Microsoft event – Oct 2015

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Microsoft gave the Mac-makers a run for their money in latest keynotes presentation – 06/10/15

“Do you want to hear about another new product? I do!” This was the catchphrase of the evening at last night’s Microsoft keynotes presentation, with a slew of Windows 10 devices highlighting the event.

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Never has a tech company been daring enough to take a hit or two at Apple during any of their official events. Regardless, Microsoft brought its entire arsenal to the table in the run up to the 2015 holiday season in a no holds barred presentation.

First on our Christmas list are either (or both) of the two new surface products – Windows’ answer to the MacBook. First is the updated Windows Surface Pro 4. Claimed to be a tablet and laptop merged and flattened into one super-device, the new Surface is thinner and lighter than its predecessor with a new Intel processor. The keyboard has been redesigned to make typing on small devices less of a chore, and Windows has also improved the functionality of its Stylus. Most impressive is the biometric sensor integrated with the front facing camera which can now log you into your device using facial recognition. Cool right?

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Cooler still is the Windows Surface Book. The first laptop designed by Windows sports a 13.5” screen, with a 6 million pixel display (267 pixels per inch). The Surface Book has industry leading processors that can keep up with practically any usage, from video editing to 3D architectural design or top level gaming. Windows have gone on record by saying that this “is the fastest 13 inch laptop ever made”, and based on the specs they’re not kidding around!

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Both the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are due for release on October 26th. The Pro 4 will from $899 (800 euro) while the Surface Book will see a starting price of $1,499 (1,350 euro).

On the smartphone front, three new devices were presented: the Lumia 550, 950 and 950XL. The 950 range may be reminiscent of the iPhone 6, but these phones promise to be so much more.

The 950 and 950XL are designed with a 5.2” and 5.7” screen respectively. Both phones house SD and USB ports already giving the new Lumia family the diversity that the iPhone simply cannot compare to. However, with a 5 megapixel front-facing camera and a 20 megapixel rear camera with triple LED flash, your Instagram account will be nothing short of perfection.

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The biometric feature found in the Surface Pro 4 has also found its way to the Lumia 950 range. You can now unlock your phone by simply looking at it. The best part is Continuum function. These phones will be able to turn into a PC by connecting them to a monitor, mouse and keyboard, bringing your 5” screen to larger surfaces.

These smartphones will be available this coming November, and will be retailing from $549 (490 euro) and $649 (580 euro) for the 950 and 950XL respectively.

One the other hand, the Lumia 550 is the first budget smartphone offered by Windows. In typical Windows fashion, the 4.7” budget phone supports expandable storage, and houses a 5 megapixel rear camera with a 2 megapixel front-facing counterpart. What the 550 does not have is the Continuum feature and biometric recognition, two features that make the 950 range the great phones Windows claim them to be.

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The Lumia 550 will be available in December and retail is expected to start at $139 (140 euro).

Keeping things moving in all things fitness is the new Windows Band. Windows kept features that made the device great such as the built-in GPS, workout apps, sleep and calorie tracker as well as notification configuration through your smartphone. Adding to this a new curved glass design finished with Gorilla Glass 3, there really wasn’t much room for improvement. Oh, but there was! The new Windows Band has now introduced an added barometer which measures elevation during any activity or work out so users can measure their fitness with even more precision.

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The Windows wrist band is on pre-order now, but will be officially released on the 30th October. The fitness tracker will retail for $249 (221 euro).

Among other presentations at the Windows event were a number of products on the gaming front, with the launch of the new XboxONE and the sensory gem that is the HoloLens.

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Tune back into gadgetsmalta.com for a more detailed article on both next week. Until then, start compiling your wish list Gadgeteers, the countdown for a possible Windows-dominated 2016 is upon us!