FreshRSS

🔒
❌ À propos de FreshRSS
Il y a de nouveaux articles disponibles, cliquez pour rafraîchir la page.
Aujourd’hui — 23 octobre 2021Windows Central - News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft.

Now that the reviews are in, will you buy a Surface Duo 2?

Since Surface Duo 2 reviews are a mixed bag, do you plan on buying the new foldable from Microsoft?

Microsoft launched the Surface Duo 2 this week. The foldable improves on its predecessor in several key areas, including having a Snapdragon 888 processor, better cameras, and a refined design. It also supports 5G and NFC, both of which the original Duo lacks.

We already knew the specs of the Surface Duo 2 and what it looked like. Preorders have been open for weeks. But since the device is now available, reviews have come out, helping people decide if the Duo 2 is worth its $1,500 price tag.

Will you buy the Surface Duo 2?

Our Surface Duo 2 review gave the device a 4/5 rating. Our executive editor Daniel Rubino highlighted the hardware and software improvements seen in the Duo 2 but also admitted its flaws, including some minor bugs.

"Don't let anyone tell you differently: Surface Duo 2 is a huge improvement over the first model. But the actual Surface Duo experience is waiting for another chapter, making Surface Duo 2 a nice milestone but still a novelty for many," says Rubino.

Other experts weren't as high on Microsoft's new foldable. Several reviewers ran into bugs during their testing. Others questioned the form factor of the device.

Now that reviews are out, we want to know if you plan to buy a Surface Duo 2. Did the reviews sway your opinion one way or the other? Let us know in our poll and explain your reasoning in the comments.

Surface Duo 2

From $1,500 at Microsoft

From $1,500 at Best Buy

The Surface Duo 2 is a foldable phone built for multitasking. It runs on a Snapdragon 888 processor, has a triple-camera setup, and supports 5G and NFC.

Hier — 22 octobre 2021Windows Central - News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft.

Microsoft didn’t buy TikTok, but there is a Windows account that’s funny

Memes and nostalgia abound on the Windows TikTok account.

What you need to know

  • Windows has a TikTok account that regularly shares funny videos.
  • The Windows Twitter account shared a Windows rap from the TikTok account.
  • Microsoft started the Windows TikTok account earlier this month.

Microsoft didn't end up buying TikTok, but the company has several accounts on the platform. Microsoft, Surface, and Microsoft Education have accounts on TikTok. Earlier this month, an official Windows account was created on the social media platform. If you're a fan of Windows memes, it's worth checking out.

For those that aren't on TikTok that often, the Windows Twitter account did a bit of cross-media promotion today. The Twitter account shared a video from TikTok of a Windows rap. The rap's verse is set over a beat featuring iconic Windows sound effects and chimes.

We started a TikTok so when our bosses catch us on it we can say it's for work. https://t.co/0xwWvqZ94y @Piff_Marti pic.twitter.com/OktCaGXZ1h

— Windows (@Windows) October 22, 2021

The Windows TikTok account also features a group singing Windows startup sounds, a closer look at the limited edition Windows Bloomberry ice cream, and a clip of the Microsoft Internet Keyboard.

Interestingly, the only account that the Windows account follows on TikTok is Emily Zugay, a star of the platform known for her flat affect sarcasm. Some of her most famous videos center around remaking iconic company logos in ironic ways. Zugay is quite famous on the platform but is a bit odd to see as the only person followed by the Windows account.

We're still waiting for an official Windows Phone account.

TikTok for Windows

See at Microsoft

TikTok is a viral video platform with content ranging from hilarious to cringeworthy. The Windows account has a mixture of both.

ASUS TUF 24.5 gaming monitor down to just $230, but you’ll have to act fast

The ASUS TUf 24.5 gaming monitor is even more affordable for a limited time.

Black Friday isn't for another month, but Best Buy already has some of the best deals you'll see this holiday season. Right now, you can grab the ASUS TUF 24.5 FHD gaming monitor for $230. That's a discount of $100 off a monitor that already delivered good value for its price. The deal concludes at the end of October 22, 2021.

The ASUS TUF 24.5 FHD is a 25-inch gaming monitor. It has a native refresh rate of 240Hz that can boost up to 280Hz. The monitor also supports G-SYNC to reduce tearing and to help ensure smooth gameplay. It's DisplayHDR400 certified as well. Extra-Low Motion Blur (ELMB) is also supported, which can be used simultaneously with Adaptive-Sync at 280Hz.

ASUS TUF 24.5 gaming monitor

$230 at Best Buy

This 1080p gaming monitor has a native refresh rate of 240Hz that can boost up to 280Hz. It also supports G-SYNC and Extra-Low Motion Blur.

Our friends at Tom's Hardware summarize the value of the monitor in their ASUS TUF VG259QM Monitor Review:

With most gaming monitors, you get what you pay for. There are many value choices that deliver great performance, and if you spend more on a premium screen, you generally get a premium experience. But every once in a while, a monitor comes along that offers something unique and wonderful at a reasonable price. The Asus TUF Gaming VG259QM is that monitor.

