A Surface device for everyone!

No, this isn’t a raffle to give away those premium, bleeding edge technological marvels Microsoft has been crafting recently. This is what Satya Nadella said during the recently concluded Surface Event held at New York on October 02 2019.

Microsoft’s Panos during the October 2 Surface Event at New York

Microsoft has been making the best devices for people who basically live at the forefront of a modern, mobile, multi-faceted lifestyle. Artists can be editing a journal. Architects can be writing poetry. Musicians can be sketching their favourite vacation spot. Document heavy lawyers can be moms that need to coordinate their children’s activities. Bring to work, use during your commute, get some extra work done before dinner, watch Mark Dice on YouTube while having dinner, then watch a movie on bed before going to sleep. They truly reflect the way technology is meant to be in the near future – seamlessly a part of every facet of our live.

The allure of a Surface Device

I for one love how the surface is ready for any type of person. It has a full set of capabilities that allow it to be fully integrated into the work flow of different types of people. I for one am an architect but I also teach at university, I also have consultancies, and am active in a non-profit environmental NGO – and that’s just work side. I volunteer whenever I can, I love to learn new things, watch movies, research on gardening stuff, and am starting my new hobby in audiophile equipment and listening. Oh, and I love to travel.

I also have that very modern way of working – sometimes a nuisance but you get used to it. I work everywhere, anywhere – this because of necessity. Commutes to the university by bus take 2 hrs and so I need a device that can get me productive checking papers on Edmodo while answering emails, sometimes making letters on word and even presentations from scratch on PowerPoint – all of that on a bus without taking out my Surface Book 2 15″ (which I use for heavy work once I get to my desk at the University). Many times I listen to music or watch videos on Netflix or YouTube during the ride home.

I need a battery that lasts! My Surface Book 2 doesn’t need its charger, I leave that at home. It lasts so long that most of the time I still have 40% charge by the time I’m home. At home, I do consultancy work for development projects – I’ll be mostly using Office software and from time to time some graphics editing software. For architecture I’ll be using CAD software for the plans and I’d be rendering perspectives. I also am active with my own blog (Bemuse!) and also maintain other websites, so I need devices that can very simply churn out simple graphics and video. Of course Edge is everywhere. My garden has a new issue I need to resolve, I open Edge. I want to know something about my new Tannoy Speakers or probably research some upgrades, I open Edge.

I just recently went back again to Outlook on my laptop and android phone so that I could manage my 5 different emails for the different organizations I’m affiliated with. Work I do on my laptop I see on my phone thanks to Microsoft Launcher for Android. It all just comes together – it isn’t perfect though, Outlook for one has a lot more to do to become as functional as having separate Gmail and Zohomail Apps.

But I guess you know by now we live multifaceted lives and we don’t want a tool for every single thing we do – we want simplicity in design, a device that can do all (or maybe 80%, 4 out of every 5) of your tasks throughout the day. Just like a tricorder in Star Trek!

New Surface Device line up

Satya Nadella with the Surface line up

Which brings us back to a Surface Device for everyone. What did Microsoft unveil?

  • Surface Laptop 3
  • Surface Pro X
  • Surface Earbuds
  • Surface Neo
  • Surface Duo

That adds to their existing:

  • Surface Hub 2S
  • Surface Book 2
  • Surface Headphones
  • Surface Studio
  • Surface Go

They’ve also introduced some new technologies and accessories into their Surface line up:

  • ARM-based (Snapdragon) and custom Microsoft SQ1 chip
  • Fast Charging (80% in 1 hr)
  • Studio Mics
  • AMD custom Ryzen 7 chip with Vega 11 graphics (3780U)
  • Removable hard drives!
  • Surface Slim Pen
  • Surface X Keyboard
  • Surface Signature X Keyboard

Add to that the existing array of unique technologies and accessories they are already put into the devices:

  • Windows VR
  • PixelSense display with touch
  • Surface Connect
  • Windows Hello
  • Precision Trackpad
  • Surface Pen
  • Surface Dial

I’m so glad Microsoft never forgot it’s techie nerd base. Those removable hard drives together with all those productivity enhancing technology in the Surface Pro X is hitting my sweet spot for a machine that can do exactly what I need (or target all the issues I have with my current devices). I’m so sold!

