How the Surface line spec bump looks, and 11 more things happening in tech today
Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter , for Thursday, May 7.
1. New Surface gear: Same-same, but fixed and refreshed
As promised/leaked/rumored, Microsoft rolled out new Surface hardware yesterday, including a new Surface Go 2, Surface Book 3, and headphones including Microsoft’s first wireless earbuds and updated Surface Headphones, plus some peripherals/accessories, including keyboards and more.
The next-gen products are all refreshed successors, with spec bumps.
And aside from more speed/more battery life, the updates try to solve little problems or bothersome details in the previous editions, rather than introduce huge new ideas to the line.
Surface Go 2: Less bezel, more power (if you pay)
The original Surface Go was a neat option for a versatile tablet-computer with Windows 10 on board, at a what’s-the-catch starting price. Now it’s better, with less catches, and more battery life.
The Surface Go 2 fixes a lot of what people wanted fixed in the new version, while keeping the overall design (and handy kickstand) the same.
Bezels have shrunk, increasing the display from 10-inch to 10.5-inch, but it’s a big improvement from what I’ve seen. It’s upped the resolution further to 1920 x 1280 resolution at 220 ppi.
Much more power in higher-end models: a newer 8th-generation Intel Core M processor is on board for beefier models
In a tip to the era, there’s also better dual mics for improved audio quality.
The microSD card allows you to add up to 1TB of storage.
The Surface Go 2 will be available May 12, starting at $399 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, although that’s without the $130 type cover keyboard, or the $100 Surface Pen. LTE is another $100.
And, the $399 still gets you a Surface Go with an Intel Pentium Gold processor, which is a no no.
It’s pretty underpowered, and even early hands-on impressions have indicated you’re far better off going for the Intel Core m3 model, priced at $629, with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD.
Add a type cover keyboard if you don’t already have a Bluetooth keyboard you like, and the $400 Surface Go 2 jumps to more like $750 for a competent device.
Now this is still a “real” computer, with Windows, Office, Chrome with plugins, and more freedom.
Reviews of it, and inevitable comparisons to iPads, will be interesting given the boosts here.
Surface Book 3: All about form-factor
The Surface Book 3 looks just like the Book 2: no design tweaks, still in 13.5-inch and 15-inch. Under the hood though:
This time Microsoft has 10th gen Intel i5 1035G7 or i7 1065G7 processor in the 13.5-inch, and only the i7 on the 15-inch.
The 13-inch comes with integrated Iris graphics or a discrete Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU on the 13.5-inch, and a GTX 1660 or Quadro RTX 3000 on the 15-inch.
There’s also up to...