I can't remember the last time I touched a device before turning it on. The idea of basing posts solely on glamor shots without actually connecting to the product feels like a relic of an early era of gadget blogging. But every now and then a device comes along that justifies the approach.
There will be a far more in-depth review of the Surface Duo. I will write a lot of words on this website about the experience of using the software and living with the device as a point of contact. For now, however, you and I will both have to settle for a handful of photos and a few select words about the form factor.
But if one product deserves a bit of love before review, it's the Surface Duo. It's been a while since I've seen so many other theinformationsuperhighway editors get so excited about a new device. The earliest leaflets are probably the closest comparison. And at least at first glance, the duo appears to be more solidly constructed than some of these earliest foldable units. No wonder, because the weak link was the foldable screen.
Microsoft The approach to more real estate is through two independent but interconnected screens. It's nowhere near the first product to take this approach, but it does seem like a far more solid approach. There is no breakable, glassless display to break, and no way to accidentally trap dirt under the screen. The downside, however, is the gap between the displays. More on that in the upcoming review.
What struck me the most when unpacking is the compactness of the device. I've seen it in videos and demos but kind of expected the device to get bigger. It's by no means small (in fact, it's wider than the Note 20), but depending on how tall you are, you should probably be able to slip it in your pocket without too much trouble.
Microsoft has made it clear that when it comes to hardware, the hinge is very important. It does dual roles, both in maintaining the connection between the displays (including the dual batteries and providing a fluid experience) and in adapting the product to a variety of different angles. It remains to be seen how the majority of users will interact with this as it is a new form factor on a couple of key points. Hence, the device must be good in any configuration. Therefore, the 360 degree panning must be smooth while being stiff enough to hold a screen upright.
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So far, so good. The Duo hardware really feels top notch, as you'd expect from a $ 1,400 device. The new surface arrives on September 10th. Expect a much deeper and more satisfactory review of the product soon.