The Microsoft October 2019 event has finished, and as expected, Microsoft showed us its latest and greatest Surface hardware, including the Surface Pro 7, Surface Laptop 3, the Surface Pro X and the dual-screen Surface Neo tablet.
We also got a glimpse of its surprise return to the smartphone market in the form of the foldable, dual-screen Microsoft Surface Duo.
In total, Microsoft launched six new devices, with a flurry of a dual-screen tablet, dual-screen phone and the Surface Buds wireless headphones in a triple “one more thing”, Apple-esque final surprise.
Read our live blog below for a recap of what Microsoft showed, while we hunt down those devices and give you our hands-on impressions.
Microsoft Surface 2019 launch event announcements:
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
- Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- Microsoft Surface Pro X
- Microsoft Surface Neo
- Microsoft Surface Duo
- Microsoft Surface Buds
Microsoft Surface 2019 event: as it happened
All times in Eastern Daylight Time
11:30 – And now Satya Nadella is back to wrap up what we saw. New form factors, new app model, “spans experiences across devices,” he says. “We have a Surface device for anyone.”
And that’s it! Quite a lot of new devices, and only one real surprise. We’ll now try and get our hands on as many of those new devices as we can.
Thanks for reading!
11:29 – Panay is talking about how he’s showing this device to us early – this will come “holiday 2020.” Like the Surface Neo. Neo uses dual screens on Windows, Duo uses dual screens on Android.
11:27 – Comes with two 5.6-inch displays. Looks like Microsoft wants to make a productivity phone. The next Blackberry? Maybe.
11:26 – “This brings the absolute best of Microsoft. And we’re partnering with Google for the best of Android.” Will support every single Android app.
11:24 – “Make no mistake: this product is a Surface.”
11:23 – It’s a phone! The Surface Duo. Dual screens. Microsoft wants to make phones again. Is this a wise idea? Looks like a mini Surface Neo. It’s a dual-screen phone that can also work as a tiny tablet.
11:22 – Oh Panay you tease! He’s pretended it was over – but it’s not! One more product.
11:20 – And that’s it for Surface Neo. Coming ‘Holiday 2020’. No price. It looks quite finished, so interesting to see what Microsoft does with the year before it comes out. Panay now talking about the custom Intel chip – a brand-new Intel Lakefield processor, which is a hybrid CPU with 11th Generation graphics processor. Uses half the size of a regular PCB.
11:17 – Windows 10X running on Neo supports all Windows apps, like Office. For some apps, they can flow between screens. It changes depending on orientation/posture. There’s some nice touches here. We’re now seeing how the magnetic keyboard can attach to the bottom screen. It covers half of the bottom screen, with the top half turned into the ‘Wonder Bar’ – like the Touch Bar on a MacBook, but larger. And it can also be used like a touch pad.
11:14 – Now they are talking about Windows 10X – a new version of Windows 10 for dual-screen devices. “Goal is to fuel new era of productivity and creativity.” So, pretty much everything that was leaked in the last few days was correct. Microsoft must be a bit bummed about that.
11:12 – The keyboard magnetically seals the device. “It’s very powerful what this device can do, when it adapts to what you want to use it for.”
11:11 – It has a magnetically attached pen that charges automatically. That’s nice. It’s definitely a good looking device already, and it’s a year out from being released. “It’s a dream when I use this device” says Panay, ever the master of understatement.
11:09 – “Nothing like this out there” Panay says. Perhaps, but remember, this isn’t coming out for over a year – there may be plenty of devices like that by the end of 2020…
11:08 – Surface Neo FACTS: Dual screen device that can stretch images across both displays. Offers 360 degree rotation, wrap around Top Cover with display portion reacting with Touch Bar-like function and is oriented like a tablet from the positioning of the cameras.
11:07 – “This is Surface Neo”. An Intel-based device if the video is anything to go by. It’s definitely a dual-screen device. Folds in half, but there’s a hinge between the screent – so it’s not just one long foldable screen like the Galaxy Fold (thankfully(.
11:06 – It’s getting a little bit hyperbolic as Panay talks about the history of the Surface. These are good products but… maybe dial it back a little! He says Microsoft wants to introduce you to a new product “that I believe is the next category”. Creating “unlimited flow”. Wants to continue to innovate for the future in a way that only Microsoft can do.
11:03 – He is “super pumped”. Panay is certainly hyping it up. He says Microsoft “thought they were creating the 2-in-1” with the original Surface Pro. The aim, he says, was to remove the conflict between a laptop and a tablet.
11:02 – Panay is now talking about the future of Surface devices. Is this the much-rumored dual-screen Surface device? Going to be ready “next holiday”.
11:01 – Surface Pro X available November 5. Pre-orders start today, and it begins at $999. Panay’s back and says you should pre-order it. Of course he’d say that! But maybe that means Microsoft is expecting a lot of orders…
11:00 – Fair play, Adobe Creative Cloud apps on Surface Pro X look really good for digital artists. With the Surface Slim Pen, you get 4,096 levels of pressure, and has an eraser function on the top and back. Adobe Fresco will launch on Surface X ‘soon’. It attempts to recreate feelings of specific brushes and pencils as well as materials like watercolor and ink.
10:57 – We’re having a bit of a demo for Adobe software and how they can be used with Surface hardware for digital artists. It’s nice, but we’re still catching our breath after the whirlwind that is Panos Panay.
10: 52 – Panay is now getting a little bit hyper about the Surface Pen. He’s a bit exhausting to watch, and even more tiring to try to keep up with when you’re typing up a live blog. Also, am a bit worried that he hasn’t breathed in for about 5 minutes.
