In two-pronged attack, Microsoft intros low-end Windows 10 S, high-end $999+ Surface Lapto...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2017
Microsoft on Tuesday announced the Surface Laptop, a new PC aimed at the educational market, despite having a $999 base price tag with 4 gigabytes of non-upgradeable RAM and 128 gigabytes of storage.




The system sports a 13.5-inch, 1080p touchscreen, and a keyboard covered in "Alcantara," a cloth-like material also found on the Surface Pro 4. The keyboard also plays home to Dolby Premium Audio speakers, emanating sound from around the keys. Unlike the Surface Book, the Laptop's screen won't detach to become a tablet, or use a special hinge.

Underneath the hood, the base configuration includes an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 gigabytes of RAM, and a 128-gigabyte SSD. Those low-end specs allow Microsoft to undercut Apple's own ultralight 12-inch MacBook.

However, beefing up the RAM to 8 gigabytes and storage to 256 gigabytes, which matches the entry-level model of the 12-inch MacBook, raises the Surface Laptop's price to $1,299 -- the same as Apple's ultraportable. One key difference, however, are the Intel processors: Apple opts for fanless low-power designs to achieve a thin profile, and Microsoft has instead chosen the more powerful Core i series.




Upgrade options for the new Surface Laptop go up to Intel Core i7 CPUs and 512 gigabytes of SSD storage. A maxed-out configuration with 16 gigabytes of RAM and 512 gigabytes of storage start at $2,200, though it is only available in the platinum color, excluding graphite gold, burgundy, and cobalt blue.

Core i7 configurations are claimed to be up to 50 percent faster than Apple's equivalent MacBook Air -- a legacy notebook that is upgradeable to a previous-generation Core i7 CPU but has not been refreshed in years. Microsoft is also promising as much as 14.5 hours of battery life, 2.5 hours more than Apple's outgoing MacBook Air.




In comparison, Apple's 12-inch MacBook is advertised with up to 10 hours of wireless web use, and up to 11 hours of iTunes movie playback.

Other features in the Surface Laptop include USB and mini DisplayPorts, plus an SD card slot. Four colors will be available when the Laptop launches on June 15, though the Core i7 models are said to ship before Aug. 15.



Battery performance is said to stem partly from the option of Windows 10 S, a stripped-down version of Windows that will only be able to run Windows Store titles, reducing security risks and overhead. Schools will be able preload apps using USB sticks, and Microsoft is separately preparing a classroom option for Teams, its Slack competitor.

In fact, the OS will come with a free year of Minecraft Education Edition, as well as Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams.

While the Surface Laptop will cost $999, eventual third-party Windows 10 S PCs will start as low as $189, targeting similarly-priced Chromebooks. Devices with Google's Chrome OS currently account for over half of the U.S. K-12 school market.




Aside from price, Chrome OS has proven popular with schools because it's cloud-based, making it easier to manage devices en masse and hand them off to different students.

Apple is now third in the U.S. K-12 segment. Cost may be the overriding issue, since even a MacBook Air is $999 new, before any educational discounts. The cheapest non-refurbished iPad is $329.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 82
    4GB of RAM? In 2017's fall term? They must be kidding. 
    tallest skilwatto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 82
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,411member
    Love that burgundy.  Looks pretty nice, for a Windows machine.  Nice to Apple getting some competition in the design arena.
  • Reply 3 of 82
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,278member
    It's easy to laugh at the specs, but for people who listen to music, surf the web, email, Tweet, post on Facebook and Instagram and even create Word and Excel documents and play simple games, it's more than enough.   It's probably even fine for streaming video.   It just wouldn't be ultimate for editing video or working with very large images in Photoshop or for sophisticated games with high frame rates.    You have to think about what the masses do with their computers...it's not much.    
    Flappocornchip
  • Reply 4 of 82
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,665member
    This 'new' Microsoft laptop compares only to old Apple laptops?  And it cost $999 to start with. 
    andrewj5790watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 5 of 82
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,099member
    Will this be Microsoft’s puck mouse? Look at that thing.
    andrewj5790watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 6 of 82
    Consider the CPU is actually dual core on both i5/i7, I would say it's just a "Air with a good screen", instead of high end
    although it might trigger Apple to renew their MacBook Air? Just double the ppi and upgrade the CPU and they have something new to sell
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 82
    ravnorodomravnorodom Posts: 76member
    Wow. $999 for student? If I am a student, I would rather get a Mac for that price. It's much cooler and less headache (dealing with anti-virus software and maintenance stuffs).
    edited May 2017 StrangeDaysmwhitemacseekerpscooter63watto_cobraFlappocornchip
  • Reply 8 of 82
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,098member

    Here is the simple problem when you have such a light laptop and touch display, if you happen to push a little too hard on the display it tips over.

