The Surface Laptop as the name suggests is the first actual laptop directly from Microsoft, and it’s a beauty!
It’s a perfect blend of hardware and software working together in harmony to give users the best user experience possible and also the confidence show it off like Apple MacBook usually do.
This is not a laptop you’d want to cover up in a protective case or have stickers plastered all over it, it’s lightweight at just 2.76 pounds, has great specs, an awesome keyboard that makes typing a pleasure and you can even lift it open with one finger without moving the whole thing.
Surface Laptop Design Is Very Seamless
The new Surface Laptop comes in a very nice packaging with the bare minimum inside. You get a charger, small booklets with some information and the Laptop itself.
Taking the laptop out of the box, it screams premium, thanks to its machined metal build that keeps it looking slick. Microsoft‘s engineers worked hard to keep screws out of sight and even the keyboard is covered in Alcantara faux suede.
If you placed the Surface Laptop flat on a table, all you’ll see is what seems like a solid metal with a subtle mirrored Windows logo on top of it. Its keyboard finishing is also very useful in that when it’s cold, you can rest your palms without feeling icy and the Surface Laptop is super thin at less than 14.5 mm thick.
Under the keyboard, Microsoft has engineered the Surface Laptop speakers there without compromising sound quality. With the Surface Laptop’s Alcantara keyboard finishing, Microsoft said you can easily clean it without damaging it, although we didn’t test this out, I can imagine this is true, otherwise they would have a lot of returned devices in their hands.
What I really love also is how they have made it possible to lift the laptop lid with one finger without the whole laptop shifting and when using its touch screen, the hinge is solid, it doesn’t bounce all over the place, especially back and forth as you touch it or point at the screen.
Around the back where the vent is, it’s slightly slanted so when you have the lid open, you can hardly see it. It’s truly seamless. Where connectivity is concerned, you get one USB 3.0 connector, a 3.5mm headset jack, a mini DisplayPort and Microsoft’s own proprietary SurfaceConnect port for charging.
Just like the Surface Pro, you can get a £190 Surface Dock, for connecting to other peripherals. Using the dock means you can connect to an external display, have more USB ports and a gigabit Ethernet port if you prefer to be tethered.
Overall, the Surface Laptop design is a big improvement and you can see how far Microsoft has come when it comes to designing their own hardware. I’ve always liked the Surface Pro design and this left me in awe too.
Windows 10 S is Secure and Dummy-proof
Windows 10 S is streamlined to be faster, safer and enhance user experience. It loads faster and prevents the user from installing applications that aren’t in the Windows store.
When you try to install an application such as Spotify, it would redirect you to the one that Microsoft has certified to be safe for your machine. The limitation here is not being able to download apps like Chrome or if it’s not in the Windows store then it’s a no-go.
Windows 10 S is not designed for power users, it’s super light, you can’t even run Adobe cloud apps like Photoshop or Lightroom, however, Microsoft gives you the option to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for users who need complete control over what they install.
Loaded with Microsoft’s BitLocker encryption system your files would also be secured should your laptop get stolen.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Performance (Battery and Processor)
The Surface Laptop comes in a number configurations so you can put together what suits your needs. If you’re one to be editing photos and videos, it’s best to upgrade to the i7 + 16GB RAM combo.
The version in this review came with Intel’s latest 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 256GB PCI-E SSD, 8GB 1866Mhz LPDDR3 RAM and for graphics, you get an HD 620 graphics chip.
With an efficient processor and a slimline software, Microsoft said you can expect up to 14.5 hours of local video playback time. We couldn’t really put that to test due to the amount of time we had with the Surface Laptop, but based on playing videos, emails, a lot of internet browsing, it lasted all day and half of the next day.
Elsewhere, its 13.5” PixelSense Display dishes out a 2256 x 1504 (201 PPI) resolution with 3.4M Pixels and you get a full-screen real estate with its 3:2 aspect ratio. Its touch screen is really responsive even when you use Surface Pen with it thanks to its 10 point multitouch Inking.
The Surface Laptop is a great piece of kit, it’s meticulously designed and every detail is very well engineered. It performs really well and Microsoft has a lot of options available to suit your need including the option to upgrade from Windows 10 S to Pro if you need to.
Where it may fall short is pricing and what you get versus competition. For the same price, you can get just a bit more with the Dell XPS 13, but you’d be missing the metal casing and Surface Pen compatibility.