The renders themselves don’t appear to share anything new, although they’re a friendly reminder that offering an Android device with Google apps also means agreeing to the search giant’s policies, including the presence of a Google search bar on one of the default home screens.
The Duo might not be as expensive as you’d expect. While the two 5.6-inch AMOLED screens are clearly its highlights, the new Surface might include modest hardware like a 2019-era Snapdragon 855, 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. You’d also get just one 11-megapixel camera for video chats and selfies. As Microsoft has hinted for a while, the Duo could really be focused on the software — it would be more about multitasking for work than competing with the latest high-end phones.
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While Microsoft has scheduled the Surface Duo to launch at the end of the year, recent rumors have it tipped for a launch in the summer. And 9to5Google reported that the new listings mean the Surface Duo could soon release in the US, and such listings regularly appear just ahead of electronic device launches.
If it does indeed launch this summer, the Surface Duo will bring a rather odd dual-screen foldable device to the market. Microsoft hasn’t called it a phone, despite preview videos showing it can accept calls and it will be running on a modified version of Android.
Microsoft seems to envision it as a form of companion device for Windows 10 laptops and PCs. It’s heavily modified version of Android has been designed to deliver a pseudo mobile Windows 10 dual-screen experience, with a whole slew of Microsoft productivity apps shown in videos and images of the Surface Duo.
Microsoft does have Windows 10X in the works, which is a version of Windows 10 that’s being rejigged to work on dual-screen devices. But that’ll be the operating system to underpin the Surface Neo, a device that’s basically a bigger Surface Duo running Windows natively with an Intel processor; the Surface Duo is expected to use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8-series chip.
Unlike the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Fold 2, the Surface Duo will not have a foldable display but will instead use two separate screens connected together by a slim neat-looking hinge. That should make it a lot more durable than phones with foldable screens have been so far.
Other specs and features have yet to be revealed. But the Surface Duo will have a selfie camera that can be effectively swiveled using the hinge to point the camera away from the user. And a new slim Surface Pen will also feature for people who want more precise note-taking and doodling on phone screens.
With the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Pixel 4a and iPhone 12 set to launch in the coming months, the Surface Duo will have a lot of competition for attention. But it’s quite bit different from those devices, so it could stand on its own. We just hope Microsoft has nailed the software experience to make such a foldable device feel like a worthy purchase.
Microsoft’s mini Surface returns with a bigger screen and more power. The keyboard and Surface Pen are still not included (and oddly, it runs “Windows 10 in S Mode”) but the tablet is still a welcome addition to Microsoft’s Surface lineup in 2020.
And they have one week to decide — the new policy goes into effect May 13th.
The current situation has put a lot of people and companies in difficult straits, but sticking customers with a brand new fee without allowing enough time to feasibly switch to another platform is pretty low. It’s definitely something to think about the next time you’re deciding on a smart light bulb or speaker.
Microsoft’s new Surface lineup
Some items are available as early as May 12th.
Microsoft has overhauled its Surface lineup, with two new laptop/tablet combos, new headphones and earbuds, a $260 USB-C desktop dock and even some new keyboard bundles. The Surface Book 3 is the most high-profile device, but the design hasn’t changed noticeably from its last iteration. Inside, however, it’s packing the more powerful 10th-generation Intel Core CPUs along with NVIDIA graphics. The bad news: It’s limited to quad-core CPUs while competitors from Apple and Dell have the option for six-core chips — although, they have to live without its sweet detachable keyboard.
The Surface Go 2 tablet is the same size as its predecessor — your old keyboard case or Type Cover will still work — but smaller bezels give it more screen space this time around, and of course, the internals have had a refresh as well. Prices start at $399, with optional add-ons like LTE or an Intel Core M CPU available for more money.
If you’re into audio then check out the new earbuds and headphones. Microsoft’s new Surface Earbuds have a… distinctive look and promise all-day battery life for $199. Meanwhile, the Surface Headphones 2 have a design that’s similar to the original model, but with improved noise cancellation and battery life for a lower starting price of $249. Continue reading.
Ring’s new entry-level doorbell offers 1080p video and custom motion zones
The $100 doorbell launches June 3rd
Six years after the original Ring video doorbell debuted, the company is offering a revamped model. Video quality has improved to 1080p from 720p, night vision is better and owners can choose privacy zones to exclude from video recording. Also, in addition to using hardwired power, there are options to run it off a battery or even a $50 solar charger add-on. Continue reading.
The Arc has dedicated center, left and right channels, along with surround left and right and two upwards-firing speakers for height. Sure, plenty of soundbars support Atmos at this point, but Sonos is doing something interesting with how the Arc responds to different audio formats. For example, if you’re watching a movie that doesn’t support Atmos, the Arc will adapt and use the upwards-firing speakers to improve bass performance.
The Arc will cost $799 when it goes on sale June 10th — that’s $100 more than the Playbar it replaces, but it has enough upgrades to explain the difference.
The Switch has now sold more than the N64 and GameCube combined
‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ has already sold 11.77 million copies.
Nintendo sold 3.29 million Switch consoles in the first three months of the year, bringing lifetime sales to 55.77 million. That’s more than the combined lifetime sales of the Nintendo 64 and GameCube, which sold 32.93 million and 21.74 million, respectively. It’s also beyond the SNES — an impressive milestone eclipsed over the holidays — and 6.14 million behind the NES.
When it comes to games, the company released Animal Crossing: New Horizons last quarter, which may be the perfect lockdown distraction from the coronavirus pandemic. The Switch exclusive came out on March 20th — only 10 days before the end of the quarter — and sales already approached 12 million. That’s more than a million copies sold each day. Continue reading.