FAQ: Mi­crosoft Sur­face lap­top

From pric­ing and spec­i­fi­ca­tions to hands-on and fre­quently asked ques­tions, find it all here. MELISSA RIOFRIO re­ports

Windows Advisor - - Contents -

The Sur­face Lap­top stole the show at Mi­crosoft’s re­cent event. The fo­cus may have been on ed­u­ca­tion, Win­dows 10 S, and af­ford­able lap­tops for class­room use, but the oohs and aahs went to the Sur­face Lap­top for its beautiful dis­play and Al­can­tara-

clad key­board, not to men­tion its light weight and long bat­tery life. Col­lege kids are the Sur­face Lap­top’s pur­ported tar­get user, but a lot of reg­u­lar folks are in­trigued by this new ad­di­tion to Mi­crosoft’s pre­mium Sur­face fam­ily – and, frankly, many stu­dents won’t be able to af­ford it any­way.

In­ter­ested? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s ev­ery­thing you need to know about the Sur­face Lap­top. We have the pric­ing and re­lease date, an­swers to your most burn­ing ques­tions.

Re­lease date and price

At the time of writ­ing, the Sur­face Lap­top is avail­able to buy now from fave.co/2tagfhF. Prices are as fol­lows:

£949: 128GB SSD, In­tel Core i5, 4GB RAM £1,249: 256GB SSD, In­tel Core i5, 8GB RAM £1,549: 256GB SSD, In­tel Core i7, 8GB RAM £2,149: 512GB SSD, In­tel Core i7, 16GB RAM

Note, those prices don’t in­clude a Sur­face Pen (£99 from fave.co/2rkBIqM), let alone the Sur­face Dial (£89 from fave.co/2rTQHVx).

Fre­quently asked ques­tions

The Sur­face Lap­top’s de­but hand-in-hand with Win­dows 10 S has cre­ated a lot of con­fu­sion. Here are some an­swers, and we’ll keep post­ing more as we learn more.

What is the Sur­face Lap­top?

The Sur­face Lap­top is a thin, light, high-de­sign lap­top that Mi­crosoft un­veiled as part of a larger event about

ed­u­ca­tion. Dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures in­clude a gor­geous dis­play, a laser-cut key­board tray made of Al­can­tara fab­ric, and a claimed bat­tery life of up to 14 hours. At the same event, the com­pany in­tro­duced the se­cure, man­age­able Win­dows 10 S OS, which will come pre­in­stalled on Mi­crosoft’s new sys­tem, as well as a lower-cost flock of lap­tops in­tended for class­room use.

What are our first im­pres­sions?

Tech Ad­vi­sor con­trib­u­tor Mark Hachman was among the first to try the Sur­face Lap­top. A sea­soned user of both the Sur­face Pro and Sur­face Book, he saw the fam­ily re­sem­blance in the new ma­chine’s daz­zling dis­play and Al­can­tara fab­ric-clad key­board. This is, in­deed, a lap­top that could turn the heads of MacBook Air faith­ful. What’s less clear is how the Sur­face Lap­top’s thin-and-light com­pro­mises will play out: the new Kaby Lake CPU and big bat­tery ver­sus the skimpy RAM in en­try-level mod­els, not to men­tion the scant port con­nec­tiv­ity.

Who’s it for?

Mi­crosoft is aim­ing the Sur­face Lap­top at style­con­scious, MacBook-Air-lov­ing stu­dents, though many non-stu­dent users are clearly in­trigued by it.

How does it re­late to the Sur­face Book and Sur­face Pro 4?

The Sur­face Lap­top’s clamshell de­sign adds another form fac­tor to Mi­crosoft’s pre­mium line of Sur­face prod­ucts, all of which boast beautiful dis­plays and unique fea­tures. The Mi­crosoft Sur­face Book is the most ex­pen­sive of the fam­ily: a pre­mium 2-in-1

lap­top with a strik­ing Dy­namic Ful­crum Hinge. The key­board base is stuffed with ex­tra bat­tery and, in some con­fig­u­ra­tions, a dis­crete GPU.

The Sur­face Pro 4 is a 2-in-1 that leans more to­ward a tablet, with a kick­stand and the op­tion of a light­weight key­board. Given the Sur­face Lap­top’s pric­ing, the Sur­face Pro 4 is now the low­est-cost prod­uct in the fam­ily.

Why is it so ex­pen­sive?

Look­ing at the Sur­face prod­uct line’s history, Mi­crosoft has fo­cused on high-end ‘halo’ hard­ware that can in­spire other hard­ware ven­dors to make sim­i­lar prod­ucts (that prob­a­bly won’t be quite as ex­pen­sive). This is a way for Mi­crosoft to lead hard­ware in­no­va­tion with­out be­ing overly com­pet­i­tive with other ven­dors.

When does it ship?

Mi­crosoft’s Sur­face Lap­top is avail­able to buy now from fave.co/2tagfhF.

Does it come with Win­dows 10 S?

Yes, Win­dows 10 S is the in­stalled op­er­at­ing sys­tem.

What if I don’t want Win­dows 10 S?

All Win­dows 10 S prod­ucts, in­clud­ing the Sur­face Lap­top, will be upgrad­able to Win­dows 10 Pro.

First im­pres­sions

The Sur­face Lap­top is a de­vice meant to com­pete with the MacBook Air and thin-and-light Win­dows ma­chines. It hits a lot of high notes. There’s the gor­geous 13.5in, 2256x1504 dis­play, for starters, plus Core i5 and Core 17 CPUs and SSD stor­age. Then there’s the key­board, with a nice 1.5mm travel and a tray made of laser-cut Al­can­tara fab­ric from Italy. What re­ally pricked up our ears was the claimed 14 hours of bat­tery life.

Sure, some­thing this thin and light isn’t go­ing to sat­isfy ev­ery­one. Its ports are star­tlingly sparse, with a sin­gle USB 3.0 Type A and no USB-C in sight. In­te­grated graph­ics will limit its gam­ing prow­ess.

The lin­ger­ing ques­tion is what’s a beautiful lap­top like this do­ing with a con­strained op­er­at­ing sys­tem like Win­dows 10 S? We fore­see many buy­ers will squirm out of its Win­dows-Store-only clutches and up­grade to Win­dows 10 Pro.

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions

13.5in (2256x1504, 201ppi) Pix­elSense Dis­play Win­dows 10 S

7th Gen In­tel Core i5 or i7 pro­ces­sor

4GB, 8GB, or 16GB RAM

128-, 256- or 512GB SSD

In­tel HD 620 (i5) or In­tel Iris Plus Graph­ics 640 (i7) 720p HD cam­era (front-fac­ing)

Stereo mi­cro­phones

Om­nisonic speak­ers with Dolby Au­dio Pre­mium 3.5mm head­phone jack

USB 3.0

Head­phone socket

Mini DISPLAYPORT

3.5mm AV

802.11ac Wi-Fi wire­less net­work­ing

Blue­tooth 4.0 LE

Up to 14.5 hours video playback

En­ter­prise-grade pro­tec­tion with Win­dows Hello face sign-in

308x223.2 x14.47mm

1.25 kg

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