FreshRSS

🔒
❌ À propos de FreshRSS
Il y a de nouveaux articles disponibles, cliquez pour rafraîchir la page.
À partir d’avant-hierMicrosoft

Which new Surface devices would you like to buy?

Microsoft announced a total of eight new devices this week, and we want to know which ones you want to buy.

Microsoft expanded its Surface family with five new devices and three new accessories this week. Now that you've had a couple of days to digest all of the announcements, we want to know which device (or devices) you actually want to buy. There are plenty of innovative pieces of hardware that may impress you technically, but this poll focuses on the Surface devices you want to spend your hard-earned money on. Actions speak louder than words, after all.

We covered all of the Surface devices announced in a roundup and had a special edition of the Windows Central Podcast this week, but we'll also run through the new hardware here as well to get you up to speed.

Which Surface devices do you want to buy? (select all that apply)

The Surface Laptop Studio is the most powerful Surface ever, according to Microsoft. It also introduces a unique form factor with its screen. It could make our list of the best laptops, though we'll have to do a full review first to assess its merits. With a starting price of $1,600, it's also the most expensive of the new Surface devices.

The Surface Duo 2 drew the most interest leading up to the event. Buzz around the web and activity from commenters on our site suggest the excitement has increased since the device was officially announced. The Duo 2 has a faster chip, bigger screens, and better cameras than the original Surface Duo. It also supports 5G and NFC. Like the Surface Laptop Studio, it also has a high price tag ($1,500).

Microsoft revamped its Surface Pro line with the Surface Pro 8. It has a larger display and thinner bezels than its predecessor. It's also significantly faster than the Surface Pro 7. Microsoft rounded out the Surface Pro 8 with a 120Hz display, Dolby Vision, and Adaptive Color Technology.

The Surface Slim Pen 2 looks like it will make our list of the best Surface accessories. It has a haptic motor inside that provides feedback as you interact with supported PCs. It can replicate the feel of writing on paper and provide queues when navigating around Windows 11.

The Surface Go 3 was a more modest upgrade for its respective line than some of its Surface event siblings, but it's still much faster than the Surface Go 2. It also maintains its relative affordability with a starting price of $400.

Microsoft didn't refresh the Surface Pro X with a new design or new internals. The company did announce a lower starting price for the device thanks to a new model without support for LTE.

Lastly: You'll notice we mentioned eight total items were announced at the event, but only seven are in the poll. That's because one of them (the Ocean Plastic Mouse) doesn't have Surface in its name. Cue the sad trombone.

Which new Surface devices would you like to buy, if any? Let us know in the poll above and the comments below. While you do that, you can also check out which Surface devices the Windows Central team members want.

New Microsoft Edge on Xbox Series X|S lets you use Office

We don't know why you'd do it, but you can indeed use Microsoft Office on Xbox consoles through the new Edge browser.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft recently rolled out the Xbox September Update.
  • As part of the update, Xbox consoles received the new Microsoft Edge, which supports mouse and keyboard.
  • As a result, you can use Microsoft Office through the web with a mouse and keyboard on your console.

Some ask why you would want to use Microsoft Office on your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S. We at Windows Central choose to ask why not? The Xbox September Update brings the new Microsoft Edge, which is based on Chromium. The browser has full mouse and keyboard support, opening the door to all kinds of shenanigans. If you have one of the best keyboards for the Xbox Series X or Series S, you can now type up documents on your console.

Within Microsoft Edge, you can browse through gaming how-to guides, media sites, and everything else the web has to offer. You can also go to Office.com. Of course, you could access Office's web apps before this new version of Edge shipped to consoles, but you couldn't use a mouse and keyboard. You could have used your Xbox controller to navigate through your documents and a chatpad to write, but that seems a bit awkward, even compared to using your Xbox to do your homework.

With full mouse and keyboard support, you can use your Xbox console to do your homework, create a PowerPoint presentation, or even play around in Excel. Again, we're not sure how many people will use their browser like this, but isn't it fun to know that you can?

You can update your Xbox console with these steps:

  1. Press the Xbox button.
  2. Select Profile & system.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select Updates.
  5. Select Console update available.

Razer Turret for Xbox

$250 at Amazon $250 at Microsoft $250 at Best Buy

This keyboard and mouse combination is fully compatible with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. It has a lappable wireless design for gaming. You could also use it to write a Word document.

Microsoft testing natural-sounding voices on Windows version of Word

Office Insiders have a new option for proofreading documents in Microsoft Word.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is testing natural-sounding voices on Word for Windows.
  • The same improved voices are available on Microsoft Edge and some other Microsoft services.
  • Microsoft briefly tested the same voices on Outlook but has temporarily disabled them.

Office Insiders can try out more natural-sounding voices in Microsoft Word for Windows. Microsoft started rolling out the feature in testing earlier this week. The improved Read Aloud functionality is already available on Microsoft Edge, and it's now making its way to the desktop Office apps.

The Read Aloud feature can be used to proof documents. Sometimes people miss things with their eyes as they skim over content. Listening to text out loud can make mistakes more obvious. The natural-sounding voices in testing sound less robotic than alternatives. Some people also just prefer listening to content over reading it.

There are 64 new natural-sounding voices available, bringing the total number of voices to 142.

To use the natural-sounding voices, you have to be a Microsoft 365 subscriber and be connected to the internet. Previously available voices do not require an internet connection. You can access the feature by going to Review the clicking Read Aloud.

