back to article Microsoft resurfaces Surface kit alongside Windows 10 update

At a media event in New York City on Tuesday, Microsoft refreshed its Surface hardware with the introduction of the Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Studio 2 all-in-one PC. The Surface Pro 6 sports a quad-core 8th generation Intel processor (Core i5 or Core i7), 8GB or 16GB of RAM, a 12.3-inch display, and an SSD …

  1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

    Surface All Access looks like an interesting proposition. I shall investigate further when it extends outside US.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it does.

  3. stephanh Silver badge

    $350 headphones?

    The wireless connectors must be made from gold, then.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: $350 headphones?

    $350, blimey !

    And lined with Dodo feathers for that price.

    Who do they think they are, Apple ?

  5. Phil Kingston Silver badge

    Re: $350 headphones?

    About right for the competition they're up against - Bose and Sony's most popular wireless noise-cancelling offerings are at this price too. But! They don't have these one's killer feature! Cortana built-in!

    No, me neither.

  6. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Joke

    Re: $350 headphones?

    Cortana built in*

    *requires PC or phone and internet connection.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Timeline for phones?

    Could be interesting. Timeline was one of the more useful features in the April update and made has made life quite a bit easier on the odd occasion*. Finally, something more useful that the mac OS Mission Control. Also, nice to see Microsoft has abandoned 4Gb configurations. They had no place on devices that expensive (and not upgradeable).

    * For example, working on a tech spec and presentation on the old Surface 3, on my commute, and having everything ready in one place, on my desktop, when I got home.

  8. Khaptain Silver badge

    Going back to Thinkpad

    I have enjoyed a Surface Pro for the last 2 years. Its a powerful and capable machine but..... It also severely lacks connectivity.

    The machine is nice and slim it I am forced to carry round a USB hub and a USB to Ethernet cable.. Which is a reak pain when you forget either..

    On top of that you need a real tabletop for it to rest on, using it on your lap is the equivalent of juggling milk bottles with your nose...

    Another annoying factor is the bloody screen resolution which can wreck havoc with some apps, especially remote desktop. There are solutions but it's a pain nonetheless.

    Even after 2 years I still have about 4.5 hours of battery which is not to bad.. I have the I7 which is very comfortable, it can easily run a couple of VMs..

    On the whole, I love the Surface Pro but it's the little things that let it down...

  9. djstardust Silver badge

    Re: Going back to Thinkpad

    The prices are still an issue, especially the massive jumps for additional storage.

    Another thing that irks a lot of people is the keyboard not being included. Just pure greed.

    Lack of ports is just silly considering all the space they have down the sides.

    Meh.

  10. OssianScotland

    Re: Going back to Thinkpad

    For me the screen resolution is the great thing about the SP and SB - enough to do a decent amount of work rather than flipping windows all the time.

    Agree it can cause problems with remote desktop, although the zoom function generally resolves them for me.

    I was disappointed that, from a first glance, there are no real improvements in the SP6 - same general memory and processor options, same screen etc. I had hoped for some more ports - a single USB is not enough and maybe a slightly larger screen area (resolution does not need improvement).

  11. Phil Kingston Silver badge

    Re: Going back to Thinkpad

    I suspect you may not be the target market then. The folks I've seen who use these as mobile devices (seen a fair few that never actually leave their desk) have a wireless mouse and expect/demand Wi-Fi everywhere. There's no need for them to lug USB hubs or ethernet adaptors. They're not the kind of people who would know what a VM is, let alone want to run some on a tablet.

  12. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Re: Going back to Thinkpad

    same general memory and processor options,

    Memory, yes, but not processor. The "New Surface Pro (5)" model used 7th-generation CPUs, while the "Surface Pro 6" uses 8th generation parts. That's a significant improvement in power consumption .. or performance, depending on the system designer's priorities.

    Battery life is quoted the same, 13.5h, but the "battery life" test that everyone uses really only measures display and video decoding, so performance on more representative workloads could be very different

  13. commonsense

    Re: Going back to Thinkpad

    "Agree it can cause problems with remote desktop, although the zoom function generally resolves them for me."

