Posts Tagged: Surface

The November update for the Surface Duo is available but it’s not what you hoped for

When we say November update, we mean the November Security Patch and not the long-awaited upgrade to Android 11. Despite launching in September 2020, the original Surface Duo is still running on Android 10, the same version of Android that it launched with. This is simply not good enough for a device that cost $ 1,400 […]

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ICYMI: Everything you need to know about Microsoft’s new Surface devices

It has been a busy couple of weeks at Engadget and we have many reviews to recap. Nathan Ingraham reviewed the newest base iPad as well as the Microsoft Surface Go 3, the latter of which he says lacks the processing power to be more than a secondary machine. Devindra Hardawar reviewed Windows 11, which he called both refined and frustrating, and the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, which he enjoyed but found it to be underpowered for the price. Also, Dana Wollman checked out the Surface Pro 8 two-in-one, which solved some problems but created others with its new, higher price tag.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 8 still lacks an included keyboard

Microsoft's Surface Pro 8, photographed from behind on a roof deck.
Dana Wollman/Engadget

Dana Wollman was pleased to see that the Surface Pro 8 addressed some of our complaints about the previous version. It has a redesigned, larger display with skinnier bezels, improved resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate, along with 11th-gen Core i5 and i7 processors and a slightly higher-res rear camera. But the detachable keyboard is still sold separately for $ 180, and the two-in-one starts off more expensive at $ 1,100. It’s also 15 percent heavier at 1.96 pounds without the keyboard. Dana says that’s lighter than her MacBook Pro, but that doesn’t make it an ideal mobile device.

The built-in kickstand seems to indicate the machine is best used when docked, not held. Dana said the kickstand is premium, albeit a bit awkward to pull out due to the narrow divots. She was underwhelmed by the images from the 10-megapixel rear camera, though it can record in 4K, and she was more impressed by the webcam that proved to be capable even in mixed lighting. The 120Hz refresh rate is a major improvement and she says you won’t want to revert back to 60Hz even if it helps save a bit of battery life. She also appreciated the Slim Pen 2, which has a haptic motor that made it fun to use. However, she admits that the higher price point makes the Surface Pro 8 even more of a niche item.

The Surface Go 3 still isn’t powerful enough

Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Dana Wollman/Engadget

Nathan Ingraham likes many of the features of the Surface Go 3: it’s well-built, has a lovely and responsive touchscreen, a strong kickstand and is extremely light and portable. However, like the Surface Pro 8, it doesn’t come with a keyboard and you’ll definitely need one as Windows 11 still doesn’t offer up a stellar tablet experience. The bigger issue for him was the underpowered specs and average battery life. The model he reviewed came with a 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

That makes for a mostly capable machine for basic tasks, but Nathan experienced occasional music stutters and had to reload tabs during his workday. He noticed lag while working in Adobe Lightroom, and had issues during video calls while jumping into other programs. During his normal work routine, the battery lasted five hours, which detracts from the device’s portability. However, he liked the 10.5-inch, 1,920 x 1,280 touchscreen and the 3:2 aspect ratio as well as the infinitely adjustable kickstand. While Nathan says he can see the Surface Go 3 working as a secondary machine for travel, it’s hard to recommend as a daily driver because of its performance and battery life issues.

The Surface Laptop Studio could use more cores

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

One of the first Windows 11 PCs, the Surface Laptop Studio has a 14.4-inch screen with a speedy 120Hz refresh rate and weighs around four pounds. Devindra Hardawar says while it’s clearly not trying to be an ultraportable, it is ultra-adjustable thanks to the display that tilts it into various angles. The display itself entranced him with its flexible hinge, fantastic Dolby Vision support and refresh rate, though it is surrounded by chunkier bezels. He said the speakers are surprisingly powerful thanks to the two subwoofers on the sides and the tweeters blasting through the keyboard.

