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Tech Roundup – Surface Resurfaces

Hello and welcome to the Geeky Brummie Tech Round-Up!

Each week I’ll be deep diving into the world of technology. Bringing back some new pearls from Birmingham and beyond! If you want to send any local tech articles over, feel free to reach out to me at ryan@geekybrummie.com.


Surface Tablets Resurface

For all of those who forgot Microsoft still make hardware, in their autumnal event Microsoft has revealed no less than 4(!) new Surface laptop/tablets and a new phone too!

Image Credit: Microsoft

Surface Pro 8

It’s been almost 2 years since the launch of the Surface Pro 7 so it was well in need of a refresh. The new Surface Pro 87 will come with new 11th Gen (Rocket Lake) Intel Core processors with integrated Intel Xe graphics (Core i5 up) and between 8-32GB of RAM. a larger 2,880 x1,920 screen with up to 120Hz refresh and between 128GBto 1TB of SSD storage. Camera wise it’ll have a 5MP front facing and 10MP rear facing cameras. If you use either of these to video at concerts, I will hunt you down personally.

Launch prices look to start about $1,099 (£810ish) for the most basic configuration, but expect the usual UK extra charge because as always tech companies think $ to £ is almost a 1:1 relationship.

Surface Laptop Studio

The new flagship(?) device is the Surface Laptop studio, designed for ‘creatives’. It’s got a 14.4 inch touchscreen with a ‘PixelSense’ resolution of 2,400 x 1,600 and up to 120Hz refresh rate and Dolby Vision support. The unique hinge has three modes with laptop aka traditional, stage aka an easel and studio aka tablet mode.

Underneath the hood it’ll be powered by either a quad-core Intel 11th Gen Core i5-11300H or a i7-11370H processors, with 16GB or 32GB of memory, and up to 2TB of storage.

The base i5 model comes with Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics while the i7 variant gets Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti mobile GPU with 4GB video memory.

Prices start at $1,600 (around £1,200), but expect UK prices to be north of that again.

Surface Go 3

As the more budget end is the entry level Surface go 3 with a more ‘realistic’ pricing structure which has not yet been announced. The base version Surface Go 3 uses a Pentium Gold 6500Y chip paired with 4GB RAM. Or you can up the specs a little a Intel Core i3-10100Y SoC and 8GB RAM. Both will have a 10.5-inch 1920 x 1280 resolution display. Sounds like this is the device to be pointed towards younger family members or for content consumption.

Surface Pro X

No, it’s not a return to the 90s style XTREME branding, it’s Microsoft’s revision of their ARM based tablet, with a processor co-designed by the Redmond squad themselves. It has a 13-inch display with a 2,880 x 1,920 resolution, a Microsoft SQ 1 or SQ 2 custom CPU and GPU SoC, 8GB or 16GB RAM and up to 15 hours of battery life. It also will come in WIFI or WIFI + cellular configurations too.

With Windows 11 on ARM, it will also support x86 and x64 emulation, so this new version should hopefully have access to a much wider selection of apps, compared to the paucity of the original. It has a entry level price point of $899 (around £650, AU$1,250) which seems more reasonable, so we’ll see if MS are going to throw some weight behind this one.

Surface Duo 2

Member when Microsoft made phones? What they still do? Yes, well it’s a ‘not a phone’ that makes phone calls. The Surface Duo 2 is a foldable in the vein of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold series. It has two 5.8in AMOLED 90Hz screens joined by a 360-degree hinge in the middle. Powering the device is the current top end Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, with 8GB or RAM running Android 11.

It’s starting at $1,499 (£1,349)  in “select markets” in either Obsidian Black or Glacier White. That means only us folks in the UK plus those in the good ol’ US of A with 128Gb of storage, or you can upgrade to 256GB of storage for $1,599 / £1,429 or for ballers, 512GB for $1,799 / £1,589.

For something this expensive there’s no bundled headphones, charger ($39.99 / £39.99) or the surface slim pen ($129.99 / £119.99) in the Duo 2 retail package, so adjust your pricing accordingly. For shame Microsoft!. For the clumsier of those among us, there’s also a silicon bumper in ‘Glacier’ or ‘Graphite’ for $39.99 / £39.99. So for a fully featured 512GB model with all the accessories, you’ll be looking at $2,008.97 / £1,788.97, eep!

Further Reading:

https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/microsoft-announces-surface-go-3-surface-laptop-studio-surface-pro-8-and-more-ahead-of-windows-11-launch

https://www.gsmarena.com/what_to_expect_from_microsofts_surface_event_livestream_and_how_to_watch-news-51068.php

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/surface


Uber Eats rejects language – embraces emoji

Are you one of those people who use emoji’s instead of typing words? Do you think Egyptian hieroglyphs we’re the ultimate in language expression?

Then good news! You can now search for food using those oh so useful symbols and the map will fill with the relevant chosen symbol for you to order from. Jokes aside, this could be useful for those with dyslexia or other language issues or those travelling internationally.

No news if the crying emoji orders ice cream though…

Further reading:

https://www.engadget.com/uber-eats-emoji-food-search-192049281.html

https://www.ubergizmo.com/2021/09/uber-eats-search-for-food-emojis/


Sir Clive Sinclair, RIP

Sir Clive Sinclair, 80s inventor extraordinaire, has passed at the age of 81.

Leigh covered this a bit in last week’s gaming roundup (which you can find here), but it worth repeating. After designing one of the worlds first pocket calculators in the 1970s, he turned his hand to many other technological feats. Best known for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, which built on the success of the ZX80 an ZX81 it was the primary system for many UK households, providing garishly coloured games and allowing young enterprising geeks to write or copy their own BASIC programs. It was the foundation for many a UK gaming studio still around today.

From a child who was from a Commodore 64 household it’s not as nostalgic to me personally but for many others it’s a representation of the period where the UK was at the cutting edge of modern technology.

Lets hope he gets to ride his beloved C5 off into the sky. Goodbye Clive, so long and thanks for all the fish.

Further Reading:

https://bit-tech.net/news/gaming/retro/sir-clive-sinclair-creator-of-the-zx-spectrum-has-died/1/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/sep/16/home-computing-pioneer-sir-clive-sinclair-dies-aged-81


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