Microsoft unveiled its newest Surface Laptop at its EDU event on Tuesday, a device that seems tailor-made to be a lower-end MacBook competitor. The Surface Laptop is aptly named because it is, for all intents and purposes, a traditional clamshell laptop — not a tablet-notebook hybrid, or tablet-with-a-keyboard. With a slim build, smooth metal casing and an Alcantara fabric-draped keyboard area, the Surface Laptop’s design features and details echo the MacBook’s understated luxe qualities. Microsoft was obviously aiming at creating a slim, stylish, and premium yet affordable device.
The newest Surface notebook weighs just under three pounds, and comes equipped with a 13.5-inch PixelSense display. And although it’s much more of a traditional laptop, the Laptop still boasts some of the Surface platform’s signature features like Surface Pen support. At launch, various models with run on either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, and the company is claiming a battery life around 14 and a half hours. As far as other design features, there are integrated vapor chambers in the rear to help keep it cool, and Microsoft traded in visible grilles for a speaker setup embedded underneath the keyboard.
Microsoft’s new device is also the flagship for its stripped-down Windows 10 S operating system. And while the Surface Laptop may be Microsoft’s latest attempt to compete with the MacBook, Windows 10 S is the tech giant’s answer to Chrome OS. To that effect, the Surface Laptop and its corresponding operating system are both primarily aimed at the education sector.
But while the Surface Laptop may be a MacBook competitor, it’s hardly a MacBook killer. It’s much more comparable to a MacBook Air than any of Apple’s more powerful, professional-grade computers. Still, Microsoft did manage to make a rather beautiful and well-designed laptop — and it could make high school and college students think twice before defaulting to an entry-level MacBook.
The Surface Laptop will ship in four colors: platinum, burgundy, cobalt blue, and graphite gold. Prices start at $999 for the baseline Core i5 model with 4-gigabytes of RAM and 128-gigabyte SSD storage. Microsoft is currently taking pre-orders for the device, orders should start shipping out on June 15.