Microsoft Surface Laptop is a looker, jury out on Win 10 S

surfacelaptop2You might have heard that Microsoft has unveiled their new Surface Laptop. Along with it their new Windows 10 S operating system. Are both a reason for celebration?

Microsoft is really doing well in the portable computing space. I have liked the Surface series since it came out. The Surface Pro 4 is great to use.

I must admit, I also like how the Surface Laptop looks too.

Microsoft Surface Laptop

The Surface Laptop, as its name suggests, is not a hybrid. It hasn’t got the morphing skills to turn in to a tablet.

This is a laptop, pure and simple.

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That said, it is certainly taking the style battle to Apple.

Microsoft have swapped the cold metal feel for an Alcantara lining around the keyboard. If you have ever used the Surface 4 keyboard, that’s the same stuff.


Microsoft promises the laptop is faster than a 13-inch MacBook Pro, while still packing more battery life – 14.5 hours to be precise.

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Furthermore, Microsoft says it has upped the standby time too.


The hardware is pretty much in-line with what you’d expect from a Surface.

The screen is a 13.5-inch PixelSense display pushing out a resolution of 2256 x 1504 at 201 pixels per inch (PPI). Oh, it is also edge-to-edge Corning Gortilla Glass 3.

surface laptop burgandyYou get one USB-A 3.0 and a MiniDisplay port.

All of this weighs in at just 2.76lbs and 14.47mm at its thickest point. Microsoft boasts that “no other laptop this light and thin can match the sleek design, power, performance, and battery life of Surface Laptop.”

Chips and source

Under the hood is either a Core i5 or Core i7 Kaby Lake chip of your choice. This is mated with Intel HD 620 (for the i5) or Iris Plus 640 (i7) graphics cards. You also get the option of 4, 8, 16GB of RAM. Storage options are available in 128, 256, and 512 flavours.

Windows 10 S

So, it is quite the looker. The Surface Laptop also promises long battery life and performance. But what about the operating system?

Windows 10 S is a streamlined version of Microsoft’s operating system and it’s apparently been designed to offer the same security and performance as Windows 10.

surface laptop coloursHowever, going down the S path means giving up the ability to run apps from outside the store, and that includes things like Google Chrome.

Not only that, you won’t be able to select Google as your default search engine, either.

In a FAQ for Windows 10 S, Microsoft admits

you are able to download another browser that might be available from the Windows Store, but Microsoft Edge will remain the default if, for example, you open an .htm file.”

This means if you click a link from another app, or open a link from an email then you’ll be thrown into Microsoft Edge, no matter what.

surface laptop greyIt’s not clear if Google will even bring Chrome to the Windows Store, but if it does then it might be a pointless venture as it won’t be fully functional without being the default browser on Windows 10 S.

Likewise, the default search provider in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer in Windows 10 S cannot be changed. Bing will be the default, and Microsoft is preventing users from switching to Google or other search providers for some unknown reason.

This isn’t the type of choice Windows users are typically used to, and it will be interesting to see if Microsoft sticks to its guns with all of this.

Surface Laptop price and availability

The new computer starts at £979 for the Core i5 model. It’s available for pre-order today, and arrives June 15th.

  • Platinum is the Surface core, our heritage color. Anodization gives it new depths and life. It continues to make a timeless and bright statement.
  • Graphite Gold is the ultimate neutral. The shimmer in the metal and material bring a comforting glow.
  • Cobalt Blue has the depth you see in the sea or sky. It’s a color inspired by nature and feels bright yet natural.
  • Burgundy’s elegance stands out. The color shifts from soft rose to deep red as you move from day to night or from inside to out.