By Sergejs Cuhrajs, Microsoft UK Developer Community Manager
Staying true to its name, the #Windows10devices event brought us a whole slew of new devices.
Not only did the Microsoft Band get a refresh, followed by two new Lumia flagships, but the long awaited successor to the Surface Pro 3 saw the limelight along with the very first laptop ever built by Microsoft. Oh, and we got more news on the HoloLens. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? So let’s get started…
Microsoft Band 2. From the outset, the new activity tracker looks like a great improvement. Not only has the design become sleeker, but it also comes with a Gorilla Glass 3 covered OLED display that curves nicely around the wrist. Just like its predecessor, it comes loaded with a staggering amount of sensors, and even has a barometer to measure elevation for those who do hiking, biking, or just climbing stairs. With Cortana integration, you won’t miss a workout.
Lumia 950 and 950 XL. We were also introduced to the two new Lumia flagships by the energetic Panos Panay. Both the large screened Lumia 950 XL and the more compact Lumia 950 feature incredibly powerful specs – Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, 32GB of storage, an all-new USB Type-C connector, and 20MP Zeiss optics cameras.
But what’s the point of all this power? What followed was a very cool Continuum demo with Brian Roper, who showed us Universal apps such as Mail and Word running (and smoothly Alt-tabbing) on a Windows 10-like interface. This basically turns the phone into a PC, with all the productivity advantages that come with that, while still giving you access to regular phone features.
Surface Pro 4 – the hotly anticipated new Surface tablet also made its debut at the conference (did anyone really expect otherwise?). It’s thinner, lighter, 30 percent faster than a Surface Pro 3, and comes with a 12.3″ screen that offers a staggering 267 PPI resolution – that is over 5 million pixels. Unsurprisingly, the Surface Pen also got an update, and now features 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity and a handy eraser. For those worrying about losing it, the new pen attaches magnetically to the side of the Surface Pro 4.
— Microsoft Developer (@msdevUK) October 6, 2015
Surface Book. The launch of a brand new Surface branded laptop got a lot of attention (and whoops). The specs are particularly drool worthy – underneath its seamless magnesium body ticks an Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, with a discrete Nvidia GeForce GPU with GDDR5 memory, all the while preserving a battery life of up to 12 hours!
— Richard Hay (@WinObs) October 6, 2015
— David Catuhe (@deltakosh) October 6, 2015
The only thing missing from that event was a mic drop at the end. #windows10devices
— Jenna Santana (@jennasantana) October 6, 2015
The first ever laptop built by Microsoft isn’t really just a laptop – its 13.5-inch screen can be easily removed from the backlit keyboard station, turning it a very powerful Windows tablet that fully supports the Surface Pen stylus. The whole detaching process is handled electronically with a touch of a button via the dynamic fulcrum hinge system – great kudos points to the engineers for pulling off this one.
It was only fitting to hear Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrapping up the event with “We now begin a new chapter of Windows 10.” Indeed – from the Band, Lumia phones and Surface, all of the freshly announced devices have become smarter, more powerful, and, ultimately, more useful to Windows 10 users. And while the event was simply bursting with new gadgets and temptations, it was really inspiring to see the level of enthusiasm and excitement from people following the live event.
What about you, what was your favourite #Windows10devices keynote moment, and which of the newly announced devices are you already putting on your shopping (or Christmas wish) list?