Classroom technology is a large and highly competitive market, with tech giants ranging from Apple to Google competing to get their products into schools. This week, Microsoft threw their hat into the ring by launching their new line of laptops aimed at students, along with a new, slimmed-down version of the Windows operating system to go with it. These two new products, called the Surface Laptop and Windows S, respectively, are the newest devices in the company’s line of high-end laptops and two-in-ones.
First, let’s talk about the device itself. The overall build and feel of the laptop can be summed up in one word: Premium. The device has a 13.5 inch touchscreen 1080p display and a high-end fabric keyboard. It’s incredibly thin, weighing only 2.76 pounds, and feels sleekl. The device has a minimal amount of holes, excluding speaker grills and using a minimal amount of ports. Inside, it’s packing Intel’s Core i5 and i7 processors, a battery that Microsoft claims will last up to 14 hours, and a 128 to 512GB SSD. Unfortunately, the device doesn’t come with a USB-C port, and unlike the company’s other devices, the Surface Laptop is a true laptop that doesn’t convert into a tablet. There is also not much room for customization – it will ship in only four colors: platinum, burgundy, cobalt blue, and graphite gold, but there will certainly be third-party skins that will help fill in the gap.
The Surface Laptop also comes with a new version of Windows called Windows S (short for student). Similar to the former Windows RT, this operating system only supports programs installed from the official Windows Store. However, this doesn’t mean that traditional desktop apps won’t be able to run on these laptops, but that the developers of those applications will have to package and submit their applications to the Windows Store. Windows S also has a few other differences meant to streamline the experience for students, including packaging it with a free license to Minecraft: Education Edition and making the setup process much simpler. And if the owner of a Surface Laptop wants to remove these restrictions and access a full version of Windows, they can upgrade to the regular Windows 10 Pro for a price.
It’s hard to know how well this new laptop from Microsoft will be received. Although it’s a very well made device, it costs a hefty $999 for the base model, which could turn away it’s target market of students. The device can be preordered through the Microsoft Store today, and models will start shipping out on June 15th.
What do you think about the Surface Laptop? Would you consider buying one? Let us know in the comments section. We love to hear your thoughts!