Microsoft came out swinging today by refreshing much of its Surface lineup. Altogether it announced a new version of the Surface Book, the Surface Go, and the Surface Headphones. And if that wasn’t enough, the previously announced (and delayed) Surface Buds got a release date and a lower price. That’s nearly enough to cover all your surfaces with a Surface.
The Surface Book 3 Updates the Internals
Have you ever seen the Surface Book 2? Then you’ve seen the Surface Book 3. Microsoft didn’t make any changes to the outside, which means you’ll still get the same amazing “laptop screen pops off into a tablet” feature and the same U-Shaped hinge. That latter detail tends to be a “hate it or don’t mind it” aspect.
The previous Surface Book 2 launched nearly three years ago, though, so its biggest problem is aging internals. With that in mind, Microsoft updated the latest iteration with 10th generation Intel processors and refreshed Nvidia Graphics.
For better or worse, your port selection remains the same as previous models, which means no Thunderbolt ports (supposedly for security reasons). You get two USB-A ports, a USB-C port (with Power Delivery 3.0), a full-sized SD card-reader (a rarity these days), and a Surface Connect port.
Microsoft claims that the updated hardware makes this the company’s most powerful laptop ever, and it should last 17.5 hours on a charge. You can pick from either the 13-inch version, which starts at 1,599 and includes a quad-core Core i5, or a 15-inch model, which starts at $2,299 and uses a quad-core Core i7 processor.
The 13-inch base model comes with integrated graphics, but you can step up to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics card. And the 15-inch Surface Book 3 starts with a GTX 1660Ti graphics card, but businesses can upgrade to a Quadro RTX 3000 GPU.
Both models ship with a faster SSD than the Surface Book 2 had, and if you need more power, you can step up to 32 GBs of RAM. You can pre-order today and buy the Surface Book 3 starting May 21st.
The Surface Go 2 Bumps up the Screen and Power
The original Surface Go is a testament to the thought process of “you can have thin, cheap, and powerful—pick two.” Unfortunately, while it is thin and “cheap” (compare to other Surfaces), it gave up too much power, making it painful to use.
The new Surface Go 2 attempts to right that ship. First, it steps up the screen size from 10-inch to 10.5 inches. The good news is, the Surface Go 2 retains the overall size of the original Go, so that means you lose some of the unnecessary bezels. More importantly, Microsoft improved the processor options.
You can still choose models with an Intel Pentium Gold processors, but you should skip that. Instead, you can step up to the top-end model that’s powered by an 8th Gen Core Intel m3 processor. That’s still on the low end but may have enough power to run well.
The base model includes 4 GBs of RAM and 64 GB eMMC storage for $399.99. You can step up to 8 GBs of RAM and a 128 GB SSD for $549. When you grab the m3 processor model, you’ll also get 8 GBs of RAM and a 128 GB SSD for $629. You can pre-order today, and it releases on May 12th.
As usual, you’ll have to buy the keyboard separately for $99.
Surface Headphones 2 Get Better Battery, Bluetooth 5.0 and Not Much Else
The original Surface Headphones featured an innovative dial system that let you turn Active Noise Canceling up and down so you could control how much came through. Thankfully, that’s not going away. Neither is the original platinum color, but now you can buy them in black (always buy in black).
The Surface Headphones mostly look the same but feature an updated cup design that allows you to rotate them up to 180 degrees for more comfort. The $250 headphones pick up Bluetooth 5.0 and the Qualcomm aptX Bluetooth codec for better sound and should last 20 hours (up from 15) when you aren’t using ANC.
Pre-orders start today, and the Surface Headphones 2 will release on May 12th.
The Surface Buds Get a Release Date and Reduced Price
When Microsoft announced the Surface Buds back in October, it promised to release them later in 2019 for $250. The company quickly delayed the true wireless earbuds, and now it seems they’re ready to meet the world and at a lower price too.
The Surface Buds will release on May 12th for $199. You’ll still get the odd pancake look which Microsoft says attribute to “all-day comfort.” Unfortunately, you won’t get ANC, a notable miss for $200 earbuds.
Microsoft positions these earbuds as more than a music device and is promising improved call quality and software integration with apps like Powerpoint. They should last 8 hours on a charge, and the including charging case will get you to 24 hours of use.
You can pre-order the Buds starting today.
But Wait There’s More (Accessories)
You’d think that would be enough announcements for one day, but Microsoft had a few accessories to announce as well. First up is the $259.99 Surface Dock 2 which promises faster charging and higher data transfer rates than the original.
If your needs are more on the go, the new $99.99 Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub features multiple ports, including USB-C.
The company also announced two new mouse and keyboard bundles. You can grab the Microsoft Ergonomic Desktop for $89.99 or the Microsoft Bluetooth Desktop for $59.99.