Forget Stella you guys, Microsoft has got its groove back.
Let’s get some of the smaller stuff out of the way. Firstly, new Xbox One limited edition consoles are on the way. If you’ve been waiting to dive into the current gen or are looking to switch or fill out your entertainment cabinet, the consoles featuring the Xbox’s biggest titles might be a good time to make a move. Limited edition consoles are on the way for Halo 5: Guardians, Forza, Tomb Raider, and Gears of War.
That’s not all in gaming, though, today Microsoft demoed its HoloLens technology as it pertains to gaming, calling it mixed reality. This allows developers to dynamically evaluate the room the game is taking place in, whether it’s your living room or an arena. The dev kit will be available in Q1 of 2016 for $3,000.
Not to be left behind in wearables, Microsoft updated its Band today. The Band 2 is an incremental update that makes many user requested changes like a more comfortable strap, and the addition of a barometer for elevation tracking. Of course, it also supports notifications and the like, but obviously works best within the Microsoft ecosystem. The Band comes in at $249.
The 950 starts at $549 and sports:
- 5.2-inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel display (565 ppi)
- Hexacore Snapdragon 808
- 3000 mAh
The XL starts at $649 and is rocking:
- 5.7-inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel display (515 ppi)
- Octacore Snapdragon 810
- 3340 mAh
They both have:
- 32GB internal, expandable up to 2TB
- 20 MP back 5 MP front
- USB type C
- Dedicated camera button(!)
- Liquid cooling
- Ambient AMOLED displays
Of course, they both have some spectacular pedigrees when it comes to camera quality so I’m excited to see if their reputation holds up. They also can be used as full on desktop machines with Continuum hooked up through the Display Dock, which gives you access to USB ports, HDMI, and Displayport out. If you’re looking for something on the lower end, the Lumia 550 might be more your speed, making the appropriate compromises to come in at just $139.
The Surface Pro 4 is also here. I loved the 3, so I can’t wait to see how the 4 stacks up. The Surface Pro 4 comes with the new Type Cover, which has a much improved keyboard, trackpad, and fingerprint sensor. The screen features what the Microsoft team calls PixelSense, which makes for the realest-looking image you can expect on a portable device. We’ll have to see if that lives up to the claims.
Under the hood, the Pro 4 is rocking the latest gen Intel processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 1 TB of storage. The Pro 4 also comes with the brand new redesigned Pen that Microsoft says is its best yet, with 1024 levels of pressure, a full year of battery life, and a new eraser on the back end. It’s a great looking device and seems like the best option for someone looking for a productivity device. The Surface Pro 4 starts at $899 and is available for preorder Oct. 7, and ships Oct. 26.
Finally, the Surface Book is Microsoft’s first laptop built from the ground up. It’s truly the company’s first flagship computer. The Book is intended to be the best, most powerful portable computer you can buy that just so happens to have a removable display. The 267ppi 13.5-inch PixelSense screen is powered by an NVIDIA GeForce GPU, sports high speed GDDR5 memory, and 12 hour battery life. If you decide you need to work on a tablet, you just pop it right out, and the extra battery and processing power just stays in the base.
This is a really exciting time for portables. I can’t wait to try out editing a whole video on the Surface Book; Microsoft says it’s a machine powerful enough to work and play on, without sacrificing the convenience and innovation afforded by a tablet. The Surface Book starts at $1,499, and preorders are available Oct 7., shipping Oct. 26.