    Create a mstsc manifest file which forces HiDPI scaling...

    https://blog.brankovucinec.com/2016/03/19/fix-remote-desktop-dpi-scaling-issues/

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The prices are still an issue"

    Did you see the prices of latest phones?

    I agree the keyboard should be included, as almost nobody is going to use them as tablets only.

  15. Geoff Campbell
    Windows

    Re: "The prices are still an issue"

    I disagree on the keyboard. Back in the days of the SP3 or 4, when there were many fewer out in peoples' hands, I might have agreed, but now?

    I'll probably buy an SP6 to replace my SP4. The keyboard and pen I own are still in perfect condition (after pretty close to three years as a daily driver, which is pretty impressive of itself). I have no need to buy new ones, even with the price hidden in the price of the tablet. No, I'm very happy to have them as separate accessories.

    GJC

  16. Waseem Alkurdi

    Re: Going back to Thinkpad

    @Khaptain

    Interesting! Can you tell me how many cycles is on that battery and how much it used to last new, for reference

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Going back to Thinkpad

    There's no need for them to lug USB hubs or ethernet adaptors

    Well, I had to when I had one (for a month).

    Their "target market" have no choice but to use wireless accessories.

  18. Tom 35 Silver badge

    Re: Going back to Thinkpad

    "I suspect you may not be the target market then."

    So the same market that has turned the Land Rover into something for an expedition to the local mall. Important people...

  19. Khaptain Silver badge

    Re: Going back to Thinkpad

    @Waseem Alkurdi

    Waseem Alkurdi

    Waseem Alkurdi

    Waseem Alkurdi

    @Waseem

    "Interesting! Can you tell me how many cycles is on that battery and how much it used to last new, for reference"

    I have no idea how many cycles it has, but I can tell you that I have used it almost every day for the last 2 years.

    In the office I plug it in to it's docking station, at home I use the standard charger. I travel twice a week on the train which represents about 4 hours of battery only usage.

    I also use it a lot at the weekends, sometimes for gaming, work, web.. The battery is fully depleted/charged every 2 or 3 days, sometime I forget to plug it in at home or I forget to turn it off etc...

    I don't have it with me at this moment but I can check tonight if you want. Is it actually possible to know the number of cycles, if so by which means.

    I am more than happy to share the details.

  20. Khaptain Silver badge

    Re: Going back to Thinkpad

    @Phil

    "I suspect you may not be the target market then. "

    These are expensive machines so I would have expected that the target market is either top line execs or IT Pros. ( I am the latter).

    The problem relating to lack of connectivity is also to be found on many other "professional" laptops.. We have several at work, Dell, HP which also do not possess Ethernet or Multiple USB ports.

    We are trying to convince managaement to move to Thinkpads for the next refresh.. Personally I am hoping got a T480s ( i7 and 16gb should be fine)..

  21. Waseem Alkurdi

    Re: Going back to Thinkpad

    @Khaptain

    Thanks for replying! I really appreciated it!

    I have a HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2, a convertible laptop that's of similar vintage to a Surface Pro 3.

    The battery only lasts four hours without Wi-Fi and at most two hours with Wi-Fi, and it's being used daily, every day (for university "med school stuff + your average geek's large Wi-Fi downloads and dev work and VMs") since last April. It's not the battery's age; a second battery with only 186 cycles shows similar figures, and even the reviews cite six-hour battery life)

    And yes, you can see the cycle count of any laptop's battery; it's actually standard data fed by the battery controller EC through SMBus or whichever interface they decide to use. You can try this, using native Windows utilities (I'm on Linux + Android on mine though, so I didn't try this myself):

    https://fossbytes.com/powercfg-check-battery-capacity-battery-health-report-windows-using-cmd/

    (Batteries are generally rated for 300-600 cycles, though my primary battery is now at 950, started out at 680 when it shipped to me last April, and I still don't notice a change from the already-terrible figures when I started out)

    I'm trying to find out whether (battery-wise) used laptops are worth it or not.

