It’s the 10th anniversary for Microsoft’s Surface Pro, the hybrid keyboard-laptop device and we’re celebrating by — getting a new version!
Microsoft unveiled its Surface Pro 9, which will start at $999 for devices with an Intel chip. Models with the Qualcomm and Microsoft’s SQ3 chip that are ARM-compatible (meaning they can run the desktop Windows version), will start at $1,499. Those models will include 5G support as well as have a new neural processing unit. The 13-inch display device will come in multiple colors for the first time, including platinum, sapphire, graphite, and forest green.
However, the most fascinating announcement at today’s event was the integration of the AI-powered DALLE-2 into Microsoft products. DALLE-2 creates images based on word prompts, and has become a TikTok trend as people try to come up with teh most imaginative phrases to feed the machine learning program — and get even crazier images as a result. The new Microsoft Designer app, which is very similar to Canva, will use the technology, and later it will be integrated into Microsoft Bing and the Edge browser. So if people can’t find images that fit their prompts, they can have the AI make it from scratch.
With such realistic images, there are concerns over deep fakes, or imagery that may be presented as fact featuring politicians, celebrities or top features. However, Microsoft said it has built in safeguards to prevent against such scenarios.
Other Surface devices, including the Surface Laptop 5 which starts at $999, were also revealed. Unlike its predecessor the Suface Laptop 5 is Intel-only with Core i5 and Core i7 options, and will get a Thunderbolt 4 port. It will come in two sizes: 13.5 inches and 15 inches. For those who are willing to break the bank, the Surface Studio 2 Plus may offer some options. Starting at $4,300, this is the creme-de-la-creme of the series, promising up to 50 percent faster processing speeds.
Microsoft also touted new adaptive accessories for those who can’t use standard mouses and other external computer devices. Those will hit the market on October 25. It also added new accessories to make your Microsoft Teams experience better, including an Audio Dock. The fancy speaker lets you talk to your colleagues and makes it easier to present your ideas with a Presenter Plus handheld remote control. Plus it has all the ports required to stay charged.
Overall, many of the Microsoft products presented minimal improvements over previous generations. Especially in a market where consumers are minding their budgets due to inflation, it may find it difficult to convince people to upgrade unless its completely necessary.