At its Friday keynote address at IFA 2015 in Berlin today, Microsoft provided a familiar demo of Windows 10 before launching into a list of new Windows 10-powered PCs that will become available to customers this holiday season.
Many were hoping that Microsoft would announce something—anything—at this event. But I had been tipped off previously that the software giant would focus on its partners instead. (The current rumor is that Microsoft will host a combined announcement event for Surface, Lumia and Microsoft Band 2 in October). That, coupled with the fact that almost all of the PCs Microsoft showed off had been previously announced this week ahead of IFA—led to a bit of disappointment, especially with folks—like me, and readers of this site—who have been paying attention.
Indeed, Brad Sams and I appeared on TWiT this morning with Mike Elgan to cover the keynote live, and it’s fair to say we were pretty disappointed. (I’ll post a link to the show when it’s made available.) As I noted on the show, this was a great time for Microsoft to demonstrate continued Windows 10 momentum and, I think, make the first substantive Windows 10 Mobile device announcements. But Windows 10 Mobile was nowhere to be seen. It was just Windows 10 for PCs.
Skipping over the first half of the keynote—a repetitive Windows 10 demo during which remote viewers were never even shown the screen, a curious mistake on the part of the people behind the live stream—let’s move forward to what Microsoft did show off. Actually, let’s just focus on the interesting bits, as there were some nice looking Windows 10 PCs to think about.
Acer Aspire One Cloudbook
Why it matters: it costs less than $200.
Notable: there are two versions, one with an 11-inch screen and one with a more spacious 14-inch display. They both include a free year of Office 365 Personal, 802.11ac Wi-Fi for faster wireless.
Windows 10 specific features: trackpad gestures.
Learn more: Acer.com
Lenovo IdeaPad 100S
Why it matters: it is a high-quality 14-inch notebook that costs less than $300
Notable: premium build quality, a free year of Office 365 Personal.
Windows 10 specific features: none.
Learn more: Lenovo.com
HP Elitebook Folio 1020
Why it matters: not a new device, but a MacBook-quality touch-based notebook.
Notable: amazing build quality, great battery, thin and light design, fanless.
Windows 10 specific features: trackpad gestures, fingerprint reader.
Learn more: HP.com
Why it matters: gorgeous 2-in-1 convertible notebook with a 12- or 14-inch touch display
Notable: 4K screen.
Windows 10 specific features: face identification and authentication camera, Continuum support.
Learn more: Toshiba.com