  22. Khaptain Silver badge

    Re: Going back to Thinkpad

    @Waseem

    Et voila, I learned something new today , for any Regtards to lazy to read the link that Waseem linked to , the DOS command is

    powercfg /energy

    It produces a very detailed html report, interesting,

    Waseem here are the results for my battery

    Battery:Battery Information

    Battery ID 27926DYNX9xxxxx

    Manufacturer DYN

    Serial Number 27xxx

    Chemistry LION

    Long Term 1

    Sealed 0

    Cycle Count 453

    Design Capacity 38152

    It seems that you have already a lot of cycles, and yet we have similar battery life, not looking good for me should I arrive at the 900ish mark...

  23. Waseem Alkurdi
    Happy

    Re: Going back to Thinkpad

    @Khaptain, thanks again! ^_^

  24. Colonel Mad

    Version 1809

    Dowloading now

  25. Jason Hindle Bronze badge

    Re: Version 1809

    Me too. Clearly I'm a glutton for punishment.

  26. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Trollface

    Re: Version 1809

    Version 1809?

    Completed it mate.

  27. dank_army

    Underwelmed

    So cutting edge surface 2 laptops costing £2.5k (512gb/16gb ram) using i7 processors and still no fing usb c???

    Also slightly worrying they've omitted the surface book imagery from all their latest media ads from that event. Shelved? Or they planning to release some new shiny model costing £5k still with no usb c support.

  28. Khaptain Silver badge

    Re: Underwelmed

    Agreed , no USB-C on a bleeding edge machine is just pathetic.

  29. SVV Silver badge

    Re: Underwelmed

    Especially when the rather idiotically named "Surface headphones" which are launched as part of the same product family are charged via ..... usb c

  30. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Re: Underwelmed

    The Surface Laptop 2 uses the latest, 8th generation, CPUs. No detail yet as to the part numbers, the specs page says only "Intel® Core™ 8th Gen i5 or i7". My reading of the Register article's "the same CPUs" comment suggests that the Laptop is now upgraded to 4-core CPU; the previous model used dual-core parts. I'm sceptical, but it would be a pretty big upgrade in performance if true.

    It's still USB Type A because the laptop is still running a USB 3.0 controller - there's no reason to use a Type C connector unless you offer USB 3.1, and implementing USB 3.1, particularly the charging function, would need far more changes to the laptop's internals than are justified for a mid-cycle refresh (which is what this is).

  31. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Re: Underwelmed

    To add more details: They are indeed 4-core parts in the Surface Laptop 2.

    i5 (Consumer) = Intel Core i5 Mobile 8250U 3.4 GHz, 4-core

    i5 (Business) = Intel Core i5 Mobile 8350U, 3.6 GHz, 4-core

    i7 = Core i7 Mobile 8650U 4.2 GHz 4-core

    That i7 is the exact same part used in last year's Surface Book 2, which is probably strong sign that the Surface Book 2 itself will see a refresh soon.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Redmond's techno ear muffs will set you back $350

    buy the new noise-canceling sony 1000X M3 for $300 instead and save $50 to live happily ever after :)

  33. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Re: Redmond's techno ear muffs will set you back $350

    Some earphones for a fiver works on everything with a 3.5" jack (admittedly not as much as before thanks to Apple's trailblazing efforts). Just saying.

  34. JDX Gold badge

    Re: Redmond's techno ear muffs will set you back $350

    You must have somehow missed the words "noise cancelling" and "headphones".

  35. stephanh Silver badge

    Re: Redmond's techno ear muffs will set you back $350

    Wireless headphones with active noise cancelling from a reputable brand like Sony start around £100. These will probably suffice for Skype and Cortana.

  36. Ryan 7

    Could you at least pretend to be writing for a UK website

    And convert weights in lb to kg?

  37. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Re: Could you at least pretend to be writing for a UK website

    And dollars to pounds.

    We all know what the exchange rate is going to be.