While Devindra found the Laptop Studio to be a solid performer for everyday computing tasks — and fast enough to play Overwatch at 90 and 100fps — it has only a quad-core chip, and that makes it hard to recommend when so many similar machines feature more powerful six- or eight-core CPUs. He was also annoyed by the anemic port situation: two USB-C ports, which support ThunderBolt 4, and a proprietary Surface Connect slot, but there’s no longer an SD card slot, which would have been an opportunity to outdo the competition. At least Microsoft included the excellent keyboard from the Book 3 and the new Surface Slim Pen 2. While Devindra genuinely liked using the Surface Laptop Studio, he said he still wanted more power overall.

Windows 11 is polished and secure — but frustrating

Windows 11
Microsoft

Devindra Hardawar doesn’t think that Microsoft is trying to fix much with Windows 11. Although the new operating system is more of a coat of paint over Windows 10, he doesn’t feel that’s a problem. Devindra says the more he uses the OS, the easier it is to see how far the small design tweaks have taken the software. The taskbar now has centered icons, the Start menu has a redesigned look with pinned apps, windows have rounded corners and the icons, Explorer and Settings apps look sharp making for a more refined feel overall.

The system requirements are a bit more rigid: compatible Intel, AMD or Qualcomm processor, 4GB RAM, at least 64GB storage and you’ll have to enable Secure Boot and Trust Platform Module 2.0 which make it harder for spyware and malware to attack. This means there are some additional complications if you’ve got older hardware or if you’ve built your own PC. Windows 11 will also be the only way to use Microsoft’s DirectStorage technology, which Devindra says should dramatically speed up load times when it’s available. He says that the combination of a refreshed look, additional security and faster performance is a step forward — just not a momentous one.

The 2021 iPad is an incremental update

Apple iPad 2021
Nathan Ingraham/Engadget

The 2021 refreshed iPad isn’t for early adopters like Nathan Ingraham. The updated tablet now includes a 12-megapixel front camera with Center Stage support, double the base amount of storage, the new A13 Bionic chip and iPad OS 15. However, the hardware is largely unchanged from the previous two versions. It has basically the same size and weight and still includes a 10.2-inch, 2,160 x 1,620 touchscreen, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a Lightning port for charging.

That means that this is an iPad meant for those who want a tablet that’s fast, lightweight, easy to carry around and (relatively) cheap. For most standard iPad users — those who use a tablet primarily for things like playing games or browsing the web — the new chipset will provide more than enough power. Nathan didn’t notice any slowdowns while multitasking with several open apps, though he did notice that some apps needed to refresh more frequently during those periods. Also, while the screen was serviceable for watching videos and playing games, it can’t compare to the screens on the other iPads in the lineup. But for $ 330, as Nathan says, who cares? If your iPad is more than a few years old, you'll find some significant improvements in this one.

The Fitbit Charge 5 has a slick full-color display

Fitbit Charge 5
Valentina Palladino/Engadget

Though the first thing you’ll notice about the new Fitbit Charge 5 is the 1.04-inch color AMOLED touchscreen. Valentina Palladino says that the changes made to the wearable — rounded edges and a 10-percent thinner body — made it more comfortable to wear as well. The fitness band also now has some more advanced features like ECG measurements and EDA monitoring for stress levels. The ECG measuring is coming soon and Valentina said that the EDA monitoring wasn’t intuitive and left her frustrated. She had better luck with the built-in GPS, which immediately picked up her location and accurately mapped her running route.

Valentina also liked the alarm and timer apps, which she found helpful throughout the day. However, she was disappointed that Fitbit removed some of the music-focused features, which meant she had to pull out her phone to skip a track or control playback. She was also a bit irked to see that some of the Charge 5’s more advanced metrics, like select sleep and exercise data, were part of Fitbit’s subscription service that costs $ 10 per month. But she did applaud the battery life and the inclusion of Fitbit Pay with NFC. She says if what you’re looking for is a low-profile wearable with a focus on fitness and a multi-day battery life, then the Charge 5 will fit the bill.

