.
In the bigger picture, this raises some concerns for Microsoft's larger Surface strategy. The current Surface Pro 4 tablet, the flagship of the Surface product lineup, hasn't gotten a significant refresh since its launch in 2015. Now, Microsoft blames the age of the Surface Pro 4, plus increased Windows tablet competition, for a 26% dip in the Surface business last quarter.
Still, Panay dropped some hints as to what's causing the holdup, telling CNET that Microsoft is looking for "meaningful change" before it releases another tablet.
In other words, says Panay, the company isn't looking to just release the same device with upgraded specs; he wants "experiential change" that makes an impact in the way that people actually use it, like a lower weight or a hugely improved battery. If it can't come up with big changes like that, he says, Microsoft won't bother releasing it.
So on the plus side, that means that whatever Microsoft releases next should be a meaningful upgrade over the Surface Pro 4. On the other hand, it means that would-be Surface Pro 4 buyers are more likely to look elsewhere for a premium Windows 10 tablet.
Apple's Smart Keyboards are a key selling point for both the 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch iPad Pros, as they're official first-party accessories that help to differentiate the devices from the cheaper tablets in the lineup. If you bought one, good news: Apple will now repair most problems with both sizes of Smart Keyboard for up to three years from the date of their release.
According to a memo obtained by 9to5Mac, Apple Stores and authorized service providers are being directed to service Smart Keyboards with "functional issues," a list of which includes stuck keys, "sensor issues," problems with the magnetic connector that secures the keyboard to the iPad, Smart Connector problems, and unresponsive keys. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro was released in November of 2015 and the 9.7-inch model came out in March of 2016, so this extended coverage will apply to their Smart Keyboard accessories until November 2018 and March 2019, respectively
For years, Apple and Samsung have been vying for the number one spot as the most popular choice of users. This year, there are two tablet models these technology giants introduced last March: the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and the new iPad 2017. If you are baffled on which one to choose, it is quite understandable since these two companies always add interesting features to their devices. The best way to come up with a choice is to know what these two have to offer.
With both having 9.7-inch screens and a resolution of 2048 x 1536 at 264 PPI, there are still differences in display. The Tab S3 boasts of AMOLED display while its contender uses LCD. Also, the Tab S3 comes with Mobile HDR.
As for the cameras, the Tab S3 has an edge with higher resolutions on both front and rear snappers with a 5-megapixel sensor for selfies and 13 megapixels at the rear, capable of 4K video recording and a flash. On the other hand, the new iPad 2017 comes in second with an 8-megapixel rear camera capable of 1080p video recording and 1.2- megapixel FaceTime HD front camera.
The Galaxy Tab S3 is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor while the new iPad is designed with an A9 chipset and an embedded M9 coprocessor. Also, the Tab S3 has quad stereo speakers which are multi-directional while the iPad boasts of two speakers. Both have 3.5mm headphone jacks but the iPad has a Lightning port for charging. In terms of battery life, the 6000mAh battery of the Tab S3 offers up to eight hours of web surfing use and 12 hours of video playback while the fixed battery of the iPad can last up to 10 hours.
Engineered to meet the growing needs of mobile transportation and field service professionals, the new Getac ZX70 is a 7” fully rugged Android tablet designed for comfortable one-handed use in remote and challenging environments. Rugged to the core, its IP67 and MIL-STD 810G certification with best-in-class battery life allow it to go wherever you need it to. The ZX70 is also protected by Getac’s industry-leading three-year, bumper-to-bumper warranty.
The ZX70 is powered by the Android 6.0 operating system, making the tablet easy to use while providing access to millions of existing apps via the Google Play store. And because it runs on the Android platform, custom apps can be developed for download and use.
“The ZX70 was built with field professionals in mind and is one of the most compact and mobile rugged tablets we’ve ever built,” explains Scott Shainman, president of Getac. “Its fully rugged design, one-handed operation, extended battery life and Android platform are exactly what’s needed to work in the most extreme environments.”
The ZX70 features a 7” inch IPS, sunlight-readable, touchscreen display. Its 580 NIT ultra-bright screen, another best-in-class feature, enhances readability to further improve productivity and efficiency even in the toughest work environments. Responding effortlessly to every touch, Getac’s revolutionary LumiBond® 2.0 touchscreen technology uses an optically clear resin to bond the display glass to the touch panel and LCD to create a single panel that is more durable and readable. LumiBond provides better contrast and crisper colors than any other rugged tablet display. It features two advanced touch modes (Touch/Rain, Glove/Pen), and the included hard-tip stylus enables users to capture signatures and take precise notes on drawings, maps, and documents.
