Microsoft announced a slew of new devices at an event in Manhattan on Wednesday, including the Surface Laptop 3, the Surface Pro 7, new Surface Bluetooth headphones integrated with Microsoft Office, and the Surface Pro X.
But the real highlights were two dual-screen tablets called the Surface Neo and Surface Duo that won’t be released until next year, which Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay teased.
The first is called the Surface Neo, a foldable dual-screen tablet that supports a keyboard and smart pen. Weighing 655 grams, it will be the company’s thinnest LCD ever. It will run on Windows 10X optimized for dual screens and allow multiple apps open across the two screens or “spanning,” where a user can stretch out an application across both screens.
Panay also showed off a smaller dual-screen smartphone-tablet hybrid called the Surface Duo, which will work with apps in the Android ecosystem as well as Surface apps. Panay said they were both announced early to give developers time to make dual-screen apps.
The show Wednesday opened with cheers from a special section of the audience specifically for “Surface fans” — devotees of the Microsoft Surface tablet — and a greeting from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “We started this journey seven years ago with the launch of Surface,” Nadella said. “We wanted to put people at the center of every device experience.”
The theme of Wednesday’s event was creativity.
“If the last decade was focused on consumption,” Nadella said. “We believe that the next decade will be about creation and amplifying what we can do as humans.”
Panay likened the new devices to instruments. “Each of us, we need the right device,” he said. “So when all the pieces line up you can stop thinking.”
The new Surface Laptop 3 comes in a 13.5-inch screen model for $999 and a 15-inch version for $1,199. It’s two times faster than the Surface 2 and three times more powerful than a MacBook Air.
The Surface Pro 7 has a slew of features to allow a seamless transition between input from pen, keyboard, and voice. It will integrate your phone calls into your Surface Pro. The Surface fans in the audience were extremely excited about the ability to use a pen in Excel now. It starts at $749 and is available to preorder this week.
Also announced Wednesday was a new model of Surface headphones — wireless Bluetooth earbuds integrated with Microsoft Office. They will support real-time captioning for Powerpoint and can translate in real time as you speak. They have 24 hours of battery life and have touch sensors to navigate music or phone calls. The sensors work with Spotify on Android, allowing you to play, pause, and skip. They’ll be available later this year starting at $249.
And finally, the Surface Pro X, a two-in-one with an AI engine and better battery life that has a constantly charging Surface One pen embedded in the keyboard. There will also be Adobe Creative Cloud apps optimized for the Surface, including painting app Adobe Fresco. It starts at $999.
“We have a Surface device for everyone,” Nadella said. “A symphony of progress, a symphony of devices and experiences to create the world we want to live in.”