Surface Laptop: A Contrary View

After gushing over Surface Laptop for a few days, I figured I should play devil’s advocate and present a contrary view. Here’s where Microsoft got it wrong.

For starters, the laptop form factor is a bit confusing in this age of ever-slimmer devices. It’s further confusing when you consider that the entire Surface business is built, in a way, on Microsoft’s Apple envy. But they still stuck with a thicker and heavier type of device. Interesting.

(On a related note, you may recall that when Microsoft first announced its Surface Book—“the ultimate laptop”—back in late 2015, I complained that customers weren’t asking for a laptop. What they were asking for was an Ultrabook, a device that is thinner, lighter, and more portable than a laptop.)

Looking more closely the hardware, there are other oddities.

Most obvious is the lack of even a single USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port. I understand why Microsoft might want to maximize its investments in Surface Connect and other hardware, for sure. But for a company to publicly pronounce this device fit for four years of duty while ignoring modern technology is hypocritical.

Worse, if you’re going to adopt a larger laptop form factor, how about adding a few more ports? There’s plenty of room there for USB-C, at the very least. Other PC makers—like HP, especially—do a great job of handling the transition from the old to the new. Microsoft seems to be more concerned with Apple-like minimalist aesthetics.

And while I feel like I’ve already explained Microsoft’s rationale for choosing a normal laptop form factor, I think we can all agree that a 360-degree hinge would have made a lot more sense. Such a device would work normally like a laptop, with no compromises, but would be more versatile.

In fact, if you compare HP’s stunningly innovative Spectre x360 to the Surface Laptop, you’ll see some interesting miscues on Microsoft’s part. HP’s device—which offers a 13-inch screen—can transform into a tablet, be used like a tent, offers both pen and touch support, and is thinner and lighter—and offers smaller bezels—than the bulkier and less versatile Surface Laptop.

For a device being marketed to students, the Surface Laptop is curiously inadequate for the tasks. Yes, it works with Surface Pen. But the screen doesn’t lay flat, doesn’t even go back that far. So you can’t actually write on it, let alone take notes. Any other 2-in-1s, including Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are better tools for this usage.

Speaking of which, Surface Laptop is also incompatible with the software students would really use, including Google Chrome, Apple iTunes, Adobe Creative Suite, and so on. Yes, you can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free, but that is a temporary offer. Eventually, this nicety will add $50 to the price, and it will be a manual process the user needs to undergo. (Granted, it’s simple enough.)

I really like the design of the Surface Laptop, but it’s interesting how quickly and easily it all falls apart in the face of reality. I still want one in a sort of visceral way. But I’m not sure anymore what the point of this device is, beyond what I already wrote: To prove that Windows 10 S can in fact run on a premium device. But that’s a marketing benefit, not an end user benefit. Right?

I still want one. 🙂


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  • Steven Stolarski

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 8:57 am

    <p>On WW you mentioned that if they had Chrome and Itunes in the store, the lack of Win32 apps wouldn't be a big deal for most people. I wonder if they engendered any good will by bringing Office to IOS and Android. The old Microsoft would play hardball and maybe remove these from the competing stores, or maybe even use Minecraft as leverage. I much prefer the new Microsoft, but I wonder what is being said behind closed doors. </p><p>Also – as far as Chrome goes – couldn't they take Chromium and package it up themselves? As someone who has used Chromium on Linux, the difference is negligible. </p><p><img src=""></p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      04 May, 2017 - 9:44 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#112456">In reply to Steven Stolarski:</a></em></blockquote><p>Yes, you could do that. But it still wouldn't work on Windows 10 S, which doesn't support side loading apps like that. </p>

      • lvthunder

        Premium Member
        04 May, 2017 - 11:28 am

        <blockquote><a href="#112509"><em>In reply to Paul Thurrott:</em></a></blockquote><p>I think he meant couldn't a developer (or Microsoft themselves) take Chromium and put it in the store.</p>

    • petermaude

      04 May, 2017 - 12:24 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#112456">In reply to Steven Stolarski:</a></em></blockquote><p>Google can use the bridge to package Chrome and put it in the store I assume ? Or are Microsoft blocking other browsers in the store. If they can, then this probably helps the store, as people need to use it to get chrome</p>

      • Stokkolm

        04 May, 2017 - 2:05 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#112609">In reply to petermaude:</a></em></blockquote><p>Which is exactly why Google will never do that.</p>

  • MikeCerm

    04 May, 2017 - 9:00 am

    <p>The only limitation I'm truly not okay with is if the default search engine *in Edge* cannot be changed. I understand that Cortana is tied to Bing, but if I can't set my own homepage and search engine (DuckDuckGo, for the ! shortcut searches, specifically), then I just can't use it at all. That being said, the $50 for an upgrade to Pro means that anyone who is complaining about the limitations should probably just stop. Nobody is forced to use 10S, but it's $50 cheaper if you do.</p><p>The lack of USB-C is annoying, but not something that should negatively impact people if the battery life claims are true. 99.999% of people have never owned a laptop that could share a charger with their phone, and Apple users never will, so it's not really a thing most people know to look for.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

    • obarthelemy

      04 May, 2017 - 9:20 am

      <blockquote><a href="#112461"><em>In reply to MikeCerm:</em></a></blockquote><p> Can't you make a custom search engine with a prefix ? I don't use Edge, but in Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi and Firefox, you can define a custom search. ie . that's the World of Warcraft Armory for the EU-Hyjal realm of most of my toons, detailed version, in English; %s is the search string, then I assign nickname "a" to that search, so typing </p><p>a Lemagnifique</p><p>in the adress bar will directly get to Lemagnifique's Armory page ( <span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"> ) </span>so I can check he is, indeed, magnificent.</p><p>If Edge supports that, the workaround is simply to define "g" as a shortcut to Google Search ( ), and to rephrase searches as: g &lt;search terms&gt;. Doesn't seem too onerous ?</p>

    • ncn

      04 May, 2017 - 9:21 am

      <p>It's not like you can't use another search engine … either as a homepage or in the favorites bar.</p><p><br></p><p>As far as USB-C goes, there's already a picture out there of a version of this machine with two USB-C ports in place of the proprietary connector … just a matter of time when they refresh and unify the entire line.</p><p><br></p><p>Edge is the only browser because you are restricted to using the MS rendering engine for any Store app … makes some sense from the UWP aspect.</p>

  • jwpear

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 9:01 am

    <p>It does feel like they deliberately hobbled this thing to make it less attractive and not eat in to the OEM sales too much, if at all.&nbsp; This is so far in the opposite direction of the typical Surface that it is hard for me to understand, despite&nbsp;Paul's articles.&nbsp; I still don't get how this inspires the OEM's.&nbsp; And in this case, how it paints Surface as aspirational.</p>

    • JacobTheDev

      Premium Member
      04 May, 2017 - 9:20 am

      <blockquote><a href="#112462"><em>In reply to jwpear:</em></a></blockquote><p>I'd say it's aspirational in it's design; it's an absolutely gorgeous device (at least in my opinion). For me, the handful of things I wish it had are negligible. (USB-C, fingerprint reader). I'd be the next iteration will solve a lot of the complaints people are having, but of course we won't see that for at least another year.</p>

      • jwpear

        Premium Member
        04 May, 2017 - 9:24 am

        <blockquote><a href="#112477"><em>In reply to JacobTheDev:</em></a></blockquote><p>Agree with you on it being a gorgeous device.&nbsp; And I'd love to have a high DPI display on my laptop.&nbsp; Beyond that, I personally have trouble.&nbsp; Can't help but wonder if others will too.&nbsp; Certainly hope it is successful.&nbsp; </p><p>I'm still enjoying my SP3.&nbsp; I'd love to have that kind of build quality and screen&nbsp;in a Windows laptop.&nbsp; But with a laptop, I do expect a little more versatility.</p>

  • Steven Stolarski

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 9:13 am

    <p>I have no idea what customer reaction will be. There is a risk of negative reception from consumers who can't install the applications they used on their old windows computers. At the same time, those that will be caught off guard by the inability to run Win32 apps, are the very same people who probably should be using Windows S.</p>