The biggest draw of the monitor is its ability to run Adaptive-Sync and ELMB at the same time. Tom's Hardware calls this a game changer.

"ELMB bests any overdrive we've seen at maintaining motion resolution at high frame rates. There is literally no difference in appearance between moving objects and stationary ones," says Tom's Hardware. "Background textures stay sharp no matter what. And control response is as fast as it gets. The experience is addictive and once you see a VG259QM in action, you'll have a hard time going back to another monitor."

At $230, the ASUS TUF 24.5 FHD comes in at a lower price than many of the best PC gaming monitors while still competing in several key areas, though it only has a 1080p resolution.

A retail listing shows the specs of the Intel Core i9-12900K Alder Lake CPU

The specs of the upcoming Intel Core i9-12900K have appeared on a retail listing.

What you need to know

  • A retail listing reveals details about the Intel Core i9-12900K processor.
  • The CPU has a 3.2GHz operating frequency and a turbo speed of 5.2GHz.
  • It has 16 cores and 24 threads, according to the listing.
  • The Intel Core i9-12900K will apparently cost $670 and launch on November 4, 2021.

Leaks continue to appear for the upcoming Intel Core i9-12900K CPU. Earlier this week, a Reddit user managed to purchase a couple of the chips even though they haven't been officially announced. Now, a retail listing from Micro Center includes details of the flagship Alder Lake processor (via The Verge). The listing suggests that the chip will cost $670 and start shipping on November 4, 2021.

According to the listing, the Core i9-12900K has a 3.2GHz operating frequency and a turbo speed of 5.2GHz. It's said to have 16 cores, 24 threads, and 30MB of L3 cache. The spec table shows a thermal power of 125W, support for DDR5 memory, and PCIe Gen 5. The flagship processor will be compatible with the Intel Z690, Intel H670, Intel B660, and Intel H610 motherboards.

The overview of the CPU from the listing reads:

12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900K unlocked desktop processor. Featuring Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 and PCIe Gen 5.0 & 4.0 support, DDR5 and DDR4 support, unlocked 12th Gen Intel Core desktop processors are optimized for enthusiast gamers and serious creators and help deliver high performance overclocking for an added boost. Thermal solution NOT included in the box. Compatible with 600 series chipset based motherboards.

The details in this listing line up with previous leaks as well as Intel's own preview of its Alder Lake chips at the company's Architecture Day in August 2021.

Someone got their hands on the unannounced Intel Core i9-12900K CPU

The Intel Core i9-12900K hasn't even been announced, but someone got their hands on a pair of them.

What you need to know

  • A Reddit user managed to purchase two Intel Core i9-12900K processors.
  • Intel has not officially announced the Intel Core i9-12900K yet but is expected to do so later this month alongside other Alder Lake chips.
  • The CPUs were purchased for $610 each, according to the Reddit poster.

Despite the Intel Core i9-12900K not being officially announced, a Reddit user has managed to purchase two of them (via The Verge). "Seby9123" was able to buy two Intel Core i9-12900K CPUs for $610 each. The Intel Core i9-12900K is expected to be announced later this month as the flagship of Intel's Alder Lake line of processors.

The Reddit post shows several images of the retail box the Intel Core i9-12900K was sold in. The packaging includes the chip itself and a wafer ornament (the item that looks like a waffle). The retail packaging shared by Seby9123 matches earlier leaks spotted by VideoCardz.

Even though someone has managed to get their hands on the CPU, several key details remain unknown. The processor and frequency core count of the chip aren't listed on its box. The card also can't be used at this time. Z690 motherboards are required to run the Intel Core i9-12900K. Because these aren't available yet, the Reddit poster couldn't run benchmarks or share performance information if they wanted to.

Rumors suggest that Intel's Alder Lake CPUs will be announced later this month. Intel shared a preview of its Alder Lake chips in August 2021. Alder Lake will utilize Intel's hybrid architecture, which includes both performance and efficiency x86 cores. It will also support Wi-Fi 6E, Thunderbolt 4, DDR5, and PCIe Gen 5.

SopiGuard now has skins for the Surface Laptop Studio, Pro 8, & Slim Pen 2

SopiGuard has Surface skins galore to add some personality to your PC.

What you need to know

  • SopiGuard now has skins available for the Surface Laptop Studio.
  • There are several options for skins, including chrome, carbon fiber, textured, and clear.
  • Surface Laptop Studio skins from SopiGuard start at $40.

Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Pro 8 owners can now personalize their PCs with skins from SopiGuard. Several texture options are available, including color shift, carbon fiber, and brushed finish. All of the texture options are available in several colors as well.

Right now, the Surface Laptop Studio has more skin options than the Surface Pro 8. Surface Laptop Studio skins start at $40, and Surface Pro 8 skins start at $20.

