New Surface Surfaces
MICROSOFT HASN’T ALWAYS had success with hardware, but its Surface range broke the trend. The touchscreen hybrid devices are innovative and stylish, and Microsoft has announced an update to the range, bringing more power to the party.
Surface Pro 6, a two-in-one device with detachable keyboard, has new processors. It starts at $899 for a system sporting a Core i5-8250U, 128GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM. This jumps to $2,299 if you want a Core i7-8650U. Still no USB-C port, though. Surface Laptop 2, a touchscreen notebook, receives a similar bump in power. The $999 base version has 8GB of memory—double the previous version—and a Core i5 Kaby Lake dual-core processor. Still no USB-C, either. Both the Pro 6 and Laptop 2 come in a new color option: matte black. Apparently, it added 40–80 microns to the thickness, which meant having to redesign the space around all the ports. Lastly, there is the Surface Studio 2, the high-end desktop version, aimed at “creatives.” This gets a Core i7-7820 and a GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070. Prices start at $3,499.
This is a modest refresh of specifications. What is completely new is the Surface headphones. These noise-canceling wireless smart cans will cost $349. They pause music or mute when you remove them, and restart when you put them back on. They also have built-in microphones, so you can summon Cortana if you must.
Juicier Surface gear is expected next year, including the Surface Hub 2 and HoloLens. Microsoft may have failed spectacularly at smartphones, but it has carved out a useful slice of the tablet and laptop segment for itself.
The new 2018 Surface models, now available in a funky matte black.