Microsoft released two new computers for 2020 recently, the Surface Laptop Go and Surface Pro X.
The Surface Laptop Go is a very affordable spin on Microsoft’s line of laptops that starts at $550 with lower-end specs, including a 12.4-inch touchscreen 3:2 aspect ratio display at a 1536×1024 resolution. The base model comes with a 10th gen i5 processor, 4GB memory and 64GB storage. You can pay more to upgrade but this setup is more interesting at that price point, especially with the more premium build and colours. This option provides amazing value for students – think Chromebook but with the full Windows experience, compatible with pretty well any software you throw at it.
The Surface Pro X (2020) is equally interesting but for different reasons. It is the sequel of Microsoft’s Arm-based Windows tablet. In a nutshell, Arm processors are designed by Arm Holdings, Ltd., and then the designs of the components of those processors are sold to others to build. These designs are created to be mixed and matched in various configurations, depending on the needs of its buyers. For example, the Apple A12Z “Bionic” produced by Apple used a design licensed by Arm Holdings. Most Android devices running Qualcomm’s latest processors are using some component of Arm. In Microsoft’s case, the new Surface Pro X is powered by two custom chipsets, the Microsoft SQ 1 from last year and the new SQ 2, made by Qualcomm. This allows it to be the thinnest Surface Pro ever made with its distinctive kickstand, while also having very respectable computing power.
Other specs also rival most laptops today and the best bang for your buck is the $1500 256GB version that comes with the Microsoft SQ 2 for the extra processing power. It has 16GB of LPDDR4x memory, a 5MP 1080p front camera, 10MP back camera capable of 4K60 video recording and stereo speakers with Dolby Audio.
These are two very interesting options from Microsoft but at the same time, other companies like Dell, Asus, Razer and of course Apple, are all stacked with top-of-the-line specs and features. Competition is always welcome from a consumer’s perspective! Stay tuned for the latest information on other great laptops by following us on social!
Virtual reality technology is paving its way into our future. In fact many would argue that it is already among us and strong. The hype for this technology was arguably introduced by two companies that should come of no surprise; Google and Microsoft. The first big introduction of Google’s launch into this technology was in June 2014 during Google I/O where they revealed Google Cardboard. At first glance, I thought it was a joke… It was a piece of cardboard! As they started explaining the use of it and how cheap it was to obtain one of these functional pieces of cardboard, I became intrigued.
However, Google Cardboard isn’t the only thing hyping virtual reality these days. Microsoft announced the HoloLens in early 2015 and when I first saw it, my eyes were wide open. Microsoft showed videos of using the HoloLens to imitate “beaming” a television screen on any flat surface that you have a clear vision of! It showed capabilities that we thought were only found in sci-fi movies such as manipulating 3D prototypes in the middle of your living room and then printing them via 3d printer to show colleagues and investors! Finally, it brings a whole new meaning to mobile computing by being able to have a full-fledged Windows 10 computer available to you on any flat surface!
Some of the most incredible demos at CES this year include the ability to detect where on the screen you spend the most time looking. Microsoft calls this “gaze-data” and can be used in areas of market research to observe what things consumers pay most attention to in VR advertisements. I imagine it would be very useful in research studies to determine biases inferred from what/who someone pays more attention to or notices first.
Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t think VR will replace any of the tools and technology we have today but it will definitely enhance our experience with computing and it promises to provide very useful tools for design and development. I look forward to the near future of VR and how it will incorporate itself into our everyday lives. Will it become mainstream or will it be another one of those “smart-gadgets”?