The most important announcements made at Microsoft’s Surface event

Microsoft's Surface event

Microsoft has finished promoting its new Surface Laptop 5, Surface Pro 9, and Surface Studio 2 Plus at its 2022 Surface event. A Designer app powered by Dall-E 2 was among the new accessories and software that the company debuted.

If you missed the headline announcements from today’s live event, you can read about them here. Additionally, we’ve had a chance to examine all three devices firsthand, which you can do on our website.

The Surface Laptop 5 only supports Intel.

On October 25, the Surface Laptop 5 will go on sale for as little as $999. The Surface Laptop 4, its predecessor, had a similar starting price. The AMD chip inside the Laptop 4—which was specially designed for the Surface line—played a significant role in its excellent performance. On many of our performance benchmarks, the AMD model we were provided for review outperformed Intel’s top chips. Additionally, it offered some of the best battery life that year that we had seen from a laptop.

Microsoft has removed the AMD option for the Laptop 5 in a consequently disappointing turn of events. In contrast to the Laptop 4, which offered AMD and Intel models, the Laptop 5 only offers Core i5 and Core i7 options.

The Surface Laptop 5 has undergone two additional notable modifications. A green color option is now available (on “selected models only,” according to Microsoft). Additionally, the device now supports Thunderbolt 4, which is something you typically expect from Intel models at the $1,000 price point.

Other than that, Laptop 5 resembles Laptop 4 in terms of appearance and style. It will support Dolby Atmos 3D spatial processing and be available in 13.5-inch and 15-inch sizes (both with a 3:2 screen).

The colors are fancy on the Surface Pro 9.

The detachable, kickstand-equipped Surface Pro 9 will be available starting on October 25th, just like the more conventional Surface Laptop 5. Arm models will start at $1,299, while Intel models will start at $999.

The keyboard cover was previously the primary means of customization for the Surface Pro line. That typically comes in a variety of colors, but the tablet itself has stayed the same dull grey color. The aluminum itself now comes in a variety of colors, allowing you to really commit to your chosen shade this year.

Options include platinum, sapphire, graphite, and forest. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Surface line, Microsoft has also collaborated with the design studio Liberty to produce an SKU with a limited-edition floral design.

The Surface Pro 9 will offer both an Intel and an Arm option, which is the other major development. SQ3 chips from Qualcomm and Microsoft will power Arm models. A new neural processing unit and 5G support are just two of the SQ3’s exclusive extra features. The latter will make it possible for features like portrait blur and video backgrounds, among other AI tasks, to be handled externally by the Pro’s CPU and GPU. This device, according to Microsoft, can perform more than 15 trillion calculations per second.

The Pro 9 has a 13-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate and stylus support, just like the Pro 8.

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There are more ports on the Surface Studio 2 Plus.

Microsoft recently updated the Surface Studio 2. (Remember? That 28-inch PC from 2018 is it. Except for the addition of three new Thunderbolt 4 ports on the back, it is virtually identical. I’ll take it, of course.

The interior chips have also undergone modernization. The 2 Plus is powered by RTX 3060 GPUs from Nvidia and 11th Gen Core H-series processors from Intel. According to Microsoft, the chips will result in “up to 50% faster” performance.

If this gadget sounds appealing to you, you should start setting aside money because it costs $4,299.99.

Microsoft and Apple collaborate on TV, photos, and music.

At the Surface event, Microsoft announced some updated and new Apple integrations in addition to its attention to Android and its apps. The Xbox platform is now home to the first Apple Music app, and preview versions of the dedicated Apple TV Plus and Apple Music apps for Windows will be released next year.

With the new iCloud Photos integration for the default Photos app that keeps your photos synced up, Windows is also becoming simpler to use for iPhone owners. Installing Apple’s most recent iCloud Windows app is all Windows users need to do to take advantage of this integration.

The launch date for Microsoft’s adaptive accessories has been announced.

The Adaptive Accessories are intended to address common problems that can prevent people from getting the most out of their PC, especially if they have trouble using a conventional mouse and keyboard. They were first introduced in May. Microsoft now claims that they will be for sale on October 25th, but they haven’t given us any information on prices.

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AI in Microsoft Designer creates art

The Microsoft 365 software now includes a brand-new graphic design tool called Microsoft Designer. It is driven by the text-to-image creation tool Dall-E 2 from OpenAI.

Dall-E 2 has been referred to as “an image search tool for pictures that don’t exist” by Verge reporter Adi Robertson in the past. An artist can describe an image or graphic they want to use, and the AI can create the image, as shown in the GIF above. Additionally, you can instruct Dall-E 2 to combine two images or edit only a portion of another.

Get free web preview access right away if you’re interested in trying out Microsoft Designer. The designer will have a free version once it is ready to launch, with premium features only accessible to Microsoft 365 subscribers.

Additionally, Designer will be integrated into Microsoft Edge, where it will, in Microsoft’s words, “deliver AI-powered design suggestions to visually enhance social media posts.”

Microsoft’s latest Teams add-ons

Many people might value some new hardware created for offices using Microsoft Teams in a hybrid workplace, even though it is less fashionable than the Surface Studio 2 Plus. Along with the dual front-facing microphones, Teams button, and mute button, the pill-shaped Audio Dock is an all-in-one speakerphone solution with a 60W passthrough PC charger and four different ports (HDMI, USB-A, and two USB-C). The second item is a brand-new Presenter Plus handheld remote control, which works with Teams to make giving presentations more comfortable whether you’re streaming them or doing them in person. There is no cost or release date available for either one.

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