Full-shift battery life is essential for field technicians working in environments well beyond the nearest power outlet. The ZX70 provides the best battery runtime performance in its class, delivering ample power to move freely and be productive anywhere.
With a Full HD webcam, the tablet offers convenient video conferencing, training and field diagnostics. Its 8MP rear camera (with autofocus and flash) delivers high-resolution still images and is ideal for capturing data and documenting conditions in the field. Together, both cameras provide a compact solution for remote communications and information sharing with the home office or other field technicians, directly from the job site.
The ZX70 is a purpose-built tool with a host of configurable options to fit the way field techs work, including dedicated GPS + 4G LTE cellular data, WiFi, 1D/2D barcode reader and NFC/RFID. The tablet includes 2GB of on-board storage expandable to 4GB, and a micro SD card slot permits expansive storage and backup options.
Certified for hazardous locations, the ZX70 fully rugged tablet offers optional ATEX and IECEx 2/22 certification for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. 1
Durability is synonymous with the Getac brand, and the ZX70 proudly continues that tradition. MIL-STD 810G-certified for drops up to six feet, IP67-certified for liquid submersion to 1 meter for 30 minutes and endurance under extreme temperatures from -6°F to 140°F (operating temperature) and -40°F to 160°F (storage temperature) all make the ZX70 an ideal tablet for mobile field professionals.
The ZX70 fully rugged tablet is backed by the industry’s best three-year bumper-to-bumper warranty that covers everything, including accidental damage.
Microsoft has been working on a new HomeHub feature for Windows 10 to better compete with devices like Amazon’s Echo. HomeHub is designed to create a family environment for a PC with shared access to calendars, apps, and even a new welcome screen. Microsoft is even planning to support smart home devices like Philips’ Hue lights, to enable Windows 10 to act as a hub to control and manage smart home hardware. While we’ve heard about HomeHub before, The Verge has obtained internal concepts of exactly how Microsoft is imagining HomeHub will work.
The major addition is a new welcome screen that includes an “always-on” digital corkboard to let families use to-do lists, calendars, and notes. The welcome screen is really designed for kitchen PCs and new smaller hardware with screens that will support Cortana voice commands from across the room. Microsoft appears to be readying Windows 10 for future devices that are similar to Amazon’s new Echo Show hardware, with easy access to voice search, calling, and smart device control. Microsoft’s differentiator is that it wants these devices to be considered full Windows 10 PCs.
Microsoft is aiming to include the new welcome screen, shared desktops, and easy calling in the Windows 10 update due in September. This update should also include improvements to Cortana, and support for third-party smart home devices. Microsoft’s plan for supporting smart devices looks a lot like Apple’s own Home app, with the ability to manage and control smart devices directly within Windows 10.
The updated device is thinner than Microsoft's convertible notebook, and includes Intel's newest Kaby Lake processors that the latest Surface Pro lacks.
If you've been waiting for a successor to Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 -- and since it was released at the end of 2015, you have been for a while -- there's been no shortage of alternatives. But if a Surface Pro 5 is unlikely to "surface" (pun intended) anytime soon, as ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley speculates, HP has just launched a very appealing 2-in-1 that should demand your attention.
The updated Elite x2 1012 G2 outdoes the Surface Pro 4 in many areas. At just 0.36 inches thick, it's skinnier than Microsoft's convertible, and it packs the Intel Kaby Lake processors that weren't available when the Surface Pro 4 was rolled out. HP's also addressed one of the original Elite x2 1012's shortcomings, boosting the resolution and size of its touchscreen display from 1,920x1,080 to 2,736x1,824 and 11.6 inches to 12.3 inches, which now match the Surface Pro.
For the uninitiated, Windows 10 S is meant for the students who are about to leave school and join college. Its basic working principle is the same as Google’s Chrome OS. And Chrome OS-powered Chromebooks have been extremely popular with students. So much so, that Microsoft decided to launch a direct rival in the form of the Surface Laptop, with other cheaper alternatives to follow suit.
Windows 10 S, while still being a Windows at the core is still different from the other iterations in the way it functions. For it can only run those apps that are present in the Windows Store. Any attempt to install other external software would run into a wall and will be firmly rejected. You will instead be offered alternatives already present in the Windows Store.
