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    Tested: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

    Windows 10 is out today, and I've been using the new OS near-constantly over the last couple of weeks. I really like most of what Microsoft has done with the latest version if Windows, it's mostly fixes the mess that Microsoft made with Windows 8, while adding a handful of great new features. Windows 10 represents a big departure for the operating system.

    Microsoft is calling Windows 10 the last version of Windows. Don't worry, Windows isn't going anywhere, but Microsoft is getting rid of the big annual releases. Instead of upgrades you need to shell out cash for, you can expect to see smaller, more regular, free updates to the OS. While Microsoft reps wouldn't commit to a specific timeline for updates, they said we could expect to see three to four updates annually.

    The problem with Windows 8 was simply that the OS that Microsoft shipped was designed to be used with touch devices--that sounds great, except it didn't work well with the billion or so computers that didn't include touch and the touch-capable devices didn't really exist at launch. The result was an OS that was based around a decent first attempt at a touch-first operating system that was frustrating for anyone who used it with a mouse and keyboard.

    With Windows 10, Microsoft is attempting to atone for its tablet-first error. The OS is smarter and more configurable than either of its direct predecessors. Windows 10 behaves like a tablet OS when the keyboard and mouse are missing and shifts to a traditional Windows desktop when you use it with a keyboard and mouse. With widespread support for touchscreens on laptops and a user interface that shifts seamlessly between touch and traditional controls based on the type of input you're using, I can finally see the promise of the convertible laptop.

    Tested In-Depth: Microsoft Windows 10

    Microsoft's Windows 10 is finally here! We've been testing the beta for months as part of the Insider's Program, and sit down with the latest build right before public release to talk about our experience. We show off the new features, compare it with Windows 7 and 8, and give our thoughts as to whether you should install it. What are your thoughts on Microsoft's latest OS?

    Hands-On: Microsoft HoloLens Project X-Ray

    Norm gets his first demo of Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality headset! At this year's E3, we went behind closed doors to playtest Project X-Ray, a "mixed reality" first-person shooter demo using HoloLens. Microsoft wouldn't let us film or take photos inside the room, so we describe and evaluate the experience after the demo.

    Tested In-Depth: Microsoft Surface 3 Review

    We loved using the Surface Pro 3 as a primary laptop, though it was a little too big to use with the stylus as a portable digital notepad. The new Surface 3, though, hits a lot of sweet spots for power and portability. We sit down to discuss its use of Intel's latest Atom processor, the new form factor, and how it stacks up against dedicated laptops and tablets.

    Windows 10 to be Released July 29th

    Despite the weekend excitement over Newegg possibly spoiling Microsoft's announcement of the Windows 10 release date (the retailer leaked a listing citing August release), Microsoft has now confirmed that Windows 10 will be available for download on July 29th. Newegg's product listing did reveal, however, the OEM pricing for Windows--Microsoft will indeed still be charging PC and laptop makers for the OS, despite releasing it to users for free during a one-year promotional period. OEM copies start at $110 ($10 more than previous versions of Windows) and the Pro package is listed as $150.

    Microsoft also announced how the free upgrade offer will work for existing Windows 7 and 8 users. Qualified computers (even pirated copies) can check their system tray today for a Windows icon, which brings up a reservation pop-up to opt-in for an in-place upgrade on July 29th. (Windows 10 "insider" builds also get the notification.) You just have to give Microsoft an email address, hopefully for a product key. This matrix also lets you know which version of the OS you'll be upgraded to.

    Windows 10 is Microsoft's return to the desktop-first UI paradigm for laptops and PCs, bringing a redesigned Start Menu, Edge web browser, Cortana always-on voice assistant, and new productivity apps.

    Testing: Microsoft Surface 3 Laptop

    Microsoft's long-standing sales pitch for its Surface computer is that it's the "tablet that can replace your laptop." That tagline is based on the premise that the Surface is to be bought and used as a tablet first, with full "productivity" capabilities enabled with the use of an x86 processor (allowing full Windows 8.1), type keyboard cover, and digitizer pen accessory. But I think it's the other way around: the Surface line--especially the Surface Pro 3--are really competent laptops that can also be used in as tablet alternatives. And with the new Surface 3, which gets rid of the limited RT operating system, that laptop-first positioning is more true than ever. After using it for a while, I've been impressed with the Surface 3's formfactor and performance as a mid-range and travel computer.

