FAQ: Microsoft Surface laptop
From pricing and specifications to hands-on and frequently asked questions, find it all here. MELISSA RIOFRIO reports
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.
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.
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)
Omnisonic speakers with Dolby Audio Premium 3.5mm headphone jack
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