Microsoft tested the new Read Aloud voices on Outlook as well, but that feature has been temporarily disabled. The new voices are still available in Word for Office Insiders. The natural-sounding Read Aloud voices are available to Office Insiders running Beta Channel Version 2109 (Build 14427.20000) or later or Current Channel Version (Build 14430.20000).

Even for Windows Insiders, some features roll out gradually. As a result, you may not see the new natural-sounding voices at this time.

If you aren't an Office Insider yet, you can check out our guide on how to enroll in the Office Insider program.

Microsoft shares how Windows 11 became more accessible

A recent blog post from Microsoft shows how the company worked to improve the accessibility of its new operating system.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft recently highlighted the team behind the accessibility features of Windows 11.
  • Windows 11 has several accessibility settings and features, including voice input for text and high contrast options.
  • Microsoft has also invested in accessibility tech for hardware, such as the newly announced Surface Adaptive Kit.

A blog post from earlier this year explained how "Windows 11 is the most inclusively designed version of Windows," according to Microsoft. Now, another blog post from the company highlights the team behind the accessibility features of Windows 11.

John Porter is an input and accessibility designer. He uses voice and speech recognition technology, which provides a unique insight into accessibility tech. "Having someone on the team like me who didn't grow up entrenched in a traditional notion of what it means to interact with a computer allows me to think outside the box," said Porter.

Porter joined Microsoft three years ago. He's been part of an effort by the company to make devices more accessible, which includes making devices more flexible.

"It was critical to recognize that no two people with disabilities are alike. One person who's blind or low vision can't act as a proxy for an entire community," said Porter. He added, "The only way we're going to be able to move forward to represent the full spectrum of human diversity is by being understood and represented in the things we create."

Jiwon Choi is Porter's manager and has been with Microsoft for eight years. "Accessibility wasn't an afterthought," said Choi. "What I like the most about the icon being a human figure is that we're not just talking about one type of disability. We want to embrace the fullness of that range in the spectrum. And to recognize first and foremost, that what it means to be human means to have differences and diversity and to celebrate that. We really felt like the human figure really embraces those principles."

Natassia Silva also worked on accessibility features for Windows 11, including the pen menu, handwriting panel, language switcher, and input method editor for East Asian languages. She also worked on settings for text size, visual effects, and color filters. A large focus of her work has been on high contrast themes.

"I was also very fortunate to work with a product manager who did identify as someone with low vision," said Silva. "It was helpful to have multiple perspectives and it's those multiple perspectives and listening to those with lived experiences that helped shape and drive the design."

Microsoft has also invested time and effort into accessibility tech on the hardware side of things. During its Surface hardware event, the company showed off the Surface Adaptive Kit, which helps make Surface devices more accessible.

Microsoft briefly showed off an updated Your Phone app during Surface event

Microsoft's Your Phone will get a fresh new look with the rollout of Windows 11.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's Your Phone app will receive a refreshed design on Windows 11.
  • The design was shown off briefly during Microsoft's Surface hardware event earlier this year.
  • The update moves the notifications center to the left panel of the app and brings the pages for messages, calls, apps, and photos to the top.

During its Surface hardware event, Microsoft briefly showed off an updated look for its Your Phone app. Microsoft refreshed several apps for Windows 11, including the Snipping Tool and the Photos app. It appears that the Your Phone app is getting similar treatment

Windows Latest spotted the refreshed app in action, and Microsoft's Vishnu Nath highlighted the updated app as well.

The Your Phone app allows people to connect their smartphone with their PC. It can show notifications, be used to make phone calls, and can mirror apps from supported devices. Your Phone's update brings the notification center to the left panel of the app.

Did you spot 👀our new @MSYourPhone app UX in the #SurfaceDuo2 #MicrosoftEvent today? We can't wait to get this out to you soon so you can try the BEST cross device experience between #Android and #Windows11 https://t.co/95HhhZDnTD

— Vishnu Nath 📱📱💻📲⌨️🚀 (@VishnuNath) September 22, 2021

The teased update shows a navigation bar at the top of the Your Phone app. This allows people to jump between the pages for messages, photos, apps, and calls.

Overall, the design appears to fit in with Windows 11, which ships on October 5, 2021.

Your Phone

Free at Microsoft Store

Microsoft's Your Phone app allows you to sync photos, text messages, and notifications between your smartphone and your PC. An updated version was briefly shown off during this week's Surface hardware event.

Microsoft says the original Surface Duo should get Android 11 this year

The original Surface Duo still hasn't received Android 11, but that could change soon.

What you need to know

  • The original Surface Duo should receive Android 11 before the end of 2021, according to Microsoft.
  • Microsoft just announced the Surface Duo 2, which will ship with Android 11 in October 2021.
  • Many people have complained about Android 11 taking so long to make its way onto the Surface Duo.

Microsoft announced the Surface Duo 2 this week. The foldable device looks like a major upgrade over its predecessor. It will also ship with Android 11. In contrast, Microsoft hasn't confirmed a release date for Android 11 on the original Surface Duo. The company did, however, share a loose timeframe for the update to roll out to the first-generation Surface Duo.

"We remain committed to providing updates to Surface Duo, and we're working to bring Android 11 to existing customers before the end of this year," said a Microsoft spokesperson to The Verge.

If Android 11 ships to the original Surface Duo by the end of the year, it will arrive on the foldable around the same time other devices receive Android 12. This would place the original Surface Duo one year behind big-name devices in terms of Android support.

Many have complained about the software experience on the Surface Duo, including our senior editor Zac Bowden back in July. "Microsoft's version of Android that powers Surface Duo still feels like it's in beta, and that's probably because it is," said Bowden. "The device has countless issues, many of which are encountered at least once a day. And things just aren't moving fast enough."