    Surface 3 is a departure from the ARM-based original Surface and Surface 2, and actually has more in common with the Surface Pro 3 (one of my favorite devices of last year). Instead of running the limited Windows RT, Surface 3 now uses an x86 processor and runs the full version of Windows 8.1. That means it can install Desktop applications like Photoshop, Handbrake, and other productivity tools.

    Physically, its design has also been rethought. It's actually lighter than Surface 2 (1.37 pounds from 1.5 pounds), yet has more screen real estate. That's because its now equipped with a 3:2 aspect ratio display, like the Surface Pro 3. Surface 3 also adopts the new Type Keyboard cover design from the Pro 3, with two magnetic contact strips for increased sturdiness and usability. No more debates about "lapability"--this is definitely a device you can use comfortably on a desk, lap, or even on an airplane tray. Another thing it's inherited from the Pro line--the active N-Trig digitizer pen, which makes it a really great digital notebook, if not Wacom tablet alternative. Surface 3 is essentially a lightweight version of the Surface Pro 3, both in terms of formfactor and performance. That's a really good thing.

    There are some other notable differences, though. The kickstand only locks in three positions, unlike the Pro 3's versatile hinge. That's perhaps a space-saving choice, but more likely a cost-saving measure for Microsoft. But on the plus side, charging is now done over a microUSB port instead of a proprietary connector. That's a net-positive, though charging does take longer on the Surface 3 than other laptops.

    Testing the Surface 3 was an interesting exercise in trying to understand Microsoft's design decisions for the product. They seemingly spared no expense with some aspects of the devicethe build quality and display, for example. But they also seemed to have made some cost-cutting choices in other areas that affect performance. We'll start with the good stuff, and then talk about the tradeoffs.

    Testing: Asus Zenbook UX305 Laptop

    Intel's Core-M laptop processor has been getting a lot of attention of late, and not under the best light. Even though these ultra-low power CPUs were released late last year in a bunch of Windows notebooks, the platform got a ton of attention when Apple put it in the controversial new MacBook line. As we've found in our tests, Core-M effective made the MacBook Apple's slowest Mac device--mid-range performance at a high-end price. And on the PC side, our experience with Core-M hasn't been much better. Performance throttling of Core-M on the Lenovo Yoga Pro 3 made it a step backward for that series of laptops. Manufacturers clearly get the appeal of a fanless laptop design, but they're putting Intel's chip in premium systems that tax it too far.

    It's not until the Asus Zenbook UX305 that I've finally found what looks like the most appropriate use of Core-M: a fantastic mid-range system that costs just $700. After using the UX305 for a few weeks, I'm convinced that this is the best laptop you can buy for the price.

    In discussing my testing of the UX305, I have to acknowledge that it was research into the MacBook that lead me to this laptop. Many Windows users in tech forums pointed to it as a counterpoint to Apple's new laptop, citing its use of Core-M. But aside from that shared CPU architecture, these are actually very different systems, made for very different users. In fact, the more apt comparison would be with Apple's 13-inch MacBook Air.

    Just look at the size and dimensions of the Zenbook. It's not a design that was whittled away to be as thin and light as possible--and that's totally OK. The generous bezel space around the screen and keyboard areas makes this more a traditionally designed ultrabook than a Dell XPS 13. And with its 13.3-inch screen, the Zenbook is still thinner and lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Air at half an inch (12.5mm) thick and 2.64 pounds. I've never lived with a 13-inch MacBook Air long-term, but the UX305 is a very comfortable size for a daily carry or walking around with at the office.

    Under the hood, the UX305 uses Intel's Core-M 5Y10 processor, which is actually clocked at .8GHz and turbo boosts to 2.0GHz when needed. The CPU is supported by the standard Intel HD5300 integrated graphics chip, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SATA-based solid state storage. I'll talk about real-world performance in a bit, but want to note that the amount of stock SSD storage is exceptional for a laptop of this price. It's not a PCIe-based storage system, but that's totally fine for a laptop that's not meant for heavy photo or video work. Storage was also divided into two partitions, but it's easy to merge the two when first setting the Zenbook up.