  • Yasir Jaborie

    04 May, 2017 - 9:15 am

    <p>I honestly don't feel this device makes any sense. </p><p>Is some alcantara the thing that moves the laptop form factor to the next level? </p><p>I was somewhat convinced by Panos during the Surface Pro 4 event. This presentation just felt</p><p>inconsistent and desperate in its effort trying to rationalize and legitimize the existence of this product. </p><p>Either way I will not buy a Surface device ever again after the fiasco of skylake and pathetic quality control. </p><p>I owned both the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book. </p>

  • Waethorn

    04 May, 2017 - 9:15 am

    <p>With all the shortcomings and you still want one?</p><p><br></p><p>Marketing has already won.</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      04 May, 2017 - 9:45 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#112466">In reply to Waethorn:</a></em></blockquote><p>I'm not going to explain how wanting something works, sorry. It's called being a human. But just because it's not perfect doesn't mean it's not something useful too.</p>

      • JC

        04 May, 2017 - 10:01 am

        <blockquote><a href="#112511"><em>In reply to Paul Thurrott:</em></a></blockquote><p>While your out buying your laptop, you can get one each for your children for school and university, go on, you know you want to, 'splash the cash'.</p>

    • BoItmanLives

      04 May, 2017 - 12:07 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#112466">In reply to Waethorn:</a></em></blockquote><p>The Paul I used to know would have skewered this thing for being $1000 – $2199 and shipping with a crippled OS. Seriously, you get home with a $2200 + tax laptop and it won't even run your programs? Chrome, iTunes, Photoshop, Steam, Acrobat Pro, your existing copy of Office, Notepad++, Visual Studio, nothing. Gabe Newell's prediction is coming true, btw.</p><p>"Oh but you see Pro will be free for a while" – then why not just ship the damn things with Pro? First impressions and defaults count, and MS playing games artificially restricting the desktop icon and start menu is going to mean a lot of returns on these things.</p><p>"Oh but you see we have to force the Store because then people will use it" – consumers have rejected the metro store for almost 6 years now – what's changed? It's still the same trash dump of third worlder scam apps. People laying down $1000+ on a laptop don't want low quality emulated mobile apps on the desktop. </p><p>Unbelievable.</p>

      • hrlngrv

        Premium Member
        04 May, 2017 - 4:06 pm

        <p><a href="#112586"><em>In reply to BoItmanLives:</em></a></p><p>People will go on rejecting the Windows Store.</p><p>For workplace use, Store apps aren't going to be adequate. Webs apps are the future, but web apps don't need a particular local OS.</p><p>For consumers, on PCs, web apps will also be huge. Then there's all the shareware and freeware which many old farts like me have amassed. I haven't had problems with it to date, so I don't view it as a significant security risk. None of it is going to show up in Store packaging ever, and if the last 4.5 years since Windows 8's debut is indicative, there won't be Store alternatives for much of it. One admittedly idiosyncratic example: the AllDups utility to find duplicate files all over my drives.</p><p>The Windows Store without significant numbers of Windows phones is a failed concept as a mass marketplace. It has a purpose: for non-game Xbox apps, for IoT devices which can install optional software, for MSFT fanboys who just have to make UWP work. It just doesn't provide enough value to most PC users.</p>

  • Ugur

    04 May, 2017 - 9:18 am

    <p>I feel like the surface laptop feels way more like Apple envy than the surface pro, surface book etc.</p><p>Those were devices with many original aspects compared to Apple mac devices and it would have also been nonsense to act like MS aped Apple there with a tablet or convertible concept in general since MS talked about that way earlier many years ago and it just took them a good while to get it that refined and well, they delivered something Apple doesn't offer (yet).</p><p><br></p><p>The surface laptop, well, it is a dandy fine looking laptop, but also one where the main focus is on thin and light and very nice outer shell, way more than on most powerful internals or lots of peripheral connectivity etc.</p><p>So, of whose companies approach does that remind us a lot?</p><p>Right, Apple =( =)</p><p><br></p><p>I completely agree with your last paragraph, i feel exactly the same way about it: The very nice design makes me want to have it, too, but looking at it more realistically and in detail after having let it sink in some, it really falls apart some.</p><p>The 4GB Ram option is basically a no go in 2017, so one is automatically in one price level up to get the 8GB Ram and a bit more reasonable storage size.</p><p>Then that it is not future and present proof at the same time (which would have been so easy by having one USB A and one USB C/Thunderbolt port) means one would need a hub for more connectivity for sure. Another price addition.</p><p>Then the pen sold separately, makes it again more expensive.</p><p>So suddenly this "premium affordable" is not that low price at all anymore.</p><p>Then it can be used with touch and pen (nice) but can't be folded over, which so reduces the usability with pen and touch.</p><p>That alone is a huge usability reduction to me (and likely will be the culprit why i won't buy it)</p><p>And the chip is btw also not very powerful, no dedicated gpu as any model option and a dual core only cpu if i saw correctly.</p><p>Now that would be excusable for a non pro aimed device in non pro device regions (if they also offered a pro model option of this next to this non pro version), but since the higher end options for this still come with win 10 S pre installed as default choice without upgrading and the above 2k price options still don't have quad+ core cpu options as far as i saw nor dedicated gpu options, nor more peripheral ports, nor larger screen options, so overall then the higher price range options of this are a complete no go.</p><p><br></p><p>Up front there was some speculation that MS would deliver a chromebook competitor, but this is very clearly not that.</p><p>(Since most chromebooks are way lower priced and those few that are higher priced have even higher res screen and even more peripheral ports).</p><p>If anything this is a Macbook or Macbook Air (or smaller size macbook pro at most) contender at these price ranges and for that, yeah, then feels weird the full desktop OS option (for "free") is a time limited offer.</p><p>There's also the part that MS still has something to prove there regarding hassle free OS and reliable hardware and driver performance with their devices and win 10, whereas one may moan about many aspects of what Apple does (i do so a lot where they deserve it), but regarding the OS, yeah, theirs is hands down massively less hassle involving in daily usage.</p><p><br></p><p>And the whole alcantara top, yeah, i have very mixed feelings about that aspect. On one side it sure looks nice and i'm sure it also feels very nice, but unless they present a way to easily replace it, that sounds too much like throwaway mentality where they focussed all on the look and feel in the first five minutes and none on how it will look and feel in 3 months or whether it can be used nicely for more than a year.</p><p>That too is too much Apple of the last few years mentality to me.</p><p><br></p><p>Here some tips for you MS:</p><p>-Make the Windows 10 Pro switch not time limited as free offer but instead allow users to switch between the two any time.</p><p>(no additional fees, best on per user level decided/setable if he/she runs pro or S)</p><p>Then it is nicely put that win 10 s is a nice additional option for less hassle maintainability one could even want to set intentionally for pupils or kids accounts etc, not something one should try to switch away from asap as long as one still has the chance in free upgrade way.</p><p><br></p><p>(-On a side note also make windows store/UWP (containerized) apps deployable from anywhere by anyone and also launchable from the desktop so it is not seen as horrible move to try to force all into your store, as long as you keep on doing that, it will tank, always)</p><p><br></p><p>-Immediately release a version for 999 which has one usb C port, too and the specs of your 8GB Ram option</p><p><br></p><p>-Then at higher price range options also add 15 inch and 17 inch models which then also have bigger battery quad core+, dedicated nvidia 10xx series gpu option and 1-2 usb A and 1-2 USB C ports next to hdmi and sd card reader, too.</p><p><br></p><p>Do these within 6 months and you can cut into both Google's and Apple's markets massively.</p><p><br></p><p>Don't do these and the others will offer something people want before you, reducing your sales massively.</p>

    • RobertJasiek

      04 May, 2017 - 12:00 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#112470"><em>In reply to Ugur:</em></a></blockquote><p>These days, I read quite a few comments that 4GB were not enough for a new computer but 8GB mandatory. Please explain, thanks! I ask because I still work on 2GB. A higher screen resolution needs some more RAM, so 4GB are needed. But why 8GB? Not everybody runs several VMs and Photoshop. Is 8GB really necessary for the new computer? Or is it just the expectation "not today, but in 5 years, when it shall still be used swiftly"? How does 8GB affect battery?</p>

      • Darmok N Jalad

        04 May, 2017 - 12:14 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#112578"><em>In reply to RobertJasiek:</em></a></blockquote><p>Yeah, if you don't have multiple users on the PC with fast user switching, 4GB can do just fine. If all things were equal, I'd rather have a 4GB device with fast storage than 8GB with a spinning disk. Of course, these days you have to chose that at the time of purchase and be happy about it. </p>

