Microsoft's new range of Surface devices ‘lead in innovation'

Microsoft’s new line of Surface devices, including the first Laptop Studio and second-generation Duo 2 foldable phone, show the tech firm “leading in innovation”, experts have said.

The US electronics giant used a virtual event on Wednesday to announce a new flagship laptop – the Surface Studio Laptop – which has a screen users can pull forward and place into a flatter angle to draw or handwrite on.

Hailed as the “most powerful Surface we’ve ever built” by the company, it has a 14.4-inch PixelSense Flow display and is compatible with Microsoft’s Surface Slim Pen 2 stylus.

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It was announced alongside three new versions of the firm’s popular 2-in-1 hybrid computers; the Surface Pro 8, Surface Go 3 and Surface Pro X.

The Surface Duo 2, Microsoft’s dual-screen mobile device, was also unveiled, complete with a new triple camera system and better, curved screens.

The tech giant also announced updates designed to improve sustainability and accessibility in its products, with the Ocean Plastic Mouse, a PC mouse made from 20% recycled ocean plastics, and a new Surface Adaptive Kit – a range of stickers, labels, and tags meant to make finding, using and opening devices easier for those with disabilities.

“Each new version of Windows unlocks the next generation of hardware innovation,” Microsoft’s vice president for devices, Pete Kyriacou, said.

“And for the last decade, Surface has been at the forefront – challenging convention, pioneering new experiences and creating entirely new categories of devices.

“Today, on the threshold of Windows 11, we are revealing the largest update to the Surface portfolio in its history.

“With PixelSense displays, new pen technology, premium mics and cameras, powerful silicon and versatile form factors, the new Surface devices are designed to take Windows innovation to the next level.”

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Industry expert and analyst Geoff Blaber, chief executive at CCS Insight, agreed the new line-up of devices was a significant step forward for the company.

“Surface is a clear example of Microsoft leading in innovation. Detachable keyboards, displays, innovative hinges and all-in-one designs have been led by Microsoft and created new segments that others have followed,” he said.

“Microsoft’s hardware investments have played an important role in resurrecting the PC to the benefit of the entire industry.”

He went on: “The Surface portfolio has expanded significantly since the first device in 2012 when there was widespread scepticism about Microsoft’s return to making hardware. Fast forward nearly a decade, and it has been vindicated.

“Microsoft now has a popular line of products using a host of chipset partners and device form factors to provide a wealth of choice and price points. This coupled with tight integration with Microsoft software and services is what is differentiating the company from an Apple that has been invigorated by the success and flexibility afforded by its M1 processor.

“Microsoft’s strength is increasingly its Surface hardware coupled with its software and services. The more it can bring those elements together in hardware that spans a host of different segments and user requirements, the more competitive it becomes.”

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