In the much-hyped Spring education focused event held at New York Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 S and alongside it the Surface Laptop line. The device is as reported earlier by us, focussed on the education sector and thus runs Windows 10 S which is a barebones version of Windows OS. The software-giant claims that the Surface Laptop is a durable, portable, sleek and lightweight device with a premium finish.
The Surface Laptop features Intel’s 7th Generation Kaby-Lake processors at their heart with the base model having a Core i5 processor coupled with 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD for storage purposes. Users have the option to upgrade to a Core i7 processor and a myriad of memory and storage configurations. The display is a 13.5-inch full-HD (1920 x1080) PixelSense LCD touchscreen panel with a 3:2 aspect ratio. Microsoft claims it to be the thinnest touchscreen LCD display on a laptop. To further bolster its claims of having a premium device the company bundles the notebook with an Alcantra fabric keyboard, same as the one alongside the Surface Pro 4, with backlighting. To cool all this hardware without making any externally visible cooling vents, Microsoft has used vapour chamber cooling technology on all heat-pipes along the back of the laptop to dissipate the heat.
Microsoft goes onto claim that the Surface Laptop offers up to 14.5 hours of battery life, a bold claim. For connectivity, it has been provided with a USB port, a mini DisplayPort, the proprietary Surface power connector, an SD card slot and a 3.5mm audio jack. The device weighs in at 1.25kg and the total thickness ranges from 9.9mm to 14.47mm. To save space and again not cut any visible external vents, the speaker drivers have been integrated below the keyboard. The device is also capable of working with Windows Ink and Windows Hello Support although, this comes at a catch, the copy of Windows 10 S limits the user to access applications which are only available via the Windows Store. Although a user has the option to upgrade the OS to the full-fat Home or Pro Edition thus bypassing the restriction.
Who is the competition?
Overall it seems that Microsoft is competing directly with its long-time rival Apple’s MacBook Air series of devices with it claiming the Surface Laptop houses more powerful hardware and provides a longer battery life. Although, out of the box it is hamstrung by the cut down OS it is running.
The Surface Laptop is up for pre-order now for $999 (~₹64,000) for the base Core i5 variant in four colour options – Burgundy, Graphite Gold, Platinum and Cobalt Blue with shipping expected to start from June 15th. The price is steep for Microsoft’s vision of its hardware but it is also tying up with OEM partners like, Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Toshiba among others to launch Windows 10 S powered notebooks in Summer with a starting price of $189 (~₹12,200) to cover the budget segment of the market and compete against Google’s Chromebook offerings.