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Microsoft Surface: revolutionizing mobility

by Tejas Dhawan

Microsoft Surface was a daring foray into the world of computing and mobility for the Redmond company, which led to a paradigm shift that blurred the line that separated tablets from laptops for both professional and home use. This month, the Microsoft product family turned eight years old, launching new products to the market and consolidating what has been achieved throughout this time.

Microsoft has sought since the beginning of Surface innovation, the improvement of the user experience with the precise integration of hardware and software, and the opening with its OEM partners of new market segments. Under this strategy, the growth in quantity and quality of Surface has been constant and today it offers all kinds of equipment to meet the different needs of the user.

If build quality and finishes, attractive design and safety have been prominent components since the first Surface, Microsoft has opted to promote the productivity throughout the product line for both home and office use, and also the versatility to facilitate use on the move or at the desk.

To celebrate this anniversary of the presentation of the first Surface, we review the latest releases in an increasingly extensive and interesting series, which has continued to evolve until establishing itself as one of the most important in the industry.

Surface pro 7

It is the flagship product range of Microsoft Surface, one of the favorites of users and the one that managed to create the new 2-in-1 format that have definitely been among the most attractive in world computing. With versatility as a banner, this type of powerful, lightweight and highly mobile devices allow tablet and ultraportable uses where the user needs it, for work or entertainment.

The latest version of this series maintains the general design of the last generations that has received such good feedback from users and the quality of construction and finishes with a magnesium chassis that Microsoft uses to provide strength, lightness and great appeal. Its display with multi-touch PixelSense technology with 2K + resolution and 12.3 inches diagonal is perfect to offer the balance between mobility, productivity and display capacity.

Inside, it stands out as a novelty compared to previous versions the presence of 10th generation Intel processors Ice Lake series. Manufactured in 10nm processes, it offers an increase in performance and consumption, allowing Surface Pro 7 autonomy for a whole day. It offers configurations from Core i3 to Core i7, memory options from 4 to 16 Gbytes and PCIe solid state drives from 128 Gbytes to 1 Tbyte.

The connectivity section has also been improved with the new wireless standard Wi-Fi 6 and the incorporation of modern USB Type-C ports. In addition to Bluetooth 5, the usual sensors on tablets and the possibility of equipping support for LTE mobile broadband, it offers a rear camera for taking images and a front camera for video conferencing and authentication tasks with Windows Hello that allows you to forget passwords, logging in. with facial recognition.

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A highlight for this version is the improvement of the Surface Pen stylus and the Type Cover keyboard, such as accessories that add value and they allow you to squeeze the most versatile equipment in the Microsoft Surface line, which comes equipped with Windows 10 and a free trial of Microsoft 365.

Surface go 2

Second version of the smallest version of the Surface family. Following the characteristic design lines of Surface, including its famous kickstand, Surface Go 2 offers a lighter and smaller version, at a more affordable price.

Surface Go 2 retains many other elements of its older brother and maintains the qualities of the original in terms of design and magnesium injected chassis that gives it resistance, lightness and a look singular tremendously attractive.

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Although it may not seem so due to its external appearance, the improvements compared to the first version are notable and begin in its screen. In addition to extensively trimming its bezels, it increases the size to 10.5 inches and its native resolution to deliver 1920 x 1280 pixels, with a 3: 2 aspect ratio and a pixel density of 220 ppi.

Another improved section has been that of performance. The possibility of choosing an Intel Core m3 processor allows to expand the potential of the device and according to Microsoft data, the overall performance improvement can reach 64% compared to the Surface Go. Up to 8 Gbytes of RAM and 128 Gbytes of SSD confirm the upgrade of this version. In addition, it has a Up to 10 hours improved battery life.

The support for Wi-Fi 6 is another of the most outstanding novelties and allows you to forget about Ethernet cabling, while the most complete configuration includes support for LTE mobile broadband that allows you to use a SIM card for Internet access and not depend on points of public wireless access.

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Its front camera has an IR sensor that allows it to be used for security tasks for authentications through Windows Hello, in addition to its own for video conferencing. To highlight the increased autonomy of this version and new accessories such as the removable keyboard and the stylus.

Slim and light, its 550 gram weight allows it to be carried anywhere and used on the move and at the desk. It is distributed with Windows 10 and is indicated for users who are looking for the quality and versatility of Surface Pro 7 in a smaller and cheaper device.

Surface Book 3

New generation a model that surprised the market with its hybrid concept halfway between portable-convertible-2 in 1. If Surface Pro 7 is a tablet that becomes ultraportable, Book is a laptop that becomes a tablet thanks to its hinge system and a removable touch screen.

The third generation is the most powerful Surface model to date and maintains the original design, its magnesium chassis and two different versions Based on the size of your 13.5-inch and 15-inch diagonal PixelSense display, with enhanced HD resolutions exceeding 3K, extremely high brightness and contrast, and ten-touch multi-touch technology.

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The great novelty of this version comes from the processors 10th generation Intel Core (Ice Lake) with four cores and eight native processing threads. It is accompanied by up to 32 Gbytes of DDR4 RAM and for internal storage it has solid state drives of up to 2 Tbytes. In addition to Intel’s integrated graphics, some configurations offer nvidia dedicated graphics up to the GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q design and 6 Gbytes of dedicated GDDR6 memory.

These components make Surface Book 3 the ideal choice for those who need the power of a desktop computer in their day-to-day life, but who want to enjoy the mobility of a laptop. In addition to running demanding applications with no problem, it is also a perfect option for those who want a device to play, for example, Xbox Game Pass titles for PC.