Surface Laptop 3

Panos with the Surface Laptop 3

The Surface Laptop 3 is just the perfect device for students who need the versatility but at the same time need the familiarity of working in the traditional form of mobile computing. This would work well also for those who just can’t be bothered with a new form factor. The touch screen allows for more advanced work postures. Fast Charging means you never have to find yourself in a tight spot when it comes to battery life. A quick 30min break and your back on track. It’s light, powerful, beautiful. And with the addition of a 15″ variant powered by a custom Ryzen 7 (3780U) chip with Vega 11 means this class of Surface now caters to those who are more power hungry and whose work flow requires more flexibility with screen real estate. Something I wish my Surface Book 2 had though is the 20% larger precision!

Something the Surface Book 2 could use!

The 13″ features 10th Generation Intel processors and Iris Plus Graphics. At 14.55 mm thin and 2.84lbs, the aluminum-cased Surface Laptop 3 comes in lighter and thinner than most laptops with its screen size. The Surface Pen enabled PixelSense screen has a 201 ppi and 3:2 aspect ratio with 10 point touch. It comes equipped with LPDDR4x RAM and has 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB removable solid state drives. Wired connectivity is provided by one USB-C™ port, one USB-A port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and one Surface Connect port. Also included are Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing), 720p HD f2.0 camera (front-facing), Dual far-field Studio Mics, and Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby® Audio™ Premium. Wireless connectivity is provided by compatibility to Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0, and is compatible with Surface Dial off-screen interaction. The keyboard uses Alcantara fabric and has an excellent 1.3mm key travel.

Custom AMD Ryzen 7 (3780U)
80% Charge on a little over an hour
Capture voice clearly

The 15″ version has everything the 13″ has except of course the screen size and the custom AMD Ryzen 7 chip with Vega 11 graphics. It is also heavier at 3.4 lbs. Both models are rated for 11.5 hours of use. With fast charge, you shouldn’t be worried about losing battery!

Surface Pro 7

The Surface Pro 7 is an ultra-light and versatile 2-in-1 and is the staple of the Surface device line up. Unlike the Surface Pro X, this device is encased in magnesium and comes in both platinum and matte black. Magnesium is lighter and supposedly stronger but I found that slight impact can easily put ugly dents and scratches on Microsoft’s Surface devices made of magnesium. Its 1.7 lbs weight is perfect for those who want their devices short of 1 kilogram even with a type cover. At 8.5mm it’s also thin enough even when you add the type cover. It’s powered by 10th generation Intel Core processors and can last 10.5 hours! I haven’t tried the Surface Pro line yet but if it can last at least 8 hrs of my work flow that’s good enough – I can leave the charger. And about charging, the new Surface Pro 7 can charge 80% in an hour. It’s 12.3″ 267 ppi PixelSense display has a 3:2 viewing ratio and 10 point multi-touch capability for full productivity.

You can choose between 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB LPDDR4x RAM and between a Dual-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i3-1005G1 Processor, Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1035G4 Processor, and a Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1065G7 Processor. Graphics is powered by Intel UHD or Intel Iris Plus. It also comes with an ambient light sensor, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a magnetometer. Storage options are a solid-state drive (SSD) with either 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB capacity.

The versatility of the Microsoft ecosystem is unparalleled.

Connectivity includes one USB-C™, one USB-A, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, a Surface Connect port, a Surface Type Cover port, and a MicroSDXC card reader. The Surface Pro 7 supports Wi-Fi 6: 802.11ax and Bluetooth 5.0. The Surface also has a 5.0MP front facing Windows Hello face authentication camera with 1080p full HD video and a n8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p full HD video. The Surface Pro 7 is equipped with Dual far-field Studio Mics and 1.6W stereo speakers with Dolby® Audio™ Premium.

