Fun fact about me: I like Surface products. Fun fact about John: he doesn’t like Surface products. Guess who got to write this post. Microsoft unveiled some really cool stuff, so let’s dive in!
The Surface Pro 6
Today, we got to see the new Surface Pro 6. The design is also very familiar, because it’s exactly the same as last year. The main changes could be likened to the 2018 upgrade to the MacBook Pro a couple months back, in that it’s mainly a spec upgrade. But, there is a new matte black option, which I unfortunately was not able to get a picture of. Other than that, we have an 8th-gen Intel i5 (or i7, depending on your bank balance) and a new starting price of $899. This seems to be because Microsoft have ditched the Core m3 lineup.
You can preorder the Surface Pro 6 now, and it will arrive soon after the 16th of October. Do be aware that the black version only comes in 256GB and 512GB/1TB is not available for preorder at time of writing.
Surface Laptop 2
The Surface laptop has also gotten an upgrade. Yeah, and… it’s also not great. Same upgrade to Intel 8th-gen processors, same black version. I also wasn’t able to get a black shot of this, although I do rather like this maroon one. In fact, the only difference is that Microsoft haven’t changed the price tag back here! You’ll be able to preorder the Surface Laptop (starting at $999) with the same conditions as the Surface Pro 6
Surface Studio 2
Now this is where things get interesting. Interesting based on what we’ve had so far, at least. The Surface Studio has been around for a year or two now, so got a much needed upgrade. Microsoft gave it a discrete NVIDIA GTX 1060 (or 1070) graphics card, which is a bit of an upgrade from the old 980. The Studio is now also compatible with the latest Surface Pen. And get this: 7th-gen Intels! Come on, Microsoft. This is 2018. If you’re going to upgrade your $3,500 PC, the least you can do is give the CPU an upgrade along with the graphics card.
To be honest, although I like the Studio 2, unless you need the touchscreen, the hinge thingy (which I do very much like), the i7 or you just hate Apple’s guts, you should probably just get an iMac. Even if you need Windows for work, you can spin up Windows with Boot Camp. Sadly, we don’t have a tutorial but the folks over at How-to Geek have a great tutorial.
You can preorder the Studio 2 now for the bargain price of $3,499. The caveat here is that the GTX 1070 doesn’t seem to be available at time of writing. Microsoft say the Studio will ship by November 16, so you can expect to get it around then.
If you ask me, the Headphones were the second best part of the event (the best I saved for last). They are Microsoft’s latest addition to the Surface lineup. The Headphones are over-ear Bluetooth headphones which seem to be competing with Beats and the like. The over-ear bits have a touchpad on the outside which can play and pause, adjust the volume and summon Cortana (because everyone wants Cortana headphones, right?). As well as this, you can run your finger over the top bit to run through 13 different levels of noise-cancelling, seriously pwning Bose.
The Headphones also have an aux port (for using them on planes, or something) and a USB-C port for charging. This same USB-C port has Fast Charging support, which Microsoft say can go from zero to an hour of listening time in 5 minutes. Impressive.
Pre-order? Well, there’s a hitch. Microsoft refuse to tell us when these will release, only saying in a vague sort of way that they will be ready in time for the holidays. Can I just say that were it not for the $349 price tag, these would be on my Christmas list.
Surface All Access
You remember when I said I was saving the best bit for last? This is the best bit.
Surface All Access is a bit like Xbox All Access, but you can do it online, and you get a Surface and two years of Office 365. Pretty cool, right? Better yet, not only is there no interest, the Verge calculated that by buying, say, a Surface Go (Type Cover included), you would end up paying $600, whereas if you were to buy these things separately, you would pay something in the region of $670. This, of course, assumes that you wanted Office 365 in the first place, and if you don’t use it (even though you should), you lose out.
And yes, there is still a bump in the road. Surface All Access is only available in the US at the present time, and we don’t know when it will expand. Plus, unless you want a Surface Go or a Surface Book 2, you will have to wait until the middle of October (or November for Surface Studio 2 customers) if you don’t want your new Surface to become obsolete before the first payment, because Microsoft won’t let you preorder with All Access. Other than that, it’s a great deal.