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Microsoft Expands Surface Device Portfolio at October Event

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Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) recently unveiled a slew of Surface devices, focused on improving worker productivity in the office or on the go, at its October 2019 event.

The company announced pre-order availability for its latest lineup of devices including Surface Pro 7, Surface Laptop 3, and Surface Pro X, ahead of holiday season.

We believe that the launch of new Surface devices just before the holiday shopping season is a prudent move. This move will help the company counter increasing competition from Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) refurbished Mac portfolio.

Moreover, the tech giant unveiled two new dual-screen devices, Surface Duo and Surface Neo, designed to enhance productivity for on-the-go mobile workers. These devices are slated to release in Holiday 2020.

Microsoft also rolled out Surface Earbuds and other accessories that complement the Surface devices and boost productivity. Further, the company announced new Office enhancements, with an aim to make Office tools more beneficial for users.

Innovative Dual-Screen Devices Steal the Show

Surface Neo and Surface Duo dual-screen devices are designed to enhance productivity on compact and sleeker mobile form factors. The devices are based on the concept of bridging the gap between laptop and tablet. Dual-screen devices will enable seamless multi-tasking without switching between devices.

Surface Neo is developed on Windows 10X, which per Microsoft is “an expression of Windows 10.” It features two 9” screens, connected by a 360-degree full-friction hinge to improve adaptability. Like a PC, the new device is compatible with a removable keyboard, Surface Pen and Bluetooth mouse, to make the product as versatile in use as possible.

Meanwhile, Android-based Surface Duo featuring two sleek 5.6” screens, enables users to make calls, leverage Microsoft productivity experiences, and adapt the device as required.

Microsoft is developing innovative devices to capitalize on the improving trends in BYOD and on-the-go mobile workforce. With these sleeker products, users will not need to switch devices and can start resume work from where they left it. Moreover, this feature does not need additional storage, backup and other requirements.

While detachable and convertible laptops have been in the market, a foldable dual-screen device that fits in the pocket is a novel idea, which holds promise for Microsoft.

Capitalizing on 2-in-1 Computing Holds Promise

Microsoft aims to take 2:1 PC computing to a higher level with the latest Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro X. Surface Pro 7 features Intel’s (INTC - Free Report) 10th Generation Core processor for high-performance, and is compliant with both USB-C and USB-A charging. The pricing starts at $799.

Meanwhile, Surface Pro X is empowered by Arm-based new Microsoft SQ1 processor designed in collaboration with Qualcomm (QCOM - Free Report) . Complementing the new Surface Pro X are Signature Keyboard and Slim Pen devices to bolster engagement levels and improve efficiency in workspace.  Pricing of Surface Pro X begins at $999.

Per IDC, 2-in-1s (such as detachable tablets and convertible notebooks) and ultraslim notebooks together are expected to rise 5% during 2019-2023. Moreover, the shipments of only 2-in-1s are anticipated to rise more than 3.8% in the 2019-2023 period.

Moreover, per latest data from MarketWatch, the market size of 2-in-1 Laptops is projected to hit $54800 million in 2025 from $18600 million in 2019 at a CAGR of 14.5%.

The emergence of high-end cloud computing, thinner laptops, and demand for fast processing is expected to bode well for the newly introduced devices. The new products are likely to provide Microsoft an edge over peers including HP and Lenovo.


Robust Features of Surface Laptop 3 Noteworthy

Talking about Surface Laptop 3, the device comes in display variants of 13.5” and 15”, priced at $999 and $1199, respectively. Surface Laptop 3 13.5” is powered by Intel’s 10th Generation Core processor. Meanwhile Surface 15” variant utilizes AMD’s Ryzen Surface Edition processor for advanced graphics performance. Per estimates from AMD and Microsoft, Surface Laptop 3 15” is the fastest 15” laptop available.

Overall, Surface Laptop 3 offers enhanced typing experience with 1.33mm key travel and 20% larger glass trackpad. It is loaded with robust integrations, including dual far-field Studio Mics, advanced front-facing cameras, and OmniSonic speakers. Coming to battery life, it is compliant with both USB-C and USB-A as well as Fast Charging, which provides 80% charge within an hour.

Other Devices to Complement Surface Portfolio

The latest Surface Earbuds deliver intuitive voice and touch controls for calls, music, among others. The users can play Spotify from Android phones by merely triple tapping on either earbud to experience an immersive Omnisonic sound.

Moreover, on-the-go mobile workers can leverage screen-free integration feature of new Surface Earbuds with Office 365 to access Outlook, calendar and email with their voice depending on availability of Cortana. Notably, "Surface Earbuds are priced at $249."

With an aim to offer superior workspace experience and boost business productivity, Microsoft rolled out sleek Bluetooth Keyboard and compact Bluetooth Mouse.

Wrapping Up

The latest lineup of innovative Surface devices ahead of holiday season presents consumers with quality choices. Moreover, the latest devices are expected to bolster adoption of Office 365, which is a key catalyst.

Microsoft is strengthening almost all its services, hardware and software alike, by infusing advanced AI and ML tools, aimed at enabling users to access data on the go. We believe the new products will help the company to capitalize on emerging BYOD market, enterprise productivity and ed-tech verticals, in the days ahead.

Microsoft currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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