Microsoft unveils $4,299 Surface desktop computer

Microsoft’s most expensive Surface device will soon be even more expensive.

Microsoft will unveil several Surface Pro tablets and Surface Laptop models at a Wednesday press conference. The company also plans to launch a Surface Studio 2+ desktop PC, which is the first time that it has been updated in many years.

Surface Studio 2+ is a new all-in-one desktop that measures 28 inches. It features an Intel Core H-35 processor with 50% more CPU performance and an upgraded NVIDIA chip to provide faster graphics. It also features an updated display, cameras, and microphones, as well as a digital pen that allows for on-screen drawing. The device has multiple ports including Thunderbolt 4 and USB. It can also split the display into four apps simultaneously for more multitasking.

Surface Studio 2+ is priced at $4,299 and $4,499 when you add the digital pen. Surface Studio 2+, which was released in 2018, had a $3,499 price tag. This was criticized. Microsoft stated that the price increase this year is due to several improvements including a faster processor and a 1TB SSD hard drive for faster file transfer. Also, there are enhanced 1080p cameras.

Microsoft’s Ignite developer conference will begin Wednesday with announcements about the new Surface product line. It is expected that these announcements will be made during Microsoft’s three-day-long Ignite conference. Microsoft celebrates the tenth anniversary of its Surface line. It was originally launched with a tablet that could compete with the iPad.

Microsoft, like other tech companies, is facing a difficult economic environment. High inflation and fears about a recession are making it more difficult to convince customers to upgrade their devices by three to four figures.

The new Surface products don’t look much different from previous versions in terms of design and screen size, but the latest models have some improvements, including new chipsets that provide better performance.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 9 tablet was shown, which is aimed again at replacing the laptop. This two-in-1 device comes in aluminum with new colors and features a kickstand and PixelSense display. The display has an HD camera, new speakers, and microphones, as well as a custom-made G6 chip. Microsoft claimed that the chip powers apps using digital ink such as Ink Focus in Microsoft OneNote or the GoodNotes app on Windows 11. It is designed to feel like the user is writing on paper.

You can choose from two processors on the Surface Pro 9. First, the 12th Gen Intel Core processor is available on the Intel Evo platform 4 and Thunderbolt 4. This combination promises 50% better performance, faster data transfer, desktop productivity, multitasking, and greater performance. It can also dock to multiple 4K displays. A Microsoft SQ3 processor with Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G connectivity and up to 19 hours of battery life is available. It also includes new AI features and a Microsoft SQ3 processor.

Surface Pro 9 comes in four colors: graphite (platinum), sapphire (Saphire), and forest (forest). It costs $999.

Microsoft also released an update to Surface Laptop 5, its ultra-portable laptop. It looks almost identical to its predecessor but has a processor upgrade that may allow it to compete with Apple’s ARM-based chipsets in macOS laptops.

Surface Laptop 5 runs on the Intel Evo platform. It comes in two sizes, 13.5 inches, and 15 inches. The new Surface Laptop 5 features Dolby Atmos 3D spatial speaker technology, an updated front-facing HD camera that adjusts the camera exposure to any lighting conditions, and several new aluminum colors such as cool metal and sage. It also promises a one-day battery life and is 50% faster than its predecessor.

The Surface Laptop is priced at $999 for the 13.5-inch version and $1299 for the 15-inch model. Surface products will be available for pre-order in selected markets starting Wednesday. They will then hit shelves later in the month.

According to David McQueen of ABI Research, Microsoft hardware devices account for between 3% and 5% of the tablet market. Instead, Microsoft OS revenue is the largest source of revenue across all device types and associated apps and cloud services.

McQueen stated that Microsoft can remain in the hardware sector due to revenue from these services. This is similar to Google’s Pixel smartphone, which remains niche but allows the company to showcase its OS and apps.

The company also announced Wednesday a new Microsoft Designer app, Image Creator in Bing, and Edge browser to provide advanced graphic design to the mainstream. This platform is based heavily on OpenAI’s AI-powered DALL-2 tool. It generates custom images by using text prompts. DALL-2 will also be available in Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service.

According to Microsoft, DALL-2 is being used more frequently by brands for product ideas and advertising. The company shared how Mattel, a toy company, sought out Dall-E 2 to imagine future cars. This included changing colors and typing “make this a convertible,” among others.

Experts in AI have expressed concern that these systems are open-ended, which means they can generate all types of images from words. Their ability to automate image-making also means they could automate bias. For example, when you typed “CEO” into OpenAI’s system, images appeared to all be men, and almost all of them were white.

Microsoft stated that it takes these concerns seriously. According to Microsoft, inappropriate text requests will not be accepted by its servers and users will eventually be banned for repeat offenders.

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