Surface Laptops in the wild

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I work at a university and only noticed 1 Surface laptop last year on campus. Classes have started up again and have already seen 6 different students using a Surface laptop this semester. This is nothing compared to the number of MacBooks I typically see but was still more than I expected.

I asked one of them why they choose the Surface laptop and she told me “I like the tall screen and thought it was pretty” . I know, not much of a story but thought I’d share. Also thought I might as well add that I still haven’t seen a Chromebook.

Comments (8)

8 responses to “Surface Laptops in the wild”

  1. Paul Thurrott

    So, anecdotal experiences are just ... you know, anecdotal.


    But less anecdotally, Surface Laptop has not been the success that Microsoft had hoped for. This may, in fact, explain the Surface Go better than anything. The only thing working for them is the tablet.

    • Sprtfan

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      Yeah, I knew that they hadn't sold well and was surprised that I saw as many as I did. I'd say close to 1/2 the laptops that I do see are MacBooks so not representative of the actual market and didn't mean for it to come off that way.

      • sgbassett

        In reply to Sprtfan:

        I teach as an adjunct at a law school. For the last decade, nearly all students in my Law Practice Management and Family Law classes had MacBooks. the 13 inch MacBook Air was the most common.


        But last year and this year, I have been seeing more Windows laptops/tablets. Many have been Surface devices (Pro, Book, and Laptop). This makes sense as I tell my students that most law firms run on Windows. There are small boutique firms that are Mac-centric, but there is still a fair amount of legal-specific software that is Windows only.


        As more functions (time/billing/accounting and practice management software) move to the cloud, that won't matter much. But for now, Windows is a better bet for lawyers and law students.

    • briantlewis

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      It's what makes the dearth of Surface Pro updates so weird.


  2. timo47

    Here's why I would never consider the Surface laptop: the only thing it has going for it is that it looks pretty. (So the fact that you got that as answer is maybe not that surprising.) But other than that it offers nothing that you can't find at a better price from HP/Lenovo/Dell/etc.


    Compared to what these OEMs have to offer, Surface Laptop is just plain and boring and as a result too expensive for what it is. It's weird that all other Surface devices offer something unique or innovative not found from any other vendor. And with Laptop it's the inverse: it's lack of innovative features makes it pale in comparison with what was already on the market.


    For me, this device has no reason for existing: it's a rejected design resurrected solely because they needed 'something' to showcase Windows 10 S.

    • Sprtfan

      In reply to timo47:

      It does have the 3:2 aspect ratio going for it that could be viewed as a plus for some college students, but I agree that I wouldn't recommend it to anyone either. The features for the price do not measure up well with compelling options from other manufacturers.

      • timo47

        In reply to Sprtfan:


        You are correct, the 3:2 aspect ratio is a plus. But is something you probably need to experience first before you realize that it's better. I don't think laptop buyers today are actively looking for this aspect ratio in the devices they buy, otherwise we'd be seeing a lot more of them.

  3. sgbassett

    The 3:2 screen is a bigger deal than I would have thought before I got my OG Surface Book. Now when I have to use a "widescreen" laptop, it feels constricted.


    Surface hardware is very well made and looks great. And if you can get a Surface device on sale, it can be worth the money. For example there are two $799 deals going on right now for the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro. Both are perfectly useful i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD models. Both are the Platinum color only. The Pro comes with the Type Cover. With Cloud storage so prevalent, most users, particularly college students, don't need a larger SSD.


    I was able to use a Best Buy $100 student coupon to get my daughter (a Ph.D. student) a burgundy Surface Laptop with an i5, 8 GB or RAM, and a 256 GB SSD (she could have gotten by 128, but there is no such model in burgundy) for $899 last weekend. I am very happy with it for the price. Also under consideration was the Dell XPS 13, but a similarly equipped model (with touch screen) was actually a couple hundred more than the Surface Laptop. Sure, we got a 7th Gen instead of an 8th Gen processor, but for standard productivity work, it will make little difference.