The Surface Pro 7 with type cover and pen.

The versatility of the Surface Pro 7 is enhanced with new ways to be productive within apps in the Microsoft ecosystem. Using Edge to collate research is easier than ever. If before you’d have Microsoft Word side by side Edge to copy and paste information, you can now do all that within Edge, leaving more real estate for complex work flows.

Compiling notes from online research is now easier and more intuitive.
Just drag and drop what you need and Edge will keep it for you. You can keep it organised too.
You can export your research to Word or Excel, or share it with others.
You can ink onto what you researched
You can ink comments!

Surface Earbuds

The Surface Earbuds are cool. But once they’re on a person, the size reminds me of Frankenstein.

You can use touch to control everything so that you don’t need to bring your phone out.

The charging case looks sweet

One of the coolest function is integrating Azure cloud AI so that if you were presenting, what you said could be translated real time to an audience speaking another language. We have the beginnings of the Universal Translator!

If you have USD 249 to burn go for it.

Surface Pro X

Drool worthy.

Noting excites more than a truly new piece of hardware. And what’s more exciting is the very uniquely Microsoft proposition of getting the best hardware and software to get the level of performance required. The Surface Pro X is sexy!

You want this.

Look at that thin, svelte machine. 7.3mm fits a high resolution 267 ppi PixelSense 13″ screen, blazing fast 4G LTE (no 5G yet!), and 13 hours battery life. The screen is the same 3:2 aspect ratio which maximizes productivity, and has 10-point multi-touch. You can choose between 8GB or 16GB LPDDR4x RAM memory options. It also has an Accelerometer, a Gyroscope, a Magnetometer, and an Ambient light sensor. The Surface Pro X features Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face and like with the rest of the Surface line up has Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face. 

Look at that machine!

Now, the Surface Pro is powered by a custom ARM Snapdragon Microsoft SQ1 chip. There’s a whole new slew of design choices made that make the Surface Pro X unique and a well-thought out machine.

The power behind the ARM chip means it uses 7 watts and not the typical 2 watts.
That’s about all the ports you need in a very modern workflow.
There’s always the option to add a keyboard to maximize productivity.
That’s bleeding edge panel technology there!
Smartest place to out the slim pen – I wonder if they price
This is a winner!

I’m so intrigued by the work and life flow that might be compatible with this device. I feel that once I’ve verified for the software I use, this might just be what I want (I’ve always been iffy about the lack of computing power of the a Surface Go).

Adobe Cloud is designed for the Surface Pro X

The Surface Pro X might just be the perfect partner for your modern work and life flow. Just make sure that among all the tasks you need to do throughout a regular and even a stretch target day, the software you’ll need to use is compatible with a Windows ARM OS. I can’t wait to hear hands on reviews of this device before I sink in a grand!

If you thought that was it….

Microsoft unleashes the Kraken.

Surface Neo & Duo

Omgosh. 😘

You can’t have this until holidays of next year – but that’s fine because I’m sure it’ll cost a grand or more! Enough time to save up. The Neo and the smaller Duo are both foldable devices that just do wonders. Work, play, live, have fun, it’s the device of many-a-nerds dream! I for one praise the high heavens for Microsoft – they finally are giving us a phone! I had to go through a Huawei P10 and now P30 Pro waiting for this. I was already decided to go back to the apple ecosystem because I didn’t want to fund the Chinese theft mafia.

Just look at the productivity these small nuggets of technological gold have:

Baby tablet Neo can run circles around its competition in productivity work flows.
There’s just no competition when the entire Microsoft Ecosystem is put to full use on a gadget like this.
We really need the software near perfect and Microsoft knows this.
The possibilities make sure your creativity and high energy isn’t stifled by the machine.
Yes, the first generation tricorder is here.
Everyone will want the Duo.

I have nothing else to say! I’m ordering the Surface Pro X and I’m saving up for the Duo. There’s no other way – of course I can imagine Microsoft ruining this by making it exclusive to North America shutting out its customers for months on end. Let’s see….

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