Microsoft is also claiming there are immense benefits to erect a secure wall around Windows 10 S. The apps are made to run in a restricted environment with access to other parts of the OS down to a minimum. That again, improves the overall security, as chances of malware playing havoc in your system get immensely reduced.
Microsoft, though, has a backdoor in the fortress that it claims the Windows 10 S is akin to. This, since you can always upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, but for a price. That stands at $49 but will be free through Dec. 31, 2017. Also, it is a one-way journey. After you have upgraded to Pro, there’s no way you can be back into the realms of Windows 10 S ever again.
We will apparently see a new iPad Pro model released in June, according to BGR.
“The new iPad Pro rumoured to be debuting sometime this year is expected to feature a fresh new design that will serve as something of a preview for Apple’s iPhone 8 design.,” said the report.
“The tablet is expected to be about the same size as Apple’s current 97.-inch iPad Pro, but it will feature a 10.5-inch display. How will Apple fit a larger display into a tablet that’s the same size as its current iPad Pro model? You guessed it… by shrinking the bezels.”
The iPad Pro 2, or whatever it is eventually called, will apparently be ALL SCREEN, just like the iPhone 8. This will make the iPad Pro 2 look completely different to what came before, though it will be interesting to see how a tablet without bezels actually functions in practice – what are you meant to hold on to?
9to5Mac also spotted a listing for an “iPad 10.5” inside a case maker’s inventory display. The report reckons this could be Apple’s new-look iPad Pro.
Beyond this, leaks suggest Apple is planning on removing the home key aboard this new iPad Pro model. Like the iPhone 8 it will apparently be built into the display.
Living somewhere between Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book in Microsoft's line-up, the Surface Laptop would seem to offer an ideal balance between portability, performance and price.
With the debut of the Surface Laptop, Microsoft has a stylish cousin to its brawny Surface Book—similarly shaped, but very different otherwise. It can be a tough choice if both premium products have caught your eye.
We haven't tested the Surface Laptop yet, but it's on preorder leading up to its June 15 ship date. Until we can review it, we can take a look at the specs and help you consider the two choices more closely.
There are lots of great free games out there that you can download and play on your tablet or phone.
Here at GameSpew, we don’t normally talk about mobile games, but with some many great, free games out there, we thought, “why the hell not?” So taking a bit of inspiration from our regular Free Game Friday features, we decided to introduce you to some of our favourite mobile titles, from the likes of Temple Run to some old classics. So, without further ado Spewers, here’s a look at some of our guilty pleasures.
We’ve mentioned Temple Run, so it’s as good a place as any to start. Originally released back in 2011, it was developed by Imangi Studios in North Carolina in the U.S. and was so well received it spawned a sequel – the imaginatively titled Temple Run 2. The latter allegedly was the fastest-spreading mobile game ever, with over 50 million downloads in the first two weeks of its release.
if you want lots of short, quick games and just want to download one quickly, check out Nordcurrent’s 101-in-1 Games Anthology, which has different versions available for your phone and tablet as well as your PC. It does exactly what it says on the tin and includes a nice mix of remakes of some old games and some original ones, too. You don’t get access to them all at once and will need to earn points to unlock them, but that’s half the fun of it.
Apple's iPad Mini is on the chopping block, according to a report from BGR.
Apple's iPad Mini once had a meaningful place in the company's approach to tablets, offering a more portable, easier to manage a device with a 7.9-inch display when compared to the 9.7-inch standard iPad design.
Apple's annual developer conference takes place in June, with the opening keynote scheduled for June 5. During that keynote, the company is expected to announce updates to its multiple software platforms including iOS and macOS.
There have also been reports that the company will announce a 10.5-inch iPad Pro model, along with a Siri Speaker to compete with the likes of Google Home and Amazon's Echo platform.
As it stands, the Microsoft Surface Pro 5 remains nowhere in sight. Tech fans are advised to look up alternatives. One such choice is the new HP Elite x2 convertible tablet, which has been described to be the clone of the Microsoft Surface Pro 5.
Furthermore, the Core i5 base model of the Microsoft Surface Pro 5 will likely be worth around $899. The higher end Core i7 models might cost $999 and $1,599.
Apple has just launched launch dozens of new educational sessions in all 495 Apple stores ranging in topics from photo and video to music, coding, art and design and more. The hands-on sessions, collectively called “Today at Apple,” will be led by highly-trained team members, and in select cities world-class artists, photographers and musicians, teaching sessions from basics and how-to lessons to professional-level programs.
