First look: Microsoft's new Surface Laptop

By David Flynn, May 3 2017
First look: Microsoft's new Surface Laptop

Microsoft overnight added a new member to its Surface family: the Surface Laptop.

Unlike the Surface Pro 2-in-1 and Surface Book, the Surface Laptop is a conventional notebook where the keyboard doesn't detach from the screen.

Another wrinkle is that the Surface Laptop is built around Microsoft's new Windows 10 S operating system. Previously codenamed Windows Cloud, 10 S can load apps only from the Windows Store for lock-down app security.

Both the OS and the hardware are aimed at high school students, although the Surface Laptop can be upgraded to the full-blown Windows 10 Pro for a one-time US$49 fee which will be waived through to the end of 2017.

Once you've made the move to Windows 10 Pro, the Surface Laptop – which starts at $1,499 and will land here mid-June – becomes a much better proposition for the real world.

You're looking at a 13.5 inch display made with edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass 3, which also works with Microsoft's Surface Pen, although that stylus is an optional extra.

The modest 1.25kg weight, skinny 1.45cm profile at its thickest point and claimed 14.5 hour battery life should endear the Surface Laptop to travellers.

Passive cooling through chambers on the rear of the device to help keep the Surface Laptop cool and avoid battery life being drained by noisy whirring fans.

There are four base models available, built around Intel's latest Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and stepped in terms of SSD size (a modest 128GB to capacious 512GB ), RAM (4GB to 16GB) and graphics (choose between Intel's standard HD Graphics 620 chip or advanced Iris Plus Graphics 640 module).

For connectivity you get a USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connect jack and headphone jack – a modest but workable set of sockets.

Microsoft will offer the Surface Laptop in four colours – platinum, burgundy, cobalt blue, and graphite gold...

... with the same fabric alcantara keyboard as the premium Surface Pro 4 keyboard for a durable, tactile suede-like feel.

We'll update this article with Australian pricing on the Surface Laptop once this information is to hand.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 967

There is one feature of a Mac I can't find on any other computer. The preview ability in Outlook that lets me preview 12 PDF's without going through the process of opening them one by one. I would convert tomorrow if I found this feature elsewhere

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 380

Microsoft are smart to have an easy upgrade feature to a proper version of windows. Otherwise I don't think this will do very well

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 502

Looks great and pricing is great too compared with Apple's ridiculous $2700 for the Touch Bar, although MS charges their own premium over other computer brands.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2014

Total posts 50

It's a compelling device yes, however it's not a competitor to the MacBook Pro, that would be the Surface Book which carries a similar price. This device is aimed at the MacBook and ChromeBooks. 

Microsoft should release this as a standard Windows 10 Pro machine, it would be very popular. But even with Windows 10S it could make a great 'fleet' machine too for companies who want to issue their staff with a Windows ultrabook but keep the OS and apps locked down.

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