Earlier this month, Bowden reviewed the Surface Duo after one year of use. He brought up software issues and Android 11 again:

This device should have received multiple bug fix updates a month, but Microsoft has only shipped one update every month, and it's even had the cheek to stop shipping bug fixes for the last four months as it waits to ship Android 11. It's just unacceptable, and it's not helped by the fact that Microsoft refuses to talk to its customers about this.

Reports from earlier this year suggested that Android 11 might ship to the Surface Duo over the summer, but the update still hasn't rolled out. Microsoft's latest update confirms that the update should roll out within the next three months.

A real phone

Surface Duo 2

From $1,499 at Microsoft From $1,499 at Best Buy

Upgraded in almost every way

The Surface Duo 2 is a major leap over its predecessor. It runs on a Snapdragon 888, supports 5G, and has a 90Hz display. It also ships with Android 11.

Surface Duo 2 emulator helps optimize apps for Microsoft’s new foldable

Developers can optimize their apps for the Surface Duo 2 with Microsoft's updated emulator.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft released the Surface Duo 2 emulator to help developers optimize apps for the new foldable device.
  • The emulator runs Android 11 and supports Jetpack Windows Manager APIs, which adapt to UI layouts.
  • Developers can download the emulator on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Microsoft announced the Surface Duo 2 this week. The foldable device has significantly improved specs over its predecessor and a refined design. Microsoft invested time and effort to make a large generational leap between its foldable devices, and now it's asking developers to help on the app side of things. The Surface Duo 2 emulator is now available, allowing developers to optimize apps for the Surface Duo 2 and other foldable devices. Microsoft outlines all of its updates in a blog post.

The Surface Duo has larger screens than the original Surface Duo, so Microsoft's Design Kit has been updated. Screen resolution changes are also reflected in resource qualifiers for the Surface Duo.

You can download the latest version of the Surface Duo Android emulator from Microsoft's website. Microsoft highlights that the emulator "provides a complete dual-screen experience" for developers:

  • [Runs] Android 11.
  • Simulates the hinge with a 3D modes view.
  • Supports Jetpack Window Manager APIs for adaptive UI layouts.
  • When used on a touch-screen host device like Microsoft Surface PCs, supports multi-touch and pen sensitivity.
  • Available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Works with Android Studio, Visual Studio, VSCode, and other IDEs used for Android app development.

Microsoft's developer tools don't just benefit the Surface Duo 2 and original Surface Duo. The company's Jetpack Window Manager helps apps work with folding devices and large screen devices like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. Jetpack Window Manager provides APIs that can identify if a device has a continuous flat screen or if it has a hinge that disrupts a display. This allows developers to optimize apps for different foldable devices.

Surface Duo 2 emulator

Free at Microsoft

This emulator helps developers optimize apps for foldable devices like the Surface Duo 2 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Which new Surface devices our writers want the most

Microsoft's Surface lineup piqued the interest of several of our team members.

Microsoft announced five new Surface devices and three new accessories at yesterday's hardware event. With that many new pieces of hardware, there's something for just about everyone here at Windows Central. We know from our recent poll that our readers are most excited about the Surface Duo 2, but did that hold true with our writers and editors? Let's take a look at the Surface devices the Windows Central team is most excited about.

Surface Pro 8

Brendan Lowry is part of our team focusing on gaming. His head was turned by the Surface Pro 8:

I've been in the market for a new laptop for a few months now, and Microsoft won me over with the Surface Pro 8. Between its fantastic specs and its impeccable compact design, it's perfect for people like me who need something portable yet also quick and responsive to use while away from my beloved desktop. The addition of Thunderbolt 4 ports also means I can potentially plug in an eGPU and do some serious gaming while away from home (or in my living room).

Our senior writer Cale Hunt has seen plenty of laptops and tablets in his day. He's also excited for the Surface Pro 8:

There's no shortage of laptops and PCs in my life due to work as a reviewer, but the Surface Pro 8 is finally a Pro that I'd consider buying and using for work. My main gripe about the Pro lineup has always been port selection, but that's changed with the inclusion of not one but two Thunderbolt 4 connections. Surface Connect is still there, but the best Thunderbolt 4 docks and hubs do a better job than the Surface Docks. With Intel Tiger Lake performance, a new inking experience (though I'm a dreadful artist), and a larger display, the Pro 8 definitely seems like it can handle my daily workflow. I could also add LTE connectivity and forget about working from my home office on warm summer days.

Our senior writer Richard Devine saw the refreshed design of the Surface Pro 8 as a welcome change to the flagship 2-in-1:

Admittedly, I've never really been a Surface person; they just don't generally fit what I want from a laptop or what I'm prepared to pay. I also still have a perfectly good Surface Go 2 LTE which really doesn't need replacing. As such, I'm not going to be buying anything Microsoft announced, but the Surface Pro 8 was the standout for me. It's been a long time coming, but the redesign, the addition of Thunderbolt, and the improved display finally make it almost impossible to pick fault with.

Surface Pro 8

From $1,100 at Microsoft

The Surface Pro 8 is the most significant leap forward since the Pro 3, according to Microsoft. It turned the heads of many of our writers and editors.

Surface Laptop Studio

The Surface Laptop Studio introduced a unique form factor to the Surface family. It's a non-detachable 2-in-1 and the most powerful Surface ever, according to Microsoft.

