Microsoft has created a real laptop, and this time around there are no gimmicks. The screen won’t detach and there isn’t a kickstand. In other words, Microsoft isn’t trying to invent a new device category. It’s simply a good old fashion clamshell laptop. It carries the “Surface Laptop” name and runs Windows 10 S, which is the OS designed to run only apps from Windows Store to keep the device running free of malware and at top performance.
Considering it’s a software company, Microsoft makes pretty amazing products. You can see this on all their Surface devices. They are all well-made with premium materials. The Surface Laptop features a 13.5-inch screen with the productivity of a 14-incher. It has an aluminum finish all around its body, and around the keyboard and precision touchpad the device uses the Alcantara fabric found in the Type Cover for Surface Pro 4.
In a sense, it’s like the Surface Pro 4, but with the latest Intel processor and optimized for “lapability.” However, it’ll always comes down to hardware specs, ports, and price.
Here’s a closer look at the tech specs of the new Surface Laptop.
|Surface Laptop tech specs|
|Display||Screen: 13.5” PixelSense Display
Resolution: 2256 x 1504 (201 PPI)
Aspect ratio: 3:2
3.4 million pixels
Surface Pen enabled
Touch: 10 point multi-touch
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
||Intel's 7th generation Core i5-7200U
Intel's 7th generation Core i7-7660U
|Graphics||Intel HD 620 (Core i5)
Intel Iris Plus 640 (Core i7)
|Dimensions||12.13” x 8.79” x .57” (308.1 mm x 223.27 mm x 14.48 mm)|
||2.76 lbs (1.25 kg)|
||Wi-Fi: 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0 LE
|Security||TPM chip with Windows Hello face sign-in|
||Ambient light sensor|
|Camera, video and audio||Windows Hello face sign-in camera
720p HD camera (front-facing)
Omnisonic speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
3.5mm headphone jack
Compatible with Surface Dial off-screen interaction
Colors: Burgundy, Platinum, Cobalt Blue, Graphite Gold1
Physical buttons: Volume, Power
||Windows 10 S (free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro through December 31, 2017)|
| What's in the box
Quick start guide
Safety and warranty documents
While the Surface Laptop is quite powerful for most college students, there is one problem. For some mysterious reason, it’s another product that Microsoft lefts out without a USB Type-C port. You get a DisplayPort, USB 3.0 Type-A, headphone jack, but not USB-C or combo with Thunderbolt support, which today is something common to find on mobile devices.
According to Microsoft pricing and space inside the laptop played a role in the decision to opt-out to include a USB Type-C port.
The Surface Laptop includes all the great features you come to expect from a Surface product and built quality. It’s cheaper than an equivalent 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it’s the only device that comes with Intel’s 7th-Gen Kady Lake processor.
In perspective, the new Microsoft’s laptop is lighter and thinner than any MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. It’s 50 percent faster than a MacBook Air, and it’s even faster than the MacBook Pro 13-inch laptop using Intel’s Core i7 processor.
The new Surface is not a cheap device, it starts at $999, and you get a very thin and light premium design laptop that weighs less than three pounds, and it comes in four colors (burgundy, platinum, cobalt blue, and graphite gold) matching fabric covering the keyboard.
You also get a Windows Hello camera that lets you sign in using only your face, which offers a faster and safer way to authenticate to your Windows 10 S account. Microsoft has integrated a PCIe SSD storage into the motherboard, which the company claims helps with performance and reduces power consumption achieving up to 14.5-hours of battery life during video playback on a single charge.
While you get a touch, Surface Dial, and Surface Pen support, the Surface Laptop has been designed to work great with keyboard and mouse, and it comes with Microsoft’s signature “buttery smooth” keyboard with 1.5mm travel keys backlit keys, and more importantly there is not light leakage when backlit typing at night.
The Surface Laptop is also equipped with Dolby Premium Audio, and Microsoft even invented a new technology that allows to place speakers underneath the keyboard using the Alcantara fabric to push the audio through.
However, for this money, you’ll get the based model with the lowest tech specs. If you’re sticking with Windows 10 S, the entry-level model should be OK, but if not, you should consider getting at least the Core i5 model with 8GB of memory.
If you need to run traditional desktops (win32) apps, Windows 10 S is easily upgradable to Windows 10 Pro. For Surface Laptop (initially) is free, but in most Windows 10 S devices the cost is $49.
Surface Laptop is available starting June 15, 2017, and pricing starts at $999 for the base model sporting a Core i5 with 4GB of memory and 128GB of storage. However, you can also pick the Core i7 model with up to 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage for $2200 — a 1TB option will also be available.
Originally published on May, updated on June 2017.