Microsoft executives had a lot to talk about when they took the stage for this year's Surface Event on Wednesday. The company is rolling out a slew of new and improved hardware (many at the end of the month) that could well give Apple's recently announced lineup a run for its money.
Even in an age of keyboard ubiquity, the humble stylus still holds a place in hardware developers' hearts. Not to be outdone by the Apple Pencil, Microsoft just unveiled its Slim Pen. Details are still pretty scarce as to its capabilities (or even price) but we do know that both the Surface Pro X and the Surface Neo will be able to use it.
Folks who bought that underpowered Apple MBA last year are sure to be kicking themselves after Microsoft announced its bigger and more powerful Surface Laptop 3 on Wednesday. The SL3's standard 13.5-inch model ($999) now boasts a 10th-gen Intel CPU that is, according to the company, twice as fast as last year's model and three times faster than the MacBook Air. What's more, the company also unveiled a larger 15-inch version ($1199) that uses a custom Ryzen CPU and built-in Vega 11 graphics. It's even got a USB-C port. Finally!
The SL3 series offers some potent CPU options but they're nothing compared to the beefcake SQ1 chip running inside the Surface Pro X. Despite consuming less power (7 watts) than an x86 chip, it still triples the computing performance of the Surface Pro 6.
Microsoft even rolled out its answer the Apple's AirPods, the Surface Earbuds. Despite the lackluster branding, these wireless earpieces are designed with productivity in mind and offer both Office365 and Spotify integration. They'll retail for $249 but unfortunately (or perhaps, serendipitously) won't be available until the holidays.
Having apparently learned nothing from Samsung's Galaxy Fold debacle, Microsoft trotted out its own take on the folding phablet fad, the Surface Neo. Its 9-inch LCD screens unfurl out to 13 total inches of real estate and will run a stripped down version of Windows 10 when it hits store shelves in late 2020.
The Neo isn't the only folding handset Microsoft is working on. Behold the Duo, basically a mini-Neo with its own "duo-ling" screens that expand out to a 5.6-inch display. It'll run Android, likely on a Snapdragon 855 chip, when it becomes available holiday season 2020.
Follow all the latest news from Microsoft's Surface event here!