Cole Martin has reviewed devices like the XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro. As a writer with a particular set of skills with a pen, Martin was intrigued by the Surface Laptop Studio:

I only have desktop devices, so I've found myself drooling over the Surface Laptop Studio. It's reminding me it would be nice to draw on the go when we're out camping or even if I just want to sit on the couch instead of at my desk sometimes.

Editor-in-Chief Dan Thorp-Lancaster is excited about the Surface Laptop Studio. He's even promised he won't spill a glass of water on it if he ever picks one up:

My time with my Surface Book 2 (which met an untimely demise involving a glass of water) was, for my money, one of the best Windows laptops around. So color me intrigued when Microsoft replaced the Book line with a completely new take on what a Surface can be: the Surface Laptop Studio. While you lose the ability to detach the display, the Studio makes up for it with Microsoft's signature Surface hinge magic.

It won't be for everyone, and the weight alone will turn some off. But, I've got to say, the ability to shift between a standard screen orientation for work, then pull the display forward (or flat!) for immersive gaming or drawing in a traditional laptop form factor is plain awesome.

I won't be killing my wallet on a Surface Laptop Studio any time soon, but it's the one device that got me most excited for this year's Surface slate.

Surface Laptop Studio

From $1,600 at Microsoft From $1,600 at Best Buy

Microsoft says that the Surface Laptop Studio is the most powerful Surface ever. That power and its unique design were enough to draw in a couple of people from our team.

Surface Duo 2

Anyone who's listened to the Windows Central Podcast or follows our senior editor Zac Bowden on Twitter knows his passion for mobile Surface devices. It should come as no surprise that his favorite new Surface device is the Surface Duo 2:

I'm a huge fan of the first Surface Duo, and I've wanted nothing more than for that hardware to improve. The Duo 2 is finally a better phone with good cameras, which makes it so much more useful for me. I can use it to pay for things, and the touch digitizer is much more responsive compared to the Duo 1. Fit and finish is much better too, and it has stereo speakers.

Surface Duo 2

From $1,500 at Microsoft From $1,500 at Best Buy

The Surface Duo 2 is a major jump over its predecessor in terms of design and specs. Our senior editor loves the original Duo 2 and is excited about its follow-up.

Honorable mention: Surface Pro X

Microsoft didn't announce a spec bump or design refresh for the Surface Pro X yesterday. It did announce a version without LTE for a lower starting price. I wrote a piece yesterday about why the Surface Pro X without LTE is perfect for me.

Surface Pro X

From $900 at Microsoft From $900 at Best Buy

The Surface Pro X didn't get a spec bump or a redesign, but it did get a lower starting price.

Kensington unveils latest 'Designed for Surface' accessories

Microsoft and Kensington worked together to make accessories for the latest Surface hardware.

What you need to know

  • Kensington has a long list of accessories built to work with Microsoft's new Surface hardware.
  • Accessories include a docking station, rugged case, privacy screen, and cable locks.
  • The Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop Studio, and Surface Go 3 all have accessories available from Kensington.

Kensington worked with Microsoft to create a long list of officially licensed "Designed for Surface" accessories. These new accessories are compatible with many of Microsoft's new hardware, including the Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Pro 8, and Surface Go 3. Kensington's accessories include cable locks, docking stations, privacy covers, and rugged cases.

The Kensington BlackBelt Rugged Case for Surface Pro 8 offers military-grade wipe-down and drop protection. Even with the case on, the Surface Pro 8 can use its kickstand. The case can also be secured with a Kensington keyed or combination lock.

For people who need to be careful about privacy, the Kensington MagPro Elite Magnetic Privacy Screen for Surface Pro 8 narrows the field of view of the device to +/- 30 degrees. It also filters out harmful blue light to reduce eye strain. The screen attaches to the Surface Pro 8 magnetically and still allows people to use a stylus or touch. The screen is reversible, with one side featuring a matte finish and the other having a glossy finish.

The Kensington SD5750T Thunderbolt 4 Dock for Surface Pro 8 and Surface Studio is a DFS-certified Thunderbolt 4 dock. It supports transfer speeds of up to 40 Gb/s. It features 11 ports, including four Thunderbolt 4 ports. The dock supports a single 8K screen or dual 4K screens (at 60 Hz).

It's important to note that the Kensington SD7000 Docking Station does not work with the Surface Pro 8. That accessory converts the Surface Pro into a miniature Surface Studio, but it doesn't work with Microsoft's latest 2-in-1. The newest Surface device that the Kensington SD7000 works with is the Surface Pro 7 Plus.

Designed for Surface accessories from Kensington

See at Kensington

Kensington has a long list of accessories for Surface devices, including cable locks, docking stations, and privacy screens.

New Surface devices will be available with Windows 11 or 10 for some

Microsoft's new hardware will ship after Windows 11, but commercial customers will still have a choice between operating systems.

What you need to know

  • Commercial customers will be able to order Microsoft's new Surface devices with Windows 10 or Windows 11.
  • The Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop Studio, and Surface Go 3 will have options for either operating system.
  • The consumer versions of new Surface hardware will ship with Windows 11.

Microsoft announced several new Surface devices yesterday, including the Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop Studio, and Surface Go 3. While all of these devices start shipping on October 5, 2021, which is the same date as the release of Windows 11, commercial customers will have the option to get the devices with Windows 11 or Windows 10.

"In light of the general availability of Windows 11, Oct. 5, 2021, commercial customers can choose to have Windows 10 or Windows 11 installed on new Surface devices including Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop Studio, and Surface Go 3," says a Microsoft doc.