10:50 – Panay is now talking about how the AI engine can help. So you can edit visual live on the fly, cleverly changing the footage of a webcam livestream to make the person you’re talking to appear like they are looking directly into the web cam. Not sure how important that is to people, but hey, it’s interesting.
10:48 – The Surface Pro X offers full Windows 10 support – so you don’t have to suffer Windows 10 S Mode. Yey! Microsoft is learning! It’s also the first Windows PC to have an integrated AI engine in the SoC/processor.
10:47 – Microsoft and Qualcomm worked hard to make the SQ1 more powerful than chips in smartphones. It has 7 watts of power draw, compared to 2 watts on similar mobile chips. And it is three times more performant per watt than the Surface Pro 6.
10:44 – “For us it’s about craftmanship” says Panay, who has taken the stage again. Only weighs 1.68 pounds, with a 12-inch chassis that has the thinnest bezels on any 2-in-1 device.
1,400:1 contrast, 2,880 x 1,920 resolution, 267 ppi. Could be a gorgeous screen. And always-on LTE. Thanks to a custom Microsoft SQ1, which is a Snapdragon processor on ARM platform. Watch out Intel, Microsoft has made its own processor! Sort of.
10:42 – Now for the Surface Pro X. It’s 5.3mm thin, has two USB-C ports, LTE connectivity, new MSFT SQ1 processor, edge to edge PixelSense 13.3-inch display, has the Surface Pen stored within device under display and, maybe best of all, it has removable storage!
10:40 – More stats! Omnisonic sound, charging case, one-click pairing to desktop, touch-based controls on side of buds, Office 365 integration. Available this holiday season for $249.
10: 39 – As for ‘magic’ – Seiler (and Microsoft) means Office. Hmm, don’t know if that qualifies as ‘magic’ to us. Still, there’s some cool stuff, like chatting into the ear buds and adding captions to PowerPoint presentations.
10:37 – Just had a sizzle reel for the new Surface Earbuds. True wireless, with a “little bit of magic”. They look a bit ugly. 24 hours battery life, noise reduction and “all day comfort and stability”.
Touch sensors on each earbud for controlling music and calls. You don’t need to use your phone. A few taps and it can open Spotify and play and control music using gestures. Works on Android and iOS.
10:34 – Surface Pro 7 available for pre-order today, and starts at $749. Will hit shops October 22. Apart from that, details are VERY sparse. I wonder why…
10:33 – Now showing off the popular Your Phone app. Phone calls with Your Phone are sent directly to top of display regardless of the app you’re using, but it’s still Samsung phone exclusive :(. Feature is coming in the next few weeks
10:32 – Robin Seiler is on stage and has announced that Windows 10 Word now supports in-line editing with Surface Pen. She’s explaining how she can use the Surface Pro and Windows to plan a hike. Just used studio mics (also in Surface Laptop 3) and is used for better voice commands.
10:29 – Now we’re getting a demo of the software the Surface Pro is running. So, Windows 10, Edge, that stuff. We know all of this. We want more hardware!
10:27 – They’ve added USB-C. FINALLY! Crowd cheer. We’re such geeks. But it is a welcome addition.
10:26 – We’re now talking Surface Pro! Surface Pro 7 incoming?
10:24 – Pre-order now for $999 for 13-inch and $1,199 for 15-inch Surface Laptop 3. Out October 22.
10:23 – Now talking about battery life. Aiming for something similar to mobile phones. Has fast charging like a smartphone – will charge up to 80% battery in under an hour.
10:22 – 15-inch surface laptop with “AMD Ryzen 7 Surface Edition”. Microsoft worked with AMD, with the fastest graphics performance of any laptop in 15-inch ultrabook class, which has been custom built by Microsoft and AMD. Can apparently play Fortnite. That’s pretty impressive.
10:20 – You can see in the image above how the Surface Laptop 3 can be taken apart…
10:19 – SPEC TIME! Intel Ice Lake quad-core processor. That’s 10th generation. Two times faster than previous Surface Laptop devices. Three times more powerful than the MacBook Air. Ooh them’s fighting words!
10:18 – Surface Laptop 3 is modular, and the keyboard tray pops off for easy access to internal components. Could that mean it’s easy to fix and upgrade? That’s great news, as Surface devices in the past have been criticised for not being easily repaired. This is a very welcome move.
10:16 – The keyboard has 1.3mm key travel, and offers a silent typing experience. Nice! Seems like Microsoft has put a lot of thought into the keyboard. No swipes at Apple and its MacBook keyboard woes yet…
10:14 – More Surface Laptop 3 specs – 20% larger trackpad, machined aluminum, USB-C connector. AMD Ryzen 7 and AMD Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics. THE RUMORS WERE TRUE! Microsoft loves AMD.
10:12 – Surface Laptop 3! In a 15-inch form factor, as well as 13.3-inch, as the rumors suggested.
10:11 – “What you’ll hear today is new platforms, new silicone, new form factors.” Form factors is telling.
10:10 – He’s talking about how his daughter is creating music on a piano. “That’s a great moment. For her, she was in her flow. And what she accomplished when she’s in it.” We all have those moments, apparently. “Surface can help magnify your mind” he says. Hmm.
10:08 – Panos Panay chief product officer of Microsoft Corporation’s Microsoft Devices group. is now up. He’s always an… interesting presenter. And by ‘interesting’ we mean ‘pretty odd’. He’s talking about musical instruments. Not sure the crowd are following…
10:03 – Satya Nadella is on stage and is getting us in the mood. A nice shout out to for the Spectrum, one of his first PCs! And as Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, says, “We want to build experiences that span all devices in our life”.