      • Daekar

        04 May, 2017 - 12:20 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#112578"><em>In reply to RobertJasiek:</em></a></blockquote><p>I cannot imagine that most people doing everyday tasks need more than 4GB. I want more because I'm a power user/gamer. I just bought a tablet with 2GB and based on testimonials I don't anticipate any issues with lightweight applications.</p>

      • Ugur

        04 May, 2017 - 4:45 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#112578"><em>In reply to RobertJasiek:</em></a><em> It depends on what one runs mostly. I run memory intensive design and development apps so i can always use more. If you don't then you usually only notice more ram considerably when you have many browser tabs open or many apps at once or similar.</em></blockquote><p><br></p>

    • BoItmanLives

      04 May, 2017 - 12:20 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#112470">In reply to Ugur:</a></em></blockquote><p>Manifesto = scrollwheel. Christ, dude.</p>

  • Yasir Jaborie

    04 May, 2017 - 9:19 am

    <p> Oh… and Paul it does not have the same screen that the Surface Book has. It's the same size</p><p>but the resolution and PPI is way lower on the Surface Laptop. </p>

  • lwetzel

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 9:23 am

    <p>It was nice to see the joy until the event was over. I guess it was inevitable that we then frown and tear it apart. Think all the stuff they are doing regarding education and empowering students and teachers was the point of the whole thing anyway. Why not talk about how that will benefit the future.</p>

  • Simard57

    04 May, 2017 - 9:25 am

    <p>if HP were to offer a Spectre a 3:2 screen – it would be my next purchase</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      04 May, 2017 - 9:44 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#112483">In reply to Simard57:</a></em></blockquote><p>I beg them for this. They say there is no demand, and that 3:2 screens have usability issues.</p>

      • Waethorn

        04 May, 2017 - 10:48 am

        <blockquote><a href="#112510"><em>In reply to Paul Thurrott:</em></a></blockquote><p>Mostly because apps aren't built for it. Everybody moved to widescreen displays, and apps have been designed with them in mind ever since. Tablets have such a small marketshare, and one that keeps declining. It's no wonder OEM's are pushing back on the format.</p>

      • Steve78

        04 May, 2017 - 11:09 am

        <blockquote><a href="#112510"><em>In reply to Paul Thurrott:</em></a></blockquote><p><span class="ql-cursor"></span>They buy the 16:9 panels for their hardware as they are cheap.</p><p><br></p>

        • hrlngrv

          Premium Member
          04 May, 2017 - 3:28 pm

          <p><a href="#112556"><em>In reply to Steve78:</em></a></p><p>If OEMs were ordering 3:2 panels in the tens of millions a year, they'd become cheap too.</p>

      • lvthunder

        Premium Member
        04 May, 2017 - 11:31 am

        <blockquote><a href="#112510"><em>In reply to Paul Thurrott:</em></a></blockquote><p>Really. That's odd. I haven't had a usabilty issue due to the aspect ratio of the screen of my Surface Book.</p>

        • siko

          04 May, 2017 - 11:42 am

          <blockquote><a href="#112566"><em>In reply to lvthunder:</em></a></blockquote><p>And I kinda miss it when I sit behind my 16:9 XPS 13 from 2014….</p>

        • Waethorn

          05 May, 2017 - 4:56 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#112566"><em>In reply to lvthunder:</em></a></blockquote><p>It's a periphery thing. Widescreen was built to accommodate panoramic views because of the perceptible range of the human eye. App developers worth their weight know to put direct content in the middle of the screen and save things like navigation controls for the outskirts because you're not going to keep hitting navigation controls all the time. Ditto for filmmakers. This is why filmmakers and cinematographers still use monitors with multiple frame dimensions. It's not to support pan-and-scan or 16:9, because even on 16:9 widescreen monitors, they use 2.35:1. It's just to address the focus on the main content near the center 2/3's of the screen. The rest is periphery content. This is why 16:9 was chosen. Also, because it's 4^2:3^2, so it's like a happy coincidence that it's mathematically similar to the old 4:3 format.</p>

          • hrlngrv

            Premium Member
            05 May, 2017 - 5:52 pm

            <p><a href="#113436"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></p><p>Silly me, trying to do statistical analysis on a PC.</p><p>16:9 -&gt; 1.778, 4:3 -&gt; 1.333. Not that similar.</p><p>My problem with 16:9 laptops, at least all the ones I've had to use for work, is 1366×768. 1366 is fine horizontally, almost 7% more than the previous (for me) 1280. OTOH, 768 sucks big time compared to the previous 800 (16:10, 1280×800), 4% less. However, for me, 16:10 sucked compared to the previous 5:4 laptops (1280×1024). That was nearly 22% reduction (1024 -&gt; 800), and overall in the last 10 years a 25% reduction (1024 -&gt; 768).</p><p>I don't watch movies on laptops, though I have watched DVDs of old TV shows in 4:3. I have no use for 16:9, and for me it's GODDAMN WELL about time there's something squarer.</p><p>I'm no MSFT fan, but I do earnestly hope Surface laptops reduce their OEM partners' laptop sales by 10% or more in the second half of 2017. People complain Mac buyers are iSheep when it's Windows OEMs who are the real technology lemmings.</p>

            • Waethorn

              06 May, 2017 - 11:57 am

              <blockquote><a href="#113450"><em>In reply to hrlngrv:</em></a></blockquote><p>1366×768 is just 1024×768 (which is the old standard XGA resolution) with an extra 1/3 for the width. 800 pixels was never ideal because it doesn't size correctly according to the rule of computer math: having binary-reduceable factors. Software designers already built apps for widescreen. They're not going back to making apps fit on a 4:3 or 3:2 screen size. 4:3 is still used for some business monitors for digital signage and "monitor" monitors for multiplexing, but 3:2 is just an oddity crafted by Apple for the iPhone 4 which they've since moved away from. The iPad is 4:3 too.</p><p><br></p><p>Also, I haven't seen a 1280×800 screen in years, ever since they moved most screens away from 16:10 to 16:9. There are still 16:10 aspect screens for business use, but any that I've seen in the last few years are much higher resolution now, so I don't know what you're going on about.</p>

              • hrlngrv

                Premium Member
                06 May, 2017 - 5:20 pm

                <p><a href="#113644"><em>In reply to Waethorn:</em></a></p><p>Maybe my employer is cheap, but they've been providing 1366×768 laptops for the last 3 hardware refreshes. There may be higher resolution laptops, but no one, not the customer-facing people, not the supervisors in the big cubicles, not the managers in the glassed in offices, not senior management off across the country have anything other than 1366×768 laptops.</p><p>Granted it was over 10 years ago now, but my favorite work laptop was a Dell with a joy stick mouse and SXGA screen. I hated the next laptop they gave me, which was 1280×800. After that, 1366×768 was less of a shock, but for me going in the wrong direction.</p><p>Since I don't use apps, I don't really care what app developers do. Browsers, Office programs, the stats and database software I use, all the utilities all run fine on taller and narrower displays. Indeed, since Office's ribbon can't be shifted to left or right sides, I'd argue Office screams for taller+narrower screens to be fully usable.</p><p>You have no idea how much I want the Surface laptops to depress OEM laptop sales. TBH, I'd happily take 4:3 over 3:2, but I figure 3:2 is the best I can expect.</p>

      • RobertJasiek

        04 May, 2017 - 11:52 am

        <blockquote><a href="#112510"><em>In reply to Paul Thurrott:</em></a></blockquote><p>The usability issue of 3:2 is being too tall. 4:3 and 5:4 are much more usable. (I know, HP thought it was different: the taller the more useful?!)</p>

        • hrlngrv

          Premium Member
          04 May, 2017 - 3:34 pm

          <p><a href="#112574"><em>In reply to RobertJasiek:</em></a></p><p>Definitions would seem to be essential.</p><p>Simple math. Note: in WxH, W = width and H = height, so the 2nd figure is height.</p><p>16:9 2400×1350</p><p>16:10 2400×1500</p><p>4:3 2400×1800</p><p>5:4 2400×1920</p><p>3:2 2400×1600</p><p>Please explain how 3:2 is too tall while 4:3 and 5:4 aren't.</p>

