Tech

Surface Duo, Surface Neo: Microsoft takes a shot at dual-screen design with its own spin

So, rumours were true. Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled its first-ever dual-screen devices, Surface Duo and Surface Neo. One of them can also make and receive calls, giving a smartphone-like functionality but Microsoft has avoided calling it a phone thus far. The smartphone, well sort of, will be Microsoft’s first after exiting the business almost three years ago. The dual-screen devices also have a foldable design but don’t really follow the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X design philosophy. Let’s take a closer look at the two new Microsoft devices.

Surface Duo

Microsoft Surface Duo comes with two screens with a physical hinge at the center for folding and unfolding. The device has two slim 5.6-inch screens that unfold to an 8.3-inch screen. The Surface Duo runs Android apps and leverages the iconic Surface design. The demo video shows users can use the two screens simultaneously. It also supports detachable keyboard which can also be used alongside the touchscreen of the secondary screen. It also supports Microsoft’s Stylus. The hinge allows users to fold and unfold like a book. The software optimisation allows users to use the two screens together and also leverage multi-tasking features. For instance, you can use the primary screen as the main display while the secondary as touchscreen navigation which can come handy for playing games. And yes, it also supports calling facility. Unlike Samsung Galaxy Fold, there’s no additional cover screen – the big difference between dual-screen Surface and foldable phones right now.  

Surface Neo

Surface Neo offers a larger screen experience with two 9-inch displays and 360-degree hinge at the center, like Surface Duo. The dual-screen device supports touch, pen, keyboard and runs on Windows. When you open Surface Neo, you get a full-size 13-inch device.

To power Surface Neo and probably forthcoming dual-screen devices from third-party OEMs, Microsoft has unveiled a new Windows 10X. The new version of Windows brings key advancements in the core technology of the operating system. Microsoft says it has optimised the software for flexible screen experience without compromising on the mobility of the device. The software will be available on dual-screen and foldable devices in the fall of 2020. Expect more and new kind of Windows 10x devices in the future from companies such as Lenovo, Asus, Dell and HP. These devices will be powered by Intel processors. Note that Windows 10x is not an OS upgrade but a custom version for new form factor.

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