“At the heart of every Apple Store is the desire to educate and inspire the communities we serve,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president, Retail. “‘Today at Apple’ is one of the ways we’re evolving our experience to better serve local customers and entrepreneurs. We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level. We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins.”
The free programs focus on the features of Apple products customers love most, across all skill levels and ages. For example, an iPhone user interested in photography can start with six How To sessions that cover shooting, organizing, editing and more. More advanced photographers can join experiential Photo Walks that leave the store to dive into techniques including light and shadow, portraits and storytelling. Going further, a Photo Lab features accomplished photographers on topics such as capturing candids, building a brand on social media or simply sharing their perspective.*
Microsoft’s all new Surface Laptop aims to supplant Chromebooks as a college-student favourite. The svelte, stylish notebook bridges the gap between Surface Pro 4 and the behemoth Surface Pro Book, adding a third option for performance lovers. However, despite offering a package as classy its cousins, the Surface Laptop misses on a few key spots – things you won’t notice at the first place, but if you do, you’d again fall for the charm of Surface Pro 4.
Though it may sound odd, the 18-month-old Surface Pro 4 is way better than Surface Laptop. Its promise of a tablet that can serve as a full-fledged computer is much impressive than Surface Laptop’s nearly as light full-fledged computer. In case you’re still confused, these points of interest will certainly help you in deciding.
While Surface Pro 4 makes the most of Windows 10 and the Creators Update, it’s sibling, the Surface Laptop, struggles with a lighter and snappier Windows 10 S. This OS, designed specifically for educational institutions, ensures greater manageability but can only run apps – both UWP and Win32 – from Windows Store. It also restricts you to Microsoft’s own suite of apps, which basically means you won’t get benefits of Google Docs, Chrome, Google Search and other third party desktop programs.
Of course, an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro seems like the only way out. But, keep in mind, Windows 10 S allows free upgrade only till December 2017. After that, Microsoft may charge you $49 for the privilege to upgrade.
Microsoft is holding an event on Monday, May 23 in Shanghai, China where it will unveil a widely anticipated refresh of its Surface Pro 4 laptop-class Windows 10-powered tablet, known simply as the Surface Pro. But you won’t have to wait until then to check out the new model from all angles.
This is not a wholesale redesign, to be sure: It looks very much the same as its predecessor, first released in late 2015 alongside the company’s innovative Surface Book (whose successor will not debut in Shanghai, according to someone familiar with the company’s plans).
As optional accessories, the pen and keyboard will be available in a choice of four colors — similar, but not identical to the recently launched Surface Laptop’s palette.
It might not be flashy or pretty, but this is a machine for professionals who want to get the job done.
Intel Core i7-7600U (twin core, HyperThreaded, 3.9GHz Boost Speed) • 16GB memory • 12.5-inch HD touchscreen • Wacom ‘Feel’ Stylus • 802.11ac • twin IR cameras for Windows Hello support
Don’t let the diminutive, simple lines of the latest Portégé fool you – this is a lion in a business suit. It mightn’t have the laser cut lines of fashionable convertibles, or a glossy aluminium chassis, but hiding beneath that simple black exterior is a laptop that will get the job done quickly and efficiently.
The 12.5-inch display makes this even smaller than most ultraportable convertibles, helping to keep its weight down to a mere 1.1kg for the base model. At this price point the HD resolution is a little hard to swallow, with competitors offering up 4K screens for just a few hundred dollars more, but Toshiba has focused on performance first and foremost. Besides, with the panel being so small, it’s still superbly clear, and the matte finish makes it usable in even the brightest conditions. Despite the tiny size, it’s a little chunkier than the competition, measuring 15.4mm at its deepest, but thanks to the low weight you won’t notice carrying this around all day. A simple twin-hinge mechanism allows the screen to flip through the full 360 degrees, and it’s surprisingly resilient to the bounce-back factor when using the touch-screen.
Microsoft is widely expected to launch a new Surface Pro device tomorrow, and the company’s Surface chief has taken to Instagram today to post what appears to be a teaser. Panos Panay simply posted an image of four Surface keyboards, with the caption that there are “30 hours to go” until Microsoft’s Surface event in Shanghai. The Surface keyboards appear to be new Type Cover colors in alcantara, the same fabric that’s used on Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop.
