Microsoft unveils new Surface computers, first headphones


Microsoft has updated its Surface hardware range with a new tablet, laptop and studio computer running Intel’s newest processors. In addition, the company its first headphones and announced the Surface All Access payment plan for its devices.

Available to pre-order from 02 October, the new products include the Surface Pro 6, a 12.3-inch 2-in-1 tablet priced at USD 899. The computer runs Intel’s 8th generation quad-core processors, making it 67 percent faster than its predecessor, Microsoft said. The Surface Pro 6 promises up to 13.5 hours of battery life and comes with a full hinge to use the device as a laptop, tablet or desktop studio device.

The Surface Laptop 2 offers a more classic laptop, with a 13.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen display, the new Intel processors, OmniSonic speakers and up to 14.5 hours battery life. It comes with Microsoft’s Signature Alcantara material-covered keyboard and a choice of Black, Platinum, Burgundy and Cobalt Blue colours. Priced at USD 999, it’s available for pre-order now.

Finally, for creative office workers, the Surface Studio 2 offers 50 percent more graphics performance than its predecessor and is the fastest Surface ever, Microsoft said. It comes with a 28-inch Brilliant PixelSense display, USB-C support and Xbox Wireless built-in gaming performance, as well as the latest Surface Pen to write and draw on the screen. It sells for USD 3,499.

First headphones

In a new class of hardware, Microsoft introduced its first headphones under the Surface brand. The noise-cancelling wireless headphones are designed to work with Microsoft services such as its Cortana digital assistant. With automatic pause and play, they will pause a video when removed the ears. The Surface Headphones cost USD 349 and will be available later this year.

To help finance the devices, Microsoft introduced Surface All Access, a payment plan starting at USD 24.99 per month over two years. It includes an Office 365 subscription, access to in-store training and top-tier customer support and will be available to start at Microsoft retail stores in the US.

Smartphone integration

At its launch event, Microsoft also released the Your Phone app. Previewed earlier this year, the app is designed to receive Android phone notifications on a PC. Microsoft said this will help computer users “stay productive and maintain your focus”, rather than being distracted by the smartphone next to their computer.

The company is also extending the Windows Timeline, first introduced on PCs in April, to smartphones. Available on iPhones and Android devices, this enables users to scroll back in time and find files and websites they were using across devices.