Microsoft Reveals New Products At Surface 2022 Event
It’s that time of year when big tech announces new releases, and it’s currently Microsoft’s turn in the limelight.
Microsoft unveiled a raft of new Surface-branded products at its Surface 2022 event held yesterday (Wednesday, 12th October). The lineup comprises several Windows-based devices, though a few low-key Xbox reveals also happened, along with a new app. Here’s everything you need to know:
Surface Pro 9
The Surface Pro 9 edition was unveiled at the event, featuring a 13-inch display with a 2,880 x 1,920 resolution and an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. Processors come in several flavors, with either an i5 or i7 version of Intel’s 12th gen Core processor installed, or a (possibly Qualcomm-based) Microsoft SQ3 chip. The Wi-Fi models come with 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB of RAM, while the 5G version ships with 8GB or 32GB.
In terms of storage, the Intel Surface Pros come with removable SSD drives in sizes up to 1TB, while the SQ3 version maxes out at 512GB — though the lower specced device will achieve 19 hours of battery life, compared to the Intel unit’s 15.5.
When it comes to ports, the Surface Pro 9 comes with a pair of USB-C ports offering Thunderbolt 4 compatibility, with the SQ3 version only getting regular USB-C, along with a SIM slot.
Surface Laptop 5
If you’re in the market for a more conventional laptop, Microsoft also has you covered with their new Surface Laptop 5. Resolution is slightly lower for the 13.5 screen than on the Surface Pro, coming in at 2,256 x 1,504, though you’ll get similar configurations of storage and Intel Core processors.
Interestingly, the 13.5-inch laptop seems to beat the 15-inch model when it comes to battery life. Microsoft rates the smaller portable at 18 hours, while the 15-inch version is only good for 17. Buyers will get one USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4, one USB type-A port, and the faithful 3.5mm headphone jack will also be present.
Surface Studio 2+
Last but not least, desktop PC enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that Microsoft has also announced a new all-in-one computer in the form of the 28-inch Surface Studio 2+. The big-screen device is aimed at creative users who need large amounts of processing power for art projects or complex 3D rendering.
The Surface Studio comes with a massive 4,500 x 3,000 resolution, powered by an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, with 32GB of RAM and 1TB of fast storage.
Although the surface computers stole the show at Microsoft’s 2022 event, the tech giant also made several small announcements about a range of adaptive accessories, including the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and a new Microsoft 365 app called Microsoft Designer, powered by AI.
While we’d love to give release dates and prices for everything announced at the show, no details have emerged just yet, but we’ll hopefully see shipments begin well before the new year.
Adobe Firefly AI Image Generator Comes To Photoshop
The Generative Fill tool will arrive in the app’s tool palette sometime in the second half of this year.
Adobe Photoshop is the latest app to benefit from the explosion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, gaining a new tool called Generative Fill. The company’s AI image generator Firefly benefitted from the new feature in a web-only update back in March, and today, the Generative Fill tool launches in beta for the popular photo editing program.
Generative Fill is a little like a smarter version of Adobe’s existing Content-Aware Fill feature and works within individual Photoshop image layers. The tool can be used to expand the borders of an image (a feature known as outpainting) or to generate entirely new objects, and contains a text prompt to add direction to the AI technology.
Adobe claims its AI is only trained to work on Adobe Stock images, licensed content, and images without copyright restrictions. Generative Fill also supports a system called Content Credentials, which attaches metadata-style attributes to images before they are shared online, informing viewers that content was created or edited with the help of AI.
“By integrating Firefly directly into workflows as a creative co-pilot, Adobe is accelerating ideation, exploration and production for all of our customers,” announced Ashley Still, the senior vice president of Digital Media at Adobe. “Generative Fill combines the speed and ease of generative AI with the power and precision of Photoshop, empowering customers to bring their visions to life at the speed of their imaginations,” she added.
Also Read: PicSo Review: A Popular AI-Based Text-To-Image App
Generative Fill isn’t yet available in the latest version of Photoshop, but if you’re curious about how the tool works, you can download the desktop beta app or try it out within a module of the Firefly beta. Adobe is still tight-lipped about the exact release date of Generative Fill, but says we can expect the new feature to drop sometime in the second half of 2023.