Microsoft’s Surface event will take place in Shanghai tomorrow morning, and the company has promised “updates and more information” over at its news site for exact timing and potential live streaming details.
HP's second-generation Spectre x2 is here to distract us from the rumored Microsoft Surface Pro 5 that may never appear, no matter how hard we wish. Announced Monday, the new Spectre x2 beats the aging Surface Pro 4 with much better features for the price, plus it corrects many of the sins of its own original version. The new Spectre x2 is expected to go on sale in June.
Why this matters: The 2-in-1 laptop category is starving for innovation, especially while Microsoft can't or won't upgrade its flagship hardware. HP, with this Spectre x2 and its corporate cousin, the Elite x2, seems to be leading the charge. The better news for consumers: HP tends to stuff a lot into these higher-end PCs.
It's what's inside
The biggest change internally to the Spectre x2 is skipping the low-power, somewhat slower Core M-based chips for Intel's latest 7th-gen Kaby Lake CPUs. To boost the performance even more, HP has opted for Iris Plus graphics versions of the Core i5 and Core i7. With its 64MB of embedded DRAM, Iris Plus should offer a very decent graphics advantage compared to standard HD graphics devices. RAM options will range up to 16GB of LPDDR3, while the SSD will include options up to a 1TB PCIe.
Today in Shanghai, China we announced the most versatile laptop—the new Surface Pro—with up to 13.5 hours of battery life; revealed the new Surface Pen, twice as accurate as the previous version with more fluid writing, drawing, and tilt.
Introducing the new Surface Pro—the most versatile laptop
Today, we unveiled the next generation of the iconic Surface Pro line. The new Surface Pro delivers up to 13.5 hours of battery life—50% more battery life than the Surface Pro 4 and 35% more than an iPad Pro. It’s more than 2.5 times faster than Surface Pro 3.
Surface Pro is not only a powerhouse laptop, but also a mobile creative studio with a vibrant 12.3” PixelSense touch display that supports the Surface Dial and the new Surface Pen – the fastest pen ever. Twice as accurate as the previous version, the new Surface Pen when coupled with the new Surface Pro, sets the industry standard for faster, more fluid writing and drawing.
We are making the creative power of the new Surface Pen available in the world’s most powerful productivity suite: Microsoft Office. Today, we showed off new inking features in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint that include a customizable gallery of your favorite pens, pencils, and highlighters that roams with you as a personalized setting across Office apps and devices, along with support for tilt and shading with the new Surface Pen.
These capabilities will begin to release to Office 365 subscribers in June, including the more than 100 million monthly active commercial users and 26 million consumer subscribers. Additional inking experiences will continue to roll out in the future, including the new Microsoft Whiteboard app, which offers a limitless canvas for creativity and collaboration with simultaneous inking between multiple people across the world. With Microsoft Whiteboard, people will be able to collaborate on ideas and projects across an expanded set of ink-enabled Windows 10 devices later this year, with exclusive capabilities for Office 365 subscribers.
Starting at $799 USD, the new Surface Pro allows people to customize their experience with an array of color-on-color options for the new Surface Pro Signature Type Cover, the new Surface Pen, and the Microsoft Surface Arc Mouse.
The new Surface Pro will launch on June 15, 2017, in 25 markets. Pre-orders for the new Surface Pro and Surface Pro Signature Type Cover begins later today in select markets at Microsoft Store, Microsoft.com, BestBuy.com, and JD.com where available. The new Surface Pen will be available in the coming weeks.
Can Microsoft's new Surface Pro beat Apple's iPad Pro?
Microsoft has been on a tear lately releasing some killer hardware products. There’s been the Xbox One S, its new Surface line of laptops, and as of today, the new Surface Pro. Microsoft opted to name the device “the new Surface Pro” instead of the Surface Pro 5—and we gotta say, we kind of like that. It gives is a distinctively fresh feel and makes it sound like a more welcoming device for people who haven’t used one before.
Of course, those same people have the option of picturing up another tablet/hybrid—that made by Apple. While the two devices aren’t totally comparable, they are both high-end tablets that want to corner that end of the market. Apple is rumored to be unveiling a new 12.9in iPad Pro at WWDC next month, but as for now we wanted to look at how the new Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) compares to Apple’s existing 12.9in iPad Pro (2016).