Reddit user bwherman shared images of the Surface Laptop Studio with the textured honeycomb skin from SopiGuard. Follow-up photos shared in the comments on Reddit show additional angles. Other textured skins, such as 3M Green Camo, Forged Carbon, Leather White, and Black Wood are also available for the Surface Laptop Studio.

Since the Surface Pro 8 has less surface area to cover, the skins are much more affordable. At this time, some Surface Pro 8 skins from SopiGuard are only available for preorder.

The Surface Pro 8 has fewer textured options. SopiGuard has a photo gallery of all of its different textures and colors on various devices.

If you're an artist or use a stylus on your PC, you can also order a skin for your Surface Slim Pen 2 for $10.

SopiGuard Skin for Surface Laptop Studio

From $40 at SopiGuard

You can personalize your Surface Laptop Studio with a wide range of skins from SopiGuard. There are several texture and color options, including satin, color shift, and carbon fiber.

SopiGuard Skin for Surface Pro 8

From $20 at SopiGuard

SopiGuard has a wide selection of skins for the Surface Pro 8, including honeycomb, chrome, and brushed finish.

SopiGuard Skin for Surface Slim Pen 2

From $10 at SopiGuard

You can spice up your Surface Slim Pen 2 with a skin from SopiGuard. You can go for something extravagant or make it look like a pencil.

Optional update for Windows 11 fixes L3 caching issue affecting AMD CPUs

PCs with AMD Ryzen CPUs should now perform as expected when running Windows 11.

What you need to know

  • Windows 11 has an optional update that includes a fix for an L3 caching issue that affects AMD Ryzen processors.
  • The update also includes a long list of other fixes and improvements.
  • AMD recently fixed a separate issue affecting Ryzen CPUs running Windows 11.

An optional update for Windows 11 includes a fix for an L3 caching issue that can worsen the performance of PCs with AMD Ryzen CPUs. The update brings PCs to Windows 11 version 22000.282 and includes a long list of fixes and improvements.

Earlier this week, AMD released a chipset driver to fix a separate issue affecting AMD CPUs running Windows 11. With both of these fixes now available, PCs with AMD chips should run as expected when running Windows 11.

Here are the highlights of the optional update for Windows 11 (KB5006747):

  • Updates an issue that causes Internet Explorer to stop working when you type certain characters in the Input Method Editor (IME).
  • Updates an issue that occurs when you try to rename a file in File Explorer using the new Japanese IME.
  • Updates an issue that might distort the sound captured by voice assistants.
  • Updates an issue that sometimes causes your lock screen background to appear black if you have set up a slideshow of pictures as your lock screen background.
  • Updates an issue that might cause your Bluetooth mice and keyboards to respond slower than expected.
  • Improves the time estimate for how long you might wait to use your device after it restarts.
  • Updates an issue that might prevent you from using the Xbox Game Bar recording features.
  • Updates an issue that causes some applications to run slower than usual after you upgrade to Windows 11 (original release).
  • Updates an issue that prevents Narrator and other screen readers from announcing when the Start menu is open in certain cases.
  • Updates an issue in that prevents the search window from appearing on a secondary monitor.
  • Updates an issue that prevents you from opening multiple instances of an app using Shift and clicking on the app's icon in the taskbar.
  • Updates the visual design and animations of the Chat icon on the taskbar.
  • Updates an issue for a small number of users that prevents the Start menu from working and prevents you from seeing the updated taskbar after upgrading to Windows 11 (original release).

The full list of improvements and fixes is multiple pages long. For those with PCs running on AMD Ryzen CPUs, the following fix is most relevant:

  • Addresses an L3 caching issue that might affect performance in some applications on devices that have AMD Ryzen processors after upgrading to Windows 11 (original release).

You can read the complete list of fixes and improvements on Microsoft's website.

As this is an optional update, people need to seek it out to receive it. PC owners can go through the Settings app and search for an update or grab the update through the Microsoft Update Catalog. Waiting until next month is also an option, as the upcoming Patch Tuesday update should include all of these fixes.

À partir d’avant-hierWindows Central - News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft.

AMD fixes bug causing performance drops on Windows 11

AMD fixed a bug that causes performance drops on AMD chips running Windows 11.

What you need to know

  • AMD addressed a performance issue affecting systems running Windows 11 on AMD chips.
  • The fix comes with AMD Ryzen Chipset Driver release 3.10.08.506.
  • Microsoft fixed a separate issue affecting AMD chips running Windows 11 earlier this week.

AMD released a chipset driver to address performance issues affecting PCs with AMD chips running Windows 11. The update fixes an issue that affects AMD's preferred core technology, which shifts threads to the fastest core on a processor. Affected PCs saw performance drops, causing frustration among gamers. Microsoft also fixed a separate issue that affects AMD processors running Windows 11.

