The invite to today’s Microsoft event promised some exciting new Windows 10 products. Translating the PR-speak, we expected some new phones, a new Surface Pro, maybe a couple of other things. Turns out one of those “other things” stole the show.
The biggest star by far was the new Surface Book, the company’s first laptop. And it’s not just any old notebook: It’s what Microsoft calls the “ultimate” laptop: wafer-thin, 12 hours of battery life, with twice the performance of a MacBook Pro. (Of course, we’ll have to see about that last claim.)
But it’s also a 2-in-1 device whose pen- and touch-compatible screen detaches from the keyboard base to become a stand-alone tablet. So it’s not exactly a laptop. The Surface Book starts at $1,499 and goes on sale Oct. 26th.
Surface Pro 4
As expected, Microsoft also introduced the Surface Pro 4 (which the company still touts as the “tablet that can replace your laptop” — assuming that laptop isn’t a Surface Book).
It’s thinner than its predecessor (8.4 mm) and (according to Microsoft) 30 percent more powerful and more battery-efficient. As before, it works with the keyboard-equipped Type Cover to convert into a laptop.
This time around the Touch Cover keyboard gets improved keys that feel more like those found on a laptop or desktop keyboard.
There’s also an improved Surface Pen stylus. The Pen can now detect more pressure points, so it responds better to your inputs, and has an eraser at the top, so you can use it to delete your work. Imagine that: a pen with an eraser.
The Surface Pro 4 starts at $899, and like the Surface Book, goes on Sale Oct. 26th
Lumia 950 and 950 XL
Also as expected, Microsoft showed off two new phones: the 5.2-inch Lumia 950 and 5.7-inch Lumia 950 XL. Both run Windows 10, and both support Continuum and the new Microsoft Display Dock accessory, which lets you connect the phone to a monitor or a keyboard and mouse so it behaves like a PC.
The phones also each get 20-megapixel rear cameras with optical image stabilization (OIS), which helps ensure your photos come out nice and sharp even if your hand shakes while taking them.
The Lumia 950 gets a 6-core processor, while the more power 950 XL gets and 8-core processor. Both handsets also come with 32GB of onboard storage, which can be expanded via their microSD card slots.
And there was an updated version of Microsoft’s smartwatch Band 2, which has enhanced fitness tools, a built-in barometer, and new apps (including one that’ll help you improve your golf swing).
We’ll have more information on all of that as we get our hands on the new products.