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Ahead of Windows 11, Microsoft unveils new Surface Pro devices, Surface Laptop

  • September 22, 2021

With the launch of Windows 11 approaching, Microsoft is rolling out a new line of Surface devices, including a foldable mobile device, new tablets and a fresh laptop.

During an event on Wednesday, Microsoft revealed several gadgets that will run Windows 11, the latest operating system for PCs arriving on Oct. 5.

“Each new version of Windows unlocks the next generation of hardware innovation,” said Pete Kyriacou, vice president of Microsoft Devices, in a blog post Wednesday. “And for the last decade, Surface has been at the forefront – challenging convention, pioneering new experiences, and creating entirely new categories of devices.”

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How to get it:Here’s how to pre-order the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, Duo 2 and other devices

the reveal of Apple’s new iPhone 13, as well as a new Apple Watch and two new iPads. Apple releases the iPhone 13 on Sept. 24, days after iOS 15 dropped.

Here’s a breakdown of everything Microsoft announced Wednesday:

►Windows 11 to launch Oct. 5:How to find out when your PC is ready to upgrade

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Surface Laptop Studio

The headliner of Microsoft’s event is the Surface Laptop Studio, a laptop with an adjustable screen so users can view the display in various modes. 

In Laptop Mode, the Surface works like a traditional laptop. Stage Mode places it at an angle with the keyboard hidden to view movies or play games. In Studio Mode, the 14.4-inch touchscreen can be placed flat like a tablet. The Laptop Studio features a woven hinge that allows users to easily shift the screen between different modes. 

Microsoft says it’s th most powerful Surface device. It’s powered by Intel quad-core processors and Nvidia graphics processors. It also supports Microsoft’s new Surface Slim Pen 2 for drawing or writing on the screen.

It starts at $1,599.99, with pre-orders kicking off Wednesday.

Surface Pro 8

Microsoft also revealed three versions of the Surface Pro 2-in-1 tablets, which include detachable keyboards so they can be used as a laptop or tablet. The Surface Pro 8, which the tech giant says is twice as fast as the previous model, also boasts a larger 13-inch display and full high-definition cameras.

Starting at $1,099.99, the device also features support for Dolby Atmos sound and far-field studio mics. And like the Laptop Studio, the Pro 8 features Thunderbolt ports to support the use of external monitors or hard drives. It boasts up to 16 hours of battery life, Microsoft said.

Surface Pro X

It’s a thinner and lighter version of Microsoft’s flagship Pro line meant for users who prefer more of an on-the-go device.

For the first time, the Pro X will be available as a Wi-Fi only model. Users can also purchase models supporting Gigabit LTE service.

It includes the same support for detachable keyboards and the Surface Slim Pen 2 but starts at $899.99.

Surface Go 3

This is Microsoft’s budget 2-in-1 device starting at $399.99. It has a 10.5-inch touchscreen and the option to purchase a version in the coming months with LTE support. It’s also the lightest of the three Surface 2-in-1 models. Microsoft says it’s 60% faster with an Intel Core i3 processor than the previous model.

Surface Duo 2

It’s not just Samsung trotting out folding mobile devices. Unlike those Samsung devices where the screen itself folds, the Duo 2 opens up like you’re holding a Nintendo DS vertically. Each of the device’s two screens measures at 5.8 inches. When combined it’s 8.3 inches.

Like the original Duo, the new device can be used in various layouts. Along with fully opening it to resemble a tablet, the Duo 2 can completely fold back so users can focus on one screen, or prop it up like a tent for watching videos or taking video calls. It can also be opened and used like a book, or placed down like a laptop when users want to type out emails, for example.

It features a three-camera system with wide, ultra-wide and telephoto lenses (similar to the iPhone 13 Pro line), a 12-megapixel front-facing camera, and support for 5G. It also supports Android apps from Google Play.

The Duo 2 starts at $1,499.99 and is available in either Glacier white or Obsidian black colors.

Ocean Plastic Mouse, Surface Adaptive Kit coming soon

Microsoft’s Ocean Plastic Mouse launching this October is part of the tech giant’s efforts toward sustainability. The mouse’s shell is made with 20% recycled ocean plastic, while the box it’s packed in is 100% recyclable.

The company is also releasing a Surface Adaptive Kit, created to make Surface devices more accessible. They include three-dimensional bump labels, indicators for ports, and openers to more easily open the lid or kickstand on a Surface device.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.

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