The Surface Laptop is not only the first device running Windows 10 S, it’s also Microsoft’s first laptop based on a traditional clamshell design. Unlike the Surface Book, it does not detach from the base. Panos Panay, corporate vice president for Surface Computing at Microsoft, introduced the Surface Laptop at the company’s Keynote in New York on May 2.
Microsoft designed this device with students in mind, particularly those coming out of high school and transitioning into college. “This is where we wanted to put our focus, into those next four years of a student’s life,” Panay said. “When they are just about to get out of high school, when they don’t even know what their major is.”
The Surface Laptop offers an aluminium build with an Alcantara fabric-covered keyboard, which Microsoft says is “specially treated to resist spills, stains, and absorption.” It’s available in four colors: Burgundy, Platinum, Cobalt Blue and Graphite Gold. The device is 14.48mm thick at its thickest point and weighs 1,252 grams. The keyboard offers 1.5mm of travel.
Microsoft paid special attention to details. The Surface Laptop doesn’t need a rubber bumper around the display, offering a more seamless design than most laptops. The PCIe SSD is integrated directly onto the motherboard. Panay said that it “lowers the power consumption and maximizes the performance on this device.”
The 13.5-inch PixelSense display retains Microsoft’s signature 3:2 aspect ratio and packs 3.4 million pixels at a resolution of 2256×1504. It’s factory calibrated and supports both 10 point multi-touch and the Surface Pen. “This is the thinnest LCD touch module ever created and put into a laptop,” Panay said.
The Surface Laptop will last 14.5 hours on a single charge according to Microsoft. “This is where we want to change the game,” Panay said. “Charge your device, leave your charger home and go to school.”
With an Intel Core i7, Panay said that the Surface Laptop is 50% faster than a Core i7 13-inch MacBook Air, although he did not reveal any details about this comparison. However, he did say that “we have more battery life in this product than any MacBook on the market today.” Microsoft has also integrated vapor chambers into the chassis to help keep the device cool.
Windows 10 S stands for the school edition of Windows and can only run programs from the app store. However, users can upgrade to a full Windows 10 version for free until Dec 31 this year.
As a competitor to Chrome OS devices, the Surface Laptop only features the bare minimum of ports, including one USB 3.0 type A, a mini DisplayPort and headphone jack. It uses Surface Connect for charging and is thus compatible with the Surface Dock. However, critics have pointed out the lack of a USB-C port.
The base model of the Surface Laptop is available for order now in the Microsoft store and starts shipping June 15 in the US. It comes with an Intel Core i5, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. Prices start at $999.
Featured Image belongs to Microsoft