    On the sides of the laptop are three USB 3.0 ports (one that supports fast charging for smartphones), headphone jack, power port, micro-HDMI, and an SD card reader. The USB ports were as fast as any I've tested, but the SD card reader transferred files from my Sandisk Extreme Pro card at around 40MB/s, which is on the low side of built-in readers.

    Microsoft BUILD Keynote: What You Need to Know

    Today marks the beginning of BUILD, Microsoft's annual developer keynote. Unlike Google and Apple, Microsoft actually devotes a considerable amount of time to sharing information of interest to actual developers, so the keynote was heavy on code demos, APIs, and integration with existing products, like Office. However, there were a handful of interesting notes for normal folks.

    From a personal level, the most interesting portion of the keynote was the Windows Holographic demo. Holographic is Microsoft's augmented reality operating system, designed to be run on standalone Hololens hardware. Along with a handful of tech demos, we got the first glimpse of an actual user interface for augmented or mixed reality computing. In addition to representations of traditional windows, which look like flat windows, hovering fixed in space, staying in the same area relative to your head, or hovering a few inches off of a convenient wall. Microsoft also showed some three dimensional representations of data. The interface was controlled using a combination of gestures and voice commands.

    Compared to the January unveil, the registration between the actual and virtual worlds seemed to work much better. There were a couple of skips and jumps, but overall it was a much more polished experience than we'd seen before. There still isn't any actual information about how HoloLens works, but we're hoping to get some hands on time with the hardware and software later this week.

    Compared to the January unveil, the registration between the actual and virtual worlds seemed to work much better.

    The windows seem to float a couple of inches off of the wall, complete with drop shadows. The interface seems to be gesture and voice based. It seemed that the brunt of the user interface happens with voice control, using simple air taps to place windows and objects. When you say "Follow me" the window stays in the same position relative to your head.

    Microsoft also announced that traditional Windows apps, the ones that run on your Desktop, will be coming to the Windows Store. You'll be able to buy and install them in the same way that you can buy and install Modern apps on the Windows Store today. Those applications will run in a sandbox, but they'll behave just like traditional Windows applications, on your Desktop.

    Developers can reuse Java and C++ code from Android versions of their apps for phones running Windows 10. Windows phones will include an Android subsystem that lets you use native Windows features, like Live Tiles in the Windows versions of your Android apps.

    Project Spartan, the new browser that's replacing Internet Explorer in Windows 10, will be known as Microsoft Edge.

    Microsoft Announces Atom-Based Surface 3 Tablet

    Even though Windows 10 isn't coming out until later this year, Microsoft is launching a new Surface tablet next month. This isn't the follow up to the Surface Pro 3 that I liked so much last year, nor is it a new ARM-based RT tablet like the Surface 2. Instead, it's simply called Surface 3, and it'll run a full version of Windows 8.1 (upgradable to Windows 10). What separates it from the Surface Pro lines is its processor: Surface 3 is equipped with Intel's Atom x7 Z8700 CPU, which is clocked at 1.6GHz and turbos to 2.4GHz. Atom has come a long way since its netbook days, and Cherry Trail just launched earlier this year. The advantages of using an X86-based SoC mean Surface 3 can run a fully-capable version of Windows, while keeping power down to as low as 2 watts in "Scenario Design Power". That gives Surface 3 a claimed battery life of 10 hours, while keeping the weight and thickness below Surface 2 RT's specs. Along with a new hardware platform is the use of a 3:2 display (like the Surface Pro 3), with a 1920x1280 touchscreen, and an N-trig pressure sensitive digitizer. Unfortunately, the Surface Pro 3's versatile hinge doesn't make it to this model--this hinge only snaps to three positions.

    The interesting thing for me is what this may indicate about the next-generation Surface Pro model. Surface Pro 4 will presumably come out before the end of the year and make a great Windows 10 launch device. But Microsoft can go either the Broadwell U route for hardware (a direct follow-up for the Haswell chips in the current Surface Pro 3) or Core M/Broadwell-Y, which is what's in laptops like the Lenovo Yoga Pro 3 and Apple's upcoming MacBook. My hope is that Microsoft will use Broadwell U chips for that model, given the ultra-low power needs are somewhat satisfied with this Surface 3. But my gut says that they'll design Surface Pro 4 around Core M to take advantage of its low power consumption, at the cost of performance. Given my experience with Broadwell U vs. Y, I'm much more inclined to buy a Broadwell U-based laptop if it's going to be my dedicated computer. We'll just have to wait and see.

