Microsoft teases new foldable phone and unveils AirPods rival

Microsoft Surface event 2019

Microsoft arguably needs that time to get developers up to speed, particularly on the Android side.

The device comprises two 9-inch screens separated by a hinge in the middle, allowing the Surface Neo to open up and offer a full-size 13-inch display. This design has the advantage of folding out both screens for productivity, multitasking etc, and then folding the device up and using it like a standard smartphone. Some of the use cases Microsoft demonstrates in the promo video below are spreading your whole home screen across both displays, keeping two different apps open on each screen for reference or multitasking (finally you can text somebody back without interrupting Netflix), or playing a racing game with the controls on the bottom and the main display on the top, DS-style. It has a removable keyboard and comes with a Surface Pen.

The Surface Neo is supposedly launching in about a year from now, to be available for the holiday shopping season in 2020.

We have no idea how much the device will cost, or what sort of hardware will be found inside, although there are suggestions that a Snapdragon 855 processor will be used. There are some other features that also need to be finalised, including the cameras.

Elsewhere, Microsoft revealed four major products due for release later this month, including an updated Surface Laptop 3, a Surface Pro 7 and the Surface Pro X, which are all said to feature greater performance and battery while being lighter and thinner. They are technologically less ambitious than foldable phones from Samsung and others, whose screens actually bend as the devices close. In a demo, Microsoft showed off how opening an app on one side of the screen, will automatically reflow it onto the second screen. While those are all products coming this year, the company also showed off its vision for next year's products in the form of the dual-screen Surface Neo and Surface Pro Duo.

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During the event, Microsoft's Chief Product Officer of Devices Panos Panay explained how the apps that run on Windows 10X are context-aware and seamlessly switch between the two screens according to the user's needs.

Surface Pro X, 13-inch: Windows on ARM using a new Microsoft SQ1 processor codesigned with Qualcomm pushes two teraflops of graphics processing power. The screens each have a diagonal span of 5.3 inches when closed.

USB Type-C is now present to enable compatibility with new high-speed peripherals, like docking stations or fast chargers, rather than just relying on Microsoft's proprietary connector. Microsoft worked closely with Intel and AMD to make it possible to charge the Laptop 3 up to 80% in less than an hour.

Surface Laptop 3 has a full 1.33mm key throw and a 20% larger glass trackpad that improves what was a pretty flat typing experience.

The two devices have two screens each connected to an elastic link and can be folded like a laptop. New this time around is the option of a 15-inch as well as a 13.5-inch version - prices start at $999 and $1,199 respectively. What do you all think of the new Surface hardware?

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