          • RobertJasiek

            04 May, 2017 - 3:57 pm

            <blockquote><a href="#112760"><em>In reply to hrlngrv:</em></a></blockquote><p>I mean portrait position, which I use 99.5% of the time In practice, 3:2 means unused space on top and bottom but 4:3 and 5:4 do not waste space.</p>

      • Daekar

        04 May, 2017 - 12:18 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#112510"><em>In reply to Paul Thurrott:</em></a></blockquote><p>That's interesting. I've never understood why we needed 3:2 screens, or 16:9 screens, or whatever. The screen I use at home is 1920×1200 and I like that, but I use all the others and they all work about the same. Does it really matter? Can't we just pick one and stick with it?</p><p><br></p>

        • RobertJasiek

          04 May, 2017 - 12:36 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#112596"><em>In reply to Daekar:</em></a></blockquote><p>Of course, it depends on the user's used contents and preferred workflow. For some, the ratio may be immaterial – for others, it is the major aspect of each computer. E.g., those writing DIN sized books and viewing one page at a time need a low ratio in portrait position while those viewing two pages at a time might need a high ratio in landscape position.</p>

    • the_3rd_pedal

      04 May, 2017 - 8:14 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#112483">In reply to Simard57:</a></em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>I must admit, I'd like a 3:2 screen too. As an amateur photographer, it would be perfect for me. </em></blockquote><p><br></p>

  • Igor Engelen

    04 May, 2017 - 9:27 am

    <p>Purely looking at the design I think this is a great device. What I don't understand is the lack of possible combinations.</p><p>Why limit the full color range to only 1 model?</p>

  • barry505

    04 May, 2017 - 9:27 am

    <p>I'll stick with my Spectre 13 – x360. My refurbed i7 was about $800 less than the comparable Surface Laptop, has USB-C ports and the 360 degree screen.</p>

  • Stokkolm

    04 May, 2017 - 9:29 am

    <p>I'm looking for something in this space. I had high hopes for the Surface Laptop, but I personally can't overlook the lack of USB-C/Thunderbolt 3. So, now I'm torn between the Spectre X360 or the X1 Carbon. 1st world problems….</p>

    • Yasir Jaborie

      04 May, 2017 - 9:36 am

      <p><em>why not the X1 Yoga?</em></p><p><br></p><p><a href="#112487"><em><span class="ql-cursor"></span>In reply to Stokkolm:</em></a></p><p><br></p>

      • Stokkolm

        04 May, 2017 - 9:49 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#112495">In reply to Yasir Jaborie:</a></em></blockquote><p>I don't really care about the pen support or convertible aspect of the X360, I just think the standard Spectre Laptop is ugly as hell. Really, what I'm looking for is a powerful Ultrabook with an NVMe SSD, 2K-4K screen, and USB-C/Thunderbolt 3. The HP is much better looking and uses more premium materials, but the Lenovo has Thunderbolt 3, which is a plus for it as well as the preferable keyboard. This will replace my current Surface Pro 3 as my day-to-day laptop.</p>

  • MattHewitt

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 9:47 am

    <p>"Most obvious is the lack of even a single USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port. I understand why Microsoft might want to maximize its investments in Surface Connect and other hardware, for sure. But for a company to publicly pronounce this device fit for four years of duty while ignoring modern technology is hypocritical."</p><p><br></p><p>So true!</p>

  • yaddamaster

    04 May, 2017 - 9:55 am

    <p>I'll go even more contrarian: having successfully created a "reference" line of pc's in the Surface line that other manufacturers have adopted, Microsoft can now claim that the resultant crappy sales of this things mean Surface is no longer necessary and MS will discontinue all Surface devices.</p><p><br></p><p>Yes, I know – it's slightly unhinged. :-)</p>

  • Omega Ra

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 10:00 am

    <p>I, too, want one, but with an upcoming wedding and Honeymoon, and overall lack of a real need for a laptop, I simply cannot justify the cost…ah well.</p>

  • rohitharsh

    04 May, 2017 - 10:10 am

    <p>Well most obvious short coming is that it's just a laptop. There are bunch of really great laptop in the market. I still do not see why a laptop was needed. </p><p><br></p><p>My only hope is that now that they have a laptop, next device will be something new. New take on computing. Because coming up with something like that which resonates with people is the only way MS can become revalent in computing going forward.</p>

  • harmjr

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 10:18 am

    <p>I have knocked this device already on other post because of its specs. However my only issue was releasing this at an Education event. That just not the place. This is a high end fancy pants executive or mac book pro user's laptop. I would never recommend this to my friends to buy this for their children or recent grads going to college. It should have been released with the Surface Studio or held for the Surface Pro 5 launch that may happen in the fall. Why not release the Windows 10 S version on a Surface Pro 4.5 at this event. For education purposes would not having this available on New or Maybe even older in the market Surface Pro 4's and 3's be smarter for education. Education screams for a device that some one can read on long term take notes and browse the web. Is that not what the base line Surface Pro models provide.</p><p>My bets on Paul and Brad quickly getting rid of those Surface Books and getting the Surface Laptop because thats who this laptop is designed for in the first place.</p>

    • harmjr

      Premium Member
      04 May, 2017 - 10:24 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#112534">In reply to harmjr:</a></em></blockquote><p>Also why not release this in a smaller form factor say like the older Surface 10" line with a real or heavy duty keyboard or base…</p>

  • wshwe

    04 May, 2017 - 10:31 am

    <p>Some people trashed Chromebooks for being machines with only browsers. Windows 10 S is only a browser and Office. No Access, iTunes or Creative Suite for you! If most people will just upgrade to full Windows why not put full Windows on it in the 1st place.</p>

  • Bats

    04 May, 2017 - 10:32 am

    <p>The Surface Laptop is a nice looking laptop, but it's certain not "gorgeous" a laptop as fashion critic Jean-Paul Thurrott proclaims.</p><p>All in all, I think it's just ok. When you see computers like the MacBook Air, HP Spectre, the Samsung Galaxies, and the iPads all come out with unique computer designs (and make no mistake they are all computers), the Surface laptop is just …. ok.</p><p>Like all hardware tech, it's perhaps best to wait for Generation 2 and 3 to buy the laptop to ensure no issues like the Surface Pro versions 1 and 2 and Surface Book version 1.</p>

    • Ugur

      04 May, 2017 - 11:28 am

      <blockquote><a href="#112539"><em>In reply to Bats:</em></a><em> Opinions on the look of things are, well, just opinions. That said, have you had a look at a Macbook Air anytime recently? It was great when it was new and class leading, now, in 2017, that screen is horrible by current standards and the whole laptop feels super stale and boring compared to pretty much anything else out there.</em></blockquote><blockquote><em>And the surface laptop may only be a laptop, too, but at least it has touch and pen support (even if a big bummer the screen can then not be folded over) and it has that alcantara thing going on differentiating it a good bit in looks (that's independent of the matter if one thinks it's a good idea usability wise).</em></blockquote><blockquote><em>I'll give you the hp spectre and samsung galaxy s8, those are really great (and on several ends defining for the category unique) designs, but the iPad?</em></blockquote><blockquote><em>Come on =)</em></blockquote><blockquote><em>I have several iPads, too and yes, they are (still) very nice devices, but they are also like one of the most stale designs ever meanwhile, both in hardware look (giant bezels remaining for ages for example, and still no proper solution for a proper keyboard offered by the manufacturer) and OS (that homescreen with the giant wasted space thanks to just blowing up the phone OS)</em></blockquote><p><br></p>

  • Yasir Jaborie

    04 May, 2017 - 10:46 am

    <p></p><p><br></p><p>Wow… check out that keyboard flex. Horrendous. </p>

  • scj123

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 10:47 am

    <p>Having read the comments on microsoft useing their telemetry to check how many users upgrade from Windows 10s to Widows 10 pro during the free period.&nbsp;Surely this is going to be skewed by the fact that people love getting something for nothing. Even non technical people love a free deal even if they dont know what it is or does.&nbsp;Why wouldnt they?</p><p><br></p><p>Surely the real useful information will start to be found out when people have to actually think for $50 "do I actually need this thing"</p>