The updated Sonos Beam has immersive Dolby Atmos sound

Sonos Beam Gen 2
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Devindra Hardawar says there was plenty to like about the first-gen Sonos Beam. When it comes to the Beam Gen 2, he says the addition of Dolby Atmos means the device can deliver a wider, more immersive soundscape. With largely the same hardware — a center tweeter, four mid-woofers and three passive radiators — this soundbar relies on more processing power to simulate the Dolby Atmos experience. Devindra says it worked surprisingly well during his testing, but wasn’t a replacement for having actual speakers dedicated to blasting height channels.

He liked that the Beam Gen 2 was still surprisingly compact at 25.6 inches wide and weighing six pounds, and that it has the same Ethernet, HDMI and power ports on the rear. And he appreciated how easy the set up was via Sonos’s app. In testing, the new Beam excelled during action movies: while watching Baby Driver, Devindra said it was a richer experience and even the dialog sounded clearer, too. However, music playback wasn’t as dramatically different and Dolby Atmos support for Amazon Music will come later this year. Sonos also makes it easy to synchronize audio throughout your home and the Alexa integration works well. Devindra says it’s a solid sub-$ 500 soundbar to take your movie-watching up a notch.

The Uno Synth Pro can produce glorious sounds

Uno Synth Pro
Terrence O'Brien/Engadget

With three oscillators, two envelopes, two LFOs, two filters, an analog overdrive and twelve digital effects, the Uno Synth Pro offers plenty of options for sound design. Terrence O’Brien tested the smaller $ 400 Desktop model, which features a set of touch keys and an all-plastic body (the synth also comes in a standard $ 650 Pro model with a 37-key Fatar keybed and a partially metal chassis). He said that the overall construction feels solid enough, the buttons are decent, the knobs offer good resistance and the screen, while small, provides all the information you need.

However, the gray, black and red color scheme made it difficult to quickly spot the controls, especially in darker environments. He also didn’t like the four top knobs that change all the parameters. But Terrence said his biggest issue was with the touch keys and strips — they felt unresponsive and would occasionally fail to detect touches, which was worse in three-voice paraphone mode. The pitch and mod strips behaved similarly. But his frustrations were largely forgotten once the synth started making noise: Terrence said the oscillators have body and grit and the saw wave just rips. Overall, he was impressed enough with the wealth of sound design tools and the quality of the oscillators and filters to call himself a convert.

Owlet’s Smart Sock Plus can keep monitoring older kids

Owlet Smart Sock Plus
Owlet

After using both the second- and third-generation Smart Socks on my twins, I’d grown accustomed to being able to check in on their stats anytime from my phone. When they aged out of their socks, it was an uncomfortable transition — for me. Owlet says I’m not alone: 72 percent of the users they polled indicated they’d like to keep using the device to measure their children’s heart rate and pulse ox levels. In response the company updated its algorithm and made the Smart Sock Plus, which can accommodate children up to five years old or 55 pounds.

Aside from the larger sock and better algorithm, the Smart Sock Plus is much the same as the standard, third-gen device. In testing, the Plus seemed to fit better but I had to employ work-arounds to keep my kids from taking them off. I also noticed fewer alerts about a misaligned sock, which was a welcome update. At $ 359 the Smart Sock Plus is pretty pricey for new users, but the $ 69 expansion pack available for existing customers is likely to do well as it extends the life time of the sock considerably.

The Nintendo Switch OLED edition is nice, but not necessary

Nintendo Switch OLED
Kris Naudus/Engadget

Kris Naudus is plain: the new Nintendo Switch OLED, while lovely, isn’t a must-have. Though the refreshed handheld system features a brighter, 7-inch OLED screen, a new stand ideal for tabletop mode, an Ethernet port and a new coating which feels good in hand, not much has changed under the hood. The CPU and GPU remain the same, ensuring the future game titles will be compatible with existing Switch and Switch Light devices, and the infamous Joy-Cons haven’t been redesigned (though hopefully the drift issues have been solved).