  38. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Re: Could you at least pretend to be writing for a UK website

    Better yet, I'd hoped they would have followed the links on Microsoft's own online hardware store, and found the info. To save you the click, here it is:

    Surface Pro 6 from £879 (128G i5 Platinum only; the black option only joins the range the £1149 256G SSD model)

    Surface Laptop 2 from £979 (128G i5 "Platinum" colour only; again, other colours only available from 256G, which is £1249)

    Delivery on both is from 16 October onwards, which is the same date as for US customers. I guess that Microsoft is very slowly learning that a product launch should be global. (Australians are also offered the same 16. October delivery date, incidentally)

  39. arctic_haze Silver badge

    Re: Could you at least pretend to be writing for a UK website

    ...and talk some more about Brexit?

  40. JohnFen Silver badge

    I have to admit

    I truly don't understand why anyone buys these things.

  41. JohnFen Silver badge

    Re: I have to admit

    To the downvoters: Rather than just saying that you don't like people to express their lack of understanding about something, wouldn't it be better to explain it to me so that I might gain that understanding?

  42. Khaptain Silver badge

    Re: I have to admit

    They are actually nice machines to use, if you forgive their lack of physical connectivity. They are quite light, they fold small and carry easily. The screens are bright and clear, with enough memory and I7s inside they are powerful. As I mentioned above it has been my workhorse for almost 2 years.

    They are far better than they are given credit for, except for the lack of ports.

    The albeit expensive docking station allows to run a further 2 screens effortlessly. which is cool. It was my situation when in in the office.

    We have about 10 of them in the company and we have had no failure on any of them so far. I replaced my keyboard after a little beer accident.

    I have never seen anyone use the pen though.. And it's not very often that anyone uses the touch screen except for some minor Web scrolling.

    I even played fortnits on mine but I wouldn't recommend that to anyone. The graphics card is really not great for gaming. It can handle Blender without a problem for the basic stuff.

    I even bought my wife one, a SP3, she loved it. It was handy around the house, far better than a tablet due to it using a full OS.

  43. Geoff Campbell
    Windows

    Re: I have to admit

    Same reason anyone buys any machine - because they meet or exceed the user's requirements.

    I've had a Surface Pro 4 for getting on for three years now, the longest I have ever owned any single mobile device. I use it on customer sites, in hotel rooms, and for the last year as my main "desktop" machine connected to a docking station feeding a 4K monitor and standard keyboard.

    This is an i5 mid-range machine, which I rarely find lacking in performance.

    I have just ordered an SP6, but to be honest that was mainly just because I fancied something new rather than because the SP4 was at the end of its life.

    GJC

  44. This post has been deleted by its author

  45. Jason Hindle Bronze badge
    Devil

    Now I think of the Surface Go as I once thought the Surface 3...

    If only they made a Pro in the Go form factor.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Is Microsoft out of ideas'?

    http://theweek.com/articles/799618/microsoft-ideas

  47. Geoff Campbell
    Windows

    Re: 'Is Microsoft out of ideas'?

    It's the industry's worst-kept secret that there is some sort of mobile Surface device coming Real Soon Now. How about we wait and see what they produce before writing off the entire company?

    GJC

  48. doublelayer

    USB-C

    "The two portable Surface slabs rely on Microsoft's proprietary Surface Connect port and a USB-A port, which may annoy those who'd prefer USB-C."

    I really don't care that much about the USB-C. I consider it a slight advantage to choosing what computer to buy if it has such a port, which frees me to buy things that connect using that port, but I don't own anything using USB-C connectors. In fact, if my only choices were "only USB-A" or "only USB-C", I'd have to go with the USB-A ports. The major problem is the fact that there is only one port. That's not going to work very well for a lot of use cases.

  49. AndyRawlins

    But look how pretty the headphones are!

    Imagine owning a complete matching grey suite of such goodies! I wonder if they do Surface slacks and loafers too?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFe_ZYtfsZg

    (actually I quite like them - maybe a different colour though)

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