Microsoft’s October 6 event in New York City has ended, with several expected announcements and a few surprises. You can stream the full event at Microsoft’s site. New Lumia phones, Surfaces, the HoloLens, and even a revamped Microsoft Band made an appearance. A full stream of tweets is available at the hashtag #Windows10Devices, including a few from the DT crew at the event.
Below, we’ve got a handy list of all the devices and software announced at the event:
Click on a link to jump to a topic:
The Lumia 950 and 950XL were both announced at the event. These are Microsoft’s two new high-end smartphones to compete with the iPhone and flagship Android devices like the Galaxy S6. The Lumia 950 sports a 5.2-inch display with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 808 processor, while the Lumia 950 XL exceeds those specs with a 5.7-inch display and top-of-the-line Snapdragon 810 processor.
Both smartphones feature an impressive 20-megapixel triple-LED flash camera, equipped with optical image stabilization and a dedicated camera shutter button. Microsoft has also added a USB Type-C connector to both devices for fast charging and data transfer. It showed some brief demos of the two Lumia smartphones working like PCs, capable of taking in a range of file formats and using them on the device.
Microsoft also announced a much cheaper Lumia 550 with a quad-core processor, starting at about $170.
Microsoft updated us on HoloLens, it’s “mixed reality” device that understands the parameters of a room and can show artificial images inside of it. The new demo, called Project X-Ray, is an artificial game where you fend off a robot invasion. HoloLens will create large dents in your room, where robots will send minions to attack. The player is able to fend these minions off with a variety of laser weapons.
Even though it would be a fun game, the demo appears to show what is possible on HoloLens, for third-parties to get involved. The HoloLens developer kit will be available later this year, and Microsoft is accepting applications today. The device is already being used by NASA, AutoDesk, and a few other major companies working in healthcare, video games, and engineering.
Perhaps the most obvious announcement of the event, Microsoft revealed the Surface Pro 4.
The company’s premium hybrid tablet-PC is definitely doing better than the cheaper Surface, which did not see an update at the event. Microsoft is adding a lot of power to the Surface Pro 4, starting with the 12.3-inch 2,763 x 1,824 pixel display. Inside, Intel Skylake processors range from Core m3 all the way up to Core i7, with up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of flash storage. Microsoft claims the Surface Pro 4 is 50 percent faster than the MacBook Air, but that will all depend on the configuration.
A new pen has also been added to the Surface Pro 4, capable of sensing 1,024 pressure levels. It comes with an eraser, which lets you remove anything simply by turning the pen upside down. Microsoft claims the pen will work even better thanks to a new PixelSense hardware/software configuration, for impressive accuracy and responsive touch.
Microsoft is adding a new keyboard cover for the Surface Pro 4 as well, which features an integrated backlight and redesigned scissor keys.
Microsoft announced its first laptop, a 13.3-inch all-metal masterpiece that looks to compete with the MacBook Pro and other premium laptops. It was the most unexpected announcement at the event, with no prior leaks hinting at a laptop in the works.
Underneath the metal shell, an Intel Core i5 processor (i7 optional), Nvidia GeForce GPU and GDDR5 RAM keep the laptop running. Microsoft showed off the capabilities of the Surface Book in a few demos, highlighting the laptop’s day-to-day use for professionals, games, and creative users.
The Surface Book has a special metallic hinge that connects to the screen, which can curve 180-degrees. It will feature the same pen added to the Surface Pro 4 and PixelSense will be added to offer higher accuracy. Microsoft also boasts that this device will be capable of running for 12 hours, two hours more than the MacBook Pro.
Microsoft’s first wearable was rich in sensors but ugly and comfortable to wear, the Microsoft Band (2015) has an improved design, thanks to curved durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It also adds onto the already impressive amount of health features, with VO2 monitoring and a barometer for tracking elevation during treks.
Virtual assistant Cortana has also been added to the Microsoft Band (2015), allowing you to call for a cab, check notifications, and instantly look at health information through voice. Apps like Uber, Facebook, and Subway will integrate with the wearable, letting you pay on the wearable as well.
- Pre-order your Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE for always-on internet
- Five years on, Microsoft’s Surface has made your PC better
- Microsoft continues its assault on Chromebooks with affordable PCs
- Microsoft and Xiaomi team up to produce smart speakers, laptops, and more
- Battle of the high-end laptops: HP Spectre x360 vs. Microsoft Surface Book 2