    Surface 3 will ship in May, and starts at $500 for 64GB of storage or $600 for 128GB and twice the RAM. LTE models will also be available for $100 more.

    In Brief: Windows 10 Launching This Summer

    Microsoft today announced that Windows 10 would be launching in 190 countries "this summer." And though summer technically ends in late September, this approximate timeframe is still ahead of the fall release of Microsoft's last two major OS releases, Windows 7 and 8. Both hit retail in the month of October, after public preview releases. The announcement was made at Windows summit in China, where hardware partners like Lenovo and Tencent committed to offering upgrade services for Windows 7 and 8 users (even non-genuine copies). We've liked what we've seen so far in Windows 10, but there is still a lot for Microsoft to reveal, such as the new consumer-facing web browser that will take the place of Internet Explorer in Windows 10. The upcoming Build conference should be pretty exciting.

    Norman 4
    In Brief: Lenovo-Installed Superfish Malware Breaks Secure Websites

    Lenovo's in the news because Superfish, a piece of pre-installed crapware the company shipped on some computers last year, breaks the secure connections between web browsers and web servers of banks, online stores, social media sites, and more. That means when affected users use sites that rely on SSL to encrypt sensitive communications those connections aren't secure. If you want to know more, Ars Technica has done a great job explaining how Superfish works. And if you bought a Lenovo PC, especially if it was manufactured between October and December of 2014, you should probably go see if your PC is infested with Superfish. As an aside, this is why I recommend doing a clean install of Windows whenever you buy a new PC.

    Will 7
    What's New in the Windows 10 Technical Preview (Build 9926)

    When Microsoft releases Windows 10, it'll be a free upgrade to anyone currently using Windows 7 or 8. But is it something you'll want to install? The new Technical Preview gives us a glimpse into how Microsoft plans to reel back the Modern UI design and introduce new features like Cortana search and a Notifications pane. Here's what you should know about it!

    Microsoft Unveils More Windows 10 Details

    After a preview at last September's BUILD conference, today Microsoft hosted a press event in Redmond to show more of what to expect from the next version of Windows, and a few more things to boot.

    First up, pricing. Describing Windows as a service, Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 8 users. Windows 7 users will have one year to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, as well. (Microsoft said they would clarify later what the upgrade options would be for Windows RT and XP/Vista users.) While there was some initial confusion about what this actual meant, in a post-conference Q&A session, it was explained that this isn't a change in business model for Windows--don't expect user subscriptions for the OS, although I wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft push Windows users harder to sign up for Xbox Live Gold-style subscription-only upgrades and enhancements to the OS, including additional storage space on One Drive and the like.

    As originally shown at Build, Windows 10 will integrate the two disparate halves of Windows 8, the Start Screen and the traditional Desktop. You'll be able to run Modern-style Start Screen apps inside a window on the Desktop, the task switching utilities will be unified, and things like system settings applets will be available on both interfaces. That means that things like settings to control Windows will all be in one place, not split willy-nilly between the Desktop-only Control Panel and the Start Screen PC Settings app.

    At the same time, Microsoft is promising a more unified Windows across devices, including both mobile and large-scale collaborative touchscreens. In addition to syncing your files between devices using OneDrive, Microsoft claims that universal applications will behave in a standard, expected way across platforms. Microsoft is leading this initiative with its own for the OS running as universal apps. They demoed the Outlook app running on phone and a PC. While this sounds good on paper, the actual execution requires deftness that Microsoft didn't show on the Windows 8 side, so I'm waiting to see this in person before I render judgment. If the Desktop versions of universal apps are just reskinned versions of the mobile apps, without the added functionality I expect on a Desktop app, I'd be disappointed.

    Microsoft also showed its voice assistant, Cortana, running on multiple platforms, including Desktop Windows. Along with information similar to Google's Knowledge Graph, Cortana seems to learn from your behavior. If you ask the software to track an incoming flight, it will let you know if that flight conflicts with other events in your calendar. If you ask it about something that you mentioned in a written note, it will reference that info in its answer to you. The on-stage demo was a bit rough around the edges, so I'm interested in seeing this in person too. It seems odd that we're moving toward a world where I'll have three or four voice agents running in my presence at any given time.

