#Microsoft delivered on its promise of new devices today, surprising and delighting the assembled masses with a wide range of new hardware announcements. The leaks and rumours of the past few weeks and months perhaps lessened some of the excitement but Microsoft sure made up for that.
Kicking the event off Microsoft revealed that #HoloLens Developer Kits will be available in Q1 of 2016 and will cost $3000. It’s worth noting that this doesn’t mean that this will be the cost of the consumer versions of the device, hopefully they’ll be much cheaper.
We were then told about the #MicrosoftBand 2 which now features a more ergonomic design, a barometer to measure altitude and Gorilla Glass 3, answering the biggest complaints users had with the 1st version. The new Band goes on sale later this month, will cost £199.99 and can already be pre-order in some markets.
Microsoft then announced three new Lumias, the 950, 950 XL and 550. The 950s are the two new flagships and are pretty much what we expected although they come with liquid cooling inside to keep the hexa-core and octa-core processors cool. Microsoft showed how the devices can be use as a PC through the Continuum feature. The #Lumia 950 and 950 XL are going on sale in a few weeks’ time and are expected to cost £450, £550 respectively. The Lumia 550 is a much lower spec’ed device and will go on sale in December around £100.
But, it was with the #Surface devices that Microsoft really impressed. First it announced the much anticipated #SurfacePro4 showing how the device is thinner and lighter than the Pro 3 and even has a bigger screen without increasing the device size. There was a good level of improvements within the device to keep the new competition from Apple and Google at bay.
Whilst the Surface Pro 3 might be the tablet that can replace your laptop Microsoft is keen to shake up the laptop market by creating the “ultimate laptop”. That’s what Microsoft is calling its new device the, Surface Book. The laptop is packed full of impressive components giving it 12 hours of battery and twice the performance of the MacBook Pro.
However, the real boon with the #SurfaceBook is that the screen is detachable; it basically becomes a Surface Pro, albeit without the kickstand. Most of the innards of the Surface Book are within the screen so it can come away and still be very useful, while in the base can be found more batteries and the graphics processor. This makes the Surface Book extremely versatile offering a very powerful laptop experience and a flexible tablet experience. This really is an impressive device and the way Microsoft revealed the detachable keyboard was very well orchestrated; it felt less like Surface Book and more like Surface Boom.
It’s not clear when the Surface Book will be available in the UK but in the US it starts at $1499. The Surface Pro 4 starts at £749 and should be available for pre-order soon.
There were a few other announcements from the event including that there will soon be more apps from notable companies such as Facebook and Instagram apps. Microsoft also announced a new Surface Docking Station that will work with all Surface devices to offer additional ports.
What do you think to today’s announcement? Or, should I ask how many devices have you already pre-ordered?