12.9in iPad Pro (2016) vs The New Surface Pro (2017): Design and Specs
The New Surface Pro (2017)
Display: 12.3-inch 2736 x 1824 pixel at 267 pixels per inch
Storage: Solid state drive (SSD) options of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
Processors: Intel 7th Gen Kaby Lake Core m3, i5, i7
RAM: 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB
OS: Windows 10 Pro
Cameras: 8MP front, 5MP rear
Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0, micro SD
Size: 292.10 x 201.42 x 8.5 mm
Weight: 786 grams
Battery Life: 13.5 hours
12.9in iPad Pro (2016)
Display: 12.9in 2732×2048 pixel at 264 pixels per inch
Storage: 32GB, 128GB, or 256GB
Processors: 64-bit A9X and M9
OS: iOS 10
Cameras: front 1.2MP 720p HD camera and a rear 8MP 1080p HD camera
Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, optional 4G
Size: 305.7 mm × 220.6 mm × 6.9 mm
Weight: 713 grams
Battery Life: 10 hours
Look, I’m going to be honest from the get go and say I’m a HUGE Apple fan. I think the iPhone and the Mac are some of the best computing devices you can buy. That being said, from a quick rundown of the specs alone it really does look like the new Surface Pro handily beats the 12.9in iPad Pro if you are looking for a tablet/hybrid device that will allow you to do away with carrying around a separate laptop.
The biggest difference between the two is still that the new Surface Pro comes in many more options that the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro essentially gives you three options: 32GB, 128GB, or 256GB-sized models (one without 4G and one with). All three models have 4GB of RAM and the same A9X chip.
But the new Surface Pro is packed with Intel’s new Kaby Lake Core M3, i5, and a much more powerful i7 processor. The Surface Pro also gives you the option of an insane amount of storage too: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB. And RAM? You’ve got the option of 4GB, 8GB, or a crazy 16GB.
Before yesterday's announcement by Microsoft of the new Surface Pro, I spent some time with the device and the engineers who created it. There's a lot that's new and improved, but that doesn't mean the Surface Pro is perfect.
I cobbled together a few pros of the all-new Surface Pro that stand out as reasons to be excited about it. To be fair, I had to toss in a few negatives as well, but that list is substantially shorter.
Things to love about the new Surface Pro
There's a lot to like about the new Surface Pro, and it's not just about the new processor. Here are the things that I think you should take away from yesterday's announcement and that you should consider when buying.
1. Longer battery life
Microsoft is making bold claims with the new Surface Pro with a rating of 13.5 hours. Those numbers are based on closed-loop video playback, but my experience tells me such an estimate translates into a real-world eight to nine hours of use.
2. Amazing pen-and-ink experience
The Surface Pen became respectable with the Surface Pro 3, but it was the Surface Pro 4's 1,024 pressure levels and design that won me over.
In 2017, Windows 10 is even more Pen-friendly, with even greater features coming in the Fall Creators Update, including universal support throughout the OS
With the new Surface Pro, Microsoft has a brand-new co-processor that dramatically cuts down inking latency (the "lag" when you scribble fast between the pen tip and visible digital ink), and it raised the levels of pressure from 1,024 to 4,096. The company did all that while still making the Surface Pen's battery last one year.
I tried the new Surface Pen on the Surface Pro, and it blurs the line between digital and analog inking. This pen feels amazing to use, and it even has tilt-and-rotation support now, addressing some of the very last complaints artists had in the past.
This Surface Pen may go down as an industry legend. It may even make non-pen users make the jump, it's that good.
The Surface Pro line has always been about taking on tablets while maintaining the function of a full PC. The new Surface Pro takes this idea and runs with it. Available in models coming later this year will be optional 4G LTE connectivity. This will work with nano SIM cards commonly used now, as well as eSIM cards that are set to take over.
Adding to the Surface Pro's portability is a battery that will last about 50 percent longer. You should expect up to about 13.5 hours of use on a full charge, meaning you don't have to worry about hauling a charger with you.
If you're working primarily from home or office, LTE connectivity and a larger battery don't mean much. However, if you're constantly on the go to places without Wi-Fi (and likely without an outlet), the new Surface Pro should be your first choice.
With this overhaul comes a host of new hardware, including 7th-generation Intel "Kaby Lake" processors. The upgrade from 6th-generation processors helps with battery life and delivers a slight edge in performance, but the biggest change is perhaps that Core i5 processors are now fanless.
