Lockdown hasn't stopped Microsoft from releasing some of its new kit at least – the Washington-based tech giant today announced the Surface Go 2 and the Surface Book 3.
The Surface Go 2 is Microsoft's entry-level computer, and faithfully sticks to the playbook used by its predecessor. It's primarily aimed at those who need a machine for basic browsing and productivity tasks, as well as education and business users.
There are two CPU options – the Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y or eighth-generation Intel Core m3 processors, which Microsoft says offers 64 per cent faster performance than its predecessor.
Redmond has left the base RAM and ROM configurations the same, however, with the cheapest model packing 4GB of memory, and 64GB of slow eMMC storage. Other configurations are available which include 8GB RAM and an 128GB SSD.
The physical dimensions of the Surface Go 2 are unchanged from its predecessor, allowing backwards compatibility with previous accessories and peripherals. However, the screen is 0.5 inches larger than before, thanks to smaller bezels found on the latest model.
Perfectly timed for the current quarantine conditions, the Surface Go 2 now packs dual stereo microphones, as well as a new 5MP front-facing camera sensor. There's also a solitary 8MP camera on the rear of the device, which comes with an app designed for scanning documents and whiteboards.
Microsoft will release the Surface Go on 12 May, with a price tag of £399 in the UK and $399 in the US. This doesn't include the keyboard cover, which is sold separately.
Surface Book 3
At the top end of Microsoft's computer lineup is the venerable Surface Book 3, announced today, which has been updated to include 10th-generation Intel Core processors as well as new graphics card options.
While the basic 13.5-inch model ships with Intel's integrated Iris Plus graphics, punters have the choice to upgrade to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, which is better suited to playing the latest AAA titles. The 15-inch model comes with an Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti, but can be configured with a Quadro RTX 3000, which is better suited for GPU-accelerated computational tasks like constructing neural networks.
On the RAM front, the Surface Book 3 can be built with up to 32GB of memory. Compare that to its predecessor, which had a limit of 16GB. That's a sensible move on Microsoft's part, given that this machine is aimed at professionals in addition to cashed-up gamers. If you plan on running multiple virtual machines concurrently, you'll need as much RAM as you can possibly get your hands on.
I/O speeds also see a welcome bump, thanks to the option of M.2 2280 storage, in both 1TB and 2TB configurations. Meanwhile, connectivity comes in the form of two old-school USB-A ports, a solitary USB-C port and a proprietary Surface Connect port. Full specs are here.
The Surface Book 3 is available in the US and Canada from today with a starting price of $1,599. It'll hit Britain's shores on 5 June, where pricing starts at £1,599. ®
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