    • hrlngrv

      Premium Member
      04 May, 2017 - 3:43 pm

      <p><a href="#112542"><em>In reply to scj123:</em></a></p><blockquote>. . . Surely the real useful information will start to be found out when people have to actually think for $50 "do I actually need this thing"</blockquote><p>Thus the marketing beauty of this scheme. There are some PC users who have been yearning for screens squarer than 16:9 for years. Surface laptops are finally (well, in 5 weeks or so) available to fill that void, and for 6.5 months it'll be free (and hopefully painless) to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.</p><p>I figure MSFT will sell a lot of these, hoot &amp; holler about how many they've sold, but remain silent about how many upgrade to Pro. Thus making it appear Windows 10 S had been a huge success.</p>

  • nbplopes

    04 May, 2017 - 11:15 am

    <p>The all collage of Windows 10 S with this laptop is just totally fake and manipulative. No one in its proper mind would think about sparing $50 when they are ready to spend $1000 on a laptop. Its just hypocritical, no other way around it. It seams to be working though as all journalists seam to take this collage seriously. </p><p><br></p><p>Why do this? This is done so that when Windows 10 S hits the street in cheaper laptops, off guard buyers do not feel so bad about it and swallow whatever constrains it has, for instance forcing users to use Bing with Edge. They will think "Oh even that lovely lovely laptop has it …". The difference is that $50 in say $500 is %50 relatively more than $50 in a $1000. It is always who have the less that pay more …</p><p><br></p><p>PS: I love the looks of the device. Galaxy S8 looked better in pictures than in my hand. Will see how this turns out.</p>

  • WP7Mango

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 11:16 am

    <p>What's really interesting now, is how people consider the lack of tablet capability as a problem. That wasn't the case a few years back when the hybrid category was invented. It kind of proves the point that many people want more from their devices, which is why the hybrid market is growing.</p>

  • ponsaelius

    04 May, 2017 - 11:19 am

    <p>A fair criticism of a a Chromebook is that it is really just a browser. Why not run Chrome on a PC? Is it fair to say that Windows 10 S that it is an OS that only runs apps that no-one really uses from a Fisher Price software store and a browser that no one uses?</p><p>OK. Somewhat harsh. However if I spent £900 ($999) for a laptop running Windows I would expect it to run Windows software. If you are a "normal user" and discover that you need to pay more to get "real Windows" how is that going to go down. For me this move would make sense if the Windows Store was a place filled with curated high quality software that many users were already turning to for there needs this would make sense. At this point the hardware looks great with Windows 10 Pro. </p>

    • PhilipVasta

      04 May, 2017 - 7:51 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#112560"><em>In reply to ponsaelius:</em></a></blockquote><p>That's how I feel as well. The whole scenario would be interesting if upgrading to Pro was only necessary for actual pros who need specialized software. Great in theory. But in reality, I would think most people will need <em>some</em> little win32 app that makes Windows 10 S untenable.</p>

  • Awhispersecho

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 11:27 am

    <p>There are going to be people that buy this and then complain they can't get desktop apps like Chrome and iTunes just like with the original Surface RT. Let's face it, 80% of PC users use at least one of those programs.</p><p><br></p><p>Some of those people will upgrade to full Windows and some will return it. Those that upgrade will then complain there are not enough ports for a productivity or pro machine. </p><p><br></p><p>There are too many issues here for too many different types of users. The 3rd party OEM's releasing $200 Chromebook competitors will be successful, this will not. Though I don't think that really matters or is the point of this device.</p>

  • siko

    04 May, 2017 - 11:32 am

    <p>The one thing that I don't get here is what exactly is 'category defining' about this laptop? And why can't I really use the surface of this Surface device?</p>

  • Watney

    04 May, 2017 - 11:37 am

    <p>The Internet is a runaway lynch mob hating on Windows 10S and the Surface Laptop. It's hard to find anyone praising the virtues of the OS or Laptop. The hate is so strong, only a fool will dare find good in anything.&nbsp;</p><p>On Reddit Chromebook users triumphantly declare 10S isn’t a Chromebook killer because the Pixel was a better buy than a Surface Laptop. The Surface Reddit dogpiles on the new Laptop because you can’t lay it flat to write on it, run Power Shell, or change the default search engine in Edge. John Grubber joins the riot and declares there’s no way Apple would charge $50 to toggle a setting to allow the use of apps from outside the App Store.&nbsp;</p><p>The hate is viscous and endless.&nbsp;</p><p>Well folks, I think you’re all wrong. I love Windows 10S and the Surface Laptop.&nbsp;</p><p>Windows 10S will solve many of the issues that have ruined the Windows platform. Locking down the OS will eliminate malware and ransomware. It will get rid of the crapware that bedevils new laptops. It will make new laptop setup a breeze: power up, log-in, and your apps install and files sync.&nbsp;</p><p>Windows 10S is vastly more secure and immeasurably simpler to set up and maintain. Windows 10S is the Windows we’ve always wanted.&nbsp;</p><p>Windows 10S offers all the benefits of Chrome OS plus Microsoft Office. This is a huge benefit that cannot be overstated.&nbsp;</p><p>Google Docs may be fine for middle school, but for college and even high school, Word is essential. It’s much easier and faster to write even a short essay in Word than in Google Docs, especially with citations. Office is the de facto standard in Higher Ed and the business world.&nbsp;</p><p>Edge plus Office will fill all of the needs of most users from college students to grandmas.&nbsp;</p><p>Don’t listen to the cacophony of haters complaining about the apps that can’t be installed. iTunes! Seriously folks. Spotify killed iTunes. No one uses it. Google Chrome!&nbsp;</p><p>So, what it is about Chrome that folks can’t live without? Extensions? Most users don’t use extensions, but for those who run adblockers or Lastpass, we’re covered. Extensions will improve over time. The same can be said for web apps. Edge has dramatically improved and will continue to. Okay, so you have to import your bookmarks. Get over it.&nbsp;</p><p>We can be sure Adobe will package their apps for the Store. Microsoft has a strong relationship with Adobe, so Adobe will come along. The same can be said for apps like Evernote.&nbsp;</p><p>It’s hardly worth responding to the haters complaining they can’t change the default search engine. Funny how I’ve never heard anyone complain about the lack of search engine choice on a Chromebook, Siri, or Google Assistant. Really folks.&nbsp;</p><p>The Surface Laptop is a beautiful machine. Initial reports claim the trackpad and keyboard rival any MacBook. That should cause you to pause. Windows trackpads are notoriously bad. Ever wonder why you never see a MacBook user hauling around a mouse? Try to imagine a Windows laptop with a MacBook trackpad. The Surface Laptop may be the first!&nbsp;</p><p>We know the screen will be comparable to a MacBook Pro and eclipse the Air. Even better, the Surface Laptop will have a touchscreen and not a useless touchbar.&nbsp;</p><p>Haters are especially exercised about the choice and lack of ports. Really? This is a cloud-first device. Aside from the creative types with large digital files, what do you even need a port for? Charging your phone? I can’t defend Microsoft’s choice of ports, but it’s not a deal killer for anyone.&nbsp;</p><p>People complain the price is too high. Come on folks. Sure, it’s more than a MacBook Air, but the Air is woefully dated and uses a non-retina display. The Surface Laptop is less expensive than the MacBook Pro, which is a better point of comparison.&nbsp;</p><p>People bemoan only 4GB of RAM in the low-price model. Well, don’t buy it. Get 8GB and move on.&nbsp;</p><p>I hope Windows 10S and the Surface Laptop are a runaway success. I for one dream of a simple and safe OS that runs MS Office on a laptop with a MacBook-like trackpad.&nbsp;</p>

    • hrlngrv

      Premium Member
      04 May, 2017 - 3:17 pm

      <p><em><a href="#112568">In reply to Watney:</a></em></p><p>Tangent: when I think what I paid for a 2MB EMS RAM card and 20MB harddisk in the late 1980s in 1980s dollars vs having to pay US$300 for additional 4GB RAM and 128GB disk space in 2017 dollars, the price doesn't seem so bad.</p>

  • bbold

    04 May, 2017 - 11:41 am

    <p>I've used both surface Pro 4 and SB in classes (I'm a student) and have found that writing on a tablet kinda sucks, on ANY tablet, I found that typing is much easier and faster for me, and most of my fellow students. Has anyone here seriously tried writing with a stylus on a tablet in class when a teacher is flying 100 miles a minute with lesson plans? It may be ok for quick business meeting notes, but I find it rather cumbersome to try to "decipher" my scribbled handwriting later on. Lack of USB C is my only complaint, otherwise, I'm excited to get my Surface laptop in June 😉 As far as USB C goes, I don't have a single device that uses it. People said 2 years ago "it's coming" but as a college student, when I go to buy peripherals, in my price range; they are all still reg USB.</p>

