This week Microsoft announced the Surface Studio desktop with multi-touch screen, and Apple introduced the latest MacBook Pro with new “Touch Bar” and fingerprint ID. It seems Apple remains content to gradually iterate devices and focus on thinner and lighter, and Microsoft has been getting into the try-new-things and polish-old-ideas phase. I’d say Microsoft wins the cool-tech award for 2016.
MS Surface Studio
Remember that Surface Table from several years ago? This desktop features a touch screen that folds down into table mode for working with a Surface Pen for creating art, drafting, handwriting, anything that benefits from hands-on input and manipulation. Go read what the Penny Arcade artist, Gabe, has to say about working with the Surface Pro. When asked to compare with another device, Gabe said, “drawing on the Cintiq now felt like drawing on a piece of dirty plexiglass hovering over a CRT monitor from 1997.”
The Surface Studio includes mini DisplayPort, SD card slot, Surface Pen, Surface Mouse, and Surface Keyboard. The 28-inch display uses a “Zero Gravity Hinge” to easy repositioning. If nothing else, it looks cool.
image from microsoft.com
MacBook Pro 2016
Today Apple showed off the updated MacBook Pro for 2016. As always, thinner and lighter. The new “Touch Bar” is a touch-screen row of function keys that remap per application. To see normal function keys, hold down the Fn key. Making room for smaller, thinner, and a super big trackpad, the keyboard size has suffered. Together without tactile function keys, more engineers and developers may likely choose to carry around an external keyboard.
And don’t forget the dongles. Say goodbye to the SD card slot and MagSafe, and make room for pure USB-C. I always prefered using SD cards over USB sticks due to thinness. Wasn’t MagSafe a big selling feature? The power cord popping out saved my old MacBook at least once.