Microsoft just unveiled its latest laptop — aptly named the Surface Laptop — and it sits somewhere between the tablet-like Surface Pro and the 2-in-1 convertible Surface Book. And that’s a sweet spot most will be very happy with because that means it’s just a laptop without the complications of any detachable bits.
In fact, being “without complications” seems to be a recurring theme with this new Windows device.
First up, we have the specs. The Surface Laptop comes in two different processor configurations with up to four memory variants. The base model, which sports an Intel Core i5 Kaby Lake processor (in the demo video there’s a variant with an i5-7200U) mated to 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage, will be priced at USD999 (around RM4,323). If you want more power, you can also spec it up to a Kaby Lake Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640.
Despite Microsoft marketing it towards students, this new Surface Laptop is a high-end device. It’s made from really sexy materials that include an alcantara keyboard (like the one on the premium Surface Pro 4 keyboard) that has been precisely cut to fit the full set of backlit keys which have 1.5mm of travel.
In front, there’s a 13.5-inch Full HD PixelSense display with a 3:2 aspect ratio pushing a total of 3.4 million pixels. Since its a Surface device, it will also support Surface accessories like the Surface Pen and Surface Dial.
Since the laptop runs on Intel’s latest Kaby Lake chips, Microsoft also boasts incredible battery life — up to 14.5 hours on a single charge, in fact. They also claim that the Surface Laptop is faster than the i7 MacBook Pro and can last longer.
What’s more, Microsoft has done some interesting things to the laptop which includes adding vapour chambers to the back of the aluminium finish of the device to help with cooling. Conventional speakers with speaker grilles have also been replaced with ones that have been integrated underneath the keyboard so the sound comes from under your fingers.
It’s also an incredibly sexy-looking device that comes in four tasteful colours (platinum, burgundy, cobalt blue, and graphite gold). However, the sexy design does look like it brings compromises as the Surface Laptop is really conservative on the ports. You get a Surface charging port, a USB Type-A port and a mini DisplayPort…and that’s it.
But, that doesn’t seem to be the biggest question mark surrounding this laptop. Instead, that question mark seems to stem from the new operating system that the Surface Laptop will be shipped with — Windows 10 S.
Right now, this super streamlined version of Windows 10 looks mighty tempting. Not only is Microsoft boasting more efficient performance, they’re also talking about the longevity of performance claiming that a Windows 10 S system will feel as smooth on Day 1 as it will on Day 1,000.
For me, I’m just curious about developer and app support. If Microsoft can get enough people on board to develop useful applications (Chrome, for example) for the Windows Store to be used on Windows 10 S, then I can really see this platform taking off.
Security, long-lasting performance, and a streamlined OS in a laptop as gorgeous and powerful as the Surface Laptop? What more do you want?
Well, a USB Type-C port wouldn’t hurt, Microsoft.