November 12, 2021

Surface Duo 2 – Tiny weight, two screens, limitless possibilities

Mia Chen-Wong
Microsoft Surface Solution Specialist
Is it a phone? Is it a tablet? No, it’s the Surface Duo 2! A shapeshifting, compact and foldable device that has founded an entirely new category of business devices.

The Duo 2’s ultra-flexible design means it can serve as a small tablet, a screen that can be propped up anywhere in tent mode, a book, or a phone. It’s a powerful productivity device in business – and it’s great for personal use too. So, what exactly is the incredible Microsoft Surface Duo 2? I’ll take you through our first experiences with the device in this blog, diving into its functions and features – and how your workplace can benefit from the smallest, lightest Surface yet.

This is Microsoft’s second take on the Duo. Australia didn’t see the Duo 1, but critics highlighted a few deficiencies of the first-gen, including lagging performance, limited connectivity options, and missing features. Microsoft has clearly listened; the new and improved Duo 2 has a more powerful processor, triple-lens camera and improved screen refresh rates (a feature that many of the latest Surface devices have gained). Now available for the first time to Australian businesses, let’s take a look at Microsoft’s latest offering.

What can you expect in Surface Duo 2?

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • High-resolution 5.8” touchscreens which open to 8.3”
  • A revolutionary hinge that supports book to compose to tent mode
  • Featherlight at just 284g
  • Windows 11 compatible, including digital inking with the Slim Pen 2
  • Supports a secure virtual desktop experience
  • Stream in ultra-fast LTE Advanced or 5G
  • Triple lens camera with 4K video
  • Enables Xbox gaming, streaming, and every Android™ app in the Google Play store

Let’s talk Duo 2 features in detail

Two screens are more flexible than one

The Surface Duo 2’s weight starts at just 284 grams and when open it is incredibly thin at 5.5mm. The stand-out feature however, has to be two high-resolution touchscreens (5.8” each that open to 8.3” together) that fold together like a book. There are other foldable phones on the market – the Samsung Flip comes to mind – but the Duo 2 exceeds them by far in features and capability (more on that later).

This dual-screen experience allows you to complete tasks quickly by interacting with two apps at once. For example, you can compare documents, drag information between apps – or attend a Microsoft Teams meeting on one screen and respond to emails on the other. However it’s used, this is a device that prioritises productivity with next-level multi-tasking.


The screens can also act as one when used with dual-screen enhanced apps. For example, you have the option to open Outlook on both screens to see your inbox on one screen and messages or email attachments open on the other.

This dual-screen experience is enabled via Microsoft Office, Microsoft Teams, OneNote, OneDrive, Microsoft Edge and Camera. There are also third-party app providers – such as Kindle and TikTok – supporting a dual screen experience, and you can expect this list to grow as Duo 2 matures.

Perhaps one of the biggest enhancements is the arrival of the so-called Glance Bar. When the device is closed users can see glimpses of notifications in the gap between screens.

Its form factor makes it incredibly versatile with the ability to:

  • Fold a screen backwards to focus on one thing or make a call.
  • Fold into a tent and set it on a desk to make video calls or stream presentation content.
  • Or use it with the Surface Pen to make digital inking a breeze.

5G supported

One of the shortcomings of the first-generation was the lack of 5G. Fortunately this has been addressed in Duo 2. This means there is no need for Wi-Fi, although it is Wi-Fi 6 enabled too. The speed of 5G will ensure buffer-free video calls, super-fast streaming, swift cloud connections and great gaming experiences.

Powerful, flexible video and camera capabilities

The Duo 2 features a new triple-lens camera allowing users to capture vibrant, high-quality photos and 4K video. Use the two screens to edit content using built-in utilities and adjustment features, before saving to OneDrive. Tent mode is perfect for video conferencing – all you need is a flat surface to sit it on.

Supports a secure remote desktop experience

It might be skinny on processing – meaning you won’t be running bandwidth-hungry apps – but that’s not what the Duo 2 is designed for. Instead, it enables true versatility with one of its most important features – the ability to use the device as a virtual desktop via Windows 365 or Azure Virtual Desktop.

Azure Virtual Desktop lets you run Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) on Duo 2. This combines Microsoft 365 with the built-in security and compliance features, enterprise manageability, and productivity tools of Windows 10. Users have the ability to remain productive from wherever and whenever – all whilst assuring the level of security that organisations demand.


Surface Duo 2 – the wrap

Duo 2 prioritises mobile productivity. Overall, the screen functionality makes for some serious multi-tasking efforts. In particular, I can see remote and highly mobile workers loving the Duo, as they move from meeting to meeting, or head out onsite or interstate, finding the swiss-army-like functionality a big plus.

We predict the Duo 2, and future generations, will find its home as a replacement for personal productivity devices. And given the Windows 10 streaming and virtual desktop capabilities, Duo 2 has the very real potential to become the go-to workplace device. It’s also immune to the global chip shortages caused by major supply chain issues, so there is plenty of stock ready to go.

In the meantime, we’re putting the Surface Duo 2 to the test. Our Surface team members have switched their current smartphones and tablets for the Duo 2. Stay tuned to hear their first-hand accounts as they put the Duo 2 through its paces during a typical workday. I can’t wait to see how they go with the transition!

Ready to explore further? Get your hands on the Duo 2

The Surface Duo 2 is available now. Reach out to our team for a quote or to place an order. We will have demonstration units of the Duo 2 available for you to trial soon. Contact us today to reserve a device!

With a partnership spanning more than 15 years, Data#3 is your go-to partner for end-to-end support, maintenance and training for your entire Microsoft Surface fleet.

To learn more about the Surface Duo 2, request a demo device, or place an order, get in touch with a Data#3 Microsoft Specialist today.