Two new Lumia Windows phones. A new Microsoft Band. An upgraded Surface Pro 4 tablet. Wearable holograms. And the Surface Book. This is Microsoft hitting it out of the park.
It was a busy day for Microsoft fans and techies around the world: it was Microsoft's Windows 10 devices event! We got to see two new phones, a dock that turns those phones into a nearly-full-fledged PC hooked up to a monitor and keyboard, a sensor-packed Microsoft Band 2 fitness wearable, and updates to the Surface Pro line. But the real surprise was the new Surface Book, a powerful 2-in-1 laptop set to take on the Apple's MacBook Pro. It was a jam-packed event that left us excited to get our hands on the latest gadgets.
Bill Gates Source: Amusingtime.com
1. Microsoft Band 2
The Microsoft Band 2 is the follow-up to 2014's first-generation Microsoft Band. It's an advanced health and fitness tracker that also works as a companion for your Windows, iOS, and Android phone. The Microsoft Band 2 features a curved AMOLED display and is packed with sensors for monitoring your body. In a contrast to the previous Band, the Band 2 is smooth and rounded with no hard corners and a metal frame that wraps all the way around the main body. Microsoft says the new Band 2 display will be more responsive to the touch than its predecessor and gets up to 48 hours battery life. Inside you will find sensors for GPS, UV monitoring, sleep tracking, calorie tracking, barometer, as well as guided workouts and smart notifications.
The new Microsoft Band 2 is available for preorder today, with shipments starting on October 30th.
2. Lumia 950 & 950 XL
Microsoft also announced the new Lumia 950 and 950 XL phones today. The Lumia 950 is a Windows 10 phone with a 5.2-inch quad-HD display powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with 32GB internal storage (with microSD expansion) and 3GB of RAM. It has a 20-megapixel camera that features a triple-LED RGB natural flash and a 5th-generation OIS system (with the dedicated camera button Lumia fans know and love). The phone also features a USB Type-C port for charging and supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge technology. All of that for just $549 off contract.
The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL shares a lot of the same specs as the smaller 950. It has the same 20MP camera, 32GB of internal storage, microSD slot, dedicated camera button, USB Type-C port, and Qualcomm Quick Charging. The difference in the 950 XL will be the larger 5.7-inch quad-HD screen and a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor. The Microsoft 950 XL will retail for $649 off contract.
Announced along with the new 950 and 950 XL was the new Microsoft Display Dock, which lets you connect the phones to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. The Display Dock features three USB ports and both HDMI and DisplayPort for your displays. Essentially, the Display Dock turns your Windows 10 phone into a PC. As Microsoft's Brian Roper said: "I can be productive like a boss wherever I am now."
Both the Lumia 950 and 950 XL will support Windows Hello biometric authentication for quick unlocking. Microsoft is not yet taking preorders for these phones, but says they will be available in November.
3. Surface Pro 4
The new Surface Pro 4 maintains the same footprint as the previous Surface Pro 3, but increases the display size to 12.3 inches thanks to slimmer bezels. The display has a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels, giving it a density of 267ppi, all of that sitting under a layer of 0.4mm-thick Gorilla Glass 4. Inside it features the new 6th-generation Intel Core Skylake processor that's said to be 50% faster than the MacBook Air, and 30% faster than the old Surface Pro 3. It will be available in Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processor options, with RAM ranging from 4GB to 16GB, with storage from 128GB all the way up to 1TB — that's in SSD terms. There's an 8MP rear camera, as well as a 5MP front-facing camera that works with Windows Hello biometric authentication.
Along with the Surface 4 comes a new Surface Pen that features 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and sticks right onto the tablet itself through the magic of magnets. Holding the pen button will connect you to Cortana while a double click will open up OneNote.
The Type Cover has also been updated and has a 40% larger trackpad that features supports up to five points of multitouch. It's the thinnest version of Microsoft's Type Cover yet, and promises to be quieter and faster to type on. The US model will also feature an optional fingerprint sensor, and Microsoft has given consideration to Surface 3 owners by making the new Type Cover compatible with the previous Surface Pro model. Likewise, the Surface Pro 4 will be compatible with existing keyboard accessories. The Type Cover will retail for $130 and come in six colors.
Both the Surface Pro 4 and the Type Cover are available for preorder now and will start shipping October 26th.
4. Surface Book
And coming totally out of left field was the new Surface Book. It's a 2-in-1 laptop, meaning it can open and close along a hinge as a traditional laptop would, but the display can also detach and work as a traditional tablet. That screen's a 13.5-inch number with a resolution of 3000x2000, backed up by the latest Intel Core Skylake processors getting up to 12 hours of battery life. Microsoft calls it the most powerful laptop ever made.
To make things interesting, the base with the keyboard is much more than that — it also brings along full-size USB ports, an SD card reader, and a discrete graphics card. Undock and you've got an ultra-thin Windows 10 tablet with a huge display. That docking is accomplished with a "muscle wire" locking system that engages the tablet portion securely, but still lets you pop it off with ease.
If you get the i5 processor, you will get the Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU while the I7 models future an NVIDIA GeForce Graphics processor. Memory options are 8 or 16 GB of GDDR5 RAM while storage options of 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB are available. It features two full sized USB ports, Mini DisplayPort, SD Card Reader, and the same 8-megapixel rear facing and 5-megapixel front facing cameras as the Surface Pro 4. The display separates from the keyboard but loses some of its processing power by being separated from the GPU, that is built into the base.
The Surface Book is available in multiple configurations, including Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, up to 16GB of RAM, and SSD storage up to 512GB. In laptop mode (docked to the base), the Surface Book has a footprint of 9.14 inches by 12.3 inches and is 0.9 inches thick when closed. But take off the base and go into 'clipboard' mode (with the pen magnetically-latched to the top and all), and that thickness drops to a mere 0.3 inches (7.7mm). That's right in the ballpark of an iPad, but in this case it's a full-fledged computer that weighs just 1.6 pounds.
The base model of the Surface Book (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD) starts at $1499 and optioned up with the Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage hits $2699. All models are available now for preorder with shipments beginning on October 26th.