Last week, Microsoft announced a slew of new devices. In what can only be described as complete and total surprise, the presentation actually revealed some amazing devices. Here’s everything you need to know about all of them.
The Lumia 950 is something everyone expected from Microsoft at this event, and Microsoft impressed us for the most part. The phone comes in two variants, the 950 and 950 XL, and they rock a 5.2″ and 5.5″ display respectively. They both also come packed with Snapdragon 808 and Snapdragon 810 processors respectively, which puts it in competition with the likes of LG and even Samsung. The phones also have a pretty stunning 20 MP rear camera, which makes it one of the best on the market. Of course, as the first Windows 10 Mobile phones, they also feature Continuum. This basically allows them to turn into micro-PCs via Microsoft’s Display Dock; connecting a screen, mouse and keyboard into a full Windows 10 desktop experience. Oh and did I mention that they support USB-C connectivity? Probably most interesting of all, the new devices use Windows Hello (in beta), recognizing its users by using the infra-red camera technology to authenticate you.
The Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL is priced at $549 and $649 and will be available in the US in November. It should be available worldwide “by Christmas.” Pre-orders are not up yet, once they are, we’ll be sure to notify you.
The Microsoft Band was by no means a bad fitness band, but it certainly could use improving esp in terms of it clunkiness. The Microsoft Band 2 is the culmination of those improvements. The new band also comes equiped with a 11th sensor – a barometer – to measure inclines. It also has a longer battery life (48 hours) and a curved screen. The Microsoft Health team has also gone ahead and added a number of partnerships including LoseIt. One of the few fitness devices that works with any smartphone you have, it makes a serious case for itself. It is currently available for pre-order at $249.99
The Surface Pro series has in a way been Microsoft’s saving grace. In the wake of the disastrous Windows 8 launch and failed mobile devices, the Surface Pro showed the world that Microsoft could still make incredible devices. The Surface Pro 4 is simply the latest rendition of that trend. The screen is slightly larger, 12.3″ up from 12″, and it is now rocking a 2K display. The processors are ultimately the biggest change, and the Surface Pro 4 is faster and more capable than ever. The optional keyboard also got a total redesign, going for a sleeker more metallic look. The stylus pen is also included in the device now, and it has improved pressure sensitivity and a 9 hour battery. It includes Windows Hello, Microsoft’s infra-red capable camera that uses face recognition/scanning to unlock the computer for each user. The Surface Pro also now includes a front-facing 5 MP camera. In the wake of the new iPad Pro announcement, Microsoft is showing us that Apple will have to work hard to compete with them. Scratch that, Microsoft states that their Surface Pro 4 is in direct competition with the Macbook Air.
When compared to the Macbook Air, the price is fairly reasonable though, with the new Microsoft Surface Pro 4 starting at $899. The device begins rolling out in late October.
This one is without a doubt the most surprising announcement. Literally no one expected Microsoft to announce an end-all-be-all tablet/PC hybrid. It is a huge shock and it may very well be a Macbook killer. What ultimately separates the Surface Book from The Surface Pro series is its ability to do literally everything. Want a standard laptop? It obviously does that. Want a tablet? The screen can detach to give you a simple plus-sized tablet experience. Want a powerhouse tablet to do your creative CPU-hungry tasks? The Surface Book actually has a “dynamic fulcrum” allowing it to bend back and snap to the bottom of the keyboard, thus giving you a tablet with all the power of the built in GPU and CPU.
The specs on this beast are no joke either. With an i7 core, up to 1 TB of storage, 16 GB of RAM, and a non-disclosed Nvidia graphics card. Microsoft is boasting that the Surface Book is twice as powerful as the Apple Macbook Pro. In fact, they say it is the most powerful laptop ever created. Needless to say a lot of people are excited.
Needless to say, it won’t be cheap. The Surface Book will start at $1,499 and launches on October 26th.
And that’s everything you need to know about the new Microsoft devices. It’s hard to say whether the Lumia 950 line up will finally be the breakthrough Microsoft needs or if the Surface Book will truly kill the Macbook. But, with this line up, they at least have a fighting chance.