As you might already know, Neo means ‘new’ (being derived from Greek), and this name is undoubtedly Microsoft’s way of exhibiting to us just how fresh and groundbreaking the Surface Neo is.
Though let’s face it, when first hearing the name, nobody thinks of Greece, and instead everybody thinks of The Matrix. And of course, that imparts the device with an instant spoonful of ‘cool’, as it were.
The Surface Neo is a completely new Surface which is basically two tablets hinged together resembling a book, featuring a new spin on Microsoft’s operating system, Windows 10X, that is created and optimized for dual-screen devices. And that tight integration of hardware and software permits for some neat tricks.
So let’s delve deeper into all this fresh information we’ve just discovered about Microsoft’s Surface Neo.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The new dual-screen Surface device
- When is it out? Holiday 2020
- What will it cost? We don’t know at this point
Surface Neo release date
Surface Neo is still quite a ways away, with a release anticipated to land when the holiday season in 2020 rolls around, assuming there’s no slippage of course.
Surface Neo price
It’s still much too early for Microsoft to be discussing the price, and we haven’t learned just how much damage Surface Neo might do to your bank account just yet.
Surface Neo specs
At the press event where Surface Neo was originally introduced, Microsoft explained its vision as creating something which is supremely versatile. A product which would be the “next category” of device, and would deliver the “ultimate in mobile productivity”, as Panos Panay enthused.
To put it very simply, it’s two 9-inch tablets hinged together into a dual-screen machine so it resembles a book (similar to the Microsoft Courier concept the company abandoned a decade ago). The Surface Neo’s 360-degree hinge lets it be flipped right back, or used in tent mode.
Powering this dual-screen machine is an all-new Intel Lakefield processor, styled as a hybrid chip and incorporating an 11th Generation Intel graphics solution. The CPU has a reduced silicon footprint, and is half the size of a regular PCB.
The tablets are fitted with Gorilla Grass, being 5.6mm thin and weighing 655g. There is a pen that magnetically attaches to the product, and a small keyboard which magnetically seals to the Surface Neo too, and can be placed on top of the lower screen (being just over half the width of the screen) to be typed on in a laptop-like fashion. The keyboard and pen charge up automatically, as well.
When the keyboard is sat on top of the display, the device recognizes this, and conjures up the ‘Wonder Bar’ on the section of the screen visible above the keyboard, providing you with Touch Bar-like functionality with access to emoji, a trackpad, and the ability to ink.
The hardware is paired quite closely with Microsoft’s new OS, Windows 10X, which as stated above has been purposely designed for dual-screen devices just like this new Surface. Surface Neo allows the user to benefit from actions like flowing applications across both screens to get a larger working area. Or if you have, for example, Outlook open on one screen, and you press on a link in an email, the linked website can open directly opposite on the other screen.
Versatility is the key here, of course, with more than welcome dollops of user-friendliness and convenience ostensibly baked into the bargain.
Microsoft obviously has high hopes for dual-screen hardware, because at the same time as unveiling Surface Neo, the company also introduced its Surface Duo – yes, the Surface Phone by another name, a foldable dual-screen device with 5.6-inch displays which has been long anticipated by many people.