Easily the surprise hit of today’s big Window
10 event was the Surface Dial. Microsoft’s new input device that none of
us knew we needed. The $100 hardware accessory is, as “a completely
new way to interact with technology and create in the most natural, immersive way,” says
Microsoft. What that means in non-marketing speak is
that the Dial is basically a standalone wireless knob that lets users adjust a whole bunch
of different things with a turn. The sky’s kind of the limit when it comes
to functionality. On a very basic level, you can perform simple
tasks like adjusting brightness and turning up and down system volume. In the on-stage demo, Microsoft showed off
how it can be used to, say, display and hide handwritten notes on a document. That’s all well and good, but the device
is meant to be more than just a dumb switch. Possibilities are endless. The hardware itself is simple, but nice. It’s got a good heft to it and a premium
feel, and it glides smoothly, without offering enough give to accidentally turn too far. Response is instantaneous, as one would expect
with a wireless mouse, keyboard or other input device. You can stick it to the display on the Surface
Studio, for direct interaction, and when you take it off, a surrogate digital version pops
up on-screen. The device was clearly designed with the Studio
and all of its screen real estate in mind, but it will also work with a number of current
entries in the product line, including the Surface Pro 3, 4 and the Surface Book. No word on availability as of yet, but we
are guestimating it will ship ahead of the Microsoft’s new Surface Studio — or hopefully,
right around the same time.

29 thoughts on “Microsoft’s Surface Dial hands on”

  1. Honest. Don't like it. Prefer some design concept like touchbar of MacBook Pro, something not block the screen you r using….

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