AMD outlines the fix for the issue related to its preferred core technology as well as Microsoft's earlier fix for the L3 caching issue:

Known Performance Changes Impact Resolution
Issue 1: Measured and functional L3 cache latency may increase for some applications. ◦ Applications sensitive to memory subsystem access time may be impacted.
◦ Estimated performance impact of [less than] 3-5% in affected applications, with possible outliers in some games.
◦ A Windows 11 software update is now available to address this issue under Microsoft Knowledgebase ID 5006746.
◦ More information on downloading and installing this update can be obtained under Microsoft article KB5006746.
◦ Systems with this update applied will enumerate KB5006746 in the Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Installed Updates interface.
Issue 2: UEFI CPPC2 ("preferred core") may not preferentially schedule threads on a processor's fastest core. ◦ Applications sensitive to the performance of one or a few CPU threads may exhibit reduced performance.
◦ Performance impact may be more detectable in >8-core processors above 65W TDP.
◦ An AMD Chipset Driver package is now available to address this issue under version 3.10.08.506.
◦ Systems with this update applied will report AMD Chipset Software 3.10.08.506 (or newer) within the Apps & Features interface of Windows 11.
In addition:
For AMD processors with the "Zen 3" architecture: Systems configured with AMD Chipset Driver 3.10.08.506 (or newer) should report version 7.0.3.5 (or newer) for the AMD.Power.Processor.Settings entry in the Windows 11 Provisioning Packages interface.
For AMD processors with the "Zen+" or "Zen 2" architectures: Systems configured with AMD Chipset Driver 3.10.08.506 (or newer) should have the AMD Ryzen™ Balanced power plan selected and active in the Control Panel > Power Options interface.

With both of these fixes, AMD-powered systems should deliver expected performance when running Windows 11.

Razer Zephyr $99 N95 smart mask ever sells out in minutes

Razer's Zephyr is a wearable air purifier built to allow people to express themselves. It's now available to order.

What you need to know

  • Razer announced it's shipping the Zephyr smart facemask today.
  • The mask features N95 filters with two-way protection and a pair of 2-speed fans for circulation and cooling.
  • It also filters RGB lighting and a transparent front that allows people to see facial expressions and read lips.
  • The Razer Zephyr is available starting today for $99.99.

Update 1AM ET Oct 22: The first wave of Zephyr masks have sold out.

Earlier this year, Razer showed off Project Hazel, a smart N95 medical-grade mask with Chroma RGB lighting. Two months ago, it was rebranded as Zephyr. After a beta test, that mask is now available to purchase as announced today RazerCon.

There are some design changes in the Zephyr compared to the first images of Project Hazel, but the general concept is the same. It's a wearable air purifier infused with tech to help with communication.

The Razer Zephyr is FDA-registered and lab-tested for 99% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE). It features N95 grade filters with two-way protection. Razer claims that the filters last three times longer than single-use disposable masks. Of course, disposable masks also lack RGB, a silicone seal for a snug fit, and a transparent front that allows people to see facial expressions and read lips, all of which are on the Razer Zephyr.

Razer Zephyr filters the air that is inhaled and exhaled, not only protecting you but those around you. It has two air exchange chambers that let air flow in and out. And to improve circulation, there are two 2-speed fans, which also assist in cooling.

The facemask features a soft silicone face seal on the front and a dual strap design around the back. This setup should help the mask fit snuggly while still being comfortable.

While the driving focus for Zephyr is the 2020 COVID pandemic, recent outbreaks of the Delta variant (and Lambda) have brought the issue of mask-wearing back to the forefront of public health.

Masks have become popular to combat the respiratory effects of airborne pollution and even allergies for many. Moreover, in many Asian countries, wearing masks has become relatively routine following earlier outbreaks like SARS, the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, and the prevalence of Asian Dust. That makes Zephyr potentially more lucrative for those markets vs. Western ones with greater resistance to wearing masks (even one as cool looking as Zephyr).

Like many Razer products, the Zephyr supports Razer Chroma RGB. You can control the interior lights (including disabling) and fans with the Razer Zephyr app available on both iOS and Android.

More interestingly, the big news is that $99.99 price tag. Speculation since its announcement back in January was that it could cost hundreds of dollars. This price seems more doable.

The demand for the Razer Zephyr has been overwhelming and our first wave is sold out within minutes. Stay tuned and appreciate your patience as we work hard to restock them as fast as we can. Sign up to be notified when the next batch arrives: https://t.co/GYZgUXnsdK pic.twitter.com/YSNBuYuRaW

— R Λ Z Ξ R (@Razer) October 22, 2021

Of course, Razer took a few steps to lower the cost of the Zephyr. Most notably, it does not have microphones and speakers for voice amplification, as shown in the original Project Hazel design. Nor is there a fancy enclosure with UV lighting for disinfecting that would also charge it back up. However, if there is demand for such features, Razer said it could add those in a more premium version later.

