The anticipation finally ended this morning as Microsoft took the stage in New York City’s Skylight at Moynihan Station to announce their new hardware lineup across all of their major product categories.
In the weeks leading up to this event there has been a regular trickle of information seeping out through various entities that provided a sneak peek into today’s announcements however, Microsoft still managed to keep at least “one more thing” up their sleeve for the end.
Here is a quick rundown of the hardware related items Microsoft announced/revealed today.
This was Microsoft’s …and one more thing moment.
Rumors had been persistent that Microsoft would release a larger version of Surface over the last few weeks but I am not sure anyone thought it would be a Surface laptop – or as Microsoft is calling it – the Surface Book.
The device is 13.5 inches with a PixelSense screen, just like the Surface Pro 4, and displays 6 million pixels at 267 PPI.
The keyboard has backlit keys with a precision glass surface trackpad which supports Windows 10 multii-touch and has a quiet and comfortable typing experience.
It has an NVIDIA GeForce GPU, uses high speed GDDR5 memory and promises a 12-hour battery life.
In comparison to the MacBook Pro the Surface Book is 2 times more powerful in its performance.
Then Microsoft pulled the real shocker of the Surface Book by showing a product video.
Surface Book is a two in one device and the screen detaches from the keyboard. I saw this and it honestly gave me goose bumps.
The screen can then be placed on the base backwards and folded down to use as a tablet with all the processing power of the base available or as a standalone tablet which Microsoft calls a Clipboard.
Check out the full specs for Surface Book here.
Surface Book pricing begins at $1,499 and can be pre-ordered starting on 07 October with availability on 26 October 2015.
Here is the product video – well worth watching to get a sense of the Surface Book design:
Surface Pro 4
Each iteration in the Surface gets faster, lighter and thinner and Surface Pro 4 continues that trend. Keeping their promise to maintain compatibility with previous Surface Pro 3 accessories, they made the bezels smaller and increased the screen real estate from 12 to 12.3 inches. Configurations can now include 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. It also has options for Core M3, i5 and i7 Core processors from Intel and includes a Windows Hello compatible camera.
These increased specs make to 50% faster than the MacBook Air.
The Surface Pen and Type Cover both get redesigned to bring longer battery life to the pen and to improve the key layout, track pad and it also includes a version with a Windows Hello compatible fingerprint reader on the detachable cover.
Surface Pro 4 can be pre-ordered starting on 07 October and will be available on 26 October 2015 with pricing starting at $899.
As expected we saw Lumia 950, 950 XL and the budget Lumia 550 devices revealed. Our favorite demo guru, Bryan Roper, came on stage to show off Continuum for Windows 10 Mobile. The dynamic integration that gives you PC performance but yet allows you to use that device as a phone was spectacular.
Bryan also revealed the Microsoft Display Dock (HD-500), which was formerly known as the Continuum Dock, which provides the interface to connect the new Lumia 950/950 XL to a full size keyboard, mouse and display.
No details were revealed about carriers or the ability to get them unlocked.
The second generation version of Band now has a curved screen, has added a barometer for real time measurement of elevation changes and the ability to measure oxygen volume in real time. It now uses scratch proof Gorilla Glass which should help a lot with screen wear and tear that was an issue on v1.
They also announced more partners to bring new health and fitness experiences, optimized for your wrist, to Microsoft Band.
You can pre-order Microsoft Band v2 today and it will be available on 30 October 2015.
Showed off a mixed reality game called Project Xray where the user can hold/wear holograms and play within any room of their home untethered from computers. Looked pretty interactive but I am curious about progress on the Field of View (FOV). Calling it mixed reality gaming may help communicate the scope of the devices visuals.
They also announced the first HoloLens Developer Kit and the application process for it is now open. Cost is $3,000 per kit with a maximum of two per developer.
I do wonder what that price means towards the consumer cost of HoloLens when it finally arrives. That is a very steep price and maybe it is just because of the tools the developers will get in addition to HoloLens but still.
The HoloLens developer kit will be available in Quarter 1 of 2016.
What do you think of all the announcements today?
Keep an eye on the SuperSite for Windows as we bring you more about these new #Windows10Devices.