Surface Studio
Microsoft Surface Studio 2 and brand new Surface Headphone with built-in Cortana announced. DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Microsoft has not only announced refreshed versions of the Surface Pro and the Surface Laptop, but it also announced the new Surface Studio 2. Additionally, the company has added a new product alongside those computers with the introduction of the Surface Headphones.

Surface Studio 2

The first Surface Studio showed that Microsoft was able to create its own all-in-one PC with a unique premium design that takes advantage of its touchscreen display. The Surface Studio 2 comes with that same design, but it also delivers an upgraded display. The Surface Studio 2 still has the same 28-inch touchscreen display with a 4K resolution, but Microsoft used a new transistor with a smaller pixel and greater aperture, according to PCWorld.

Microsoft was also able to better align the LCD to the polarizer which allows the display to deliver 22 percent more contrast and 38 percent more brightness. Apparently, the company is using the same display technology it uses on its mobile Surface devices to make the display on the Surface Studio 2 a lot better, as per Ars Technica.

Like the original Surface Studio, this new 2018 model is still using mobile parts for its internals. However, it’s still a bit of an upgrade which should mean improved performance. The Surface Studio 2 is powered by the 7th-generation Core i7 processor with a base speed of 2.9GHz and a turbo speed of 3.9GHz. Microsoft could have put an 8th-generation chip, but there’s no explanation as to why it decided not to do so.

Microsoft has completely dropped the 8GB RAM configuration and customers will now only have to chose between 16GB and 32GB of RAM. The company is also ditching its hybrid drive storage in favor of SSD storage, which can be configured up to 2TB. The Surface Studio 2 can be configured to come with an Nvidia GeFore GTC 1060 or a GTX 1070 graphics. Microsoft claims that these graphics are 50 percent faster than what’s found on the previous Surface Studio.

As for ports, the Surface Studio 2 comes with a single USB Type-C port which replaces the Mini Display Port. Unfortunately, it looks like it doesn’t have support for Thunderbolt 3 and it only supports DisplayPort video out.

The Microsoft Studio 2 comes with a starting price of $3,499 for the 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD and it will start shipping sometime in November.

Surface Headphones

The Surface Headphones are a bit of a surprise since there haven’t really been any rumors regarding this product. The new Surface Headphones are wireless and feature an over-ear design. The accessory comes with a very minimalistic look that is a bit reminiscent of B&O Play’s line of headphones, as pointed out by The Verge.

Each earphone features rotating rings. The one on the right is for adjusting the volume, while the one on the left is for adjusting the active noise cancelling feature. There are 13 different levels for noise cancellation, which should be more than enough for any type of situation. Most headphones only have an on/off switch for noise cancellation, so this is a pretty big deal.

The earcups also feature touch controls that allow users to play/pause music or answer calls with a tap. A double tap will skip a track forward, while a triple tap will skip the track backward. Another interesting thing about the Surface Headphones is that they come with Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant built-in. Users will only have to long press the one of the earcups to call on Cortana. Users can also just say “Hey Cortana” and the assistant will pop up on the user’s PC or smartphone, and she will respond through the headphones.

Microsoft is only releasing the Surface Headphones in a limited capacity in the United States for $349 sometime later this fall, according to CNET.