Last week Microsoft has announced the launch of the new Surface Laptop — Microsoft’s first laptop (so no 2-in-1 here) — which is primarily aimed at students and is clearly trying to boost it’s share of the education market against the likes of increasingly popular Chromebooks.
The Surface Laptop is available in four different configurations, with the entry level model having a Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage and priced at $1699. The top shelf model has a Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage priced at $3649. Compare that to the similar spec’d Surface Book, which is priced at around $4500, the new Surface Laptop is pretty reasonable. The display is a 13.5” PixelSense unit (2256 x 1504) which supports Microsoft’s Surface Pen, so you can draw on the screen like you can with other Surface models.
It measures 308.1mm x 223.27mm x 14.48mm and all up weighs in at 1250 grams. Choose from four colours, Platinum, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue, and Graphite Gold and marvel at what Microsoft call a luxurious Alcantara® fabric-covered keyboard.
Microsoft has worked with Intel to design a smaller motherboard that helps provide additional space for a larger battery. Intel also helped Microsoft make the laptop run cooler.
It comes with Microsoft’s new Windows 10 S operating system, which is basically a Windows version of Chrome OS. Be aware that it can only run apps that are downloaded from the Windows Store or made specifically for Windows 10 S. All drivers that you want to install must be approved by Microsoft. One other issue is that you are stuck with the default browser and search engine and who uses Edge? Luckily, you can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free until the end of 2017, which I’d recommend doing. One other thing that sets it aside from it’s peers is the claimed 14.5 hour battery life — that’s two hours more than the MacBook Air. Along with the battery, Microsoft claims the Surface Laptop is faster than the i7 MacBook Pro and with the Air not having any major remodeling or updates since 2010, I’m sure the Surface Laptop will convert a number of Apple fanboys, too.
The Surface Laptop is due to start shipping mid June 2017, just in time for my birthday.