With Windows 11 set to launch in the next two weeks, Microsoft has unveiled their latest range of Surface hardware designed for Windows 11. There’s a range of new devices as well as accessories in their upcoming range including a new Microsoft Mouse and Slim Pen stylus.
The launch was hosted by Panos Panay, chief product officer at Microsoft, who described the new range as devices which push the boundaries of what’s possible.
As well as the mouse and new stylus there’s updates to a lot of the Surface range with the Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Go 3 and Surface Pro X with each device crafted to cater to the way you work, play and learn.
Surface Pro 8
Kicking off proceedings is the Surface Pro 8, which Microsoft describe as ‘the most significant leap forward since Pro 3’. The form-factor remains the same, though with the full-range hinge still built-in to the rear of the device.
Microsoft has updated the Surface Pro 8 with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, and will offer memory options from 8GB to 32GB and storage from 128GB to 1TB.
The 2-in-1 includes a 13-inch PixelSense display that supports Dolby Vision and has a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling.
Microsoft has included a built-in 5MP 1080p front-facing web-camera, as well as a 10MP 4K capable rear-facing camera.
For the launch of the Surface Pro 8, Microsoft is also dropping the USB-A port, instead opting for dual USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports giving you options for fast data transfer, or even multiple external monitor support.
The Surface Pro 8 is available to pre-order from Microsoft Australia now with pricing starting at $1,649. Units will begin shipping from November 4th.
Surface Go 3
Next, Microsoft unveiled the new Surface Go 3 which doesn’t change much from their winning formula of the Surface Go 2, offering the same 10.5-inch FullHD resolution display and similar form factor.
What they have updated is the internal processor with a faster 10th gen Intel Core i3 processor now available. It also comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB SSD and a battery capable of up to 11 hours.
The 2-in-1 has a centre mounted webcam with 1080p support, and includes ‘best-in-class’ studio microphones with Dolby Audio support on the speakers.
You can pre-order the Surface Go 3 from the Microsoft Australia website today for $629, or if you want an LTE enabled model you’ll have to wait until ‘early 2022’. If you’re ok with Wifi then the Surface Go 3 begins shipping on October 5th.
Surface Laptop Studio
I love an interesting form factor and the Surface Laptop Studio is definitely interesting. Similar in design to the Acer ConceptD Ezel with the 14.4-inch PixelSense display able to be pulled forward to the perfect angle anywhere from laptop mode to full tablet.
The Surface Laptop Studio is the ‘ideal product for developers, creative pros, designers and gamers’ says Microsoft.
The device includes 11th Gen Intel Core H35 processors in two config options. A Core i5 model which will come with Intel Xe discrete graphics or the Core i7 which includes an Nvidia RTX 3050 GPU and Microsoft says you can configure it with up to 32GB of RAM and up to a 2TB SSD.
You can’t pre-order the Surface Laptop Studio as yet, with Microsoft listing the device as ‘Coming early 2022’ on the Australian website.
Surface Pro X
Microsoft has also updated their Surface Pro X announced last year with a new WiFi only model.
The new Surface Pro X is still running Microsofts custom SQ2 ARM processor, which includes 64-bit emulation for ARM applications, and will come with Windows 11.
The machine comes with a 13” 2880×1920 resolution display, and is offered with either 8GB or 16GB LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of SSD storage.
Microsoft includes dual USB-C ports as well as the Surface connect port, and it comes with a 5MP front-facing camera with Windows Hello support and a 10MP world-facing camera on the rear.
At this stage it doesn’t appear that the Surface Pro X is available on the Microsoft website for pre-order but we’ve reached out to Microsoft Australia for clarification.
Slim Pen 2
On the list for accessories is the Slim Pen 2, a new stylus compatible across the entire range of Microsoft Surface devices announced today.
The Slim Pen 2 uses Bluetooth 5 for ultra-low latency and uses magnetic charging to keep it ready to use at any time with up to 15 hours of battery life available.
The Slim Pen 2 includes a custom built Microsoft G6 processor which combines with Windows 11 to ‘come to life’ says Microsoft. The Slim Pen 2 will launch a customisable pen menu in Windows 11 that lets you get to what you want sooner.
The Slim Pen 2 includes a small haptic motor that generates tiny vibrations that Microsoft says mimics the flow of a pen on paper for a more realistic experience. Microsoft has specifically built-in this haptic feedback into Microsoft 365, and you’ll also find it on tools in Adobe Fresco.
The stylus can be stored on, or in a number of devices including on the Surface Pro 8 keyboard which tucks it away underneath when not in use, or on the side of their new Surface Duo 2 phone.
If you want to get a hold of the Slim Pen 2 you can pre-order from Microsoft today for $189.95 with devices shipping from October 21st.
Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse
For fans of Microsoft’s mouse lineup there’s great news with the Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse announced.
The mouse is created in partnership with SABIC – Saudi Basic Industries Corporation and focuses on Microsofts sustainability efforts which sees the company aiming to be carbon negative, zero waste and water positive by 2030.
The mouse is made from 20 percent recycled ocean plastic – hence the name. As well as being made from recycled ocean plastics, the box is also 100% recyclable making it an environmentally friendly option.
Down to the technical stuff, the mouse is wireless connecting using Bluetooth 5.0 and is powered by a single AA battery which Microsoft says will last up to 12 months.
Microsoft hasn’t put the Ocean Plastic Mouse up for pre-order in Australia as yet, with only Canada and the US able to pre-order. There is good news though with Microsoft saying you can pre-order in most markets from October 10th via their website.
Microsoft Surface Adaptive Kit
Microsoft has also announced a new Surface Adaptive Kit to make devices more accessible to people with disabilities.
The kit will include keycap labels, bump labels, port indicators and device openers which Microsoft says will ‘make finding, opening and using devices easier than ever. Easier for anyone.’
The labels and port indicators come in a range of colours and can be easily stuck to keys, ports or devices or wrapped around cables to make plugging devices in easier. The device openers can help either extend the Surface Pro kickstand or help open the lid of a laptop.
The Surface Adaptive Kit will be available later this year,
but hasn’t announced pricing as yet. it will be priced at $24.95.
Surface Duo 2
Lastly, Microsoft announced an updated Surface Duo 2 phone, again with dual-screen. The original model never launched here in Australia, so we’re not expecting this one to launch here either. It does look pretty good though, so here’s the low-down.
UPDATE: It’s launching in Australia from ‘Late October’ starting at AUD $2,319, it will come in the colours Obsidian and Glacier.
The phone has dual 5.8-inch, 1344 x 1892 resolution OLED displays both of which have a 90Hz refresh rate. The displays are joined by a hinge which can flip the sides around like a book or into a single screen for use like a standard phone – or open it out for an almost continuous 8.3-inch display.
Internals on the phone have also been updated with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor which includes 5G support and 8GB RAM and options from 128GB to 512GB of storage.
Microsoft has also updated the camera specs on the phone, now with a triple camera array on the rear and a dedicated 12MP front-facing camera. The rear array is comprised of a 12MP primary sensor, 12MP telephoto option that has 2X optical zoom and a 16MP Ultra-Wide option with 110° diagonal field of view.
There’s also an ‘At a glance’ notification bar built into the hinge which Microsoft calls the Surface Duo Glance bar. The colour display can give you notifications for incoming calls and messages, as well as letting you adjust the volume, and plug in to check battery life while charging.
Microsoft is taking pre-orders in the US for $1,499USD, with devices shipping from October 21st.