    The other thing and this could be a pet peeve of my own, I do not like finger prints on my main working display. I do not really like using my ipad they much, when the display is covered in finger oils. Since my phone stays in my front pocket it is cleaned all the time from rubbing on the inside of my pocket.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 82
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,738member
    crowley said:
    Love that burgundy.  Looks pretty nice, for a Windows machine.  Nice to Apple getting some competition in the design arena.
    Yeah it goes great with his Members Only jacket in that photo...
    edited May 2017 melodyof1974pscooter63watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 10 of 82
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,738member
    Protests in the streets about the non-user-upgradable parts?
    andrewj5790The_Martini_Catmelodyof1974pscooter63watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 11 of 82
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,094member
    zoetmb said:
    It's easy to laugh at the specs, but for people who listen to music, surf the web, email, Tweet, post on Facebook and Instagram and even create Word and Excel documents and play simple games, it's more than enough.   It's probably even fine for streaming video.   It just wouldn't be ultimate for editing video or working with very large images in Photoshop or for sophisticated games with high frame rates.    You have to think about what the masses do with their computers...it's not much.    
    No it's not.  4GB is a joke, even for a low-end computer.  8GB should be the starting point.  It's just beyond pathetic how (in 2017) that companies like Microsoft come out with garbage like this.
    hmurchisonwatto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 82
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,821member
    Panos Panay has so much Apple envy it's not even funny. Of course all the tech sites will drool over this design and claim Microsoft is out Appling Apple.
    cornchip
  • Reply 13 of 82
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,287member
    I am hopeful that Apple will come out with a laptop designed around the A10 or A11 processor that beats these specs and outperforms Intel Core i5/i7processors too.  I think that will allow them to further reduce costs (no need to buy expensive chips from Intel) and have a huge App Store at their disposal.  Really it's minor software to support iOS, a bit more to support Mac OS but Apple has been heading that way and has the ability to do so.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 82
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,821member
    Consider the CPU is actually dual core on both i5/i7, I would say it's just a "Air with a good screen", instead of high end
    although it might trigger Apple to renew their MacBook Air? Just double the ppi and upgrade the CPU and they have something new to sell
    Why does Apple need to renew the MacBook Air when they have the MacBook?
    The_Martini_Catcornchip
  • Reply 15 of 82
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,591member
    Protests in the streets about the non-user-upgradable parts?
    I'm thinking not. 
  • Reply 16 of 82
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,337member
    Okay, but we just purchased HP ProBook x360's for $494 with 13" screen, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSDs in our school...why would I spend $999 for essentially something that does the same thing? In the end, its still a Windows hybrid laptop/tablet. I don't get this? It also I don't think has a network jack on it which is essential for management purposes when the HP does. 
    edited May 2017 The_Martini_Catwatto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 17 of 82
    redhotfuzzredhotfuzz Posts: 270member
    "Hey hardware partners, please help us maintain our highly-profitable desktop OS monopoly by making and selling zero-profit budget machines. Meanwhile, we will suck up any possible hardware profits at the higher end of the market. Thanks!" - Microsoft

    Seriously, why do the Acers and HPs of the world do business with these snakes?
    StrangeDayspscooter63watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 18 of 82
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 493member
    would love to see the same youtube video in slow motion of people reacting to all the bloat-ware on the laptops and the blue screen of death, put to the same music of course 
    pscooter63watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 19 of 82
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,979member
    Schools are ditching iPads for $200 ChromeBooks and this thing is supposedly aimed at the educational market? What the hell is going on here? And what about the AI trolls who are always bitching about MacBooks with the same amount of RAM and storage? This sounds really gefickt to me.
    edited May 2017 gatorguyStrangeDayspscooter63watto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 20 of 82
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,663administrator
    For the record, the i7 version with 16GB and 512GB SSD is $2299, and still has Windows 10S.
    paxmanpscooter63watto_cobracornchip
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