The Microsoft Surface event 2022 began on schedule, at 10pm MYT, on 12 October. One of the biggest Microsoft highlights of the year, it saw the launch of the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 and Surface Pro 9 tablet.
Microsoft underlined that it was also marking the 10th anniversary of the Surface product line through the event. Apart from the hardware, many of which were in line with the predictions around the Microsoft Surface event, new features for Windows 11 were also revealed. No official announcement of the price of any new Microsoft Surface product was made during the event.
Panos Panay, EVP and Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, kicked off the event taking viewers through a look back at Microsoft’s journey and the Surface line.
The hardware-centric event came within a week after Google announced the launch of Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel Watch at the ‘Made by Google’ event.
Microsoft’s gala was the third mega event to be held in just over a 30-day period, with Apple announcing four phones in the iPhone 14 series and the revolutionary Apple Ultra watch at its ‘Far Out’ event on September 7.
Products and applications announced at Microsoft Surface event 2022
Surface Laptop 5 in four colours
The first product revealed at the event was the Surface Laptop 5. It follows the Surface Laptop 4, which was released in 2021.
Picking the laptop announcement first was perhaps an obvious choice. Interestingly, the official Twitter account of Microsoft Surface had, via a poll on October 10, dropped a hint at what is coming. It asked people what they would predict for the event. Of the three options Microsoft gave, an overwhelming 64.5 percent of the votes went to “a next level laptop.”
If you had a crystal ball, what would you predict for the #MicrosoftEvent on October 12?
— Microsoft Surface (@surface) October 10, 2022
The laptop can be opened with just one hand, as was displayed at the event. As was predicted by expert observers, the laptop is built on the latest Intel EVO platform and has Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Microsoft says that the laptop is up to 50 percent more powerful than its predecessor. It has up to 18 hours of battery life. There is a fast charge feature, which powers up the laptop in 30 minutes for 9 hours of battery life.
Its keys are quieter and optimised for responsiveness.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 has a 3:2 PixelSense display for 13.5-inch and 15-inch models with Dolby Vision IQ to deliver richer details and sharper contrast. It is tuned to automatically adjust colour accuracy. The laptop is fitted with Dolby Atmos 3D spatial processing speakers, placed right behind the corners of the keys on the keyboard.
The design is sleek and light. Microsoft has launched Surface Laptop 5 in four colours, including the newest hue — sage green.
During the announcement of the Surface Laptop 5, Microsoft said that as part of its carbon negative goal for 2030, the Windows 11 has a new feature that schedules OS updates when the local grid has clean energy such as wind and solar power available.
Surface Pro 9 with 5G
One of the most expected announcements, the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 tablet gets a new Liberty floral print design in blue colour, which has been created in collaboration with London-based design house Liberty.
The most significant of the features of Surface Pro 9 is that it is the first in the series with 5G capabilities. This particular variant is built on the ARM-based Microsoft SQ3 processor powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon and has a battery life of up to 19 hours. Other variants of the tablet are powered by 12th-generation Intel EVO processor.
The Surface Pro 9 comes equipped with Thunderbolt connectors and has large 13-inch PixelSense display, perfect for use both as a hand-held tablet and as a laptop when attached to a keyboard.
Microsoft displayed how the Windows 11 adapts with larger spacing between apps when the keyboard is detached from the tablet.
Its front facing camera is centred and widened. The tablet Pen that is used on the Surface Pro 9 has a microactuator inside and, according to Microsoft, its ink-focussed view makes writing on the screen feel like writing on paper.
The Surface Pro 9 5G model has exclusive NPU (neural processing unit) features, which the company said is the most powerful ever built by it. The NPU gives the tablet the ability to focus on the subject at all times, even if the subject is moving. It automatically creates blur effects and framing. There is also Voice Focus, which drastically cuts out all kinds of background noises via NPU.
During the presentation of the Surface Pro 9, the company said that GoodNotes is coming to Windows.
Surface Studio 2+ desktop
The Surface Studio 2+ desktop The third most significant major product displayed during the event. It was speculated that the name of the product will be Surface Studio 3.
Surface Studio 2+ is powered by Intel i7 quad-core processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, which is “five times more powerful than the original Surface Studio.”
It has three Thunderbolt ports, which, Microsoft noted, creators were asking for.
The display resolution of the Surface Studio 2+ is 4K with colour depth of DCI P3. It has both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
The desktop screen can be adjusted with just a one-finger push. The screen is large enough to have four separate 14-inch display windows open at the same time.
Other announcements include Apple iCloud photo integration
Microsoft announced new features for improved accessibility for Windows 11 users. There is system-wide live captions from audio content, which automatically appears on the screen while an audio is on.
Among other accessibility features are voice access for voice control and natural voices for the Navigator option. Windows Security has been upgraded to block scripts from the Internet, enhancing protection from Ransomware attacks and improving security of data online.
Among the key announcements at Microsoft Surface event 2022 was the integration of photos taken on an Apple iPhone with Xbox and Windows 11. It will be possible to transfer pictures from iCloud Photos to Windows after installing iCloud for Windows app from Microsoft Store.
Microsoft announced that Apple TV and Apple Music app will launch on Windows in 2023.
Two other hardware products were also revealed. These were Microsoft Presenter+, which is a Teams remote with a mute button, and Audio Dock.
Microsoft also announced a new product — Microsoft Designer. It has the company’s AI, DALL-E 2, helping users generate images of any kind they like by typing in keywords within the tool. The images, Microsoft says, are generated just for the user. DALL-E 2 will also assist in designing templates and posts for social media, which can be shared with the push of a tab on the app itself along with auto hashtag recommendations.
The DALL-E 2 AI will soon be coming to Bing Image creator, said Microsoft.
(Main and Featured images: Microsoft)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India