Microsoft reveals new Surface range, but Kiwis set to miss out on Surface Duo 2 phone

The new flagship Surface Laptop Studio, however, is coming to Aotearoa.
The new flagship Surface Laptop Studio, however, is coming to Aotearoa. Photo credit: Supplied

Just weeks ahead of the release of its new Windows 11 operating system, Microsoft has unveiled a significant update to its Surface range of devices.

Disappointingly for Kiwi consumers, however, two of the upgraded products including the Android-based folding smartphone Surface Duo 2 are unlikely to be making their way to New Zealand.

Both the Surface Duo 2 and the Surface Pro X were missing from the range announced for Aotearoa today, with a Microsoft spokesperson telling Newshub it does not comment on pending market availability.

"That said, we have taken and will continue to take a measured and phased approach to availability to meet customer demand," they said.

This means Kiwi consumers are set to face serious delays in accessing the two devices, if they'll be accessible at all.

The Surface Duo 2 is a foldable, similar to the recently launched Samsung Fold3, but with a slightly bigger overall screen area. Unlike the Fold3, the screen isn't seamless, with a visible dividing hinge.

Microsoft Surface Duo 2
Photo credit: Supplied

The Snapdragon 888 chip powering the Duo 2 puts it at the same level as other flagship phones on the market including the Samsung Galaxy S21 in Japan, the Xiaomi Mi 11 series as well as the Oppo Find X3 Pro.

One device that is definitely coming to New Zealand, however, is the brand new Surface Laptop Studio. It's the most powerful Surface that Microsoft has built to date, the company says, and a successor to the Surface Book 3.

The unique-looking product is aimed at developers, creative professionals, designers and gamers and operates in three distinct ways.

The new 'Dynamic Woven Hinge' means it can be used in standard 'Laptop' mode as well as 'Stage' and 'Studio' modes.

In the 'Stage' mode, the 14.4-inch touchscreen display is pulled forward and angled, covering the keyboard and tilting the screen to give a perfect viewing angle for gaming and presenting.

Microsoft Surface
Photo credit: Supplied

'Studio' mode converts the device into a fully-functioning tablet for writing, sketching and more.

The Surface Laptop Studio comes with built-in magnetic storage and charging for the new Surface Slim Pen 2 under the keyboard and is powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core H35 processor with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card.

It will begin shipping to Aotearoa early next year with prices yet to be announced.

The new Surface Pro 8 and Surface Go 3 get earlier release dates in New Zealand, with the former available from November 4 and the latter from October 5. The Pro 8 starts at $1849 and has a high-resolution 13-inch display, powered by 11th Gen Intel Core processors. It also has two Thunderbolt ports for the first time.

Designed as a hybrid work/home laptop, the Pro 8 also features a 5MP front-facing camera, a 10MP 4K rear-facing camera, Dolby Atmos sound, and dual far-field studio microphones. The Pro 8 has a new detachable keyboard and supports the Surface Slim Pen 2, which is a separate purchase at $199.95 and is available from 4 November.

The cheaper Surface Go 3, designed to be portable and have all day battery life, starts at $719 and is aimed more at home, school and university use rather than business.

Microsoft Surface
Photo credit: Supplied

It will be available to buy with a dual-core Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y processor or a quad-core 10th generation Intel Core i3.

It also features 1080p cameras, Dolby Audio and a 10.5-inch touch display allowing easy conversion between laptop and tablet use.

Microsoft also announced a new Ocean Plastic Mouse, made with 20 percent recycled ocean plastic, which will be available from October 5.