Surface Laptop Is Microsoft's Shot at a Portable Computer For Everyone

By Michael Nunez on at

Meet Microsoft Surface Laptop, a portable computer made for basically everyone and meant to take on high-design competitors like the Apple MacBook. The new Surface Laptop is lightweight, ships with the newly announced Windows 10 S (but can be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro), and includes many familiar details featured on other Microsoft hardware products.

The device is positioned to fit perfectly between the Surface Pro, with its hybrid laptop-tablet design, and the high-end Surface Book. Additionally, the Surface Laptop can perform many—but not all—of the same operations as the Surface Studio including being able to connect to the Surface Pen and Surface Dial accessories.

It’s still unclear if the Surface Laptop is a device you need to run out and buy since we haven’t had a chance to use it in our daily routines, but on paper it looks great. It includes a 13.5-inch PixelSense display that includes the same 3:2 ratio display as the Surface Book. It’s also multitouch, so you can use your fingers to swipe or press buttons and includes a fixed (read: non-detachable) alcantara keyboard, fitted with the same type of fabric used on the Surface Pro 4 keyboard that gives it a softer, premium feel.

The guts of the laptop are pretty much filled with the essentials and nothing more. It includes a seventh-generation i5 or i7 Intel Kaby Lake processor, up to 1 TB of solid state storage, 14.5 hours of battery life, a USB 3.0 port, mini DisplayPort, and Surface power connector similar to other hardware that’s already been released by the company.

Microsoft’s decision not to use a USB-C connector is a little surprising, especially because most of the newest laptops and smartphones have already embraced the universal connector. This point might not matter today, but in four years (when students start graduating), it will most likely be outdated.

The device weighs only 1.25 kilos, about the same as the Samsung Chromebook Plus, and is roughly the same thickness (1.47 cm) as the Samsung Chromebook Pro (1.4 cm)as well . As far as the width and height goes, it’s comparable to most other high-end Chromebooks or ultrabooks.

But none of that really matters because the biggest selling point for the Surface Laptop is the new operating system it runs on, Windows 10 S, a lightweight alternative to full-blown Windows 10. The operating system sacrifices some of the more resource intensive aspects that could run on a full version of Windows (like, say, the ability to run Photoshop) and instead operates only on Windows Store apps. The difference is that the apps aren’t quite as demanding on the processor and work more similarly to any smartphone application.

The Surface Laptop will be sold at a starting price of $999 (UK price TBA) for the i5 version and comes in four colours: platinum, burgundy, cobalt blue, and graphite gold. Pre-orders start today and begin shipping June 15th.


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