Apple and Microsoft Attempt to Revolutionize the Computer
Over the past 48 hours, tech giants Apple and Microsoft have both unveiled products that look to change how the consumer uses the computer, both the all-in-one and the laptop.
Starting with Microsoft, the company unveiled two new products, both of which fall into its preexisting Surface line of products.
The first – and more anticipated – reveal came when Microsoft showcased the Surface Studio. It is a 28-inch LCD all-in-one that is clearly marketed at the same people every other surface product is marketed at: the creative type.
Microsoft is calling the Surface Studio “the world’s thinnest LCD monitor ever built” coming in at 12.5 mm. It also utilizes a 3:2 aspect ratio, meaning at that size a person working on a project would be able to see exactly how big something would be when printed.
The Studio is capable of being collapsed down to an angle, making it much easily to draw on with the Surface Pen. The machine is extremely powerful and is jumping into a market Apple has dominated for years. Microsoft, however, has begun to put a dent into Apple’s market hold on products deemed best for creators, and this is just another step in that direction. It’s an expensive step though, with the Surface Studio starting at $2999.
Microsoft also showed off a never before seen product called the Surface Dial. The Dial can be placed directly on top of the screen of the Studio and brings up new menus depending on what you are doing. This seems most useful again for drawing projects, but it can also be handy for other creative projects such as video editing. For example, it could potentially be used as a scroll wheel to scrub through footage in your timeline. The possibilities, if well supported, are endless.
The Surface Dial is included with every Surface Studio but can be purchased separately for $99.
So with Microsoft out of the way, the company from Cupertino decided it was finally time to unveil the long-rumored new MacBook Pro.
Apple announced some other products as well, but its new lineup of MacBook Pros are what took center stage.
After already axing the headphone jack on its phones – but oddly keeping it on its computers, a clear admission of how important the headphone jack still is – Apple is now trying to axe the function bar by replacing with an OLED touch strip that Apple is calling the Touch Bar.
The design itself stays largely the same, with the MacBook Pros getting smaller in size, gaining a larger, Force Touch trackpad, and the second-generation butterfly switch keyboard seen on the MacBook.
Back to the Touch Bar however, it seems to be something that could revolutionize the computer once again. Consumers are not losing the function bar all together, it is just now completely digital. The Touch Bar can also adapt to the app you are using. So if you are in Final Cut, it can be used to scrub through video. Typing out words, it will give word suggestions just like a phone keyboard, all while the function keys being a click away. Oh, and it allowed Apple to bring Touch ID to the MacBooks. No big deal.
Apple dominates all facets of the market with their line of products, but Microsoft, since beginning to make its own hardware a few years back with the Surface line, has slowly taken steps into Apple’s territory.
Will the Surface Studio be a major success? Only time will tell. But the Surface Dial is something that with the right support can revolutionize how creators use their computer, while the MacBook is just Apple continuing to reinvent the market/take features away no one was complaining about.
David Arroyo is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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