Microsoft held their Surface event today and announced a load of new products targeted at portability and productivity. This includes a brand-new Surface Pro 9, the Surface Laptop 5, and perhaps the most surprising feature of all, Apple integration.
Yes, you read that right — you can now access iCloud photos through Windows, as well as Apple Music on Xbox. Has the rivalry between the two computer giants come to an end? Not a chance, but perhaps this signals that consumers can start getting the best of both worlds.
Speaking of tech company rivalries, it’s probably not a total coincidence that Microsoft’s big event, in which they announced products we’ve been waiting on for years (finally, a new Microsoft Surface desktop), took place on the second day of Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale, when much of the tech and commerce media is distracted.
Still, we’ve got all the details on the new Microsoft Surface products for you below.
Everything Announced at Microsoft’s Surface Event
There have been a lot of tech reveals lately. Amazon announced a slew of new products. Apple held its “Far Out” event. And Google revealed its new lineup of Pixel gadgets. Now, it’s Microsoft’s turn, and the company has a lot of shiny new toys to show off:
Our latest innovations are here. #MicrosoftSurface https://t.co/RNamPYo287 pic.twitter.com/4hNmxw7jEY
— Microsoft Surface (@surface) October 12, 2022
The new Microsoft Surface products announced today include:
- Microsoft Surface Pro 9
- Surface Laptop 5
- Surface Studio 2+
- Microsoft Designer and Image Creator
- iCloud in Window Photos
- Apple Music on Xbox
- Microsoft Audio Dock
- Microsoft Presenter+
Microsoft Surface Pro 9
The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is the latest iteration of one of the best 2-in-1 machines on the market. It refines the existing Surface features, but adds in plenty of new surprises that make it well worth an upgrade.
The Surface Pro 9 is made from high-grade aluminum casing that houses a built-in kickstand and a 13-inch display. The edge-to-edge display of the Surface makes efficient use of the screen, especially when you pair it with the 120Hz refresh rate. It also has an HD camera and directional microphones that make it an excellent videoconferencing device.
The base specs have also been upgraded. Customers have a choice between the 12th Gen Intel Core processor or the Microsoft SQ 3. Both processors deliver plenty of power, but their specific use cases are slightly different. The Intel processor can support Thunderbolt 4 data transfer and multiple 4K displays, while the Microsoft SQ 3 processor is more battery-efficient with up to 19 hours of life. The SQ 3 also utilizes more AI features thanks to a new Neural Processing Unit.
There are also different RAM options, ranging from 8GB up to 32GB, and storage options that range from 128GB to 1TB.
The Surface Pro 9 starts at $1,000 and releases October 25th. It’s available in four different color options, and comes preloaded with Windows 11.
Surface Laptop 5
Unlike the Surface Pro 9, which is a two-in-one tablet and laptop, the Surface Laptop 5 kicks it old-school. It’s a conventional laptop, but with a lot of bells and whistles like Windows Hello, all-day battery life, and more, it’s over 50% more powerful than the previous Surface laptop.
The Surface Laptop 5 has two size options: a 13.5-inch screen, or a 15-inch screen. Both are equipped with Dolby Vision IQ, and the speakers feature Dolby Atmos 3D processing. There’s also a front-facing camera for video conferencing that can adjust to varying lighting on the fly.
The Surface Laptop 5 is available in four colors and has numerous customization options. It can be outfitted with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, RAM option ranging from 8GB to 32GB, and SSD options from 256GB to 1TB.
The Surface Laptop 5 starts at $1,000 and will be available on October 25th.
Surface Studio 2+
The original Surface Studio released in 2016, so it’s well overdue for an upgrade. The Surface Studio 2+ is exactly that, improving on the previous model in a long of major ways. The 28-inch display provides a stunning amount of screen real estate in a 3:2 aspect ratio, while the Zero Gravity Hinge lets you adjust the display to the perfect angle. Never worry about screen glare again. The display supports Dolby Vision, while the speakers are powered by Dolby Atmos.
The Studio 2+ has an 11th Gen Intel Core H35 processor built-in, as well as an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU that makes it a viable gaming machine. There’s also a 1080p camera and dual Studio Mics for video conferencing.
There aren’t customizable RAM options, but with a base 32GB, you don’t really need more. The 1TB SSD provides plenty of storage space for your favorite games, and the three USB-C and USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4 ports mean you’ll never hurt for connection points. It even supports gigabit Ethernet, and is compatible with the Surface Pen and Surface Dial.
The Surface Studio 2+ starts at $4,500 and will be available on October 25th.
Microsoft Designer and Image Creator
Have you ever wished Microsoft had something along the lines of Photoshop (and no, GIMP doesn’t count)? Microsoft Designer isn’t exactly the same thing, but it’s close enough. Designer helps you generate everything from social media posts to wedding invitations, and it can even generate custom images thanks to the integration of Microsoft AI and DALL-E 2.
iCloud Photos on Windows 11, Apple Music on Xbox
Perhaps the most surprising announcement of all was the integration between Windows and Apple devices and services. Microsoft’s updated Photos app will support iCloud photos, allowing iPhone users to unite their images across platforms.
In addition, gamers can get access to Apple Music on their Xbox console. This is alongside the existing compatibility with Spotify and several other streaming apps. You can jam out to your favorite tunes or replace the in-game music with your own playlists.
Microsoft Audio Dock
The Microsoft Audio Dock, an interesting blend of speakerphone and USB-C dock, was also announced. It’s designed to work alongside conferencing apps like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams, providing whole-room audio in a small package.
The Microsoft Audio Dock has a 15-watt woofer and 5-watt tweeters, two USB-C ports, and HDMI 2.0 out port, and a USB-A port.
The Audio Dock retails for $250 and will be available soon.
The past several years have taught us all a lot about working from home, and the Microsoft Presenter+ is the culmination of all of that knowledge — especially with regard to make presentations in meetings and video calls. It makes it easy to control your mute status, raise your hand in a Teams meeting, change screens, and much more.
The Microsoft Presenter+ also pairs with other accessories like the Audio Dock. It retails for $80 and will be available soon.