Kris was impressed by the new stand, which is a Surface-style panel that stretches the length of the entire unit and can be left in any angle you prefer. However, because the USB-C port is still on the bottom which means it can’t be charged while set in tabletop mode. She also liked the slimmer bezels and coating on the frame and said the new buttons look sleeker and feel better. It’s the same height and width as the original Switch, too, so it will fit with all existing accessories. And though the battery is the same, it appears to be more power-efficient thanks to the new OLED screen. Despite that, Kris says unless you’ve given up your original or really need the OLED screen, you’ll be fine sticking with your current system.

The Carol smart exercise bike is for big pocketbooks

Image of the CAROL REHIIT Smart Bike.
Daniel Cooper

Daniel Cooper would tell you that he enjoyed his time with the pricey Carol smart exercise bike, a machine intended to be used in short workouts of eight minutes and 40 seconds. Using the methods employed by Reduced Exertion, High Intensity Interval Training (REHIIT), the bike features exercise videos that you can follow via the 10.1-inch color touchscreen if you subscribe to the company’s service. Because the screen is a Lenovo tablet, you can run third-party apps through it like Peloton’s so you could take classes from there, to. Daniel says the Carol app is clean and colorful: the UI flashes when you hit a high intensity phase and power output visualizations were particularly great.

The bike itself looks like any at-home exercise bike with a large, real-slung flywheel and a drive unit to house the system to electronically control the resistance. The short handles contain heart rate-monitoring electrodes and the height of the handlebars and seat height and distance are all adjustable. After spending time with it, Daniel admits he feels like his fitness and mood both improved, but the $ 2,400 price tag is especially hard to swallow.

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Good news! Microsoft says that Android 11 could roll out to the Surface Duo in 2021

Microsoft announced the Surface Duo 2 earlier this week which boasts fixes for many of the complaints leveled at the first model, including the presence of Android 11. Those who stumped up the cash for the original Surface Duo will be painfully aware that it’s still languishing on Android 10, the version of Android that […]

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Microsoft Surface Duo 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3: Which reigns as king?

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is arguably the best folding phone on the market. How does it fare against Microsoft’s new Surface Duo 2?
Android | Digital Trends

How to pre-order the Microsoft Surface Duo 2

Microsoft has unleashed the Surface Duo 2, fixing much of what was wrong with the original. Here is how to pre-order one today.
Android | Digital Trends

How to pre-order the Microsoft Surface Duo 2

Microsoft has unleashed the Surface Duo 2, fixing much of what was wrong with the original. Here is how to pre-order one today.
Android | Digital Trends

Three things the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 needs to succeed

Microsoft plans to release the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 on September 22. Here are three things it needs to succeed.
Emerging Tech | Digital Trends

Microsoft is reportedly developing its own ARM-based chips for Surface PCs

It sounds like Apple isn’t the only company that wants to reduce its reliance on Intel. According to Bloomberg, Microsoft is developing in-house ARM processors to power its Surface devices and cloud infrastructure. While there aren’t many details on…
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Microsoft Surface Duo won’t make it outside of the US this year

The Microsoft Surface Duo folding phone in August 2020, bringing the company back into the cell phone game after the failure of Windows Phone. We had questions and concerns, however, and the least of which was availability. Microsoft Surface Duo launches in 2021 The phone itself has some questionable hardware, which is partly due to […]

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Is the USB-C port on your Surface Duo cracking up?

Microsoft’s Surface Duo, the dual-screened device with cellular connectivity but without NFC, has been in the hands of consumers for a while now and there are reports that its USB-C port housing is perhaps not quite as robust as it could be. A number of Surface Duo owners on Reddit and Twitter are complaining that […]

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OtterBox’s Ocity Sleeve for Microsoft’s Surface Duo is now available to pre-order

If Microsoft’s Bumper case for the Surface Duo with its sticky-tape adhesive doesn’t quite offer the level of protection you need, you may want to take a look at the new Ocity Sleeve from the well-known accessory maker, OtterBox. Now available to pre-order directly from Microsoft, the Ocity Sleeve is priced at $ 50. Made from […]

