Rumours that Vole was going to release a new webcam have been circulating for years, and the result is what Microsoft calls the Modern Webcam, although it is surprisingly dull.
It's a fairly basic and affordable 1080p webcam that will start shipping for $69.99 in June. The Microsoft Modern Webcam will support up to 1080p HDR output at 30fps and connects via USB-A, not USB-C.
It's not the 4K webcam found on Microsoft's Surface Hub 2, and it doesn't include Windows Hello support.
Vole has included a privacy shutter and LED indicator to let people easily see when the webcam is active. Microsoft is also launching a new USB-C speaker. The Modern USB-C Speaker is designed primarily for Microsoft Teams, and it even includes a button to launch a control panel for Teams with actions for meetings.
Meanwhile Vole announced a new 2021 Surface Laptop, called the Surface Laptop 4. The new version adds 11th-gen Intel Core processors, paired with Intel Iris XE graphics. There's also an AMD processor option -- Zen 2 series -- with a graphics chip called AMD Radeon Graphics Microsoft Surface Edition.
It has face recognition for unlocking the laptop, Dolby Atmos speakers, the latest wifi 6, Bluetooth 5, up to 19 hours of battery life and fast charging. They also have a new HD webcam with improved low-light performance and dual studio mics for better video calls as Microsoft attempts to embrace the new hybrid home office working pattern.
The Laptop 4 continues Microsoft's push to diversify its computers away from the previously dominant Intel chips, also providing custom options from rival AMD. The move follows Apple's switch from Intel processors to chips of its own design, as computer manufacturers look for a way to differentiate their products from the sea of similar machines.
The Surface Laptop 4 will cost from $999 in the US, Canada and Japan shipping from 15 April, and from £999 in the UK shipping from 27 April.