On 2nd October with few journalists from the media, the Surface Chief, Panos Panay announced sleek, gorgeous new Surface devices including the best seller Surface Pro 6, traditional looking laptop-like device, Surface Laptop 2, the most expensive Surface, the Surface Studio 2 and a new entrant to the family, the Surface headphones.
Today we shared our vision for a new era of personal productivity; unveiled Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2, Surface Studio 2 and Surface Headphones, and announced availibility of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update and new Office 365 experiences.
Diving into the announcements:
Surface Pro 6
What is the major difference between Surface Pro (2017) and Surface Pro 6 (2018) aside from the beefed up specs such as 8th gen Intel processors, 4 cores which is a first for a Surface, improved battery life and entry-level Surface Pro starts with an 8GB Ram unlike 4GB with the previous model. The biggest change you will notice is the new black color.
And yea, Surface Pro 6 still does not support USB Type C. Honestly, and in my personal humble opinion, as much as people are crying out loud for a USB Type C to be included in Surface Pro, there is still a lot of accessories and gadgets that still don’t support USB Type C connectors. I feel Surface devices can still wait for at least 1 to 2 years before starting to roll out Type C into their devices by then we shall see Type C becoming the new USB Type A. Till then, I have no issues with USB Type A in Surface devices.
Surface Pen just like the previous model is still sold separately at $99 USD. The new Surface Pro 6 entry level starts at $899 (approx Ksh 91,698) and starts shipping on October 16th.
Surface Laptop 2
No big surprises here. Surface Laptop 2 (SL2), which resembles the traditional looking laptops and is a close competitor and better to ages old Macbook Air.
SL2 is a new hot and popular Surface device from Microsoft and retains most of what was offered in SL1 from a design point of view. What’s changed is mostly the internals.
Just like Surface Pro 6, this too is getting upgraded to 8th Gen Intel processors. Microsoft says the device is 85% faster than the previous model with all-day battery life up to 14.5 hours. SL2 also comes in black color.
Surface Laptop 2 starts at $999 and starts shipping from October 16.
Surface Studio 2
This gorgeous monster is one of my favorite devices from the Surface family, the other two for sure are Surface Pro and Surface Book.
When Surface Studio was first announced back in 2016 it was very well received by all sectors of the market for its attention to detail design and its huge and beautiful looking 28-inch display. It was regarded as category creating device designed for creative minds.
Of course, the specs are bumped up here too but it now supports USB Type C and Xbox Wireless Built-in gaming-class performance.
The device comes with 8th Gen Intel processor and Microsoft says it boosts 35% performance more than last model. Surface Studio 2 is packed with next gen Nvidia Pascal series GTX 1070 GPU offering up to 50% better graphics.
One of the biggest complains from the last gen Studio was the hybrid SSD that Microsoft had used. This time it’s pure SSD and it goes all the way up to 2TB. Huge improvements there.
This has always been an expensive device, and nothing changes this time round too, so Surface Studio 2 starts at $3,499 and starts shipping from November 15.
Apple bought Beats By Dre and got into high-end headphones. Well, headphones was a bonus to them as their focus was the Beats Music streaming service. But now, Microsoft makes headphones too, dubbed the Surface Headphones.
I didn’t see that coming honestly, so this was a good surprise. This a new device from Microsoft, it’s premium, smart headphone and offers great sound, says Microsoft.
The smart headphone comes with 4 beam-forming microphones that let you interact with Cortana. What I like, is the adjustable noise-canceling dial like control right in the headphones.
Much like the AirPods from Apple, Surface Headphones auto plays or pauses when you put on or off from your ears.
The headphones are rechargeable via USB Type C and it comes in at $349. Surface Headphones will be available later this year.