Microsoft leaning heavily on dual-screen devices by debuting the Surface Neo

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Microsoft held its latest Surface event yesterday, and naturally hardware was a key focus for the company as it unveiled a range of new offerings. If the event could be summed up in one word, it would be dual-screen (yes we know it’s two words hyphenated), with Microsoft debuting two devices in particular to the end – the Surface Duo and Surface Neo.

Both devices are slated to arrive during the festive season of 2020, so their arrival is still some ways off.

Having already covered the Duo, let’s shift focus the Neo, which for all intents and purposes is a dual-screen convertible notebook. This is by no means a brand new form factor, with the likes of Lenovo already debuting the Yoga Book with a similar design.

That said if Microsoft is pushing more dual-screened devices, we could see more of its OEMs taking a similar route.

Back to the Neo, and what little we know about it at this stage.

It has a pair of 9″ screens, which feature hinges capable of making either flip 360-degrees. When unfurled the Surface Neo has a diagonal screen size of 13″, which therefore means this device is a larger version of the Surface Duo that Microsoft also unveiled yesterday.

It will also come with a removable keyboard which attaches to one of the screens and flips over to cover a portion of the device for typing and working. Being all touch the Surface Neo will also support stylus input via the Surface Pen, as well as Bluetooth to add a mouse to the mix.

At this stage we do not know what kind of specifications the Surface Neo will sport, and most importantly what kind of battery life users can expect. What is known though, is that the Surface Neo will run Microsoft’s new 10X operating system, which is designed for these kinds of form factors in particular. How the experience on 10X will differ from regular Windows 10 though, remains to be seen.

Either way it looks like Microsoft is embracing new form factors for its Surface lineup, which brings us to another crucial question – whether it will be coming to SA?

As previous Surface-branded hardware has not been made officially available locally by Microsoft, chances are slim right now for the Surface Neo, but with more than a year to go before its release, hopefully something can be arranged.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.