Microsoft just held their 2018 Surface Event, showcasing the latest and greatest happenings featuring their increasingly popular Surface line. This years Surface event brought with it some new designs, more powerful hardware, some old unchanged concepts, and a few surprises that no one saw coming.
And while nothing was extraordinarily outside the realm of reality, the newly updated models and hardware are still pushing the limits forward in terms of just how much performance we can get out of a 1.7 lbs machine.
So let's break down some of the highlights of this years Surface Event and we'll discuss whether this is the year to pick up a new Surface machine or a new gadget for your work arsenal.
Surface Pro 6
This is the product that I was most anticipating and was hoping for some big things. Was I impressed? Overall, kind of. I wasn't blown away, but that might be because I have the last gen model the Surface Pro and the difference in specs isn't too wide for me. But then there is only so much that you can do to the Surface Pro line right now. The specs are as high as ever and the overall weight is lesser than most books.
The physical device itself saw very little change, except for the new color option. The ever so satisfying hinge stayed the same and we didn't see a USB C port this time around, which some were disappointed about, but which didn't phase me. But I will say the Surface Pro looks fantastic in aluminum black. That will definitely be my go to color going forward if they continue with the trend.
Microsoft claims that the new model will boast a 67% improvement in performance over the previous model, much of that due to the new 8th generation Intel chipsets that they are shipping with. Which definitely puts the Surface Pro 6 on the higher echelons for laptops in its size category. The lower end model is set to run for $899 when released, which is similar to last gens prices.
So should you pick up the new Surface Pro 6 on release date? If you are new to the Surface line and have been meaning to check it out, then I would highly suggest you make this your next laptop. If you are like me and have picked up the last gen model, then there might not be enough improvement this time around to warrant an upgrade. Except unless you want that style with that new black color.
Surface Studio 2
The Surface Studio is Microsoft's all in one solution to those requiring some heavy duty power. And while not the cheapest solution out there, it does offer an impressive spec list that is hard to rival.
The Surface Studio 2 is no different in terms of power and performance. It boasts the same futuristic zero-gravity hinge that made the first gen so popular and a 28-inch touchscreen display with 13.5 million pixels.
The new version now offers full SSD capacity up to 2TB, which was not found on the first gen model. Overall, the Surface Studio 2 still stands strong as a heavy duty designers workspace, although be it at a much higher price point than most other devices in the lineup.
Many didn't see this one coming. Microsoft is releasing a Surface line of headphones this coming holiday season. The wireless headset promises noise-cancellation, built-in Cortana integration and an impressive input/output configuration. While this is a new market for Microsoft, they did not skimp on the hardware with these.
They promise an impressive 15 hours of battery life on a single charge plus the ability to charge an hour's worth in about 5 minutes. And a full charge in about 2 hours. The controls are touch and rotation based and are located on each of the ear pieces. If you would like to increase the noise-cancellation for example you would rotate one of the ear-pieces clockwise. The demo video also showed off gesture controls, such as answering an incoming call by double tapping on an ear-piece.
This one is definitely on my radar for when it is released later this year, hopefully Microsoft follows the trend of all black and decides to bring these out as such. Microsoft's hardware has never disappointed and is usually pushing the limits in terms of performance and form-factor and this years Surface event, while not mind-blowing in any way, show's Microsoft's desire to continuously bring gradual improvements year after year in pursuit of the ultimate work machine.
Walter G. is a software engineer with over 10 years of professional experience. When he isn't blogging or being a CTO he enjoys coding randomly complex things that he hopes many people will get a chance to use one day.