Microsoft Is Reportedly Delaying the Dual-Screen Surface Neo

Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo
Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo

While it seems like we’ll be seeing the Surface Duo very soon, it appears we’ll have to wait a lot longer for the Surface Neo. Microsoft originally planned for the Neo to launch during the 2020 holiday season, but has reportedly instead hit pause on the production of the dual-screen tablet.

The report comes via Laptop Mag, which cites unnamed insiders as saying the reason behind the decision was to reallocate resources toward other projects. There’s no updated timeline for the Neo. On the other hand, it seems like those same sources confirmed to Laptop Mag that the Surface Duo will have no such problem. The Duo was also initially slated for the holiday season but appears it will now come early. Initial speculation had Microsoft as aiming to launch the Duo before Samsung’s Unpacked event next week, but according to Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, it looks like the new date may be August 24.

While a bummer, Microsoft’s decision to delay the Neo seemed somewhat inevitable. A big factor in the decision is likely due to the chaos the global pandemic inflicted on the supply chain. Back in April, reports came out that Microsoft had decided to delay Windows 10X and devices running on 10X — cough, the Neo, cough — to 2021. But that date, according to ZDNet, will likely be for single-screen devices running 10X. We could be waiting until 2022 to see a 10X dual-screen device like the Neo.

Understandably, details about the Neo right now are somewhat scant. Gizmodo got to see the device at Microsoft’s event last year — though that was only a dummy model. At the time, Microsoft noted that each side of the Neo would be 5.6mm thin with two 9-inch LCD displays connected by a hinge. It’ll also supposedly weigh 0 kg, and rely on an 11th-gen Intel Lakefield processor that would purportedly be a Neo-exclusive. The prototype version Gizmodo saw also had a magnetic pen, as well as an optional keyboard that could slide up to reveal a trackpad. Pricing, however, remains a mystery and will likely stay that way until Microsoft can get production running again.

Still, a delay doesn’t have to be the absolute worst thing in the world. After all, nobody likes a rushed gadget running glitchy software. That’s doubly true of the Neo, as Microsoft promised a pretty flashy gadget, with novel software. In any case, it appears we’re in for a lengthy wait with this one.