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The Microsoft Surface Laptop is basically the Surface Book done right

By Ng Chong Seng - on 2 May 2017, 11:15pm

The Microsoft Surface Laptop corrects the errors made by the Surface Book

As expected, Microsoft has today unveiled a new laptop called the Surface Laptop that runs Windows 10 S.

While Windows 10 S is a lightweight OS designed to run swimmingly on modest PC hardware without suffering too much performance penalty, the Surface Laptop, which has a more traditional clamshell form factor, is anything but a low-end, netbook-type device. In fact, with its powerful hardware (no USB-C, discrete GPU though), Windows 10 Pro should fly on it.

Here’s a rundown of the Surface Laptop’s key features:

  • Up to 7th-gen Intel Core i7 'Kaby Lake' processors
  • Up to 1TB PCIe SSD, 16GB RAM
  • Up to Iris Plus 640 GPU (for the i7 model)
  • 14.5 hours of battery life
  • 13.5-inch, 3:2 PixelSense display with 3.4 million pixels (2,256 x 1,504)
  • Thinnest LCD touch module in a laptop
  • Works with Surface Pen, Surface Dial, and Surface Dock
  • Full-size USB 3.0 port, 3.5mm headphone jack, mini-DisplayPort
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 720p webcam
  • 1.25kg, lighter than any MacBook Air or MacBook Pro
  • Backlit, Alcantara-covered keyboard, with 1.5mm key travel
  • Upward-firing speakers hidden underneath the keyboard
  • Supports Dolby Audio Premium
  • Available in platinum, burgundy, cobalt blue, and graphite gold colors (depending on configs)
  • 9.9mm at its thinnest point, 14.47mm at its thickest point

In more ways than one, the Surface Laptop is a course correction of Microsoft’s Surface Book, which was often criticized for its design choices and high price. For a start, the new laptop has a form factor that most of us are familiar with, not to mention it's more affordably priced than the Book. While it runs Windows 10 S out of the box (which means you can only use apps downloaded from the Windows Store), it's possible to upgrade the OS to Windows 10 Pro for free till end of the year. After December 31, the upgrade will cost US$50.

Prices for the Microsoft Surface Laptop start at US$999 (~S$1,400 based on current exchange rates) for the Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD version. Pre-order starts today in the U.S. (and a handful of other countries), with a June 15 shipping date. There’s no word yet on whether the laptop will come to Singapore.