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Microsoft launches Surface Laptop with Windows S
May 15, 2017, 5:17 pm

Microsoft finally made a real laptop, and it is beautiful. The new Surface Laptop was launched during Microsoft’s event last week in New York City during which the company also released a new version of its operating system the Window S. Earlier attempts by Microsoft in portable computing included the tablet Surface Book , which needed an additional keyboard to make it useful as a laptop and the Yoga-style Surface Pro. 

The new Surface Laptop is light-weight and feels high end, thanks to its aluminum finish and design. The first thing you notice is that the Surface Laptop can be opened with a single hand. That might not sound impressive, but it is one of the most irritating experiences you will notice across a range of laptops these days. You try to open a device to work and it jumps around on the table. The Surface Laptop just stays still, as if it is bolted to the desk.

When you begin typing the presence of alcantara fabric that surrounds the keys and trackpad is immediately noticeable. It is an unusual fabric to have on a laptop; it feels like glowing leather underneath your palms but it is delightful. Inside the Surface Laptop on the base model, which will debut on 15 June priced at $999, is Intel’s latest Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD. The 13.5-inch display uses PixelSense, running at a 2256 x 1504 resolution, along with support for the Surface Pen and touch. The display looks like it is glued directly to the keyboard without a hinge, thanks to a repositioning of the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas.

On the right-hand side there is a Surface connector for power and connections to docks, and on the left there is a regular USB port, a mini DisplayPort, and a headphone jack. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not added USB-C here, despite the fact the majority of high-end laptops are shipping with at least one USB-C port.

Microsoft is claiming battery life will be 14.5 hours on the Windows 10 S, and that you will be able to put the device to sleep and resume it days later without any loss of battery. Windows 10 S is the operating system that powers the Surface Laptop, and it is designed to only run apps from the Windows Store, which means traditional desktop apps will need to be specially packaged to work with the Surface Laptop. If you want to use Chrome, you will have to wait for Google to list it in the Windows Store, or pay $49 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro and unlock every desktop app.

An extra $49 for the functionality you’d expect from a Windows laptop seems like a bad idea from Microsoft. Fortunately, Microsoft is allowing potential Surface Laptop owners to avoid the fee until the end of the year, and throwing Office 365 Personal in for free so it should be a non-issue for early adopters, at least.

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