New and innovative tech products are constantly being introduced to the market, but not all of them succeed. Even popular fan favorites eventually face discontinuation. One product line in particular that has experienced this fate is the Microsoft Surface line. While the company recently announced some new Surface devices, they only offered minor upgrades to existing models. This, coupled with the departure of Surface chief Panos Panay, indicates that the Surface products as we currently know them are on the decline.
It is disappointing to see the potential demise of the Surface line, as it brought forth some innovative designs and form factors. One standout product from the lineup is the Surface Book. This device aimed to solve the issues commonly found in tablets and 2-in-1 laptops. Unlike other devices that either offered a physical keyboard or a traditional tablet, the Surface Book provided users with both options. However, the device faced criticism for its weight and clunky hinge design. The imbalance of components also made the device prone to falling over when used on a lap.
Despite Microsoft confirming the discontinuation of the Surface Book line in 2021, recent advancements in technology could make a comeback for the device more appealing. Companies have made significant progress in hinge design in recent years, as demonstrated by Apple’s Magic Keyboard for iPad. Implementing a similar design for the Surface Book could eliminate the gap present in the original model. Additionally, developments in processors could lead to improved performance and battery life. Thus, a 2023 Surface Book could be better than ever before.
Another product that could be deserving of a comeback is the iMac Pro. When it was released in 2017, the device was meant to bridge the gap between the outdated 2013 Mac Pro and the newer 2019 Mac Pro. Apple claimed that the iMac Pro was its most powerful Mac at the time, but professionals may have preferred the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR combination that was released later. However, there is still potential for the iMac Pro concept to return. Apple’s expertise in Apple Silicon could enable them to create a powerful iMac Pro with their unique design language. A more performance-oriented iMac is needed to meet the demands of many users in 2023.
While it is unlikely that the Pixelbook will make a comeback due to Google’s tendency to discontinue products, there is a case to be made for its revival. Google’s Tensor silicon, featured in their Pixel devices, offers a high level of optimization between hardware and software. Utilizing this technology in a new version of the Pixelbook could make it the sleekest and most powerful Chromebook available.
Although the 12-inch MacBook was widely regarded as one of Apple’s worst products, advancements in technology and the success of Apple Silicon present an opportunity for its reintroduction. Apple has proven its ability to provide more power in a smaller form factor, as well as the inclusion of high-quality displays and keyboards. The demand for USB-C-only laptops has also increased since the initial release of the 12-inch MacBook.
Out of the products mentioned, it is most likely that Apple will bring back the iMac Pro, although it may not be under the same name. The absence of a 27-inch iMac with Apple Silicon suggests that a future release could align with the expectations of an iMac Pro. On the other hand, it is unlikely that the Surface Book and Pixelbook will make a return, as Microsoft is downsizing the Surface line and Google has shifted its focus away from the Pixelbook.
Overall, while some tech products may face discontinuation, advancements in technology and changing consumer demands present opportunities for the return of beloved devices. It will be interesting to see if any of these products make a comeback and how they will be improved to meet the evolving needs of consumers.