It also features connectivity elements such as Wi-Fi 6, offers all kinds of connection ports (USB Type C – A and Surface Connect), improves the set of cameras, dual microphones and the audio system, and includes security elements such as the IR sensor for Windows Hello and a TPM 2.0 chip for business security.

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Surface Laptop 3

In response to the different needs of users, Microsoft released another novelty in the spring of 2017, its first computer in standard laptop format. A slim and light model with a magnesium chassis, which confirmed the expansion of the Surface series.

The third generation of these laptops reach the market twice, with two different models both in size and in hardware platforms. The first is based on a 13.5-inch diagonal multi-touch screen and uses Intel hardware, the tenth-generation Ice Lake.

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The second model with a 15-inch screen, which still maintains 10th generation Intel (Ice Lake) processors, uses a processor Ryzen Mobile and Vega «Surface Edition» graphics, specially designed for this equipment. It is another absolute novelty, for the first time that Microsoft uses AMD hardware on a Surface.

Both kits are made of aluminum and are thinner and lighter than ever, weighing from 1.2 kg. They feature touchscreens that appreciably trim bezels and support Surface Pen styluses. Its memory capacity rises to 16 Gbytes and it has SSD options of up to 512GB for storage.

They add a USB Type-C port, the new Wi-Fi 6 and cameras with support for Windows Hello that we can see on all Surface. Its autonomy has increased and rises above 11 hours in both models, thus allowing it to carry out all kinds of tasks during the day, whether it be viewing series, working on documents with Microsoft 365, or making video calls with family and friends.

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To highlight a design that allows access to its interior by removing its keyboard in a very simple way and without tools. They preinstall Windows 10 Home, are offered in black or platinum finishes, and have a 30-day trial of Microsoft 365.

Surface pro x

A novel model with which Microsoft retakes the original idea of Surface eight years after the presentation that marked the premiere of its line of hardware.

Specially designed for web-oriented experiences and tasks, it is an ultra-slim 2-in-1 with a 7.3mm thick chassis and a 13-inch edge-to-edge multi-touch screen, high brightness level and resolution that reaches 2880 x 1920 pixels.

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The main difference with the rest of the Surface models is its hardware engine, since Microsoft recovers the use of the ARM architecture with a Qualcomm SQ1 SoC created specifically for this device. If we put together the 16 Gbytes of LPDDR4X memory and SSDs of up to 512 Gbytes, we can conclude that Surface Pro X is the most powerful ARM mobile device in the industry.

In addition to performance for multitasking, it offers the advantages of architecture with a enormous autonomy and support for LTE mobile broadband that offers a total connection without relying on home or office networks.

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Based on the versatility of use that characterizes the series, Microsoft Surface Pro X can become a complete laptop by adding a built-in keyboard, Signature Keyboard, and a Slim Pen stylus. The stylus is securely stored and recharged on a full keyboard that features backlit keys and a large multi-touch glass touchpad.

Surface Studio 2

The expansion of the Surface line to other segments of the computer market was evident with the announcement of the Studio model, which involved the commercialization of the first compact All-in-One computer under the Microsoft brand. It was very well received and doubled the sales initially planned for the quality of its screen, for the design of the base to adjust to multiple positions and for innovative accessories such as the Surface Dial.

The second version of this “all in one” it maintains the impressive design of the original and a focus on professional areas, especially creatives who need a high-end screen with precision pen capabilities.

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The star of this team is its PixelSense multi-touch screen with ten touch points with 28 inches diagonal. Its native resolution rises above 4K and for this model the tactile response and sensitivity of the stylus have been improved. Delivered in individually calibrated colors, it offers extensive support for the sRGB and DCI-P3 color ranges.

Its performance level is high, with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 or 32 Gbytes of RAM, 1 or 2 Tbytes solid state drives and dedicated graphics from NVIDIA, GTX 1070/1060.

Its connectivity lacks nothing and offers Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, five USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader, cameras for video conferencing and an improved audio system with Dolby Audio. It supports Windows Hello authentication and includes a TPM 2.0 chip for enterprise grade hardware security.

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“The definitive creative studio”, As Microsoft defines it, it comes with Windows 10 Pro, includes a wireless Surface keyboard and mouse and has the possibility of using accessories as interesting as the new Surface Dial, a control method that goes far beyond a complement in disk size hockey.

Surface accessories

Microsoft has accumulated a large number of accessories in its catalog, both those intended to support the Surface and that are included with them or are offered as an option to expand their possibilities, as well as those complementary to the line of hardware.

The company is not new to this segment and has been offering high-quality mice and keyboards for decades. The arrival of Surface has expanded the group of peripherals and accessories to a great extent and today offers:

  • Keyboard cases and standard keyboards.
  • Mice, styluses, and dials.
  • Chargers and Docks.
  • Carry bags and covers

Among the latest additions of Surface series accessories we can highlight:

Surface Earbuds. New wireless headphones designed to deliver “Comfort and stability throughout the day”. They play Spotify and allow you to slide and touch the buttons to control the music, but its great novelty is the approach to productivity with the integrated functions of Office 365, offering dictation, translation or slide show, and with controls both by voice and through of gestures and touch, thanks to the touch surface that they integrate.

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Surface Headphones 2. Headphones with an ergonomic design that adapt perfectly to the ear and offer high-quality sound that is accompanied by a system with 13 levels of ambient noise cancellation. Microsoft has improved the battery to offer up to 20 hours of autonomy and has adjusted the design of the headband to make them easier to use.

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Surface dock 2. An expansion base that allows to expand the set of connections in a simple and fast way thanks to its magnetic system. This dock instantly transforms a Surface PC into a desktop PC with all the new-generation ports you need, including USB-C, to charge your device and access external monitors, a keyboard, a mouse, and other accessories.

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More information | Microsoft Surface

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