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Microsoft has unveiled the $4,299 Surface desktop computer

Microsoft has unveiled the $4,299 Surface desktop computer
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CNN

Microsoft’s most expensive Surface device is about to get even more expensive.

At a press event Wednesday, Microsoft is set to unveil several Surface Pro tablets, Surface laptop models and a Surface Studio 2+ desktop computer, the last of which hasn’t been updated in years.

The new 28-inch Surface Studio 2+, an all-in-one desktop, now features an Intel Core H-35 processor, 50% faster CPU performance and an updated NVIDIA chip for faster graphics. The device has an updated display, camera, microphone and supports a digital pen for on-screen drawing. It has several ports, including USB with Thunderbolt 4, and the display can be split into four different apps at once for even more multitasking.

Surface Studio 2+ starts at $4,299 and $4,499 with Digitahe The previous Surface Studio 2 pen, released in 2018, received some criticism for its $3,499 starting price. Pricing Microsoft told CNN Business that this year’s price jump is attributable to several significant improvements, including: Along with the new processor, a 1 TB SSD hard drive for faster file transfers and an improved 1080p camera among other features.

Microsoft will kick off the day with announcements about the refreshed Surface product lineup Wednesday ignited the developer conference. The event comes as Microsoft Marks the tenth anniversary of the Surface line, which originally launched with a tablet to take on the iPad.

Like other tech companies that unveiled new products this fall, Microsoft is facing a tougher economic environment, including high inflation and fears of a recession, which could make it harder to convince customers to spend three or four figures to upgrade devices.

While the new Surface products don’t differ much in terms of design or screen size compared to previous iterations, the latest devices feature some upgrades, including new chipsets for better performance.

Microsoft showcased its flagship Surface Pro 9 tablet, again aimed at replacing laptops. The two-in-one device has a new color as well as an aluminum casing A built-in kickstand and a PixelSense display. Below the display is an HD camera, updated speakers and microphone, and a custom G6 chip. Microsoft says the chip helps power apps with digital ink, such as Ink Focus in Microsoft OneNote and the GoodNotes app for Windows 11, which are designed to feel like the user is writing with pen and paper.

The Surface Pro 9 also offers a choice of processors. The first option is a 12th Gen Intel Core processor built on Intel Evo Platform 4 with Thunderbolt 4 – a combination that promises 50% more performance, better multitasking and desktop productivity, faster data transfers and the ability to dock to multiple 4K displays. The second option is a Microsoft SQ3 processor powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon with 5G connectivity, up to 19 hours of battery and new AI features.

The Surface Pro 9 is available in four colors including Platinum, Graphite, Sapphire and Forest. It starts at $999.

Microsoft also introduced an update to its ultra-portable laptop, the Surface Laptop 5, which looks similar to its predecessor but with a processor update that may try to bring it closer to competing with Apple’s ARM-based chipsets for macOS laptops.

The Surface Laptop 5 runs on the Intel Evo platform and comes in two display sizes: 13.5 inches and 15 inches. It comes with updated Dolby Atmos 3D spatial speakers, a front-facing HD camera that automatically adjusts camera exposure in any light, and several new aluminum colors, such as Cool Metal, Sage and Alcantara. The company also says it promises a one-day battery life on a single charge and is 50% more powerful than its predecessor.

The Surface Laptop starts at $999 for the 13.5-inch version and $1299 for the 15-inch. Pre-orders for the Surface product begin Wednesday in select markets and begin hitting shelves later this month.

According to David McQueen, an analyst at ABI Research, Microsoft hardware devices account for between 3% and 5% of the tablet market. Instead, the bulk of its revenue comes from Microsoft OS across various device types and associated applications and cloud services.

“Microsoft is able to stay in the hardware sector because of the revenue generated from these services,” McQueen said. It’s an approach similar to Google, whose Pixel smartphone remains a niche product but serves as a way to highlight the company’s apps and OS.

On Wednesday, the company also announced a new Microsoft Designer app and Image Creator in Bing and Edge browsers to bring advanced graphic design to mainstream audiences. The platform relies heavily on a partnership with startup OpenAI and its AI-powered DALL-E 2 tool, which generates custom images using text prompts. DALL-E 2 is also coming to Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service.

According to Microsoft, brands are using DALL-E 2 for both advertising and product inspiration In a blog post, the company detailed how toy company Mattel invented the DALL-E 2 to show what a futuristic car could look like, by changing colors and typing “make it a convertible,” among other commands.

Experts in the AI ​​field worry that the open nature of these systems – which makes them adept at creating all kinds of images from noise – and the automated ability to generate images means they could automate bias on a massive scale. . Previous tests of OpenAI’s system, for example, showed that images typed “CEO” were all male and nearly all white.

Microsoft said it was taking the concerns seriously. Inappropriate text requests will be denied by Microsoft’s servers, according to the company, and users will eventually be banned for repeat offenses.

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