Having the option to receive devices with Windows 10 or Windows 11 should make things easier for IT admins. Microsoft explains:

The ability to get the OS version they need directly from Surface frees IT admins and partners from having to compile driver packs and re-image devices before distributing them to their users via Autopilot or Azure Active Directory domain join (AADJ). This simplified IT process includes delivery of shrink-wrapped devices already configured with the firmware and drivers built and tested for the OS you choose. Plus, customers will be able to download bare metal recovery (BMR) and .msi files from the Surface Recovery Image Download page.

Commercial customers can order devices through authorized Microsoft Surface resellers.

Consumer versions of new Surface devices will ship with Windows 11. If a person wants a new Surface device with Windows 10, they can go through an authorized Microsoft Surface reseller to purchase a commercial version of the device.

Surface Pro 8

From $1,100 at Microsoft

Microsoft's flagship 2-in-1 has a larger display and is faster than its predecessor. Commercial customers have the option to order it with Windows 10 or Windows 11.

Surface Laptop Studio

From $1,100 at Microsoft

The Surface Laptop Studio is a non-detachable 2-in-1 with a display that can be pulled into different modes. It's available with either Windows 10 or Windows 11 for commercial customers.

Surface Go 3

From $400 at Microsoft

The Surface Go 3 is 60% faster than its predecessor. It's also available with Windows 10 or Windows 11 for commercial customers.

Microsoft's new Surface devices have enthusiasts excited

Our readers are mostly excited about the new Surface hardware, but those that are unhappy are very disappointed.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced five new Surface devices yesterday and three new accessories.
  • The majority of our polled readers are excited about the lineup.
  • Almost one in eight polled participants said they were underwhelmed by the announced devices.

Microsoft announced the Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Duo 2, Surface Pro 8, and several other devices yesterday. The buzz around the web seems generally positive for the devices, but we wanted to know what our readers thought, so we ran a poll.

During its event, Microsoft introduced a new form factor with the Surface Laptop Studio. The Surface Duo 2 saw a major upgrade both in terms of specs and design. Other devices, like the Surface Go 3, saw more modest upgrades. With different approaches to its separate Surface lines, Microsoft drew a range of reactions from our readers.

Almost 66% of polled participants said that they were excited about the new Surface hardware. Just over 18% said they didn't feel strongly about the new devices either way. Over 15% said that they were underwhelmed by the new lineup.

Are you excited about Microsoft's new lineup of Surface hardware?

"The Surface Duo 2 and Surface Pro 8 definitely got my attention the most," said Fat8893. "The Duo 2 finally has much-needed upgrades from the first-gen model and the Pro 8 is now a worthy adversary to Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable and Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Tablet."

While only 15.51% of voters said they were underwhelmed, those disappointed in the Surface lineup seemed especially frustrated.

Not everyone was thrilled with Microsoft's new hardware. "The Laptop Studio is a letdown across the board," said Keith Wallace. "The design feels like it's trying to match Apple. The color palette of the chassis and keyboard looks like they're trying to cop a Macbook. It feels like flexible and capable than the Surface Book."

Plugable announces new Thunderbolt 4 dock cables

Plugable's new dock and cables are here to convert laptops into desktop setups.

What you need to know

  • Plugable announced a Thunderbolt 4 docking station and two Thunderbolt 4 cables.
  • The TBT4-HUB3C Thunderbolt 4 docking station transforms one port from a laptop into three equally functioning ports for display, data, and charging.
  • The TBT4-40G1M and TBT-40G2M cables each support data transfer speeds up to 40 Gb/s and 100W Power Delivery.

Plugable announced three new products today; the TBT4-HUB3C Thunderbolt 4 hub and the TBT4-40G2M and TBT4-40G1M Thunderbolt 4 certified cables. The Thunderbolt 4 Hub delivers transfer speeds of 40 Gb/s and up to 60W Power Delivery. The cables support up to two 4K displays, data transfer speeds up to 40 Gb/s, and 100W Power Delivery. The TBT4-HUB3C ($189), TBT4-40G1M ($34), and TBT-40G2M ($59) are all available starting today.

The new dock and cables from Plugable work with several of the best computer monitors to convert your laptop into a full desktop setup.

The TBT4-HUB3C looks to compete with the best Thunderbolt 4 docks on the market. It's built to transform a single USB-C port from a laptop into three equally functioning ports for data, display, and charging features. For example, if your device supports two extra displays, the hub will also support two extra displays. The Thunderbolt 4 hub can daisy chain up to six devices and supports up to 60W Power Delivery.

The TBT4-40G1M is a one-meter cable, while the TBT4-40G2M is a two-meter cable. Both cables support dual 4K displays, data transfer speeds up to 40 Gb/s, and 100W Power Delivery. Since they're Thunderbolt 4 certified, they are backward compatible with USB4, Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, and USB-C.

Many modern devices support Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, including the new Surface Pro 8. Plugable's dock allows devices to expand their connectivity or to convert into a desktop setup.

Plugable TBT4-HUB3C docking station

$189 at Amazon

This Thunderbolt 4 docking station supports data transfer speeds of up to 40 Gb/s and 60W Power Delivery.

Plugable Thunderbolt 4 cables

From $34 at Amazon

These Thunderbolt 4 cables support data transfer speeds of up to 40 Gb/s and 100W Power Delivery.

You can now preorder dbrand skins for the Surface Duo 2

You can add a bit of flair to the Surface Duo 2 with a dbrand skin.

