Now that nearly everyone is stuck at home due to the current health crisis, we might as well think of ways to spruce up the home office. Microsoft offers some of the best and most impressively designed devices in the market, ranging from 2-in-1 laptops to noise-canceling headphones. If you need a powerful yet portable desktop replacement, the Surface Go, Surface Pro 7, and Surface Book 2 should be at the top of your list as they’re among the best hybrid machines we’ve ever tested. Perhaps you would like to take on a new hobby, like drawing? The Surface Slim Pen could help unleash the artist within you, and it’s also excellent for note-taking. And if you need a pair of headphones for your next meeting or just want to immerse yourself in music minus ambient noise, the Surface Headphones would be a wonderful addition. Save as much as $300 when you get them at Adorama and Best Buy today.
— $107, was $130
Microsoft’s Surface Slim Pen lets you turn your Surface device into a powerful tool for drawing, making it a must-have accessory for digital artists and other creative professionals. It is a redesign of the classic Surface Pen, now featuring a flat side to help it fit into a cradle, like the one on the top bezel of the Microsoft Surface Pro X, and now includes wireless charging and an integrated rechargeable battery. Right now, it’s on sale at Adorama for $107 instead of $130 – a cool $23 off.
The Surface Slim Pen features Microsoft’s N-trig tech, which makes it incredibly accurate. Together with the flat side and an easier-to-hold profile, creating the most pin-sharp of lines is now made easier. Shading in varying degrees of intensity has also become possible thanks to 4,096 pressure points, and we observed virtually no lag when using it.
This stylus comes with its own easy-to-carry charging base that connects via USB-C, so you’ll always be ready the moment inspiration strikes. Pairing is also a breeze. Turning it on will immediately let you connect to your Surface device right out of the box with Swift Pair. One click is all it takes to bring you to Whiteboard, a virtually infinite canvas for writing, brainstorming, lists, and sketching. Lastly, the “eraser” on the tail end quickly removes your mistakes, just like an actual graphite pencil eraser would.
The Microsoft Surface Slim Pen rocks the latest and greatest in stylus technology. Get it for $107 on Adorama today.
— $200, was $350
The market for noise-canceling headphones is getting steadily more crowded with offerings from nearly every big-name manufacturer, including Sony, Bose, and Panasonic. And that’s a good thing as these companies are rightfully stepping up their game, coming up with quality headphones that are available at every possible price point. Microsoft has entered the game a bit late via the Surface Headphones, but they’re a great pair to own with loads of cool features, including great noise-canceling and astonishingly simple controls. But the problem is they come with a hefty $350 price tag. Fortunately, we’ve found an excellent deal on them at Best Buy that lets you in on a massive $150 worth of savings. Get the Microsoft Surface Headphones today for $200.
The Surface Headphones fit right in with the rest of the Surface line. They’re undeniably gorgeous with clean and elegant lines, looking more understated than the Bose QC 35 II and Sony WH-1000xM3. Their round earcups are steeped in plush leather earpads, and there are only two physical buttons (power and microphone muting). The headphones come with a USB-C charging cable and 3.5mm cable for wired listening.
These headphones are probably the most intuitive that we’ve ever tested. Powering them up for the first time immediately lets them go into pairing mode, and you can easily name the device you want them to connect with, saving confusion when you have them paired to multiple devices. They also tell you approximately how many hours of listening time is left, rather than battery life percentage. Probably their most innovative feature is their touch controls. Each earcups’ exterior has a rounded dial that lets you easily adjust the volume and intensity of the noise-canceling. No need to reach for buttons, swipe on touchpads, or any other nonsense. They also have touchpads that are equally intuitive. A single tap plays or pauses your tunes, two skips songs, three plays the previous song, and a longer touch activates Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant.
These headphones’ noise-canceling prowess is pretty impressive. During our test, they were able to completely block out our office’s HVAC system and other normal office noises like people chattering and keyboards clicking. Sound quality is also quite outstanding, offering the kind of clear, precise sound that works great on any music genre. Battery life is good but far from great. With just 15 hours of battery life, that’s half what you’ll get from Sony’s 1000xM3 and about 5 hours less than Bose’s QuietComfort 35 II. At least you can continue listening by connecting the audio cable.
The Microsoft Surface Headphones are stunning and rank among the most intuitive headphones we’ve ever encountered. Get them for $200 on Best Buy today.
— $599, was $679
The Microsoft Surface Go is the smallest and most affordable among the Microsoft Surface brethren. It may be tiny, but it’s definitely a force to be reckoned with. Combining ultra-portability, remarkable sturdiness, and the impressive Type Cover keyboard, it’s the ideal travel buddy if you don’t want to dive into the Surface Pro’s larger screen (and slightly higher price tag). Basically a 10-inch tablet/laptop hybrid, it runs with a full version of Windows 10 and has an Intel Pentium Gold processor in its heart. Since this is a relatively new device, it comes with a single USB-C port, something lacking in the older Surface Pro.
It sports an aluminum unibody that’s reminiscent of the original iPad, with rounded corners but minus the ultra-slim bezels. Despite this outdated design choice, it looks positively regal, especially since its 10-inch display is drop-dead gorgeous. With a resolution of 1,800 x 1,200 pixels, everything looks sharp (although not as sharp as the Surface Pro, of course). The Surface Go’s display is bright, maxing out at 420 nits in our tests. That’s better than most laptops, especially at this price point, and is important since the Surface Go is likely to be used in brightly lit spaces, or even outdoors.
