Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Duo 2, and Surface Go 3 were some of the new devices Microsoft unveiled earlier this week. While these devices were mostly showcased as the successors to the previous-generation Surface models, the Redmond company brought some unique elements to them, that make them work better than their predecessors. Particularly, the Surface Laptop Studio grabbed eyeballs at the launch for its distinctive design that unlike traditional 2-in-1 devices. Microsoft also provided necessary updates to the Surface Duo 2 — with features including triple rear cameras and improved displays as well as faster, newer-generation Qualcomm processor to compete against the likes of Apple and Samsung.
On Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital this week, Reviews Editor Jamshed Avari and I — Orbital producer Jagmeet Singh — join host Akhil Arora to talk about what makes all these new Surface devices interesting.
The discussion begins with the Surface Pro 8 that is the successor to the Surface Pro 7 and has new Intel Core processors and is based on Intel Evo design. The tablet also includes a 120Hz display with an Adaptive Colour technology and support for Dolby Vision.
Surface Pro 8 price starts at $1,099 (roughly Rs. 81,200), which is higher than the Surface Pro 7 that started at $749 (roughly Rs. 55,300). Microsoft has also not made any significant design-level changes in the new model.
Unlike the Surface Pro 8, the new lineup has the Surface Laptop Studio with an all-new design that is touted to be the “evolution of Surface Book”. It can work as a tablet, laptop, or a canvas — thanks to the Dynamic Woven Hinge.
The Surface Laptop Studio is targeted at developers, creative professionals, designers, and gamers, who are looking for a distinctive machine and not a traditional laptop or tablet. It comes with a starting price of $1,599 (roughly Rs. 1,18,000) that is identical to the Surface Book 3. The latter came to India at an initial price of Rs. 156,299.
Microsoft also brought the Surface Duo 2 as its answer to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. The new Surface Duo has all good things that were missing on the original model — including triple rear cameras over a single one, and the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC against the Snapdragon 855. The new dual-screen phone also comes with 5G support and runs on Android 11.
Since Microsoft has chosen to go with a two-screen design instead of a single foldable display, the Surface Duo 2 appears more durable than the Galaxy Z Fold 3, although Samsung has made improvements in that direction with its foldable. Microsoft also has strong developer partnerships and that could help it bring new experiences to the Surface Duo 2 over time.
The Surface Duo 2 price starts at $1,499 (roughly Rs. 1,10,700), which is $100 (roughly Rs. 7,400) more than the Surface Duo that was launched at an initial price of $1,399 (roughly Rs. 1,03,300). The previous version didn’t make it to India, and there is still no word on whether we could see its successor anytime soon.
At the event, Microsoft also announced its partnership with game developers to bring 150 optimised games for the dual-screen setup. The company also named Asphalt Legends 9, Modern Combat 5, and Dungeon Hunter 5 as three popular games specifically optimised for the new phone.
We also touch upon the Surface Go 3 that isn’t much changed if you’ve seen the Surface Go 2 earlier. It comes with newer Intel Core processors — the top-end variant has the 10th-generation Intel Core chip that is claimed to deliver 60 percent faster performance over the previous Surface Go version.
The Surface Go 3 comes with a starting price tag of $399 (roughly Rs. 29,500). This is the same that we had for the Surface Go 2 last year. The previous model came to India at a starting price of Rs. 47,599.
Most of the fresh Surface offerings are, of course, designed to help project the key features of Windows 11. But models like Surface Duo 2 could emerge as a reference model even for other manufacturers.
We talk about how feasible the new Surface lineup is when comparing them with the latest hardware from companies including Apple and Samsung. The discussion also revolves around the India perspective of the new Microsoft devices.
You can listen to our full Orbital episode on the 2021 Surface family by hitting the play button on the Spotify player above.
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