Yesterday, Microsoft was in NYC for what I initially thought would be more of an exhibition of their new education software and changes to Office. I was partly right. While the focus of the show was about education, it wasn’t just software. Microsoft introduced us to their new Surface Laptop.
The Surface laptop is a beautiful new machine that Microsoft has developed to directly challenge the Chromebook. To do that Microsoft came up with a version of Windows 10 that is solely could based called Windows 10 S. While I’m not sure what the “S” stands for it’s clear that Microsoft has developed this with Google in mind in that it’s web based as an OS. If you use Windows 10 S you’ll only be able to use apps that exclusive to the Windows Store and nothing else. No third party software.
Windows 10 S is a bit of a gamble as I see it but it’s not the only option. You can buy the Surface laptop with Windows 10 Pro. It’ll run you about $999 for the base model. It’s definitely a cheaper option to the Surface Book but it’s no slouch and it’s well powered for a laptop with a very thin and light design and physical footprint. The Surface laptop spec wise is a pretty good buy. If you choose to use Windows 10 S you aren’t forced to use the Surface laptop. You can buy other laptops from other manufacturers that offer it solely for as little as $189.
Windows 10 S
Office 365 Personal 1-year subscription
Dimensions and Weight:
308.02 mm W, 223.2mm D, 14.47 mm thin at the back of the device and 9.93 mm thin at the front
Weight: 2.76 lbs (1.25 kg)
Mechanical features: Aluminum body
Colors: Platinum, Graphite Gold, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue
Solid State Drive (SSD) 128/256/512GB or 1TB SSD
1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage with 1-year subscription of Office 365
Screen: 13.5” PixelSense™ Display
Display Resolution: 2256 x 1504 (201 PPI), 3.4M Pixels
Aspect Ratio: 3:2
Touch: 10 point multitouch
Inking: Supports Surface Pen
Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
100 percent sRGB color, individually calibrated
7th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-7200U
7th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-7660U
Intel® Core™ i5: HD 620
Intel® Core™ i7: Iris™ Plus Graphics 640
4GB/8GB/16GB RAM 1866Mhz LPDDR3
Keyboard and Trackpad
Precision trackpad: 105 mm x 70 mm, glass. Five-finger multitouch gesture
Full-size backlit keyboard with soft touch feel and full 1.5mm travel
Large palm rest with premium Alcantara® for maximized typing comfort
Up to 14.5 hours of local video playback
Windows Hello sign-in camera
720p HD video camera
Full-size USB 3.0
Stereo headphones/microphone jack
SurfaceConnect for magnetic power and docking
The Surface laptop is also a touchscreen. You can’t detach it like the Surface Book but that’s not a big deal. The touchscreen is responsive, smooth and really fun to use if you’re into touchscreens. Cosmetically, the Surface laptop has cloth covering the keyboard panel tray similar to that of the Surface Pro keyboard. While it’s great for the aesthetic, I’m not sure how that’ll work out over time if it gets dirty. It does make the Surface laptop look clean nonetheless. The speakers are tucked away neatly under the keyboard and give what appear to be pretty good audio although I was in a setting that was loud so I couldn’t gauge how well they sounded but once I get my hands on one I’ll have a better understanding.
The verdict is still out on how Windows 10 S will translate into productivity for its users considering the limited nature of native apps in the Microsoft App Store. Good thing is the Surface laptop is not restricted to that OS and Windows 10 Pro is available for you if opt out of 10 S. Overall the machine is beautiful and Microsoft is taking big steps towards being more legitimate in terms of their hardware. They are innovating in a way that I’m happy to see as a big fan of the PC. The Surface Book was an incredible machine and now we have the Surface laptop. Don’t be overwhelmed with euphoria though. The Surface laptop isn’t revolutionary. It’s just a great new edition to an ever expanding Microsoft hardware lineup. The base model is under $1000 bucks yeah, but, the higher you go up the spec ladder you’ll easily get into $1600 for the i7 8gb of RAM and 256gb SSD option and $2200 if you go 16gb and 512gb. This is uncharted territory for a lot of people. Despite what could be some drawbacks, if you do pick one of these up. You won’t be disappointed. You can pre-order now right HERE. The Surface laptop will be available on June 15th officially.