The lower price tag should make the mask more accessible to those who need to wear a mask all day with some style. A set of 10 Razer N95 filters costs $30 with each filter lasting for three days of usage. A starter pack with the Zephyr and three N95 filter packs is also available for $150.

Razer Zephyr

$100 at Razer

The Razer Zephyr facemask features N95 filters, a transparent front, and customizable RGB lighting.

Razer Book gains Quartz color option, now comes preloaded with Windows 11

Razer now offers one of the best Ultrabooks on the market in its popular Quartz pink.

What you need to know

  • The Razer Book is now available in Quartz, a popular pink seen on many Razer PCs and accessories.
  • Windows 11 now comes preloaded on the Razer Book.
  • The Quartz Razer Book is available now starting at $1,000.

The Razer Book is now available in Quartz, a version of pink seen on many of the company's PCs and accessories. The Razer Book is the first non-gaming laptop from the company, and it earned a perfect 5/5 in our review earlier this year. In addition to having a new color option, the Razer Book now comes preloaded with Windows 11. The Quartz Razer Book is available now starting at $1,000.

Our executive editor called the Razer Book "a banger and easily one of the best Windows Ultrabooks yet." He also said that "the Book 13 is an outstanding accomplishment that rivals the Dell XPS 13 (and, in some areas, surpasses it)."

The Razer Book has a starting weight of 2.95 lbs (1.34 kg) and is 0.6 inches thick when closed. On the inside, it features up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor and Intel Iris Xe graphics. Our Razer Book review includes benchmarks for concrete figures, but the long in short is that the laptop competes with the best Ultrabooks, including the Dell XPS 13 and HP Spectre x360 14.

Two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB-A 3.2 port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack help the Razer Book connect to various accessories and monitors. The laptop also includes top-firing THX speakers and RGB lighting for its keyboard.

The Razer Book has a 13.4-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. Its display is available in either FHD+ or UHD+ resolutions with options for either touch or non-touch. Sharp's IGZO display is used in the Razer Book, resulting in 100% sRGB color accuracy. The display is also anti-reflective.

The Quartz Razer Book is one of many announcements made at RazerCon 2021. The company also unveiled the Razer Enki family of gaming chairs and the Razer Zephyr Wearable Air Purifier.

Razer Book

From $1,000 at Razer

The Razer Book earned is one of the best Ultrabooks on the market. Now, it's available in Quartz pink and with Windows 11.

Now that the reviews are in, will you buy a Surface Duo 2?

Since Surface Duo 2 reviews are a mixed bag, do you plan on buying the new foldable from Microsoft?

Microsoft launched the Surface Duo 2 today. The foldable improves on its predecessor in several key areas, including having a Snapdragon 888 processor, better cameras, and a refined design. It also supports 5G and NFC, both of which the original Duo lacks.

We already knew the specs of the Surface Duo 2 and what it looked like. Preorders have been open for weeks. But since the device is now available, reviews have come out, helping people decide if the Duo 2 is worth its $1,500 price tag.

Will you buy the Surface Duo 2?

Our Surface Duo 2 review gives the device a 4/5 rating. Our executive editor Daniel Rubino highlights the hardware and software improvements seen in the Duo 2 but also admits its flaws, including some minor bugs.

"Don't let anyone tell you differently: Surface Duo 2 is a huge improvement over the first model. But the actual Surface Duo experience is waiting for another chapter, making Surface Duo 2 a nice milestone but still a novelty for many," says Rubino.

Other experts weren't as high on Microsoft's new foldable. Several reviewers ran into bugs during their testing. Others question the form factor of the device.

Now that reviews are out, we want to know if you plan to buy a Surface Duo 2. Did the reviews sway your opinion one way or the other? Let us know in our poll and explain your reasoning in the comments.

Surface Duo 2

From $1,500 at Microsoft

From $1,500 at Best Buy

The Surface Duo 2 is a foldable phone built for multitasking. It runs on a Snapdragon 888 processor, has a triple-camera setup, and supports 5G and NFC.

Check out our hands-on video with the Surface Duo 2

After a year with the original Surface Duo, our senior editor swapped his SIM over to the Surface Duo 2.

Microsoft's Surface Duo 2 launched today, giving people a chance to get their hands on the latest foldable from Microsoft. Our executive editor Daniel Rubino spent time with the Duo 2 before it became generally available. His thoughts, photo samples, benchmarks, and more are in our Surface Duo 2 review. If you prefer to see the device in motion, we also have a hands-on video with our senior editor Zac Bowden.

Bowden's hands-on video compares the Duo 2 and the original Duo side-by-side. He then tests out the hinge of the Duo 2 and runs through its design. The Surface Duo 2 has larger displays, a thicker body, and a thinner center separator compared to its predecessor. Those differences are more evident when the device is placed next to the original Duo.

On the inside, the Surface Duo 2 has significantly improved specs over its predecessor, including a Snapdragon 888 processor and support for 5G and NFC. It also runs on Android 11, which still hasn't shipped to the original Surface Duo.

