Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft is using a New York event to unveil a host of new Surface products, including a tablet, laptop, all-in-one desktop and over-the-ear headphones.

Why it matters: The touchscreen-focused Surface family is critical to giving Windows a "cool" factor, but it has also become a significant business for Microsoft. Surface revenue topped $1 billion last quarter, up 25% from a year earlier.

What's new: Most of the changes to the Surface line involve faster chips under the hood, along with the addition of a black color for the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro 6.

Specifically, Microsoft introduced:

  • Surface Pro 6 — The latest version of Microsoft's tablet/laptop hybrid is said to be 1.5 times faster than the prior model, while maintaining all-day battery life. It starts at $899 and will be available Oct. 16, with preorders starting today.
  • Surface Laptop 2 — Microsoft's second take at a homegrown laptop starts at $999 and is also available Oct. 16. It's billed as 85% faster thanks to the new 8th generation Intel Core processor.
  • Surface Studio 2 — The update to Microsoft's high-end all-in one desktop for creatives adds faster graphics and processing, a higher-contrast display and USB-C ports and is set to ship Nov. 15. But all that comes at a price, with the Surface Studio 2 starting at $3,499.
  • Surface Headphones — The $349 over-the-ear headphones featuring Microsoft's Cortana assistant are due "later this holiday season."

What they're saying:

Panos Panay, who has led the Surface effort since its inception, reflected on how it has evolved.

“Six years ago, we launched with one product that blended the lines of what a tablet and laptop could do, and we’ve built that into a successful full family of devices. Today, we want Surface to adapt to how people’s lives are blending more seamlessly between work and home, PC and phone. Technology needs to fade to the background so you can get into your flow. "
— Panos Panay

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee set to start Oct. 12

Sen. Lindsey Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Sept. 24. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee are tentatively scheduled to begin Oct. 12, two Senate sources familiar with the plans told Axios.

Why it matters: The committee's current schedule could allow Senate Republicans to confirm the nominee weeks before November's election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell currently has enough votes to confirm Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is expected as the president's pick.