    • ChristopherCollins

      Premium Member
      04 May, 2017 - 12:06 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#112569"><em>In reply to bbold:</em></a></blockquote><p><em>Totally agree with you here. I type way faster than I write and it is easier on my wrists (I think three years of typing in high school paid off). The one area where the pen is really useful for me is if I want to mark up changes to a document. It is easier for me to highlight and write a quick note than sending an email detailing changes in most cases.</em></p><p><br></p>

    • Polycrastinator

      04 May, 2017 - 12:20 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#112569"><em>In reply to bbold:</em></a></blockquote><p>There's plenty of evidence that handwriting is far better for memory than typing. Notes when typing tend to be more complete, but those who hand write notes retain more of the content. I handwrite notes as a memory aid. Some meetings or classes where I need exact copies I type instead, such as scripting commands, but for those most part I prefer to handwrite because I retain the information better, even if my notes are less complete. </p>

    • Stokkolm

      04 May, 2017 - 2:01 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#112569">In reply to bbold:</a></em></blockquote><p>I've done it and you're right, typing is usually better. The only exception is math courses. I found that writing with the pen was much better for writing all of the equations out in OneNote.</p>

    • Chris Blair

      04 May, 2017 - 4:01 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#112569"><em>In reply to bbold:</em></a> In my experience, typing is not as good as hand writing notes and figures and equations in engineering, science, math, design, or architecture classes, where drawings = 1000+ words. I also agree with comments regarding the learning advantages of writing vs. typing. Don't get me wrong. Typing is king when it comes to long docs. No doubt. But for me, anyway, when I'm deep into a creative process, hand-written notes (not to mention sketches and equations!) are often more effective, if a bit less effusive, than typed ones. </blockquote><p><br></p>

  • leops1984

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 11:44 am

    <p>O/T: why is the link to "Windows 10 S can in fact run on a premium device" going to an Android fansite?</p>

  • glenn8878

    04 May, 2017 - 11:45 am

    <p>I certainly hope you can upgrade with a credit card. Recall how its done if you want to upgrade to Windows 7. Points you to a link with no useful information. You can't just buy a license on-line. You must find a Windows 7 OS disc with code. </p><p><br></p><p>Surface Laptop is a fine idea, but the price is too high for what you're getting. Even the RAM is stingy. Microsoft should not try to be Apple. I don't aspire to be the broken Surface. </p><p><br></p><p>As for 10S, they should give you a $50 gift card. </p>

    • BoItmanLives

      04 May, 2017 - 12:19 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#112572">In reply to glenn8878:</a></em></blockquote><p>Yeah, $1000 for a dualcore with 4GB RAM and a crippled OS that won't even run your programs. Unbelievable</p>

    • NoFlames

      04 May, 2017 - 1:52 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#112572"><em>In reply to glenn8878:</em></a> It should be as easy as buying a .99 cent app or song in the store. I buy music in the store and just need to use my fingerprint on my surface keyboard to authenticate and it's purchased against my CC on file.</blockquote><p><br></p>

  • Daekar

    04 May, 2017 - 12:15 pm

    <p>Is it just me, or is the obsession with thin hardware just unhealthy at this point? People said that the Surface Book was chunky, so I expected… chunky. When I saw one at Best Buy I didn't even recognize it at first because it was so thin. I picked it up and it was light. I'm still confused.</p><p>Now Paul says that this is a thicker form factor. I'm completely lost at this point. What is thick? And at what point did obsessive pursuit of thinness become more important than the thing that everyone bitches about, battery life?</p><p>I'm not a laptop guy, so I don't have a dog in this fight, but seriously. Perspective?</p><p>I'm going to wait and see about the 10S limitations, since there is no reason for me to hurry into a judgement. If they follow through and get the full versions of Office in the Store, I could probably get away with using 10S for a primary daily driver.</p>

    • Rob_Wade

      04 May, 2017 - 4:03 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#112594"><em>In reply to Daekar:</em></a> This is one of those completely subjective choices. If people want ridiculously thin and some OEM can make it, well, fine. The SP3 and SP4 are thin enough and light to not be unwieldy to handle, but not so thin that you are afraid they'll bend or crack on you on a heartbeat. I have similar thoughts about phones. I find the current batch of uber-thin phones to be quite ugly and stupid, personally. Many people did NOT like the Lumia 900/920/1020 because they felt those devices were too thick/heavy. I, in contrast, love them because they WERE a little bit thicker (but not too thick) and substantial enough that I wasn't afraid to put one in my back pocket and sit down. NONE of the latest devices from Apple or the various Android OEMs give me that confidence (to say nothing of the fact I find them all just plain horrid to look at). But, clearly there IS a market for those things, and people still chase that kind of thing. I used to be a "speeds and feeds" techhead, but I grew out of that. Maybe people will grow out of this……..nah.</blockquote><p><br></p>

  • RobertJasiek

    04 May, 2017 - 12:23 pm

    <p>@Watney, you claim that Windows 10 S was vastly more secure than Pro. Prove it by comparing the security features of both! Likely, your conclusion will not be "more secure" but "more secure for naive users". A store filter helps those too lazy to think whether downloaded software is secure. AppContainers help those too lazy to lock down their Windows Pro. The security provided by 10 S is available with Pro, just differently. I know, configuring security well is hard for every user not having studied the Windows security tools. Therefore, 10 S provides some easy, effortlessly achieved basic security level. But this does not mean "greater security" – it means "security for the lazy user".</p><p>You repeat an occasionally seen opinion that those complaining about the, for example, Bing default did not complain about similar defaults in other OSs or environments. First, you are wrong (complaints are also on other companies). Second, many of those having such concerns do not use those other services for in particular the very reason of arrogant restrictions and defaults.</p>

  • Darmok N Jalad

    04 May, 2017 - 12:27 pm

    <p>I would never put a $1,000+ device in my kids' hands when perfectly serviceable $500 options exist. It isn't about what I can afford, but to be practical with money. If nothing else, you can sit on the $500 you saved, in case the first one gets lost, broken or stolen. Surface Laptop misses the mark in significant ways, and it is counting too much on the shiny factor to sell. </p><p>MBP starts out with a higher base config 8GB/256GB, and while it's limited on ports, at least they are USB-C with Thunderbolt 3. Why MS can only go halfway on these designs escapes me. The only thing they struggle with more is marketing them. </p>

    • Rob_Wade

      04 May, 2017 - 3:56 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#112612"><em>In reply to Darmok N Jalad:</em></a> I think you hit that on the head, at least from a parent's point of view. I think Microsoft is looking more at the schools themselves purchasing these devices, not so much the parents of the students. And Microsoft's excuse regarding not using more recent tech on the device just doesn't hold water—because it doesn't matter. NEW customers typically want features that are AT LEAST current, but better that they are the established new tech. This laptop is an odd combination of new tech/old format/legacy tech.</blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><p><br></p>

  • InterPSU

    04 May, 2017 - 12:28 pm

    <p>The Surface Laptop with Windows 10 S is said to get 14.5 hours of battery life. Does anyone know what the battery life of the Surface Laptop is if you upgrade it to Windows 10 Pro?</p>

    • MutualCore

      04 May, 2017 - 12:59 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#112614"><em>In reply to InterPSU:</em></a></blockquote><p>I wouldn't be surprised if it gets 14.5 hours, you can't run Chrome, Visual Studio, Adobe apps or anything else super intensive. I still don't believe that number. I bet in the end most people will get 8-9 hours.</p>