The Surface Duo and Duo 2 are niche devices, and Bowden provides a unique perspective regarding them. He used the original Surface Duo as his primary phone for an entire year. He has since moved his SIM to the Surface Duo 2. Over the coming months, he'll use the Surface Duo 2 as his primary phone to test its real-world usage.

If you'd like to check out the Surface Duo 2 in person, it's available at several retailers.

Surface Duo 2

From $1,500 at Microsoft

From $1,500 at Best Buy

The Surface Duo 2 is a unique foldable phone with two displays. It has a Snapdragon 888 processor, a triple-camera setup, and supports 5G and NFC.

Surface Duo 2 review roundup: Experts weigh in on Microsoft's new foldable

The Surface Duo 2 impressed reviewers but still has its flaws.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft launched the Surface Duo 2 today.
  • Reviews for the device include many compliments, with many noting a marked improvement over the original.
  • Software bugs hurt the Duo 2 in the eyes of many reviewers.
  • The Surface Duo 2 is available today starting at $1,500.

Microsoft's Surface Duo 2 officially launched today. Reviews for the foldable started rolling in today, including quite a bit of praise for the unique device. Many outlets highlight improvements in the Duo 2 compared to its predecessor, including a better processor, improved camera setup, and refined design. While most reviews gave the Duo 2 praise, the device has its flaws. Here's a collection of what industry experts think about the Surface Duo 2.

Our executive editor Daniel Rubino said in his Surface Duo 2 review:

The good news is Surface Duo 2 is a giant leap forward in the concept. It is more impressive than ever with a triple camera array, 90Hz curved displays, NFC, 5G, and the potent Snapdragon 888. The software is also better — faster, snappier … and generally less buggy (more on that later).

He concluded:

Don't let anyone tell you differently: Surface Duo 2 is a huge improvement over the first model. But the actual Surface Duo experience is waiting for another chapter, making Surface Duo 2 a nice milestone but still a novelty for many.

The folks over at XDA had plenty of compliments to give the Duo 2, especially surrounding its design:

I do quite love the Surface Duo 2. There's something about it that's pleasant and delightful, and the productivity aspect of it is real. If you spend a lot of time working on the go, you'll find that it's super useful to have one app on one screen and another app on the other.

Microsoft really did a great job with this one. The camera is improved, and most importantly, the software is a lot better. I just hope that the Redmond firm continues to do well with it by servicing it with software updates.

Brad Sams complimented the Surface Duo 2 for embodying the Surface brand in his review for Petri:

The Duo 2 is not perfect but it's also unique and while the OS is not Microsoft's, it embodies the spirit of the Surface brand well. For the right user, especially an IT Pro who knows how to get the most of the dual-screen arrangement, it's much easier to recommend the Duo 2 to that user as the hardware specs should keep the device running smoothly for years, even if the software updates never arrive.

Marques Brownlee is more critical of the Surface Duo 2. He goes as far as to ask if the device can be saved, claiming that the form factor of the Duo 2 might be flawed at its core. The description of his review reads, "Microsoft Surface Duo 2 is both better... and worse? Does this dual screen passport fold have a future?" His review echoes those sentiments several times.

The Verge's review of the Duo 2 also criticizes the form factor of the device:

It's easy to see the potential in the Surface Duo line. You can dream up all kinds of different ways you'd put two screens to use, get more work done, and live in the future.

But it doesn't take long for those dreams to come crashing down to reality. Between the bugs and inherent awkwardness of the form factor, the Duo 2 is just a difficult device to live with day to day, much like its predecessor. Despite Microsoft addressing many of the omissions of the first generation — a proper camera, NFC, dual speakers, 5G, current processor — the Duo 2 still feels like a secondary device, something you carry alongside your primary phone for taking pictures, paying for things, and general phone stuff.

Overall, it seems like reviewers believe Microsoft did a good job improving upon the original Surface Duo. The internal specs are better, the camera is improved, and the design is a natural evolution of the form factor. Whether that form factor is worth the pricetag the Duo 2 holds differs greatly from expert to expert. Bugs and software issues also pop up in many reviews.

Surface Duo 2

From $1,500 at Microsoft

From $1,500 at Best Buy

The Surface Duo 2 is a unique foldable phone with two displays. It has a Snapdragon 888 processor, a triple-camera setup, and supports 5G and NFC.

You can now buy dbrand skins for the Surface Duo 2

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

Original Surface Duo with a dbrand skin

What you need to know

  • Surface Duo 2 dBrand skins are now available starting at $20.
  • The Surface Duo 2 launched today for $1,500.
  • You can order dBrand skins to cover the front and back of the Duo 2, its logo, and its camera housing.

Microsoft's Surface Duo 2 launched today. The unique foldable device is available for purchase online and for in-store pickup, depending on your location. To help protect the Surface Duo 2 and to add a bit of personality, people can order skins from dBrand. Skins are available for the front and back of the Duo 2 and its logo and camera housing.