What’s more, this deal is bundled with the Signature Type Cover. This detachable keyboard doubles as a kickstand and offers a very comfortable typing experience, far better than that of the MacBook Pro, which is more expensive. However, the keyboard layout looks a little cramped, a clear compromise of its ultra-portability, so mistyping is bound to happen. But as with most keyboards, you’ll eventually get the hang of it. The touchpad also works smoothly and precisely.
Now a couple of drawbacks: Performance and battery life. The Surface Go’s Pentium 4415Y chip can handle most conventional applications like Microsoft Word or Photoshop Express just fine, but opening multiple browser tabs simultaneously made the device noticeably stutter. It also doesn’t have a lengthy battery life. During our video loop test, it was able to last just eight hours and an even shorter three hours in our more strenuous web browsing test. The Surface Pro 7 and Surface Book 2 fared far better.
The Microsoft Surface Go with the Signature Type Cover is currently on sale at Best Buy for $599 instead of $679 – a huge $80 off.
— $699, was $959
While there haven’t been many significant changes in the numerous iterations of the Microsoft Surface Pro line, we still wholeheartedly recommend the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. Of course, you’re better off getting the Surface Pro X with its tangible refinements both in hardware and performance, but it’s one of the most expensive machines in the market. What you get with the Surface Pro 7 is what we’ve already come to expect: A gorgeous display, top-notch build quality, updated processor performance, and outstanding battery life. And finally, we’ve got a USB Type-C port! This means less cables in general since the USB-C port can handle power delivery, video output, and data transfer at the same time.
As always, Microsoft made sure that the Surface Pro 7 looks terrific, if a tad outdated. Its aluminum chassis is sleek, stylish, and sexy, although the bezels still haven’t been cut down. They remain large and visible from outer space. Still, this is one stunning device that’s guaranteed to make heads turn.
You probably already know that the detachable Type Cover keyboard remains a mandatory purchase, and normally it’s sold separately. Because as a tablet alone, the Surface Pro 7 doesn’t make much sense. We’re happy to report that this deal comes bundled with it. The keyboard remains gratifying to use, with a layout that never looks cramped, keystroke that’s precise and snappy, and a touchpad that’s simply one of the best we’ve had the pleasure of gliding our fingers on. Another peripheral you might want to save up for is the Surface Pen, the best-in-class stylus with 4,096 levels of sensitivity and even a built-in eraser.
Nothing has changed when it comes to screen quality, and that’s a good thing. The Surface Pro 7’s 12.3-inch (2,736 x 1,824 pixels) screen is as stunning as the Surface Go’s and Surface Book 2’s – one of the best screens you can find on a 2-in-1 system. Furthermore, for a laptop of this size, the front-facing speakers can easily fill a room with music and provide adequate audio for watching movies.
Microsoft touts the Surface Pro 7 as a true laptop replacement, and it definitely has the processing power to back that up. Even this unit’s entry-level Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB RAM make it a multitasking beast, although we admit its G4-level Iris Plus graphics chipset doesn’t make it not much of a gaming machine.
Shockingly, the Surface Pro 7 did not inherit the best thing that has happened to the Surface Pro 6: Its stellar battery life. Although it was able to last a respectable eight and a half hours in our web browsing test, this is an hour shorter than its predecessor. You’ll definitely be able to squeeze out a full day of work with it. Just don’t expect to watch a Netflix movie or TV episode once you’re at home without reaching for the power cable.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 with the Surface Pro Type Cover is currently on sale on Best Buy for $699 instead of $959 – a huge $260 off.
— $1,699, was $1,999
When Microsoft unveiled the original Surface Book back in 2015, we all let out a collective gasp and marveled at this machine from the future. Watching the display tear off to become a usable tablet with active pen support felt like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. Now on its second iteration, the company did not dare change the Surface Book’s design for one simple reason: It’s just that good.
Available in 13.5- and 15-inch versions (this deal’s unit is the former), the Surface Book 2’s magnesium chassis is built like a tank. The only other machine that compares to its rock-solid build construction is Apple’s MacBook, although that device’s design isn’t nearly as daring or innovative. It’s also worth noting that the Surface Book 2’s main PC component, the tablet, is completely fanless, which results in a very serious case of coil whine. The amount of electronic buzzing, fritzing, and whirring can be quite maddening, so keep that in mind in case you decide to buy this. Oh, it also doesn’t offer much in terms of connectivity, with a serious lack of a Thunderbolt 3 port. For a $1,000 laptop, that’s going to give some buyers pause.
As expected, you’re getting a typically superb Surface display with this device. The Surface Book 2 retains the same 3,000 x 2,000 (267 PPI) Panasonic panel, resulting in high contrasts, intense luminosity, and vivid colors. Of course, like all Surface machines, it has a 3:2 aspect ratio that’s great for productivity (but with some video letterboxing). The same goes for the detachable keyboard, which has only been changed ever so slightly, retaining its predecessor’s crisp, precise action that’s consistent across all of the keys. The only complaint we’ve got is that it is a bit noisy. The touchpad is even better, with a beautiful glass surface and flawless support of the Windows Precision Touchpad protocol.
This Surface Book 2 runs on an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD, offering a huge boost in both performance and efficiency, especially compared to the Surface Go and Surface Pro 7. What’s more, Microsoft has incorporated a power slider into Windows 10 that has a real impact on performance. Choosing between “Recommended,” “Better Performance,” and “Best Performance” allows the Surface Book 2 to effectively sip on power at varying degrees while remaining lightning-fast, which results in outstanding battery life. On our web browsing test, it was able to last over 10 hours and a jawdropping 17 hours in our video loop test.
The 13.5-inch version of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 normally retails for a hefty $1,999, but take advantage of Best Buy’s whopping $300 discount and get it for $1,699.
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