Microsoft Devices 2015

[sc:hardware-category ]So Microsoft’s big hardware event has come and gone, much of the announcements were already known, but there was a big surprise at the end and now everything is official.

Hololens

Hololens is neat.  It’s a cool piece of hardware and it looks like we may now get to see what others can do with it.  But beyond that I’m not convinced I’d have a need for one.

Band 2

I’m not a big fan of wearables, but I have to say that the Band 2 looks to be a significant update.  Both aesthetically as well as functionally.

I’ve been tempted a couple of times to pick one up for the golf features, but just can’t quite bring myself to do it.

The one thing that stuck out to me was there was no announcement of expanding the number of countries it’s available in.

Lumia 950/XL

The specs on these leaked out ahead of the presentation so there isn’t really anything too surprising form the announcement.

The liquid cooling is a neat tech point but at the end of the day it’s not something that’s going to move phones 🙂

Continuum was demoed again and it’s impressive to say the least.  It was curious they didn’t demo it completely wire free (Bluetooth keyboard/mouse with a WiDi display) but I guess they wanted to show off the docking station.

The USB 3.1 connector is quickly becoming a must have on new phones and that’s a good thing.

One key point that I was interested in was the network bands that are supported by it, while it wasn’t talked about during the presentation, the Microsoft Store site had the tech details up just afterwards and it has a wide range of network support.

Most importantly for me, Wind Mobile looks to be supported.

Finally, they did announce the release, it was kind of vague.  November is a big month, can we expect it November 1st (no, obviously not) or Nov 30th?

Well pre-orders aren’t available yet, but should be soon, perhaps a ship date will be included then.

I’ll be ordering the 950 XL, I’m not sure I want that large of phone, but I have to admin my 925 seems very small these days so I’m going to hedge my bets on the larger handset and see what happens.

Lumia 550

This was mostly an afterthought, but I have to say the low-end Lumia look very slick, I would have liked to see some more details about it.

Surface Pro 4

There wasn’t as much known about the SP4 before the press conference, but in general it was expected to be a minor update to the SP3 and that was the case.

The larger display is nice along with the magnetic pen holder.  Thinner was good as well.  The new type cover is also a nice upgrade by the looks of it.

Before the announcement I was contemplating replacing my ASUS ZenBook with a SP4, but that all depended on two things

  1. Windows Hello support.
  2. USB 3.1 charging.

Well I got the Windows Hello support, but missed the USB 3.1 charging.  I can’t say how much I’m looking forward to replacing ALL my chargers with USB 3.1 power supplies.  I guess I’ll be waiting another year until the SP5 comes out 🙂

Surface Book

This one is a little weird, there was a rumor going around that a larger Surface would be announced but no one expected this.

Microsoft calls it a laptop, but it’s more like a hybrid.

It’s weird as Microsoft has been telling us for the last three years to replace our laptops with a Surface.  Then they announce a laptop at the end of the presentation.

It might have made more sense to announce the book before the SP4.

Either way, I’m not sure I’d ever buy one.  I look at that hinge and the gap between the keyboard and display and just know as soon as I set something relatively heavy on top of it that would be the end of it 🙁

Wrap Up

It was a good mix of hardware from Microsoft and the presentation went smooth.  The think that stood out to me though was the change in tone from previous presentations.

The presenters focused more on how it made you feel and how “magical” it was.  It sounded a lot like an Apple press conference when Steve Jobs ran them.

I don’t know if that’s a good way to go or not.  Either way though we’ll find out in the next few quarters when we see how the new hardware actually sells.

Greg

Greg is the head cat at JumbleCat, with over 20 years of experience in the computer field, he has done everything from programming to hardware solutions. You can contact Greg via the contact form on the main menu above.

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Greg

Greg is the head cat at JumbleCat, with over 20 years of experience in the computer field, he has done everything from programming to hardware solutions. You can contact Greg via the contact form on the main menu above.

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