Microsoft’s new Surface family delivers a surfeit of choice

New and updated Microsoft Surface devices include the Surface Laptop Studio and the Surface Duo 2 folding phone – here’s your chance to meet the family

The new Microsoft Surface family
(Image credit: TBC)

The Microsoft Surface team has been busy. This week saw the launch of seven new and updated devices in the company’s portable Surface family, including a new version of the Surface Duo 2 folding phone, and the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio.

As you’d expect, each and every debut features incremental improvements over its predecessor, predominantly in terms of display quality, battery life and processor speed.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

The new Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

The flexible screen position on the new Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Surface has always been about flexibility. The newest device to join the set is the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, the series’ most powerful laptop to date, with quad-core 11th generation Intel chips, up to two terabytes of solid-state storage and 32 GB of memory. The flexible screen can be angled forward over the keyboard for easier use of the optional pen. It joins the eighth version of the Surface Pro, the tablet that pioneered the use of a detachable cover/keyboard.

There’s also a Surface Pro X, the most flexible and thinnest family member. It sits alongside the Surface Go 3, the simplest and most affordable surface device that is pitched as a go-anywhere tablet with the functionality of a detachable keyboard.  

Microsoft Surface Duo 2

Microsoft Surface Duo 2

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 showing its different modes

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The new Surface Duo 2 improves on the original and shows that Microsoft is still committed to this as-yet-unproven form factor, at least for the time being. Available later in October 2021, the tautologically named Duo 2 beefs up the power, screen size and camera quality.

When we tried the original device back in the spring, the second screen brought welcome flexibility and made phone time feel rather more productive. 

Latest accessories

The Ocean Plastic Mouse, a step on the way to true sustainability

The Ocean Plastic Mouse, a step on the way to true sustainability

(Image credit: The Ocean Plastic Mouse.

New accessories include an Adaptive Kit to improve accessibility, and a new iteration of the Surface Slim Pen 2, one of the better digital pens on the market. We especially like the way the pen docks magnetically to the Surface Laptop Studio and charges while it’s in place; it’ll also charge up when stored in the Surface Type Cover or its own charging case.

Finally, there’s also the Ocean Plastic Mouse, an ergonomic wireless pointing device that contains 20 per cent of the recycled material du jour, plastic waste sifted from the oceans. It’s a start. 

Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2

Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If anything, the choice is now too broad, with each Surface finely tuned to appeal to a particular niche. Although it ensures that there’s definitely a device to suit your needs, perhaps a one-size-fits-all strategy might be back in fashion in the near future.

All the laptops in the family have been tuned for the arrival of Windows 11, officially available from the start of October 2021.


Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.