The skins that cover the front and back of the Duo 2 cost $20. Logo skins cost $2, as do skins for the camera housing. All of the skins are available in dbrand's standard range of colors and patterns. You can configure the look of your Surface Duo 2 skins with an interactive graphic on dbrand's website.

The Surface Duo 2 runs on a Snapdragon 888 processor and supports 5G and NFC. Microsoft refined its design as well, including a Glance bar that can show notifications when the device is closed.

Surface Duo 2 dbrand skin

From $20 at dbrand

Surface Duo 2 skins are now available for order. You can get skins for the front and back of the device as well as for the camera body and Microsoft logo. Matrix, camo, dragon, pastel, carbon fiber, stone, leather, matte, metal, and wood lines are available.

Surface Duo 2

From $1,500 at Microsoft

From $1,500 at Best Buy

The Surface Duo 2 is Microsoft's next-generation foldable phone. It runs on a Snapdragon 888 processor and supports 5G and NFC.

You can now purchase Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2

You can now order the Surface Duo 2 for deliver or in-store pickup.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's Surface Duo 2 is available for purchase starting today.
  • Some Best Buy locations have Surface Duo 2 devices available for pickup.
  • The Surface Duo 2 starts at $1,500 and is available through Best Buy and Microsoft.

Microsoft's Surface Duo 2 officially goes on sale today. You can purchase the foldable phone through several retailers, including Best Buy and Microsoft. Those that preordered the device should receive it today. There are also some stores with the Surface Duo 2 in stock for in-store pickup. The Surface Duo 2 starts at $1,500.

The Surface Duo 2 is a unique foldable Android device with two displays. It improves upon the original Surface Duo in several areas, including having a Snapdragon 888 processor, support for 5G, and support for NFC. It also has a refined design with a smaller gap between the screens and slightly larger screens.

When closed, the Surface Duo 2 has a "Glance bar" that shows indicators for incoming calls and notifications.

The camera system of the Surface Duo 2 also received a major update compared to its predecessor. It features a triple-camera setup that should result in much better photos.

Ordering the Surface Duo 2 through Best Buy shows an option to pick up the device in a store. Availability will depend on your location, but some Best Buy locations show them in stock. You may have to travel a bit to find one in person.

Surface Duo 2

From $1,500 at Microsoft

From $1,500 at Best Buy

The Surface Duo 2 is now available for order, including in-store pickup. It has a Snapdragon 888 processor, a unique foldable design, and supports 5G and NFC.

Check out people's in-store impressions of the Surface Duo 2

The Surface Duo 2 isn't on sale yet, but people have already filmed impression videos in stores.

What you need to know

  • The Surface Duo 2 goes on sale tomorrow, October 21, 2021.
  • Some stores already have the foldable phone on display.
  • People have taken the opportunity to film early impressions of the Surface Duo 2.

Microsoft's Surface Duo 2 officially launches tomorrow, October 21, 2021. Ahead of its release, people got up close and personal with the device at retailers such as Best Buy. Select stores have had the foldable phone on showroom floors for around a week, clearing the way for early impressions before the device even goes on sale.

YouTube channel TechAutos filmed a throughout side-by-side comparison of the Surface Duo 2 and the original Surface Duo. It shows both devices in various postures to show the subtle, and not so subtle, design differences between them.

"Duo 1 looks like four flat panes of glass sandwiching a plastic ringed patty. By contrast, Surface Duo 2 has edges that curve in before meeting the flat sides," says TechAutos. The video continues, "From this angle, it almost resembles Nokia's Fabula design language for many of its Lumia Windows Phones. This helps reduce the perceived thickness, allows the glass to smoothly flow into the plastic sides, and makes for a more refined feel in hand, as there's no flat glass edge pushing into your hand."

The Surface Duo 2 goes on sale tomorrow. We're buying one, so we'll be able to answer all of your questions about the next-generation foldable. If you have any specific requests, make sure to share them with us.

YouTuber The NIONX also looked at the Surface Duo 2 in-store, concluding, "Overall a very nice device. The layers and how they put it together [are] just magnificent."

Surface Duo 2

From $1,500 at Microsoft

From $1,500 at Best Buy

The Surface Duo 2 looks to be a major upgrade over its predecessor. It has a Snapdragon 888 processor, supports 5G, and has NFC. It starts shipping on October 21, 2021.

Microsoft just released Windows 11 build 22483 to Dev Channel Insiders

Insiders in the Dev Channel have a new build of Windows 11 to grab, though it doesn't have any new features.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft just released Windows 11 Insider preview build 22483 to the Dev Channel.
  • The build includes general improvements and bug fixes.
  • Microsoft is also giving out a 7th anniversary badge to Windows Insiders.

Windows 11 preview build 22483 just started rolling out to Dev Channel Insiders. The build includes general improvements and bug fixes, but it does not have any new features. Note that Dev Channel Insiders cannot test out Android app support on Windows 11 at this time. The first preview of Android app support is only available for Beta Channel Insiders.

