19 March 2021
Microsoft's annual Surface hardware launch event was held digitally for this year where we get to see a number of new products. The highlight of the show was Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2 accompanied by accessories. The latter includes Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Earbuds.
The all-new Surface Book 3 has been released in the usual 13-inch and 15-inch models. The successor has arrived after a wait of over 2 years and as expected, it is packed with significant performance and battery life improvements. Microsoft is claiming a 50% faster performance than the predecessor.
It is powered by the 10th Gen Intel Core processors coupled with up to 32GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The 13-inch model features NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU but with the 15-inch model, buyers can choose between NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q and Quadro RTX 3000 GPUs. The storage options include 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB SSD. The battery capacity is 102W and 127W on the two size models respectively.
The connectivity options include two USB Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port with USB Power Delivery 3.0, a full-size card reader, and a Surface Connect port. Microsoft has decided not to offer a Thunderbolt 3 port for some reason. There is an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera with both sensors capable of shooting videos at 1080p.
Microsoft has priced the Surface Book 3 at $1,599 for the base model with sales starting May-end.
The Surface Go 2 is a successor to the original Surface Go unveiled in 2018. It sports a 10.5-inch Full HD+ (1920 x 1280 pixels) PixelSense display with 3:2 aspect ratio. The new tablet is available with Intel Pentium GOLD 4425Y and Intel Core m3-8100Y processor options. The choice of graphics card is Intel UHD Graphics 615 along with 4GB and 8GB RAM options.
It comes with 64GB eMMC storage but also offers 128GB and 256GB SSD storage options. It has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel camera. In terms of connectivity, there is a USB Type-C port, a Surface Connect port, and a microSD card reader. The battery capacity is unknown but it is claimed to last for up to 10 hours on a single charge.
The Surface Go 2 costs $399 for the base model with the Intel Pentium Gold processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB storage. There are two other models with different configurations priced at $629 and $729.
Microsoft further unveiled a new audio accessory Surface Headphones 2. It features a new design that can now be folded for convenient storage and carrying around. It features 13 levels of ambient noise reduction and quick access for volume control and background sound cancelation. The headphones are claimed to last for about 20 hours on a single charge. The best part is that 5-minutes of charging is said to offer an hour's battery life. These will cost $249 with sales starting May 12th.
At the same event, Microsoft took the opportunity to reveal Surface Earbuds availability details that were revealed last year. These are truly wireless earphones with touch controls and integration with Spotify. They boast custom drivers for a better sound experience. The earbuds are capable of lasting for up to 24 hours including the battery life provided by the charging case. These were originally announced for $249 but will now be sold for $199 from May 12th.