Technological World for September 14, consumer tech: Latest Microsoft Surface devices for students, new Kindle from Amazon

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Microsoft’s Surface devices are legit useful for students and Amazon’s announced a new Kindle electronic reader.

Microsoft’s tablet and notebook options are great for students

There are a couple of things that make Microsoft’s Surface devices appealing for students in high school and university.

One is that they are full-on computers that run the Windows 11 operating system. With so many schools adopting Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, it just makes sense to seriously consider being in that ecosystem while you’re in school.

The second reason is the touchscreens. Even the Surface laptops have touchscreens, which is amazingly useful at times, like mucking around with spreadsheets and creating presentation decks.

Me and the kids have been playing with a couple of the most recent models of Surfaces, and we like them.

My primary complaint stems from the Microsoft software needing to constantly authenticate, which can mean that startup time lags while the computer connects to the cloud.

The Surface Pro 8 (starting at $1,400) is a tablet first and becomes a slick drawing and note-taking device if you get Microsoft’s Slim Pen 2 ($170) stylus.

It’s got a 13-inch screen and I like the built-in stand that folds out of the back of the Pro 8, as opposed to having a stand come as part of a case. That’s why it works better than other tablets as a laptop when you pair it with a Surface Pro Signature Keyboard ($230; comes in a model with a fingerprint reader for $250).

The Surface Laptop Go 2 (starting at $740) is a full-featured laptop with a crisp 12.4-inch display. It’s small and light and robust, so it can be tossed – gently – into a backpack with a binder and some textbooks.

Microsoft also has a Surface Laptop 4 (starting at $1,099), which is a higher powered laptop intended for business – as opposed to school – purposes. We didn’t try that one out.

Nor did we try the Surface Laptop Studio (starting at $2,049), which has the delightful articulating screen.

As much as I like the Surface devices, I’m still annoyed that Microsoft has such a confusing naming system for them. It shouldn’t be so difficult to figure out which Surface model is best for you, but being able to differentiate between the Pro and the Laptop and the Laptop Go.

But odds are that if you can figure that out, there’s a Microsoft Surface that will work for you.

Amazon’s new Kindle is light and with a better display

On Tuesday, Amazon revealed an update to its popular Kindle electronic reader.

The new Kindle is priced at $130, and a higher resolution display than before. The six-inch screen is non-reflective, so you don’t have to worry about glare in bright light.

And this updated model has 16 GB of storage, double what was in the last model, with enough space for thousands of books, and a battery that will last up to six weeks with regular reading use.

It’s also light enough that you can easily hold it with one hand.

What it lacks, that you can get in the Kindle Paperwhite (for an extra $20), is waterproofing.

The new Kindle is available for pre-order now and will be released on October 12.


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