What exactly is the Microsoft Surface?

Thursday 4 May 2017
Nic Crowther's picture
Co Editor
The Shaker

Microsoft continues to roll out new hardware to critical acclaim, and this week we saw the launch of the Surface Laptop. The $1,500 device sits comfortably between the $900 tablet hybrid known as Surface Pro 4, and the flagship Surface Book ($2,300).

Apparently, the device is aimed at students that would want to splurge $1,500 on a Windows laptop. Microsoft claims that there are plenty of MacBook Airs and Pros on campus, so clearly there is an appetite for something like this.



What they fail to mention is that MacBooks are known for their reliability and tend to last for years. Windows machines have notoriously short lifespans, and there is really no such thing as a cheap version of a laptop running MacOS.



However, this difference is certainly understood. An interview with CNET says as much. "This is where we wanted to put our focus, into those next four years of a student's life, when they're just about to get out of high school," said Panos Panay (Corporate Vice President for Surface Computing) "We wanted to bring them a product they could have so much confidence in."



"It's going to last that student from the day they walk into their orientation to the day they walk across that stage for their graduation."

Interestingly, this laptop runs Windows 10 S. This is a trimmed version of Microsoft’s OS that currently runs on the both the more expensive AND cheaper versions of Surface.



Why the crippled version of Windows is only on this device is still unclear (there’s a bunch of marketing guff around faster loading times and security), but there is a free option to upgrade to the full version before the end of the year. Pre-orders have commenced for delivery of the base models in mid-June.