Original Surface Duo with a dbrand skin

What you need to know

  • Preorders are open for Surface Duo 2 dbrand skins starting at $20.
  • Microsoft announced the Surface Duo 2 yesterday at its Surface hardware event.
  • Both the Surface Duo 2 and the dbrand skins for the device will ship in October 2021.

Microsoft announced the Surface Duo 2 yesterday alongside several other Surface devices. The foldable device looks to be a significant improvement over the original Surface Duo, both in terms of specs and design. Now, people can preorder dbrand skins for the Surface Duo 2 to add a bit of protection and personalization the device.

As was the case for the original Surface Duo, you can order dbrand skins to cover the front and back of the device for $20. You can add on a logo signature skin for $2 or a camera signature skin for $2. Options from dbrand's matrix, camo, dragon, pastel, carbon fiber, stone, leather, matte, metal, and wood lines are available.

If you'd want to read more about Microsoft's new folding device, make sure to check out our hands-on with the Surface Duo 2.

The Surface Duo 2 is available for preorder now and will start shipping on October 21, 2021. The dbrand skins for the Surface Duo 2 will also start shipping next month.

Surface Duo 2 dbrand skin

From $20 at dbrand

You can personalize your Surface Duo 2 with a dbrand skin. You can just skin the body or add skins for the camera and logo. Options from dbrand's matrix, camo, dragon, pastel, carbon fiber, stone, leather, matte, metal, and wood lines are available.

Windows 11 Build 22463 sneaks out to Dev Channel Insiders on Surface day

If you were catching up on Surface news, you might have missed Microsoft rolling out a Windows 11 Insider preview build.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft released Windows 11 Build 22463 to Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  • The update brings a new shortcut within the File Explorer.
  • It also adjusts the contrast theme colors and includes several fixes.

Many Microsoft and Windows 11 enthusiasts spent most of yesterday checking out the new Surface hardware. Microsoft also rolled out a Windows 11 Insider preview build yesterday to Insiders in the Dev Channel. Windows 11 Build 22463 includes a new shortcut for the File Explorer, adjusts the contrast theme colors, and includes several bug fixes.

Here's everything that's new in Windows 11 Build 22463:

  • When you have a file or folder selected in File Explorer, you can now use CTRL + Shift + C to copy the path to your clipboard.
  • Rounded the corners of the pop-ups shown when clicking "identify displays" in Display Settings.
  • Made some small adjustments to the contrast theme colors based on feedback, including making hyperlinks a little more distinct on hover when using the desert theme.
  • Added an icon next to the volume slider in Quick Settings to help make the option for managing audio endpoints more discoverable.
  • Updated the Windows Ease of Access folder in Start's All apps list to now simply be called Accessibility.
  • Added an option to Focus Assist settings so you can choose whether or not you would like Focus Assist to be automatically enabled for the first hour after a Windows feature update.

Windows 11 will ship on October 5, 2021, but builds in the Dev Channel are from Microsoft's active development branch. This means that builds that roll out to the Dev Channel don't line up with the version of Windows 11 that ships next month. Microsoft notes that it will be "a little while" before any major new features ship to the Dev Channel.

Why it may be worth waiting to buy Microsoft's Surface Pro X without LTE

An LTE-free version of the Surface Pro X has a lower starting price, but you may want to wait to pick one up.

Microsoft's Surface Pro X is now available without LTE. Opting for a version of the thin-and-light device with only Wi-Fi connectivity can save you a few dollars, but it may be worth waiting a bit to pick one up.

The starting price of the Surface Pro X (with LTE) is $1,000, but it's normal to see it for less. In fact, you could purchase the Surface Pro X (with LTE) for as little as $800 just a couple of months ago. That isn't the only time that we've seen the device for that starting price. The Surface Pro X even fell to $750 on Amazon in May 2020, though that price hasn't been seen since.

The Surface Pro X already tops our list as the best tablet. Adding a more affordable version without LTE support provides people with more options. But if you want the most value for your money, it's probably worth waiting until the more affordable version of the Surface Pro X is cheaper than what the LTE model cost in August.

Here are the starting prices for all versions of the Surface Pro X:

Surface Pro X

Specs Price
SQ1, 8GB RAM, 128GB Wi-Fi $899.99 USD (Platinum)
SQ1, 8GB RAM, 128GB LTE $999.99 USD (Black)
SQ1, 8GB RAM, 256GB Wi-Fi $1,099.99 USD (Platinum)
SQ1, 8GB RAM, 256GB LTE $1,249.99 USD (Black)
SQ2, 16GB RAM, 256GB Wi-Fi $1,299.99 USD (Platinum)
SQ2, 16GB RAM, 256GB LTE $1,449.99 USD (Platinum, black)
SQ2, 16GB RAM, 512GB Wi-Fi $1,499.99 USD (Platinum)
SQ2, 16GB RAM, 512GB LTE $1,649.99 USD (Platinum, black)

The good news for Surface shoppers is that if the base price of the Surface Pro X without LTE is lower than the LTE version, we could see prices drop below $800 at some point.

Surface Pro X

From $900 at Microsoft From $1,000 at Best Buy (LTE)

The Surface Pro X is an incredibly thin 2-in-1 device that gets up to 15 hours of battery life. It now has a version without LTE connectivity for a lower starting price, though it may be worth waiting for a discount.

Why I love that Microsoft announced an LTE-free Surface Pro X

The Surface Pro isn't just about LTE, which is why I love that Microsoft made a Wi-Fi version.

Earlier today, Microsoft announced a version of the Surface Pro X without support for LTE. Models with LTE will still be available, of course, but the version with only Wi-Fi connectivity for the web may raise a few eyebrows. The Surface Pro X is advertised as an Always Connected device, so it might seem odd to make it an only sometimes connected device.