    Tested In-Depth: Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro

    Will and Norm sit down to discuss the new Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, which is the first laptop we've seen to utilize Intel's Broadwell chipset. While more power efficient than the processor used in last year's Yoga and even the Surface Pro 3, the Core-M CPU here isn't without its compromises. Thinner and lighter doesn't always mean better!

    Testing: Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Laptop

    We're at a bit of a crossroads for Windows-based laptops. With Windows 10 coming out next year, the laptops on sale this holiday may be the last new generation to be designed with Windows 8.1 in mind, with all of the OS's quirks and shortcomings (touch on the Desktop and high DPI screen management still not perfected). My hope is that laptops like Lenovo's new Yoga Pro 3 to thrive in Windows 10--I can't wait for that virtual desktop manager--but you don't buy a laptop today to unlock its potential in a year. And what Lenovo has done with its popular Yoga line this year is pretty interesting. I've been testing one as my Windows PC for the past week and a half, and wanted to share some notes with you before we shoot our in-depth review.

    If you recall, I was a fan of the original Yoga when it debuted as one of the first Windows 8 laptops. It was a full x86 machine with a unique folding hinge that gave it novel (and practical) use opportunities. I never liked using it as a tablet, but it worked well as a laptop and in its "stand" mode for watching video. The second generation Yoga Pro brought a ridiculous 3200x1800 screen resolution--a pentile Samsung panel that suffered from a color problem in displaying yellows. Because of the RGBW matrix of the panel, certain power settings on the Yoga 2 Pro made yellows appear greenish in hue. Users had to fix this with a BIOS update. The high resolution display also didn't work well in Windows 8, with DPI scaling behaving inconsistently between applications and even within the Windows desktop UI.

    The Yoga 3 Pro still uses the same 3200x1800 display, but the color issues seem to be gone and Windows 8.1 is slightly better at dealing with high DPI scaling. The big changes this year are linked: a new ultra-low power CPU from Intel and a new formfactor that's significantly thinner than the past Yoga laptops, while also increasing connectivity options.

    Tested In-Depth: Windows 10 Technical Preview

    The next release of Windows is going to be...Windows 10. We install the Technical Preview and show off the its new features, including refined touch on the Desktop, new multiple Desktop management, and the return of the Start Menu! This is software we don't recommend running on production systems, but we like what we see so far!

    Microsoft Announces Windows 10

    This morning at a San Francisco press event, Microsoft's Windows Chief Terry Myerson announced that the next version of Windows would be called Windows 10. Like Windows 8 and 8.1 (which I guess was Windows 9), Windows 10 will be one operating system that runs on traditional desktop and laptop PCs, as well as touch-only and hybrid devices like tablets and Microsoft's own Surface. It will also be Microsoft's mobile OS, as well as their Enterprise OS.

    For desktop Windows users, we'll see the long-awaited return of the Start Menu, with familiar functionality like pinned programs and system shortcuts, as well as Modern UI tiles nested alongside. It's an explicit callback to the features that Windows 7 users missed when Microsoft introduced the Start Screen--hence the 18% adoption rate of Windows 8 since it was released two years ago. For example, universal search is now back on the Desktop with the Start Menu, so users won't have to slide into the Start Screen to use it. Modern UI apps--now called Universal Apps--can run windowed on the Desktop, and snap alongside "Classic" programs.

    Other new features include a Task View button that is the new equivalent of Alt-Tab/Windows-Tab. Running applications tile next to each other in a grid so you can see what you're running and switch to any app. It's a lot like OS X's Expose, which third-party apps like Switcher have been mimicking for years. Windows is also getting better multiple-Desktops support, a feature I use heavily on small-screen laptops like my MacBook Air. This will make the Surface Pro that much better.

    Other features demoed today included a new Desktop Command Prompt (woo!), a new Start Screen mode, and improved app snapping. The Charms Bar is not going away.

    Microsoft is releasing a Technical Preview of Windows 10 soon for Desktop and Laptop users--interested parties should register at the new Windows Insider website. Windows 10 will be released "later in the year" in 2015, after Microsoft's Build conference. Watch Microsoft's Joe Belfiore introduce Windows 10 in the video below:

    Tested In-Depth: Microsoft Surface Pro 3

    Will and Norm sit down to discuss the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3. We compare it to previous Surface Pro devices and how it fares as both a laptop and tablet alternative. The one thing we like the most about it: note-taking with the pen digitizer is a lovely experience.

