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  • - Back in 2009, all of the hype

  • was around Microsoft's super secret dual-screen device

  • that was codenamed Courier.

  • Now, Courier never came to be,

  • but 10 years later, it looks like Courier

  • might be coming back to life

  • in the form of a new device called Surface Neo.

  • (electronic music)

  • Surface Neo is a part of a bunch of new dual-screen

  • and even foldable devices

  • that are gonna be coming at the end of 2020.

  • And essentially, it puts two nine-inch displays together

  • inside what looks like a Moleskine Journal.

  • So the original Surface concept

  • that launched now seven years ago, the Surface RT,

  • was turning a tablet into a laptop.

  • And these new dual-screen devices take that way further,

  • with a smaller-package device that kinda morphs

  • into all these different modes.

  • We got an early look at a pre-production prototype here

  • but I wasn't allowed to interact with the software freely,

  • and I could only really touch a device

  • that wasn't powered on.

  • But I did get to see its many modes.

  • There's a reading mode which is basically like a book

  • where the screens are side-by-side together.

  • And then, there's a laptop mode and, yeah,

  • that feels like a laptop too.

  • You can slot it down, put a hardware keyboard on top,

  • or use the software keyboard that's included.

  • And then there's like presentation mode,

  • or you can just flip the whole screen around

  • and just use it as a regular tablet.

  • We've seen devices that have done this in the past.

  • We've seen it a lot with Windows 8.

  • We saw it in Lenovo's Yoga Book as well.

  • The real key element here is that Microsoft

  • has stepped up the software game.

  • And it's running Windows 10X on these devices.

  • So 10X isn't a completely new version of Windows

  • or anything like that.

  • It's not like Windows RT from the past

  • that restricted everything down

  • and didn't run your favorite apps.

  • 10X will run everything,

  • and it's running on an Intel Processor

  • inside these devices as well,

  • so that means your traditional desktop apps,

  • everything will work.

  • But the ones that will really shine are gonna be the ones

  • that highly optimize these dual-screen devices.

  • Now, Microsoft is obviously working with Office

  • and that's gonna be one of the first ones.

  • So you'll have your slide on the left, perhaps.

  • And a slide deck on the right.

  • But really, it's gonna take software developers

  • to create apps that are really highly optimized

  • for these dual-display devices,

  • to kind of make it make sense.

  • So one of the really interesting ways

  • that Microsoft is sort of separating this Windows 10X

  • from standard regular Windows 10

  • is something called the Wonder Bar.

  • Now this is like a small sort of touch panel,

  • basically like Apple's Touch Bar

  • that appears above the keyboard,

  • whether that's software or hardware.

  • And it'll basically give you access to things

  • like emojis and GIFs when you reply to emails.

  • And you'll even be able to take things

  • like YouTube videos or Netflix videos

  • and just sort of like pin them above your keyboard.

  • Other than that, it kind of looks like Windows 10.

  • The Start menu has changed though,

  • it sort of basically is an app launcher,

  • and it shows you all your recently used apps,

  • rather than the Live Tiles.

  • You can snap apps side-by-side.

  • It will intelligently open apps,

  • like say you're in your mail, you click link,

  • it'll open a browser, but it'll be on the other display,

  • so it won't take over what you're looking at.

  • Unlike other Surface devices,

  • there's no trackpad on the Neo's keyboard.

  • But you'll be able to find a trackpad on the display,

  • either below or above where you placed this keyboard.

  • The keyboard can be stowed magnetically

  • to the back of the Neo, and it will flip into place

  • and attach with magnets to the display.

  • It looks like a neat party trick.

  • The Surface Neo also includes Microsoft's

  • new Surface Slim Pen that will be available

  • on the Surface Pro X2.

  • It attaches to the back of the Neo and charges,

  • and it's a lot flatter than current Surface Pens.

  • So that's kind of everything we know

  • about these devices so far.

  • But there's so much we don't know.

  • Like, we don't know the specs, we don't know pricing,

  • we don't even really know exact availability.

  • Microsoft's essentially saying

  • that these devices will launch in holiday 2020,

  • so we're still a year out from these being real.

  • And it makes you wonder why are they even showing

  • and talking about these devices right now?

  • And personally, I think they probably don't want these

  • to leak, so they're gonna announce it now

  • and have their own story around it.

  • And then, there's the key thing of

  • they need other hardware vendors to create these too,

  • and they need software developers

  • to create the apps that run on this.

  • So there's a bunch of stuff that they need to get going

  • and out there in the public

  • before these are even available in like a year's time.

  • And above all else, competition is really high.

  • We've see Huawei, Samsung, and others,

  • create these foldable phones

  • that turn into tablets, and all right,

  • Microsoft is doing something slightly different,

  • it's doing tablets into laptops.

  • But it's still a bunch of Android competition,

  • and we don't really know where these foldable

  • and dual-screen devices are gonna land.

  • I am super excited about dual-screen and foldable devices.

  • And the Surface Neo hardware is probably the sleekest

  • of the bunch of dual-screen devices that we've seen so far.

  • But there's one thing, and that is software is king.

  • Microsoft still has a year left to perfect the software,

  • and they need to convince app developers

  • to really create these apps to make this device shine.

  • So if you're an app developer,

  • or you're just super hyped about these dual-screen

  • and foldable devices, I wanna know which one you prefer.

  • A smartphone that turns into a tablet

  • or a tablet that turns into a laptop?

  • Drop a comment below, and let me know why.

- Back in 2009, all of the hype

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B1 dual screen dual neo microsoft surface apps

Surface Neo first look: Microsoft's dual-screen prototype

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/06
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