The Gen XY Lifestyle

Getting There: Microsoft Inches Closer

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Microsoft announced a trifecta of mid-price mobile devices designed with work in mind.

Not only that, they’re also designed with Windows 10 in mind too, as these offerings have also been confirmed to be upgradable to the upcoming, and long awaited Windows 10 operating system, although it is not clear yet if all features will be supported. Microsoft hasn’t quite set our hearts on fire in recent years, but they’re getting closer in fulfilling their vision of a unified platform for desktop and mobile systems.

The new Microsoft Surface 3 looks to be what the Surface should have been at the point of its inception, but like most groundbreaking devices – at least in concept – it takes a while for the technology to get there, and this might well be it.

The Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL also join the lineup as work-capable devices that don’t break the bank. While not groundbreaking in the technical sense, they are welcome introductions to a market that is increasingly aware of value.

And speaking of value, all three devices ship with a free one-year subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal worth S$98, which gives you the full Office experience on one PC/Mac, one tablet, and one phone. Additional perks include 1TB of online storage, and 60 Skype world minutes per month.

Surface 3

The Surface 3 seemingly checks all the right boxes for a device designed to be ‘everything at once’. Its rated 10-hour battery life (video playback) looks promisingly adequate, and it supports the full (desktop) version of Windows. The Surface 3 will ship with Windows 8.1 installed, which is upgradeable to Windows 10 when released.

Surface 3

The Surface 3, pictured with a red Type cover and Surface Pen

Coupled with the Type Cover, the Surface 3 serves double duty as a laptop and tablet. It also supports Surface Pen for good ol’ handwritten notes. Its silent, fanless design and full-sized USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort and microSD card reader sell you the full laptop experience but with silence and ease of handling of a tablet – this is the thinnest, lightest Surface to date. The only downside is the local offering doesn’t support 3G/LTE, which would have made it the ultimate portable.

Lumia 640 and 640 XL


Lumia 640

While not flagship devices, the Lumia 640 and 640XL are mid-priced phones that have been purpose built for work applications; namely the Microsoft Office suite and other productivity apps. The new Lumia phones are equipped with 1.2GHz Snapdragon quad-core processors for smooth operation and large removable batteries for long hours of use as well as easy replacement. There aren’t many fancy appointments to speak of, but then again in this context you only need the essentials.

The 640 sports a now-standard 5-inch HD (720×1280) display while the 640XL sports a larger 5.7-inch HD screen. While essentially the same phone with a different form factor, one major difference lies in the cameras: the 640 is equipped with a 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1-megapixel front camera while the 640XL sports a 13-megapixel camera (featuring ZEISS optics) and a 5-megapixel front camera. And of course, the 640XL has a bigger battery compared to the 640 (3,000mAh vs 2,,500mAh).

640 XL 2

The Lumia 640XL features Zeiss optics


The Lumia 640 will retail for S$299 and will be available in glossy cyan, orange, white and matte black. The Lumia 640XL goes for S$429 in matte cyan, orange, black and white. For more details visit

The Surface 3 will go on sale on 5 May 2015 and you can place your orders at Microsoft Online Store, Challenger, Newstead and Harvey Norman. It is available in two configurations; the 64GB model is priced at S$748 (2GB RAM) while the 128GB model retails for S$898 (4GB RAM). The Surface Pen retails for S$73 while the Type Cover will set you back an additional S$199. For more details visit




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