In an age of folding screen devices, that have been a mixed bag to say the least, Microsoft has opted for a dual-screen approach. The Surface Neo will be a new laptop-like machine featuring the company’s new lightweight Windows 10X operating system.
We still await the arrival of the Surface Neo and, its Android phone brethen, the Surface Duo. The devices will be looking to take aim at the traditional dividing lines between laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Microsoft has a big task on its hands, will the Windows 10X device be revolutionary or will it fall by the wayside? Read on for all the information on upcoming Surface Neo.
What is the Surface Neo?
The Surface Neo is Microsoft’s upcoming dual-screen Windows 10X device – this is in contrast to the similar-looking, but smaller, Android-powered Surface Duo.
The new dual-screen device is Microsoft’s swing at creating a functional productivity machine that can be easily transported and used anywhere and everywhere. The laptop/tablet hybrid will run on Windows 10X which is being specifically created for dual-screen devices – demonstrating Microsoft’s commitment to this new form-factor.
A big appeal of the Surface Neo looks to be its ability to straddle two current form-factors – tablets and laptops. The Surface Pro line already somewhat embraces this idea but they are still weighty machines. If the Surface Neo can hit the sweet spot between productivity and portability then Microsoft could be set to create a new thriving product category.
Related: Surface Laptop 3 vs MacBook Pro
Surface Neo release date – When is the Surface Neo out?
Back in October 2019, Microsoft announced the Surface Neo would be released in the Holiday season of 2020 – this now appears to be in doubt.
A recent report from ZDNet, Microsoft will not be releasing the Surface Neo this year and the Windows 10X operating system will also not be coming out on any device until a later day. Until Microsoft confirms this delay, we likely won’t know any information on a new release date – with it expected to move to some time in 2021.
Surface Neo price – How much will the Surface Neo cost?
Microsoft is yet to give any indication on the price but we’d expect it to put a pretty hefty dent in your wallet.
The design and form-factor are likely to lead to a high price for early adopters but there may be some reprieve depending on the specs. We don’t know if this device is intended to be as powerful as a high-end Surface Pro or something cheaper that may have less horsepower but offer things like improved battery life.
Related: Surface Pro 7 vs iPad Pro
Surface Neo design – What does the Surface Neo look like?
Microsoft has kindly given interested onlookers a good look at the new dual-screen machine as we move closer to the release date.
The device centres around a 360-degree hinge – bringing together two separate displays. The hinge will enable users to utilise it in a more traditional laptop style as well as like a tablet.
For laptop use, Microsoft will also offer the option of buying a keyboard that attaches to one of the screens for a more comfortable typing experience. It seems like the keyboard will be able to flipped around the back of the device for storage when not in use.
The design is just 5.6mm thin which Microsoft calls “the thinnest LCD that’s ever been created”. The device will also weigh in at only 655 grams.
Unlike previous Surface devices, the new Neo and Duo devices will be covered in Gorilla Glass – front and back. Along with the aesthetic advantages, the design choice will also allow for a stylus to be wirelessly charged once magnetically attached to the back of the device.
Related: Best laptop 2019
Surface Neo specs – How powerful is the Surface Neo?
The new device is set to run on an Intel Lakefield hybrid processor – a chip which will incorporate Intel’s 11th Gen graphics tech.
The processor is a team-up of a performance-focused 10nm Sunny Cove CPU alongside several smaller power-efficient 10nm Tremont Atom cores.
Up until this week, we didn’t have much of an indication over how fast the Surface Neo would be. However, Microsoft has now released a Window 10X emulator to help developers become accommodated with the software and its reveal included some interesting comments.
Microsoft stated updates on the Neo would take less than 90 seconds – that’ll be music to anyone’s ears who’s had to deal with some several hour-long Windows update marathons in the past.
In terms of software, the device will run on Microsoft’s new Windows 10X operating system – a new OS designed specifically for dual-screen machines.
Windows 10X will encourage developers to build apps that allow for users to simply use one screen but be provided with secondary information if they’d like to apply to both screens of the device. You’ll also be able to run two separate apps on either screen.
Related: Surface Pro X vs iPad Pro
The software responds when placing the detachable keyboard on the screen – turning the remaining part of the screen to something akin to Apple’s Touch Bar. Microsoft’s version is jollily named the “Wonder Bar.”