While I'm sure the LTE version of the Surface Pro will continue to be popular, I believe there's a niche for a device without LTE support, and I'm squarely in it.

I mostly use my gadgets at home

I'm a homebody. I consider myself active, but I'm based at home. I work from home, walk my dogs, and coach American football within a short drive or tram ride from my house. If I do travel, it's to see my parents in America, who have an office at home. I almost never have to work while using cellular data.

I think that Always Connected devices are great for many people but being able to connect to the web from anywhere without having to tether to my phone doesn't move the needle for me.

I can't imagine that I'm the only person who primarily uses their tablet in their own home. If I am, it's nice that Microsoft built a tablet just for me.

I don't want to waste money

I suppose if money wasn't an object, I'd pick up an LTE version of the Surface Pro X. There's certainly no harm in having an option to connect through LTE, but I don't need to pay $100 for it. I also don't want to have to pay for a separate SIM plan since I'd use LTE connectivity so infrequently.

On the rare occasion in which I do have to use a device through LTE, I just use my phone to tether my connection. I know it's not as elegant as having built-in LTE support. I know it drains my phone's battery. But the reality is that I do it so little that those are minor inconveniences.

For some strange reason, I was given the chance to upgrade to 165GB of cellular data per month for less money than I was paying to get 25GB. I share mobile data with my wife, and we've never used all 165GB. Maybe that's not normal, but in my specific case, I have more data than I can use, so paying for a separate SIM card to avoid having to tether isn't worth it. Paying $100 extra so my device can use that SIM card doesn't make sense either.

I can put the money I save towards a Brydge SPX+ keyboard that converts the Surface Pro X into a traditional laptop.

I love the Surface Pro X's design

Windows 10 on ARM and Windows 11 on ARM aren't just about devices always being connected to the web. That's one major selling point, but it's not the only draw. Devices like the Surface Pro X are sleek, thin, and light. They also get excellent battery life. There's a reason that it tops our list as the best Windows 10 tablet.

Two major factors have held me back from considering the Surface Pro X as a personal device. First, it is a bit pricey. If I bought a Surface Pro X, it would be a nice-to-have, not a must-have. Saving $100 makes it easier to treat myself. Occasionally the LTE model of the Surface Pro X goes on sale for $800. I'm hoping that the Wi-Fi version falls below that at some point.

Second, there are some apps that I use that don't work with Windows 10 on ARM. Luckily, Windows 11 on ARM supports x86 and x64 app emulation. With support for both, all of the apps I use work on the Surface Pro X in some capacity. Of course, apps compiled to run natively on ARM devices will run better, but I'll at least be able to use my favorite apps.

With Windows 11 and a more affordable Surface Pro X that doesn't have LTE, Microsoft overcame two of my final hurdles.

Surface Pro X

From $900 at Microsoft From $1,000 at Best Buy (LTE)

The Surface Pro X is an incredibly thin 2-in-1 device that gets up to 15 hours of battery life. It now has a version without LTE connectivity for a lower starting price.

You can get almost $500 for trading in your original Surface Duo

You can cut the price of the Surface Duo 2 by almost $500 by trading in your original Surface Duo.

What you need to know

  • You can trade in an original Surface Duo for as much as $475 when purchasing a Surface Duo 2.
  • The Surface Duo 2 has significantly better specs and an improved design compared to the original Duo.
  • Microsoft's Surface Duo 2 starts at $1,500 and is available for preorder.

Microsoft just announced the Surface Duo 2. It's a significant improvement over the original Surface Duo in terms of design an internal specs. It runs on a Snapdragon 888, supports 5G, and has NFC. It also has a triple-camera system that looks to be much better than the camera on its predecessor. The Surface Duo 2 starts at $1,500 but you can cut $475 off of that by trading in an original Surface Duo.

To get $475 for trade-in, your original Surface Duo has to be in working condition. The form for device appraisal has you state if you have a charger or not, but both options yield the same trade-in value in our testing. The value you get for trading in the Surface Duo doesn't depend on if your device is unlocked or from a carrier. Interestingly, the 128GB and 256GB versions of the device each max out at $475.

Microsoft gives people a bit extra if they're trading in the original Surface Duo for the Surface Duo 2. If you trade in the original Surface Duo for any other device the maximum value you can get is $425.

While the Surface Duo launched at $1,400, its price dropped over time. Some sales had the device as low as $400 this year. Early adopters of the Surface Duo won't make back their entire investment, but $475 is almost a third of the cost of a Surface Duo 2.

Microsoft's trade-in process isn't as straightforward as that of other companies. To get $475 towards your Duo 2, you have to purchase the Duo 2, show proof of purchase, and send your device off to check its condition. Assuming that process goes smoothly, you'll then receive a bank transfer or PayPal payment for $475 within 14 days of the device's condition being confirmed.

Determining the trade-in value of your Surface Duo also takes a few steps:

  1. Go to Microsoft's website for its trade-in program.
  2. Select Phone.
  3. Select Microsoft.
  4. Select Surface Duo.
  5. Select the model you have (128GB or 256GB).
  6. Select the condition of your device.
  7. Select your carrier or if the device is unlocked.
  8. Select if your device has a charger (reminder that this doesn't appear to affect the trade-in value).
  9. Select if you are trading in your Duo for the Duo 2 or another device.
  10. Select Calculate.

You'll then see the trade-in value of your device. You can click Continue and follow prompts to proceed with the trade-in.