Core i7 models of the new Surface Pro use Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, giving a significant boost to graphics power over the Intel Iris Graphics 540 in the Core i7 Surface Pro 4 models.
If you're interested in graphic design or any other hardware-intensive activity, you'll want to opt for the new Surface Pro. Just need a laptop for browsing the web and word processing? The Surface Pro 4 will handle those tasks with ease.
The new Surface Pen blows the old one away
One of the main features of the Surface Pro is inking, and the new Surface Pen has been updated to reflect the demands of users and advances in technology. Instead of 1,024 levels of sensitivity found in the old pen that comes with the Surface Pro 4, the new pen has a whopping 4,096 levels of sensitivity.
Also cut down is the latency. The new Surface Pen sits at 21 milliseconds, while the older pen is more than double that at 45 milliseconds. You can now also use the pen on more of a tilt, great for shading. The extra sensitivity, increased tilt, and decreased latency means an inking experience that's pretty much on par with a real pen on real paper.
With its new Surface Laptop and a major internal makeover for the Surface Pro, Microsoft's line of PCs now includes four models. Here's a closer look at where each one fits in the competitive landscape.
The current Surface lineup consists of four device families that neatly define the categories Microsoft wants to encourage those partners to populate with new designs. And, not surprisingly, those categories map very closely to Apple's current product line.
Here's a closer look at where each of the four current Surface models fits in today's PC market.
Surface Pro (2017)
At a glance: It looks just like its predecessor, but this is more than a simple hardware refresh. [More info]
Price range: $799 to $2,699; Type Cover ($160) and Surface Pen ($100) sold separately
Competes with: Pad Pro, HP Spectre x2 and a host of other PC copycats
At a glance: The first Surface that doesn't transform into a tablet is also the new reference design for a highly mobile PC. [More info]
This week's cover of The New Yorker has been sketched using an iPad and Apple Pencil, created by illustrator Jorge Colombo. The image depicts Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn Heights that Colombo frequents, with the artwork capturing a couple of basketball games and spectators at the park.
Apple CEO Tim Cook shared The New Yorker cover on Twitter this morning, with a quote from Colombo who mentioned his fear that one of the basketballs would fly near him and hit his iPad.
Announced on Indiegogo last November, many of the Eve V’s components and features were determined using crowd development. This unique system involved more than 1000 hardware enthusiasts around the world collaborating on the project, voting on what specs they wanted to see. Microsoft should take note that the Eve V boasts two USB Type-C ports, one with Thunderbolt 3 and the other USB 3.1 Gen 1. There’s also two USB-A ports, a 3.5mm audio input with a dedicated amplifier, and a MicroSDXC reader.
So how does Microsoft feel about this 12.3-inch Surface Pro clone? Quite happy, it turns out. The company is showing the Eve V off at its booth and keynote in Taipei. It’s also caught the eye of Intel, which has invested a “six-figure” amount in the project.
Like the Surface Pro, the Eve V has a 3:2, 2736 x 1824 screen. It also features a stylus that comes from the same supplier who provided the pen for the Surface 2, 3, and 4. But unlike Microsoft's machines, the Eve V’s $799 starting price includes both the pen and keyboard (not sure why they decided backspace should be labeled "oops!," though).
Just a few days ago, Microsoft announced an upgrade to its Surface Pro touchscreen computing device (Redmond hates when you call it a “tablet”). You might have missed it because not a whole heck of a lot has changed. The Surface Pro now has the latest 7th-gen Intel processors, extended battery life up to 13.5 hours, and a swanky new keyboard covered in Alcantara, a material that feels a bit like suede, but is made from polyester and polyurethane to make it durable. What has significantly changed, however, is the Microsoft Surface Pen, and that could be a big step forward for Microsoft in its current efforts to court the creative class.
The Surface Pen no longer comes bundled with the Surface Pro, but it has gotten performance bumps in almost every column of its spec sheet.
One of the most-notable upgrades is the shortened latency of 21 milliseconds, which is twice as fast as the previous model. According to professional illustrator Clint Baker, responsiveness is key for being able to capture the nuance of an artist's style. "I want drawing on a digital format to feel just like drawing on paper or canvas," he told me via email.
The Tablet PC is a fully functioning mobile computer that runs Windows XP, Tablet PC Edition which includes new, advanced handwriting and speech recognition capabilities that enable the creation, storage, and transmission of handwritten notes and voice input. Tablet PCs come in three styles, Convertible, Slate and Hybrid.