At today's Microsoft Surface event, the company's chief product officer Panos Panay said it best: "I've not seen anything like it." He was talking about the Surface Neo, the next evolution of the 2-in-1 device, a pair of 9-inch screens married with a 360-degree hinge, and magnetically attaching pen and keyboard.
Surface Neo Price & Availability
The Surface Neo is far off, as Microsoft is scheduling it for the 2020 holiday season — more than a year from now. Pricing is yet to be announced.
Surface Neo Design: So thin
A pair of 9 inch screens — which almost look like two iPads sitting next to each other — the Surface Neo's halves measure 5.6 mm on each half. (That's 11.2mm when closed.) The company said the Neo's Gorilla Glass panels are the thinnest LCD screens ever created.
Microsoft hyped up the Neo's 360-degree hinge, which uses micro-gears and a torque system to create a pleasing feel to its mechanism. Sixty teeny thin coax cables, said to be as thin or thinner than hair, pass between the panels.
Magnetically attaching accessories come in the form of a pen and keyboard. The former snaps to the back of one half of the Neo, and the latter half folds up from the back.
When you dock the keyboard on one of the Neo's screens, it turns the space above it into a wide interactive space called the Wonder Bar. Apple's Touch Bar should be taking notes.
Surface Neo operating System: Windows 10X
Surface Neo runs a new generation of Windows: Windows 10X, the OS we've heard talked about as Core OS. Microsoft kept talking up productivity, so I guess it's hoping for 10x as much excitement about this new OS.
We didn't hear the phrase "32-bit apps" but Windows 10X appears to have the legacy support people demand, as the presentation said all Windows apps will work on it.
Windows 10X still has a start menu, which loads on one half of the Neo's screen, and includes search, websites and apps.
Split screen mode or spanning to have an app sit on both the left and right half. Links tapped on one screen automatically load in the other half.
Surface Neo Specs
Microsoft product lead Panos Panay told us that the Neo rocks an Intel Lakefield processor (designed for devices like the Neo) with an 11th Gen graphics engine. It's also made for portability with half of the silicon footprint of previous chips.