Microsoft Shakes Up Its Surface Laptops With More Powerful Models

The company also brings back a new consumer Surface All Access purchasing plan after dropping an earlier plan in August.

Surface 6

Microsoft has bolstered its Surface laptop line with its most powerful Surface Pro portable—the Surface Pro 6—as well as with a new Surface Studio 2 desktop computer and a new Surface Laptop 2 model that claims up to 14.5 hours of battery life.

Also unveiled is a new no-interest, 24-month consumer financing plan that will make it more affordable to buy one of the Surface machines. Microsoft's new Surface All Access program, which replaces an earlier plan that the company discontinued in August, also includes an Office 365 subscription, support and other benefits. Purchase plans begin at $24.99 per month starting Oct. 16, depending on the device.

The Surface Pro 6 (pictured) is the company's newest flagship portable Surface model, with a 12.3-inch PixelSense touch-screen display with 2,736-by-1,824 (267-ppi) resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio, a choice of an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, 8GB or 16GB of memory, and an Intel UHD Graphics 620 chip. Buyers can also choose from solid-state drives in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB storage capacities.

The Surface Pro 6, which runs on the Windows 10 Home operating system, features a magnesium unibody design with hidden perimeter venting for efficient cooling and starts at $899. It also includes a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with 1080p Skype HD video, an 8-megapixel rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p full HD video, a USB 3.0 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a microSDXC card reader and a Mini DisplayPort. The laptop includes WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity. For security, the machine includes a TPM 2.0 chip and Windows Hello face sign-in capabilities.

The Surface 6 Pro is 11.5 inches long, 7.9 inches wide and 0.33 inches thick, and weighs 1.71 pounds with an i5 processor or 1.75 pounds with an i7 processor. It is available for preorders immediately in black or platinum and will be available starting Oct. 16 in the United States.

The Surface Laptop 2

The new Surface Laptop 2 is 85 percent faster than the original Surface Laptop, thanks to its latest quad-core processor, according to Microsoft. Starting at $999, the machine includes a 13.5-inch PixelSense touch-screen display with 2,256-by-1,504 (201-ppi) resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio, an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, 8GB or 16GB of memory, and an Intel UHD Graphics 620 chip. Buyers have a choice of solid-state drives in capacities of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB.

The Surface Laptop 2 includes an aluminum shell, a 720p HD front-facing camera, a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display cover, a USB 3.0 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a Mini DisplayPort and Windows Hello face authentication using the front camera. Also featured is a TPM 2.0 chip for security and WiFi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity.

The machine runs on the Windows 10 Home operating system and is available for preorders immediately. It will be available starting Oct. 16 in the U.S. in Burgundy, Platinum, Cobalt Blue or Black. It is 12.13 inches long, 8.79 inches wide and 0.57 inches thick, and weighs 2.76 pounds with an i5 processor or 2.83 pounds with an i7 processor.

The Surface Studio 2

The other new Surface machine is the Surface Studio 2 desktop, which builds on the company's original Surface Studio machine. Featuring a 28-inch display, the Surface Studio 2 starts at $3,499 and is what Microsoft calls its most powerful Surface machine so far.

The Surface Studio 2 features a 28-inch PixelSense touch-screen display with 4,500-by-3,000 (192-ppi) resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio, an Intel Core 7th Generation i7-7820HQ processor, 16GB or 32GB of DDR4 memory, and a choice of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 graphics card. The machine can be configured with a 1TB or 2TB solid-state drive for storage.

Up to two 4K UHD (@30Hz) or single 4K UHD (@60Hz) displays can be supported by the machine.

Also included is a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with 1080p HD video, stereo 2.1 speakers with Dolby Audio Premium, four USB 3.0 ports, a full-size SD card reader, a USB-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a Gigabit Ethernet port. In addition, the machine features a TPM 2.0 chip for enterprise security and Windows Hello face sign-in capabilities.

The Surface Studio 2 incorporates WiFi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 and Xbox Wireless connectivity, and runs on Windows 10 Pro.

The display measures 25.1 inches wide, 17.3 inches tall and 0.5 inches thick, while the base is 9.8 inches long, 8.7 inches wide and 1.3 inches tall. The machine will start shipping by Nov. 15, according to Microsoft.