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Surface Neo: Everything you need to know about the delayed dual-screen PC

The Surface Neo is a dual-screen PC that was officially revealed by Microsoft back in 2019. Unfortunately, this device was indefinitely delayed, so there’ no official word on when it may be released.

It’s been speculated that the setback (and eventual cancellation) of Windows 10X was a big reason for this delay, since Microsoft needed to optimise the software for such a unique hardware design.

The arrival of Windows 11 could be the solution for this problem, but Windows Latest suggests the Surface Neo still won’t launch until 2022 at the earliest. This makes a Surface Neo appearance at the upcoming Surface Event on 22 September very unlikely, albeit not impossible.

Read on for all the latest information on the Surface Neo.

What is the Surface Neo?

The Surface Neo is Microsoft’s upcoming dual-screen computing device.

Featuring two 9-inch displays, the Surface Neo looks similar to a traditional laptop, but with the keyboard replaced with a second touchscreen. The 360-degree hinge allows it to be folded up like a book when not in use. A keyboard accessory can also be clipped onto the touchscreen, turning it into a makeshift laptop when you need to type up an essay.

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 Neo can hit the sweet spot between productivity and portability then Microsoft could be set to create a new thriving product category.

Release date

The Surface Neo has been delayed by Microsoft, with Windows Latest suggesting that 2022 is now the earliest we’ll likely see it.

Microsoft is holding a Surface Event on 22 September, so it’s possible that the Neo will make an appearance. But with few rumours doing the rounds about the Neo, it’s widely expected that it won’t be revealed alongside the likes of the Surface Pro 8, Surface Go 3 and Surface Duo 2.

There’s no need to worry that the Surface Neo has been cancelled though, as Microsoft’s chief product officer, Panos Panay, said the following in an interview with The Verge:

“Neo is delayed. I wanted the right time to bring that product with the right experience. We believe in that concept and form factor and size. It will be a beautiful complement to Duo with Windows and I’m excited about it. It’s a product that’s near and dear to my heart.”

Surface Neo

Price

Microsoft is yet to give any indication on the price, but we reckon it’s going to be very expensive. 

The design is likely to lead to a high price for early adopters, and will almost definitely exceed the £1000 mark.

Surface Neo

Design

The Surface Neo centres around a 360-degree hinge, bringing together two separate 9-inch 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 device is just 5.6mm thin, which Microsoft calls “the thinnest LCD that’s ever been created”. The device will also weigh 655 grams, which is significantly lighter than your average laptop. 

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.

Surface Neo

Specs

The new device is set to run on an Intel Lakefield hybrid processor, which is a hybrid of the performance-focused 10nm Sunny Cove CPU, alongside several smaller power-efficient 10nm Tremont Atom cores. The Galaxy Book S is one of the very first laptops to feature the chip, showing an entry-level laptop performance while flaunting a battery life superior to the majority of modern notebooks.

This means the Surface Neo will likely have a performance more akin to a tablet than a performance-focused laptop, so don’t expect to do any serious gaming or creative work here. This is primary a device for web browsing, video streaming and applications, although it’s very much possible Microsoft could pitch this as the ideal device for Xbox’s Game Pass via xCloud.

In terms of software, the device was intended to run on Windows 10X but that has since been cancelled. Windows 11 is set to launch very soon, so it’s possible that Microsoft has ensured the new operating system will support the dual-screen design.

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