At the recent Microsoft EDU event held in New York City, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Surface Computing, Panos Panay, unveiled what could be one of the company’s best creations ever — a hybrid of the Surface Book laptop and the Surface Pro tablet minus a detachable keyboard: the new Surface Laptop.
Scheduled to debut on June 15 at a price tag of $999, the laptop weighs 2.76 lbs., measures 14.55mm thick, and comes in four colors, namely — burgundy, cobalt blue, graphite gold and platinum. It features a 13.5-inch screen, with a resolution of 2256 x 1504 ppi, a 3:2 aspect ratio, and a touchscreen display. It comes with a fabric-covered keyboard that feels unusually warm to the touch (and might take a little getting used to, though in a positive way). Being part of the Surface family, the device works with the Surface Pen (which allows the user to draw on the screen), the Surface Dial and all other standard Windows accessories.
On its right side, you’ll find its power connector and a Surface Connect port that allows Surface Dock expansion. On its left, you’ll find a headphone jack, a regular USB 3.0 port, and a Mini DisplayPort. On its bottom under the keyboard are its speakers. There’s no USB-C port, though. Which is kind of surprising and maybe a little bit disappointing considering that most new high-end laptops that come out in the market today already offer this as a standard feature.
The laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor with 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB SSD (solid state drive) storage and Intel HD Graphics 620. Its high-end version, on the other hand, features an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD storage, and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640. Double-power specs mean a higher price, of course — $2199.
The device runs on Windows 10 S, a version of Windows 10 that’s designed to load faster and demand less from its hardware. It’s also restricted to running apps downloaded exclusively from the Windows Store, which means that traditional desktop apps can only run on the device if they’re specially packaged to work with it, or if the user opts to upgrade to Windows 10 Professional.
According to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), its battery will last up to 14.5 hours, and that if you put the device to sleep, then resume working on it a few days later, it will be just like you left it — with no amount of battery loss whatsoever. It’s quite a bold claim, especially in light of the recent report released by British testing publication ‘Which?’, basically saying that most laptop manufacturers’ battery life claims are overstated. But if the Surface Laptop does manage to last 14 hours like Microsoft is claiming, then kudos to the software giant for achieving quite an impressive feat.
Based on what has been revealed about it so far, the Surface Laptop seems to be a formidable device that looks great on the outside, and is expected to operate well from the inside. It’s even priced reasonably too. As for its actual performance, we’ll know how it fares in about 2 months.
In the meantime, you may watch this video released by Microsoft for a glimpse into what the Surface Laptop is all about.