  • SDreamer

    04 May, 2017 - 12:58 pm

    <p>Paul, not everyone needs Chrome, Photoshop, iTunes, etc. If that was the case why are Chromebooks doing so well? Ok they have chrome, but why isn't this such a huge complaint for iOS users? Simple users will just use what's default. Hence why Microsoft even got the EU Antitrust issues. iTunes, I haven't met a single person who still uses iTunes on their desktops anymore. Gone are the days when we would need to manage our own music. That's why Spotify was such a huge annoucment, because streaming is where the mindset of students these days (trust me my two younger cousins do not use iTunes, neither do like everyone else at their school, everyone is Spotify. I use Pandora still and I feel aged when they're all using Spotify now). Creative Suite isn't in a student's budget either. Why would they be using photoshop? For editing photos for their PowerPoints? I'd say this argument is flawed. You might be using these, maybe a few college students are using these, maybe even a few high school students are using these. These are going to be the ones that pay the 50$ to get that functionality. The rest of them do not need them, and if they did, there are a few in the Store they can use (like Photoshop Elements). If you're going to be needing all these things, why bother even going with Windows. Might as well get a Mac since a Mac at the 999$ price point you get it all, and you have Gatekeeper on (which can be disabled for free!). You can install all those apps to, and iTunes is actually usable on the Mac. The only advantages I see of getting that Surface Laptop, is for Alcantara and the Burgundy color, but that'll set you back $1.3k, which I'm almost willing to spend; that Burgundy color is just so lovely.</p>

  • MutualCore

    04 May, 2017 - 1:03 pm

    <p>Reeks of Apple envy w/o actually making a superior device.</p>

  • Chris Payne

    04 May, 2017 - 1:13 pm

    <p>Thanks for this article Paul. You highlight everything that is concerning to me, but come out on the optimistic side of the discussion.&nbsp;The Spectre x360 is one case in point… why would MS launch a laptop that isn't as good as what's already out there, at a more expensive price, and then call it a Surface? This really is mind-boggling.</p>

  • JustinMSalvato

    04 May, 2017 - 1:13 pm

    <p>When I learned the Surface Laptop didn't have a 360 hinge, I felt disappointed. When I learned it couldn't even lay flat, I thought, "Well, I won't be asking my family (group effort) for this at Christmas!" </p><p><br></p><p>I understand why Paul doesn't like Surface Book, but really, once they fix a few quirks (like it being top heavy), it would be the portable device I'd prefer. I'm sure I'm not the only one that prefers 2-in-1design. </p>

  • Roger Ramjet

    04 May, 2017 - 1:20 pm

    <p>The bottom line is the SL, separate from Win 10S, is targeted at Apple MBs. And I believe Microsoft believes, as I believe ?, the key issue is brand power, and product coolness, not really so much the specs, when approaching the "mass luxury" or aspirational segment which where Apple makes an absolute killing. And the reason HP can't compete is not that their product isn't good or better than Apple's but because it is not badged Apple, or Surface. Microsoft has done a lot of work – and perhaps sustained losses establishing Surface as a credible brand in the mind of these potential customers, so from a business perspective they deserve to harvest something from that with a mainline laptop such as this. And they know the customers don't really care about inside baseball stuff. Just what is the score. </p><p><br></p><p>And let me add, perversely this helps Windows OEMs at the high end by directing attention, and ability to compare towards Windows brands. Those OEMs don't have consumer mindshare, and they could not without Microsoft &amp; Surface get that attention by themselves.</p>

  • NoFlames

    04 May, 2017 - 1:59 pm

    <p>I have a surface pro 3 and I really like this laptop. There are times when I wished I didn't have the floppy keyboard. The attention to details in materials, beauty and the action of the hinge and the incredible touch screen scream premium. It's a statement device, and with 14 hour battery life, it becomes truly liberating. The quality and battery life should have tech writers signing up for one. Also I don't understand the obsession with Chrome. I cut the chrome chord (which I used from the very beginning) with edge version 1 and I wouldn't go back unless I absolutely had to. They are investing in edge to fix limits and for me it just works better for a touch device.</p>

    • SvenJ

      Premium Member
      04 May, 2017 - 4:59 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#112695"><em>In reply to NoFlames:</em></a> I don't get the Chrome jonesing either. However, does this have/run Internet Explorer? That's not a store app. I do occasionally still need to 'open in IE' to get some sites to work. Wondering about File Explorer as well, not a store app. Does Windows 10 S have all the standard non-store windows accessory apps? </blockquote><p><br></p>

    • rickcosby

      04 May, 2017 - 5:35 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#112695"><em>In reply to NoFlames:</em></a><em> I like Chrome </em>because it's everywhere. It's on my Android phone, my iPad, my W10 desktop, and my laptop. Passwords sync among all of them along with my history and bookmarks. Until Edge is on all of my devices, it's a no-go for me.</blockquote><p><br></p>

  • ilovemissy85

    04 May, 2017 - 2:28 pm

    <p>I just love the ad on Youtube for the device. Especially the song playing in the background, if anyone knows who sings this song and the name of it I would appreciate an answer . </p><p><br></p><p> Thanks , Jimmy Delaney</p>

    • navarac

      05 May, 2017 - 7:38 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#112713">In reply to ilovemissy85:</a></em></blockquote><blockquote>Stephanie Tarling, I believe.</blockquote><p><br></p>

  • Angela_WWW

    04 May, 2017 - 2:33 pm

    <p>I see that Microsoft is now offering Office 365 to Teachers and Students for free.&nbsp;This seems significant to an Education Event but I haven't seen your thoughts on it yet.</p>

    • hrlngrv

      Premium Member
      05 May, 2017 - 5:35 pm

      <p><em><a href="#112716">In reply to Angela_WWW:</a></em></p><p>Part of me believes this is good, and another part believes this is sad, like Windows RT coming with desktop Office for ARM. Implies Office is the only thing from MSFT which makes Windows worthwhile.</p>

  • hrlngrv

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 3:09 pm

    <p>I can't believe so little mention of the 3:2 aspect ratio.</p><p>Won't the Surface laptops be the only 3:2 Windows laptops on the market? Maybe MSFT sounded out its OEMs, found that none of them had any plans to offer any 3:2 laptops, so MSFT decided to secure the market of all PC users who have bitched, whined and moaned about 16:9 for years.</p><p>I really &amp; truly do hope this finally bludgeons OEMs into providing more aspect ratio choice. I'm already grateful to MSFT that they provide such an alternative.</p>

  • edboyhan

    04 May, 2017 - 3:42 pm

    <p>Microsoft previously committed to maintain backwards compatibility with Surface accessories. One of these is the Surface Dock, and all its ports. That necessitates keeping the Surface Power Connector. If you've got to keep the power connector, and space is tight, adding an additional USB-C/Thunderbolt port (and don't forget the Thunderbolt controller logic you have to add to the motherboard) is probably not possible. This is not the situation faced by HP on the Spectre X360 — they had no backward compatibility requirement so they could just substitute in a USB-C/thunderbolt port replacing some no longer needed port — so the space problem isn't as severe.</p><p>OTOH I think it might be possible to create a Surface Dock 2 that uses the same Surface magnetic power connector, but now contains USB-C/Thunderbolt ports(s) (some ports like displayport from the old dock may have to go in order to provide Thunderbolt's bandwidth). There are enough pins on the connector to do this. The dock would need to incorporate the Thunderbolt controller, and drivers would probably need to be different on the laptop side. Some signaling would be necessary to detect whether a Surface Dock 1 or Surface Dock 2 was connected. For all I know (which is not much :grin), MS may have factored this into their product planning ..</p><p>Upgrading to W10 PRO will be free for students for as long as they are students — the $49 upgrade charge is only for the non-student/teacher/administrator folks (like thee and me)</p>

  • Rob_Wade

    04 May, 2017 - 3:50 pm

    <p>I have the SP3 and my wife has the SP4. There wasn't enough new about the 4 to convince me my SP3 was in need of replacing. There's even LESS in this Surface Laptop to convince me. If I'm going to pay those prices, I want an actual SP5. Windows 10S is a non-starter, as far as I'm concerned, and I need the real tablet capability, not some also-ran laptop. We're sticking with what we've got until the SP5 comes out.</p>

  • Chris Blair

    04 May, 2017 - 3:57 pm

    <p>Totally agree with your comment re. the 360 degree hinge. It would make the touch screen and pen so much more useful, not to mention the advantages the 180 degree (flat), tent, and presentation modes that address so many other use modes experienced by frequent flyers, teachers, students, and sales/marketing guys. The 360 hinge also makes a laptop more useable with external monitor(s) as a desktop PC. When I use my Surface Pro 3 with an external monitor, I always pop off the keyboard and use my MS Natural Bluetooth keyboard + mouse instead. Why oh why did Microsoft miss this line of thinking? As one very loyal and ever hopeful Surface customer I just don't get it. Paul, would you please ask MS about this … in your spare time? 🙂 </p>

