New Microsoft Surface Laptop Announced with Windows 10 S

Subject: Mobile | May 2, 2017 - 11:33 AM |
Tagged: Windows 10 S, touchscreen, surface laptop, surface, microsoft, Intel, core i7, core i5

Microsoft has announced their new Surface Laptop, which notably leaked just yesterday, but the surprising part was not the hardware at all - however sleek and impressive it might be. Yes, it seems I spoke too soon with the Windows 10 S news, as this consumer (I assume) product is shipping with that new version of the OS which only allows apps to be installed from the Windows Store.

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As to the hardware, it is milled from a block of aluminum (as shown in a very Apple-like video) and the heat pipes for the processor are milled into the bottom case to help make this so thin, but the laptop will undoubtedly feel warm to the touch during use (a fact which was mentioned on stage as a positive thing). The palmrest/keyboard is coated in a fabric material called Alcantara, rather than being bare metal and plastic. The combination of warmth (literally) and the fabric surface is supposed to make the new laptop feel very friendly, as the narrative went.

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Thankfully (in my opinion, anyway) the bizarre flexible hinge of the prior Surface laptop is gone in favor of a conventional one - and with it the air gap from he previous design. Among the features mentioned for this new Surface were its PixelSense screen, which is the “thinnest LCD touch panel ever in a laptop”, and a very impressive 14.5 hour battery life. The standby power consumption was described as effectively zero, which suggests that a suspend state of some kind is standard to prevent drain when not in use. rather than a low-power sleep.

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Image via Thurrott.com

Microsoft stated that two versions (Intel Core i5 and Core i7) will be available for pre-order beginning today, with the Core i5 model starting at $999. (Pricing on the Core i7 version was not mentioned.)

Windows Central has posted specs for the new machines, reproduced below:

  • Display: 13.5-inch Pixel Sense display, 10 point multi-touch
  • Display Resolution: 2256 x 1504, at 201 ppi, Aspect Ratio: 3:2
  • Software: Windows 10 S
  • Processor: 7th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • Memory: 4GB, 8GB or 16GB RAM
  • Graphics: i5: Intel HD graphics 620, i7: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
  • Front Camera: 720p, Windows Hello face authentication
  • Speakers: Omnisonic Speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
  • Ports: One full-size USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, Headset jack, Surface Connect
  • Sensors: Ambient light sensor
  • Security: TPM chip for enterprise security
  • Battery Life: 14.5 hours of use
  • Pen: Surface Pen
  • Weight: 2.76 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12.13 inches x 8.78 inches x 0.57 inches

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Image via Thurrott.com

I will briefly editorialize here to mention the Windows 10 S problem here. That limitation might make sense for education, if Microsoft is providing a suite of apps that make sense for a school, but consumers will undoubtedly want more flexibility from their own devices. This is less consumer-friendly than even the Starter Edition of Windows from the past, which limited the number of running applications but not their provenance.

Source: Microsoft

May 2, 2017 | 01:37 PM - Posted by Mobile_Dom

Having a look (as I couldnt find anywhere) the Core i5 is likely an i5-7300U and the Core i7 is either an i7 7560U or a 7660U.

I kinda had to reverse look up seeing as they told us the GPU model numbers, but here we go.

At least it is a U series part, just saying "Core i5/i7" is utterly useless now, and that can mean anything from 4.5w to about 45w, but still, those are likely the SKUs for the CPUs

May 2, 2017 | 03:59 PM - Posted by protoCJ

Intel Core i5-7200U
Intel Core i7-7660U

What's strange is LPDDR3 and not LPDDR4, but still 2133MHz.

Also:
Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
1252g
IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 LE

May 2, 2017 | 03:20 PM - Posted by Gunbuster

No official confirmation but like Giorgio Tsoukalos on the subject of aliens, I'm going to say this continues the tradition of terrible Avastar WiFi. $1000+ what is Microsoft thinking?

May 2, 2017 | 03:21 PM - Posted by Jägerbomber

Apparently it actually has a free upgrade to 10 Pro you can use if you want to, available for a year.

May 3, 2017 | 06:13 AM - Posted by psuedonymous

According to Anadtech, the upgrade to Pro is free for a year, then $50 after. Not clear if this means:
- You need to play $50 every year (unlikely, doesn't match with any of Microsoft's previous license upgrade models)
- $50 after the first year to 'keep' Pro (probably not)
- Or simply that for the first year, anyone who buys a Surface Laptop has the opportunity to upgrade it to Pro for free (in perpetuity), and anyone who buys a Surface Laptop in more than 1 years time will need to pay $50 to get Pro.

I'd bet on the last option, as it's the closest to promotions Microsoft have done in the past (e.g. the Windows 10 free upgrade offer). Given that the upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro is more than $50 it doesn't seem too bad even after the first year.

May 2, 2017 | 03:20 PM - Posted by superj

3:2 aspect ratio = doing it right!
I didn't think I'd see that aspect ration again outside of a Mac.

May 2, 2017 | 05:15 PM - Posted by djotter

Josh will be all over that Alcantara leather!
https://www.pcper.com/reviews/General-Tech/Thrustmaster-599XX-EVO-Alcant...

May 2, 2017 | 06:46 PM - Posted by Butthurt Beluga

Wow, it's an all around turd.
I expect no less from Microsoft.

May 2, 2017 | 07:42 PM - Posted by boidsonly

M$ is going to shove their walled garden down our throat one way or another.
I hope this fails.....big.

May 3, 2017 | 08:06 AM - Posted by Gunbuster

Indeed, they are going to get that 30% cut. Even if it's 30% of nothing!

May 3, 2017 | 01:48 AM - Posted by Lucidor

I'm calling it now, Windows will implement an iOS-like $99 a year subscription for the privilege of running software you haven't acquired through Microsoft.

May 3, 2017 | 02:41 AM - Posted by jthegedus

The only oversight in the design of this device is no USB-C/Thunderbolt. All other choices are going to make this sell like crazy!

And for everyone complaining about the OS, just upgrade to 10 Pro for free. They made it quite clear that it was available to do so in the presentation, even demoing the fact that it takes seconds without a restart or logout/login.

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