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Microsoft’s Surface Duo undergoes the traditional torture test by JerryRigEverything

Microsoft’s $ 1,400 Surface Duo is out and being delivered to consumers, and it’s also made its way into the hands of a certain tormentor of smart devices, Zack Nelson, or JerryRigEverything as you might know him. This time, it’s the turn of Microsoft’s dual-screened foldable to be bent, scratched, scraped, and burned as part of […]

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Microsoft Surface Duo teardown reveals ‘refreshingly simple hinge design’

iFixit has pulled apart a Microsoft Surface Duo, giving us a look at what’s inside the dual-screen device. One of the team’s most notable findings is that the Duo has a “refreshingly simple hinge design” compared to the ones found in foldable devices…
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Pre-orders for Microsoft’s $1,399 Surface Duo are live!

Microsoft’s first Android device is now available to pre-order and while I’m a little confused about where the Surface Duo is meant to fit into one’s life, there are no quibbles about how sleek and appealing it appears to the eye. Scheduled for general release on September 10th, the Surface Duo can now be pre-ordered […]

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Microsoft’s Surface Duo is official and you’ll be able to pre-order it from today onwards for $1,399

We’ve just reported how confusion over time-zones may have caused Microsoft to accidentally post a blog detailing the launch date and pricing of its dual-screened Surface Duo, and now the company has filled in pretty much all the gaps in respect of hardware and when you can pre-order the device. We already know that the […]

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Looks like AT&T will carry the weird Microsoft Surface Duo phone

While the Microsoft Surface Duo was originally announced back in October of 2019, Microsoft wasn’t planning on an immediate launch. It’s been tentatively scheduled for a holiday 2020 release, and it seems like we’re still going to hit that date, even with a pandemic. Additionally, it looks like Microsoft has courted AT&T into the folding […]

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The latest rumor for Microsoft’s dual-screen Surface Duo give it a last-year kinda vibe

Remember when Microsoft teased the Surface Duo in the latter stages of 2019? The Android world was stunned by the Duo’s clean design and apparent resurrection, in spirit anyway, of the Courier concept that was unceremoniously killed off by the Redmond-based company. As excited as I am for the Surface Duo, the newly leaked specifications […]

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Leak demonstrates new Surface Duo “peek” feature

Microsoft has been generating a lot of excitement with its new Surface Duo, and while they’ve shown us some features, there’s a lot that still remains in the dark. However, that’s changing, as a new leaked video is showing us at least one new feature — “peek”. The “peek” feature on the Surface Duo allows […]

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MIT’s ‘smart surface’ could improve your WiFi signal tenfold

There's a problem with stuffing wireless connections into ever-smaller devices: they can struggle to maintain a good signal when there's so little space for antennas. MIT CSAIL researchers might have a fix, though. They've developed an RFocus "smart…
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Microsoft’s well-designed 2-in-1 Surface Pro X is up to $200 off

Microsoft's Surface Pro X is just a few months old, and it's already on sale. When it arrived in November, we scored it relatively high (73). We were pleased with its elegant, modern design and called it the best Snapdragon-powered PC around. One of…
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More Galaxy S20 details surface, confirming display refresh rates and storage options

More details about Samsung’s freshly renamed Galaxy S20 Ultra have popped up, confirming a few of the more minute details about the phone that you might be curious about. Read on to find out what’s going on with the phone’s refresh rate, camera configuration, and storage options. Resolution or refresh rate: pick one Ice Universe […]

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Microsoft’s Surface Earbuds get delayed to 2020, missing the holidays

Microsoft announced the Surface Earbuds, and we were all pretty excited for a solid AirPods/Galaxy Buds competitor for the holiday. But it looks like that announcement might’ve come a little early, since the company has had to delay its new headphones until sometime next year. According to Microsoft’s CPO, Panos Pay, “Product-making is about the […]

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Microsoft has just announced the Surface Duo – a dual-screened smartphone running on Android

