Microsoft debuts 15-in Surface Laptop with AMD chip instead of Intel

AMD is supplying its Ryzen processor for Microsoft's new 15-in. Surface Laptop. (Microsoft)

Microsoft announced a new Surface Laptop 3 with a 15-in. display that runs a new AMD Ryzen Surface Edition processor, making it the fastest laptop on the market, according to pre-production tests.

The news that Microsoft chose AMD over Intel for that version thrilled several financial analysts, with Lynx Equity calling the choice “a harbinger of things to come in the notebook space for AMD” and Wells Fargo calling it “another validation of AMD’s latest CPUs and competitive positioning against Intel.”

Intel will still power the Surface Laptop 3 in the 13.5-in version with its 10th generation Intel Core processor. The 13.5-in. version starts at $999 and the 15-in. starts at $1,199. They are available in some markets for pre-order for shipment this fall.

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Microsoft also announced the new Surface Pro X and a redesigned Surface Pro 7 2-in-1 devices. The Pro X runs a new Microsoft SQ1 processor co-designed with Qualcomm that offers 2 teraflops of graphics processing power making it the fastest Qualcomm processor ever created for a PC, according to Microsoft. The Surface Pro 7 starts at $749 and the Pro X starts at $999.

The Pro X is the first ARM-based Surface device since the Surface 2 in 2013, and features a 13-in. display. The SQ1 is basically a custom version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor.

Microsoft also surprised the market with the introduction of two new dual-screen devices, the Surface Neo and Surface Duo coming in the 2020 holiday season.

With the dual screens, users will have the “benefit of a larger screen or the flexibility of two screens when you want to do multiple things at once,” said Panos Panay, chief product officer, in an online statement.

The Neo opens on a 360-degree full-friction hinge that connects two 9-in. screens and will be a 13-in display if used together. Surface Duo is smaller and designed to fit in a pocket. It runs Android apps and makes phone calls with two thin 5.6-in. screens to unfold to 8.3-in. The Neo will run Windows 10X, an extension of Windows 10 for dual-screen PCs.

Microsoft announced it was ending support for its Windows 10 Mobile OS in early 2019 after partners experienced years of problems selling the devices. At one point, Microsoft had ambitions of dominating the smartphone market, but the OS failed largely because of a lack of apps.

Samsung launched the Galaxy Fold in September, an Android phone with a display that folds out.

RELATED: Samsung’s foldable phone finally debuts

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