US reviewers sent the first Microsoft Surface Duo units


Select US tech journalists have been sent Microsoft Surface Duo review units as the PR for the upcoming dual-screen device hots up.

The Duo, a two-screen Android device, is to be sold in the US only for $1,399. Reviewers who received the units were part of an apparent crop of 50.

Due to a review embargo, the journalists are currently only able to show the Duo powered off. Boo!

Excitement for the device in the tech community is twofold (heh): Microsoft abandoned a device called Courier some years back but returned to its original vision of a book-like productivity device for the Duo, and secondly, because it is Microsoft’s return to phones.

But the company doesn’t like calling it a phone despite the functionality, and you can see why from some of the unboxing images. The device only has one camera and is a totally new form factor for mobile devices as a tablet hybrid.

7 years later… 🎉

Unboxing vid being edited now.

— Daniel Rubino (@Daniel_Rubino)
August 26, 2020

The @Microsoft @surface Duo just showed up! Unboxing coming shortly on the @AndroidAuth YouTube and IG live. Tune in!

— David ImeI (@DurvidImel)
August 26, 2020

#SurfaceDuo first thoughts:

💻Doesn’t feel like a phone. Feels like a pocket computer.📂The hinge is *perfect.* Open to any angle you want; it stops at that point.🤔Glass? I’d have preferred magnesium.📚This is gonna be the perfect Kindle.🎁Unboxing is live on Insta!


— Michael Fisher (@theMrMobile)
August 26, 2020

I’ll be test driving the loaner Surface Duo I received for the next couple of weeks. My assistant already is assessing the new form factor. He’s interested in book mode and the overall ‘feel in paw’:

— Mary Jo Foley (@maryjofoley)
August 26, 2020

Ever-first tech reviewer MKBHD has one of the best and earliest videos, too.

Review packs were sent with the Duo and the Surface Earbuds in a fancy presentation box, but in all likelihood the retail units will be the device only.

We do hope the Duo comes to the UK and other markets, but it won’t be the end of the world if it doesn’t. It’s very expensive and a first-generation product, so Microsoft is very likely to release improved second and third versions, expanding its markets as it goes.

If the improvements are anything like what the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 appears to be over the original Fold then you might well be better off waiting a year or two anyway.

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