If you have an original Surface Duo but don't want a Surface Duo 2, you can still get up to $425 towards a Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop Studio, or another device.

Surface Duo 2

From $1,500 at Microsoft (preorder)

The Surface Duo 2 is powered by a Snapdragon 888 processor, supports 5G, and has NFC. It also has a much better camera than the original Surface Duo. You can save almost $500 on it by trading in an original Surface Duo.

How do you feel about Microsoft's new Surface hardware?

Microsoft's Surface lineup just expanded with five new devices, and we want to know how you feel about it all.

Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 8, Surface Duo 2, and several other devices today. At its hardware event, the company refreshed old devices, bumped up specs, and revamped designs. It also introduced a new form factor with the Surface Laptop Studio. Now that the event's over, we want to know if you're excited about Microsoft's new lineup of Surface hardware.

We have a full recap of everything Microsoft announced at its Surface hardware event, but we'll run through a few of the highlights as a refresher.

Are you excited about Microsoft's new lineup of Surface hardware?

The Surface Laptop Studio is the most powerful Surface device ever built. It introduces a unique form factor as a non-detachable 2-in-1. Its screen is on a hinge, allowing it to be pulled into different modes. It can be used as a traditional laptop, pulled forward into "Stage mode," or laid flat into "Studio mode."

After over a year of reports and rumors, Microsoft officially announced the Surface Duo 2. It marks a significant bump in performance over its predecessor. The Surface Duo 2 runs on a Snapdragon 888 processor, supports 5G, and has NFC. It also has significantly better cameras than the original Surface Duo. Leading up to the event, the Surface Duo 2 drew the most attention from our readers.

Microsoft says that the Surface Pro 8 is the "most significant leap forward since Pro 3." It's more than twice as fast as the Surface Pro 7. It also has thinner bezels, which allow it to have a larger screen without having to be a larger device. Additionally, for the first time ever, a Surface Pro supports Thunderbolt.

While Microsoft refreshed several of its devices, there are few pieces of Surface hardware that didn't see an update. Notably, the Surface Studio 2 continues to age without a successor. The Surface Laptop Go came out last year and didn't see a follow-up today. The Surface Laptop line also wasn't refreshed today, though Microsoft only announced the Surface Laptop 4 in April 2021.

Some people may not be happy with the updates and upgrades that Microsoft announced today. For example, commenters on our site expressed frustration over the low entry specs of the Surface Go 3.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft's new Surface devices? Are you excited about the hardware or underwhelmed? Let us know in the poll above and in the comments below.

Preorders are live for Surface Duo 2, Pro 8, Laptop Studio, Go 3, and more

The wait is over! You can now preorder Microsoft's new Surface hardware.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced five new Surface devices today.
  • The Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Duo 2, Surface Pro 8, Surface Go 3, and Surface Pro X are all available for preorder.
  • Most of the devices will ship on October 5, 2021, though the Duo 2 won't ship until October 21, 2021.

Microsoft expanded its Surface lineup with five new devices. The Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Duo 2, Surface Pro 8, Surface Go 3, and Surface Pro X are all available for preorder. All but one of the devices will ship on October 5, 2021. Those ordering the Surface Duo 2 will have to wait until October 21, 2021 to receive it.

The new Surface devices were only announced today, but preorders are already live.

The Surface Laptop Studio introduces a new form factor for the Surface family. It's a non-detachable 2-in-1, meaning you can pull the screen of the Surface Laptop Studio into different modes. The Surface Laptop Studio is also the most powerful Surface that Microsoft has built.

Surface Laptop Studio

From $1,599 at Microsoft From $1,599 at Best Buy

The Surface Laptop Studio is a non-detachable 2-in-1. Its screen is on a hinge and can be pulled into different modes for productivity, presenting, and gaming.

The original Surface Duo was a unique device that fell short as a smartphone in some areas. Microsoft aims to overcome those shortcomings with the Surface Duo 2. It has a Snapdragon 888 processor, 5G support, and NFC. It also has a triple-camera setup.

Surface Duo 2

From $1,499 at Microsoft From $1,499 at Best Buy

The Surface Duo 2 is a major upgrade over the original Surface Duo. It's powered by a Snapdragon 888 processor, supports 5G, and has NFC. It also features much better cameras than its predecessor.

The Surface Pro lineup has maintained the same form factor and general design since the Surface Pro 3. That changes with the Surface Pro 8, which has thinner bezels and a larger display than its predecessors. The Surface Pro 8 is also more than twice as fast as the Surface Pro 7.

Surface Pro 8

From $1,100 at Microsoft (preorder)

Microsoft thinned the bezels and refined the design of its flagship 2-in-1 to make the Surface Pro 8. It's more than twice as fast as the Surface Pro 7 as well.

Microsoft didn't announce a spec bump or redesign for the Surface Pro X. Instead, the company will now sell a version without LTE support. The non-LTE version of the Surface Pro X has a lower starting price.

Surface Pro X

From $900 at Microsoft (preorder)

The Surface Pro X didn't get a design refresh or a spec bump today. It did, however, gain an option for a model without LTE, which lowers the starting price of the device.

The Surface Go 3 maintains the shape and design of its predecessors but now has better hardware under the hood. The Intel Core i3 model of the Surface Go 3 is 60% faster than the Surface Go 2.

Surface Go 3

From $400 at Microsoft (preorder)

The Surface Go 3's Intel Core i3 model is 60% faster than its predecessor. You can grab an LTE version of the device or one with only Wi-Fi connectivity for the web.

❌