Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled a handful of new Surface devices, including a pair of unexpected show-stoppers that came in the form of the Surface Neo and Surface Duo, a pair of dual-display devices revealed by Chief Product Officer Panos Panay. “This is industry-pushing technology, and it’s technology pushing possibilities,” said Panay while revealing the gadgets.
The Surface Neo features a pair of 9-inch screens and a 360-degree hinge that allows you to fold it around completely or close it like a book. It’s sleek, silver, and looks like a shrunken Surface Book when closed. The hinge lets the Neo assume multiple positions, similar to other 360-degree laptops.
The Surface Neo also has additional accessories for those who don’t want an all-touch experience. A detachable magnetic Surface Pen and keyboard can be placed on either display when typing, and alter the layout of the display to fit multitasking niceties like minimized videos, your catalog of emoji, or a trackpad. The Neo is powered by an Intel processor, and runs the upcoming Windows 10X, Microsoft’s variant of its operating system made for dual-screen devices.
Perhaps even more surprising is the Surface Duo — and not only because it’s powered by Android as opposed to Microsoft’s Windows OS. It uses the same 360-degree hinge and dual-screen design as the Neo, but shrinks down the form factor, with a pair of 5.6-inch screens. Like the Neo, the Duo can run multiple apps at once, and can turn that second display into a touchscreen keyboard or gamepad. Thanks to the My Phone app, calls, messages, photos, and so on can sync with your Windows 10 PC, making it easy to work on your laptop while handling incoming messages or calls from your Duo.
The Surface Duo and Neo are both slated for release next year as Microsoft works with developers to create software for the devices. It’s too early to tell whether Microsoft’s adoption of Android for the upcoming Duo will end better than the company’s previous attempt with Windows Phone, but the adoption of Android could make the device more appealing to developers already familiar with the platform.
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