Microsoft Reveals New Surface Book and Surface Studio AIO
Microsoft went after creative professionals hard today (Oct. 26) at a New York press conference. It released a designer-friendly Surface Studio all-in-one with a new input mode, a more powerful Surface Book i7 and an upcoming update to Windows 10; the Creators Update. The Windows 10 update brings with it an enhanced focus on 3D and virtual reality. The company even claims that Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo will launch VR headsets specifically designed for the new OS for just $299.
Microsoft Surface Book i7 (2016)
The new and improved Microsoft Surface Book i7 (2016) looks almost identical to last year's model, right down to that weird hinge and the detachable 13.5-inch display. But, the company claims it will get double the graphics performance and much longer battery life (up to 16 hours) in a more lightweight design (3.63 pounds). In fact, the company claims it will offer twice the processing power of a MacBook Pro 13 (at least until tomorrow's announcement). It is available for pre-order starting at $2,399. It is expected to start shipping on Nov. 10. It's only available with a Core i7 CPU, but is available with 256GB of storage and an 8GB GPU; 512GB of storage and 16GB GPU; or 1TB of storage and 16GB GPU.
The new Surface Book will come preloaded with Windows 10 Pro and a 30-day trial of Office 365. It features a facial-recognition, 5-MP front camera for signing on with your mug. And it features a TPM chip for enterprise-level security. It will also come with a new Surface Pen, and offer a 1-year limited hardware warranty.
Microsoft is so keen on its new laptop and desktop that it's offering up to $650 for anyone in the U.S. who "trades up" a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air for either a Surface Book or Surface Pro.
Microsoft Surface Studio
Microsoft wants you to think of the Surface Studio as more than an all-in-one PC; it wants you to think of an artist's studio. The AIO is dominated by the 4.5K, ultra HD display that measures 28-inches across that is the thinnest screen of its size. It features a 4500 x 300-pixel resolution that's 192 dpi. Microsoft claims that means it gets 63 percent more pixels on the screen than your average 4K TV.
The screen is designed to work with a new input device, the Surface Dial. This spinnable knob can serve a variety of functions and can be used on or off the screen. It's meant to interact with a new app called Windows Ink for drawing. You can talk to Cortana even if the screen is locked, which is a bit of a concern. But Microsoft did include its Windows Hello facial recognition option.
The aluminum-clad screen is held up by two chrome arms that allow for tons of adjustment and positioning. Those arms connect to a compact base that houses a 6th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU with a 1TB SSD and 8GB of RAM. The back houses four USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, a mini-Displayport, and a headphone jack. It comes with Windows 10 Pro preloaded, as well as a TPM chip for security.
The AIO is up for pre-order starting at $2,999, but will only ship in limited quantities starting Dec. 15. The Surface Pen is included, but you'll need to bring a mouse and keyboard to the party.
Microsoft Windows 10 Creators Update
The update to Windows 10, called the Creators Update, looks largely focused on consumers; creative consumers that is. It's all about 3D and a revamped Paint. The company unveiled a new community called Remix3D that's just for supporting the 3D creations of users. The company also claims it will be adding native support for 3D content to Microsoft Office next year.
The company hopes you'll enjoy these creations using Microsoft HoloLens via Microsoft Edge. But, Microsoft has wrangled some support from its OEMs, Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo, which will all be shipping VR headsets capable of "mixed reality" processing. Those will only cost $299, reportedly.
Windows 10 Creators Update will include simpler ways to stream eSports tournaments through Xbox Live, and bring user generated tournaments to Arena. It will also pin your favorite people to your taskbar for easy sharing of content through Skype. The update won't become available until next Sprint, but it will be free for all Windows 10 users.