    In Brief: Satya Nadella on the Future of Microsoft

    At the first re/code Code Conference (which is basically the rebranding of the All Things D Conference), Walk Mossberg and Kara Swisher grilled Microsoft CEO about the path of the software company and how he plans to make Microsoft competitive against the likes of Apple, Google, and Facebook. Nadella, who has been frank about the company's missteps (while championing its successes), lamented Microsoft's inability to capitalize on the rise on tablets and mobile devices. Nadella talked about the need for Microsoft to build apps and platforms that are not device-specific, which is why the touch-capable version of Office was released on iPad first, and has still yet to make it to Windows. It won't be the last time Microsoft launches products on other hardware platforms first, either. As for Surface, Nadella called the latest version "promising," which was an acknowledgement that the product line is not a hit--yet. The tone of the conversation was largely defensive, but Nadella did use his time on stage to announce a new product: real-time translated conversations in Skype. The explicit references to Star Trek make it clear--Microsoft sees more value in competing with Google in cloud services than just with Apple on hardware platforms. Bing, Cortana, and moonshots--it's all about Microsoft being less risk-averse and trying to build the next "big thing."

    Norman
    Microsoft Announces Surface Pro 3

    Only eight months have passed since Microsoft announced the second-generation Surface devices, and Panos Panay once again took the stage at a press conference in New York to unveil a Surface Pro refresh. This time the differences and upgrades feel a little more meaningful, or at least more focused for Surface's intended users (students and professionals). Surface Pro 3 was the only new product announced today, and it's not just a spec bump from the Pro 2. This is still Microsoft's laptop replacement--an x86 device (running Windows 8.1 Pro, natch) meant to compete with Apple's MacBook Air. To that end, its LCD screen is now bumped up to 12 inches, with a 3:2 aspect ratio and a native resolution of 2160x1440. That's a pretty significant bump from the 10-inch 1080p screen of the previous Surface Pros, with the change in aspect ratio the most meaningful difference for multi-window and portrait orientation use. The capacitive Windows Start button is now moved to the short edge as well to encourage portrait orientation when used without a keyboard.

    Speaking of the keyboard, Microsoft has also updated the Type Cover with magnets so it can stick to the screen when, you know, used as a cover. It also has a larger trackpad. The Surface kickstand gets not just one new angle, but is now "continuous", meaning it can stay rigid at many more angles--the example Microsoft gave was a "canvas" mode for drawing. It's reminiscent of the flexibility of Lenovo's Yoga laptop, but hopefully with more stability at low-angled orientations. What will also help is the weight of the Surface Pro 3, now reduced to 800 grams (1.76 pounds) without any accessories. Decidedly a two-handed device, if used as a tablet. Battery life is pegged at 9 hours for web browsing, according to Microsoft.

    This Surface Pro still includes a pressure sensitive digitizer pen, as well as a USB 3.0 port and microSD slot. Microsoft also chose to stick with Intel's 4th-gen mobile Haswell chips, with the Core i5 model being the Core i5 4300U processor with HD4400 graphics. The entry-level Surface Pro 3 will run on the Core i3 processor (as yet unspecified), which allows Microsoft to set the base price to an attractive $800. My guess is that this was a last-minute decision to respond to Apple's MacBook Air price slashing earlier this month, and would recommend that you look closely at the specs. The $800 Surface Pro 3 has 64GB of storage and 4GB of memory, with the 128GB SSD model bumping the price to $1000. People who are going to use the Surface Pro 3 as their primary computer will likely want the Core i5 model with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM--which starts at $1300. Ad is the new Type Cover ($130) and that's $1430 for a well-spec'ed system before tax. That's the one I would get if I was in the market for a Surface Pro 3 as my daily carry.

    Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 goes on sale tomorrow online and at Microsoft stores. We're most interested with what users can get with the starting price of $800, and will likely be testing that model. Clarification: Pre-orders for the new Surface begin May 21, and only the i5 models will start shipping on June 20th. The other configurations, including the $800 i3 model, will ship in August.