When you think of Microsoft and smartphones you might think back to the company buying Nokia and then failing to achieve anything other than pleasing a niche market with its Windows Phone OS. Since then, Microsoft has slowly but surely moved its focus to making its apps and services available via the Google Play Store, […]

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The Morning After: Our 2019 Microsoft Surface event preview

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous. Microsoft's 2019 Surface event is just hours away, so before we kick off coverage at 10AM ET, it's time to lay out everything we're hoping to see unveiled. Also, Nintendo released a major upgrade for Super Mario…
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What we hope to see at Microsoft’s Surface event

Like clockwork, Microsoft is gearing up to announce its latest batch of Surface devices tomorrow. We've already gotten a preview of some hardware, thanks to a recent leak: it looks like there's a new Surface Pro, a sleeker ARM-based Surface and a new…
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Microsoft’s strong quarter was powered by the cloud, Surface and Xbox

It's honestly getting a bit tough to write about Microsoft's quarterly earnings without sounding like a broken record. For years, its booming cloud business has pushed revenues higher, and the same is true for the past fourth quarter. The company rep…
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Samsung’s 2018 Notebook 9 lineup includes MacBook, Surface challengers

Last year Samsung's Notebook 9 laptop kept it simple with a standard thin-and-light design that got the important things right, but didn't sport flashy features like a high-res display or hybrid design. Earlier this year the Pro edition added a foldi…
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Latest leaked images of Samsung Galaxy Note 8 surface

With only a few days remaining until Samsung officially unveils the Galaxy Note 8, we have a new set of leaked images to ponder as we head into the weekend. According to sources, the device pictured is “dummy” Galaxy Note 8. The highlights of the images appear to be a demonstration of how thin the […]

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It looks like Microsoft has a new Surface Pro after all

Microsoft VP Panos Panay recently said that "there's no such thing as a Surface Pro 5," and we now know what he meant by that. Images from uber-leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) and his article in Venture Beat show a device simply called the Surface Pro,…
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Microsoft’s Surface Laptop isn’t a Chromebook rival, but Windows 10 S threatens Google

Today was a big day for Microsoft. Google, too. An education-focused event in New York City hosted by Microsoft didn’t just involve its own future. Because of the products announced, Google will play defense until ready to go on offense again. The Surface Laptop, following in the footsteps of the Surface predecessors, is a stunning […]

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Watch Microsoft’s Surface event in 10 minutes

Microsoft had no shortage of announcements at its big Surface event. The Surface Studio all-in-one was undoubtedly the centerpiece, but the tech pioneer also unveiled a supercharged Surface Book, low-cost third-party VR headsets, the art-oriented Sur…
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How 3D printing brought two shipwrecks back to the surface

“It’s been a fascinating process to transform the light captured in the photographs and the sound captured by the sonar sensors back into solid objects through the 3D printing process,” said archaeologist John McCarthy, who carried out the 3D modeling process.

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15 quick fixes for the Surface 3’s most common problems

You may love your Surface 3, but not when it stops working! Here’s how to fix the most common issues, from lazy OneDrive syncing to battery charging issues.

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Spec Showdown: Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Google’s Pixel C

After the big announcements today, Microsoft seems to be pulling out the stops in response to its competitors’ take on its flagship all-in-one tablet, the Surface Pro. Here’s how the specs for the new Surface Pro 4 stack up against Google’s Pixel C.

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Microsoft brings the Windows 10 Start Menu to Surface RT

Microsoft has released an update for its orphaned Windows RT 8.1 OS that gives it a Windows 10-like Start menu, according to users who've downloaded it. That's good news for owners of the original Surface and Surface 2 RT hybrid laptops, or those w…
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Bumper Microsoft event with new Surface and Lumia hardware rumored for October

Rumors say Microsoft has got plenty of new Surface and Lumia hardware to show off, and it’s apparently going to do so at a bumper event in October. Flagship Lumia phones, the Surface Pro 4, and even the Microsoft Band 2 are all possible.

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