Here's everything that's new in Windows 11 build 22483:

Changes and Improvements

  • We've added the ability to right-click on either "Recommended" or the "More" button in Start to refresh the items show there.

Fixes

[Search]

  • Fixed an issue that was causing Search to appear black and not display any content below the search box.

[Settings]

  • Searching for "display" will now return Display Settings.

[Other]

  • Trying to access the Linux entry for WSL in File Explorer's navigation pane should no longer pop up an error saying "wsl.localhost is unavailable, insufficient resources exist" on ARM64 PCs.
  • Fixed an issue that was causing cellular data to not work on certain devices in recent Dev Channel builds.
  • Addressed an issue with NTFS when the USN journal was enabled, where it was doing extra unnecessary action with each write, impacting I/O performance.
  • Made some small improvements to keyboard navigation and screen reader usage of Performance Monitor.
  • Webview2 processes should now be properly grouped with the application using it in Task Manager's Processes tab.
  • Fixed an issue that was causing the Publisher column in Task Manager to not retrieve publisher names.

The Windows Insider program is now seven years old. To celebrate, Microsoft will give out a 7th anniversary badge to Windows Insiders. The badge will appear in the Feedback Hub achievements section in the coming weeks.

Check out Android apps on Windows 11 in our latest hands-on video

Windows Insiders can now test out 50 Android apps on Windows 11.

Microsoft released the first preview of Android app support on Windows 11 today. Windows Insiders in the Beta Channel can test out 50 Android apps that were curated by Microsoft, Amazon, and popular app developers. In our hands-on video, we take a closer look at the cross-platform effort from Microsoft.

Android apps work side-by-side with Windows apps on Windows 11. They support features such as Snap Layouts and showing notifications in the Action Center. Apps can also be pinned to the Taskbar or the Start menu.

In its initial preview, only a few dozen Android apps work on Windows 11, including Kindle, Khan Academy Kids, and United Airlines. That said, you can sideload the production version of the Amazon Appstore, which gives you access to many more apps (unofficially) as well as bypasses the US region lock. This is what we did for our video, which is why the Amazon Appstore may look a little different in our demo compared to what gets installed by default.

To test out Android apps on Windows 11, you need to meet several requirements that are outlined by Microsoft:

  1. Your PC needs to be on Windows 11 (Build 22000.xxx series builds) and meet these hardware requirements.
  2. You may need to enable virtualization for your PC's BIOS/UEFI. Click here for a guide on how to enable this on your PC.
  3. Your PCs' region must be set to the U.S.
  4. Your PC must be in the Beta Channel. If you are new to the Windows Insider Program, click here to get started with registration and joining your PC to the Beta Channel.
  5. You will also need to have a S.-based Amazon account to use the Amazon Appstore.

The Windows Subsystem for Android that powers Android app support on Windows 11 works with AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm processors.

While Android app support didn't roll out with the initial launch of Windows 11, Beta Channel Insiders can test it out now. Dev Channel Insiders will have to wait a bit longer to test out Android apps on Windows 11. Microsoft promises that more apps will be available for testing "down the road."

Windows Insiders can now test out Android apps on Windows 11

Windows Insiders can now try out 50 Android apps on Windows 11.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced the first preview of Android apps on Windows 11.
  • Android app support is now available for Windows Insiders in the Beta Channel running Windows 11.
  • Only 50 Android apps are available for testing on Windows 11 at the moment.

Windows 11 now has preview support for Android apps. The feature is rolling out in testing to Insiders in the Beta Channel. Microsoft's blog post on Android app support explains that the feature works with eligible devices running Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm processors.

Android app support did not launch with the initial release of Windows 11, causing some disappointment. Now, Windows Insiders can test out Android apps on Windows 11 PCs. Android apps run side-by-side with Windows apps and support features like Snap Layouts. You can also pin them to the Start menu or Taskbar.

Microsoft outlines five requirements to get started:

  1. Your PC needs to be on Windows 11 (Build 22000.xxx series builds) and meet these hardware requirements.
  2. You may need to enable virtualization for your PC's BIOS/UEFI. Click here for a guide on how to enable this on your PC.
  3. Your PCs' region must be set to the U.S.
  4. Your PC must be in the Beta Channel. If you are new to the Windows Insider Program, click here to get started with registration and joining your PC to the Beta Channel.
  5. You will also need to have a [U.S.-based] Amazon account to use the Amazon Appstore.

Only 50 Android apps are available for testing for Windows Insiders at the moment. Microsoft explains that it worked with Amazon and popular app developers to curate this list. More apps will come out for testing in the coming months.

Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel will not receive preview support for Android apps today. The Dev Channel is on a new development cycle that "isn't matched to what is released to the general public," according to Microsoft. The company explains that Android app support will arrive for Dev Channel Insiders "down the road."

❌