  • nys

    04 May, 2017 - 4:34 pm

    <p>They missed something there, I think that one of the main factor of the success of the surface line is that it's shaped like a tool, just like the Thinkpad used to be. It seems like the Surface Line is more a fashion statement, and the marketing seems to coroborate this feeling (the leather jacket, the colors, the alcantara)</p>

  • Attiq

    04 May, 2017 - 4:40 pm

    <p>Thanks you this article sums up my feelings, its a ridiculously flawed device that's even more ridiculously pretty. Its&nbsp;like the 12 inch&nbsp;MacBook it's not a great device but its looks make it amazing.</p>

  • Jorge Garcia

    04 May, 2017 - 5:25 pm

    <p>The biggest problem is that it still runs Windows. It's time for Microsoft to partner with Google in a way that allows (windowed) Android Apps onto this laptop…then you MIGHT be able to sell these beauties to a Millennial or two.</p>

    • chaad_losan

      04 May, 2017 - 8:01 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#112845"><em>In reply to Jorge Garcia:</em></a></blockquote><p>No, God no and your out of your mind.</p>

      • Jorge Garcia

        05 May, 2017 - 3:35 pm

        <p><a href="#112907"><em>In reply to chaad_losan:</em></a><em> </em>I'm just calling it how I see it. Nobody I see under the age of 25 gives a flying anything about Windows. Too complicated, no "Apps". Mind you, I personally love Windows, but it is now like our Dad's Oldsmobiles were to us, antiquated crap.</p>

  • RossNWirth

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 6:28 pm

    <p>Glad you're coming around Paul – these are the exact challenges/concerns I had when I saw the device.</p><p><br></p><p>I have similar concerns RE Windows S – This is "Windows RT done right" only in the fact that it can be upgraded to Windows Pro. The fact that Office isn't yet available is a big problem. I don't see the value prop for the os w/o those apps.</p>

  • red.radar

    Premium Member
    04 May, 2017 - 8:30 pm

    <p>I think journalists are being overly critical on the lack of usb-c. Usb-a is as pervasive as the headphone jack. And the only benift to usb-c is power delivery. I rather have a USB -a Tha. Deal with a bunch of dongles. Also since the surface dock is supported I like the visible commitment to stabilizing the platform. </p><p><br></p><p>Not being a luddite,. But I can be patient on usb-c. When it reaches critical mass and thumb sticks to printers to random doo-dad support usb-c… Then ok. </p><p><br></p><p>Im the mean time the surface dock and USB A are more than addequate. </p>

  • unfalln

    04 May, 2017 - 9:52 pm

    <p>How is Windows 10 S anything but a stripped-down version of Pro? The one argument against this is that it's the future of the platform. Extrapolating from this, one would have to assume that, for this to be the future, "S" would have to be more aggressively updated than "Pro". a) This could never happen without creating an unsightly fragmentation of the OS, b) imagine how users would feel if they took the free upgrade to Pro only to find that S suddenly got streamlined, c) What would that mean for the future of UWP on legacy Windows SKUs?</p>

  • YouWereWarned

    05 May, 2017 - 12:02 am

    <p>If there was ever any question that Microsoft regards hardware as a nuisance rather than a serious product segment, this is it. If they were solely a computer manufacturer, they would not survive. They are not nearly agile enough in their development process to produce anything compelling. Because they don't rely on hardware for their existence, mediocre and overpriced is apparently sufficient. This laptop will not inspire anything from OEMs, and I'd not be surprised if it was actually designed before the Surface Book. That is the best excuse for the 2014 form-factor.</p>

  • brettscoast

    Premium Member
    05 May, 2017 - 12:38 am

    <p>Good post Paul</p><p>It isn't perfect and its not a product designed for everyone but then it wasn't supposed to be. The lack of port expansion is an issue but not the end of the world.</p>

  • bcr8tiv

    05 May, 2017 - 1:44 am

    <p>Well done Paul! I finally broke down and signed up for Thurrott Premium and so far so good!</p><p><br></p><p>With Surface Laptop I am reminded that reality is a bitch….there is no "perfect" PC in laptop form. If you were to go out and buy one, would you stick with W10S or would you unlock the free W1o Pro license….and why?</p>

  • Curtis Quick

    05 May, 2017 - 7:50 am

    <p>I was so hoping to see Panos end his announcement by pulling the keyboard off the Surface Laptop, but alas it did not happen. I am eager to see a 13.5" Surface Pro 5 with an Alcantara covered detachable metal keyboard that attaches with sturdy hinged magnetic tabs. Maroon would be a nice touch. In the meantime I will continue to enjoy using my Surface Book.</p>

  • Rickard Eriksson

    05 May, 2017 - 8:06 am

    <p>Microsoft need to decide what they aim for and not just release products that have glaring flaws just becasue they want a product to offer to their customers.</p><p><br></p><p>They claim this is targeted towards students but the steep prize at 1000 US $ is way to high for what the product gives the user.</p><p><br></p><p>Also in the real world the students will soon face the fact that real work places still dominantly use real desktop programs and not little apps. </p><p><br></p><p>The same goes for all chromebook users that will have to learn how to work in microsofts office suite as well as content creator programs. </p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

  • slartybartmark

    05 May, 2017 - 10:28 am

    <p>The comments are numerous, and I haven't read them all, so I apologize if this is duplicate content.</p><p><br></p><p>With regard to the 'hate' in the press and commenters about MS getting it wrong with regard to going after Chromebooks…. Maybe I missed it, but did MS ever say this was designed to go after Chromebooks, or did everyone just assume that? Or was it someone's opinion that they should go after Chromebooks and because they didn't, this device doesn't fit that mold?</p><p><br></p><p>I'm not disputing the shortcomings people have brought up – I haven't had time to look at the device, etc… that closely yet. </p><p><br></p><p>In my opinion, we've gotten into a really weird situation wherein manufacturers are criticized regularly for not living up to rumors, 'leaks', or wish lists with accompanying digital mockups. People are constantly complaining about political fake news, but technology seems to have fake news trumped. See what I did there? Okay. Sorry.</p>

    • hrlngrv

      Premium Member
      06 May, 2017 - 4:55 pm

      <p><a href="#113221"><em>In reply to slartybartmark:</em></a></p><blockquote>. . . did MS ever say this was designed to go after Chromebooks . . .</blockquote><p>On 2 May in NYC, MSFT announced its OEMs would be making Windows 10 S laptops for as little as US$189. No, no MSFT person may have said Windows 10 S is MSFT's response to Chrome OS, but they did mention a lot of school-related reasons for these new laptops and the new OS. In this case, are the dots really too difficult to connect?</p>

  • allanwith

    06 May, 2017 - 2:39 am

    <p>For all the talk about not making compromises it seems pretty staggering that they would omit Thunderbolt 3. I get that USB-C and USB 3.1 Rev 1 or 2 in itself is way too convoluted – which is why Thunderbolt 3 would be the only real no-compromise way forward.</p><p><br></p><p>So how do you stay compatible with the old docks while introducing the new? To me it is pretty obvious:</p><ol><li>Keep the old connector (as they have) and add a single Thunderbolt 3 port. From looking at images, it seems there is plenty of room for it, at least externally. Obviously there could be issues with internal design.</li><li>Make new docks that support both connectors! Or better yet, make new docks that support Thunderbolt 3 and then have an adapter that allows older devices to connect to it using their old connector plugged in to the Thunderbolt 3 port in the new dock.</li><li>At some point down the road, new devices will then stop having the old connector, but it will be less of a problem, because people will have started to buy docks with Thunderbolt 3 by that point – and there are even 3rd party docks to be had.</li></ol>

  • Angusmatheson

    07 May, 2017 - 11:02 am

    <p>Another danger of the surface laptop, is that it might expose the weakness in the 2-1 market. I may be wrong, but I think a lot of people bought surface Pros and Surface books, not because they were 2-1, but despite that because they were from Microsoft and they were nice. But now there is a nice Microsoft laptop. Wil surface laptop sales be at the expense of 2-1 surface sales? If so, what does that mean about Windows 2 hybrid strategy?</p>


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