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5 things you will NOT like about Microsoft's Surface Laptop

With the dust settling after Microsoft's May 2 event, I want to focus on the Surface Laptop.

Regarding its overall "classic" design, Surface Laptop is a fantastic product. With its solid state drive (SSD) uniquely integrated directly into the motherboard, hidden speakers below the keys, and the "thinnest touch display in any laptop," there's a lot to be excited about.

There are, however, a few glaring misses that leave me bewildered.

1. No USB Type-C

Microsoft's Head of Industrial design for Devices Ralf Groene told us that USB Type-A is used by more people today than the more modern Type-C.

That may be true, but we know from Microsoft's own video on design that the company was experimenting with a two USB Type-C and one Type-A configuration.

Why wasn't this made this way?

Why wasn't this made this way?

Compromises are often necessary, but who wouldn't have preferred that more future-proof iteration? I sure would have.

Putting aside the USB Type-C request, having a single USB Type-A port is a bit rough for a laptop (even if it's just mirroring the Surface Pro 4). And the lack of an SD-card reader but the presence of a Mini DisplayPort just seems ... strange.

2. Surface Pen is not a good fit

For the first time, a major Surface device won't ship with a Surface Pen. That's fine, too, because the Surface Laptop is not at all pen-centric. In fact, it looks downright odd to use with the Pen because the display does not articulate very far.

The display does not seem in line with Surface principles.

The display does not seem in line with Surface principles.

Not everyone needs a pen or a device designed to be used with one. I don't. However, it bucks the trend of Surface PCs that put the pen front and center.

Considering the Microsoft Creators Update for Windows 10 and the heavy focus on inking, this seems like a change in messaging.

3. Non-convertible design bucks the market

In another sign of mixed-messaging, Microsoft's Surface Laptop is not a convertible. After spending the last few years inventing and preaching about the 2-in-1 category, it seems odd for the company to back away from the form factor.

Microsoft has Surface Book and Surface Pro to make up for Surface Laptop, but it seems like the younger audience the company is targeting is more interested in convertibles than traditional Ultrabooks.

4. 4GB of RAM is not enough

The entry-level Surface Laptop starts at $999 and comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, 128GB of storage, and just 4GB of RAM. To be fair, the Surface Pro 4 with comparable specifications along with the extra $129 keyboard cost $979.

Is 4GB of RAM enough? Microsoft seems to think so, and it lets the company hit a lower pricing tier. But we're not so sure.

5. Surface Laptop is not a 'category creator'

I'm honestly still scratching my head as to why Microsoft is even releasing the Surface Laptop.

It's a beautiful machine, and I'm glad they did make it. (Yes, I want one.) But it breaks a trend of "category creation." Surface Pro, Surface Book, and Surface Studio were all category-defining devices – PCs we had not seen before, or that hadn't been executed as well.

Microsoft's hardware partners such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, and even Razer have all been contributing amazing new laptops to the market. In fact, those companies have released some of the best laptops consumers have ever seen.

Xbox One controller PC use

Surface Book is unlike anything the market has seen. Surface Laptop? Not so much. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Is the Surface Laptop a vote of "no confidence" in those devices? Definitely not, but it is a slap in the face to those companies.

Microsoft says Surface Laptop fills in a gap in its Surface lineup. That makes sense, it still seems out of place.

I'm sure the same team could make a drool-inducing Surface Toaster and Surface Pager, too, but that doesn't mean the market needs those things.

Why all of these complaints may not matter

Not every PC or Surface created fits your personal needs. Maybe you want a laptop with USB Type-C, maybe you need a convertible, or you want a larger display or quad-core processor.

The Surface Laptop is still unlike Apple's highly-criticized MacBook lineup for a simple reason: options. Apple makes macOS and is its only hardware manufacturer. When Apple misses on laptop design or a feature set, its audience has no alternative recourse. Microsoft is adding to the PC mix with Surface Laptop, not creating the world's only PC Ultrabook. If Surface Laptop were the only Ultrabook option for Windows users, you would see much more outrage over the things listed here.

The fact is, PC users have an overabundance of hardware choices.

It's a compromise in design versus features, but I still one one!

It's a compromise in design versus features, but I still one one!

Is the Surface Laptop too expensive? Not enough ports for you? If so, grab an HP Spectre x360 4K, Huawei MateBook, or a Dell XPS 13. If you want to game on premium hardware, just grab a Razer Blade.

Microsoft's design is not above criticism, but Windows users have far less to worry about if the company has a misses its mark with a new Surface device. There are better and even cheaper alternatives readily available.

Best Surface Pro 4 Alternatives

A few years ago, if you wanted a premium PC experience Surface was about the only option. That is no longer the case, which is a massive victory for consumers.

For my needs, Surface Laptop is the kind of device I can enjoy using and get my job done, too. In the end, that is what this comes down to: You should pick the laptop for your personal needs.

It's OK if the Surface Laptop does not meet your expectations. You have plenty of other options. That is likely a big reason why you're a Windows PC user, after all.

Preorder the Surface Laptop (opens in new tab)

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

218 Comments
  • 1. The price.
    2. The price.
    3. The price.
    4. The price.
    5. The price.
  • Disagree. Surface has always fetched a premium price. A similarly configured Surface Pro 4 is just $25 cheaper. This is old news. Microsoft is not pricing these to destroy their partners, but for those who do invest in them, they have very high satisfaction rates (even beating out Apple for the first time). It's like criticizing Porsche as being too expensive. If you can't afford it, you shouldn't be eyeing it. Regardless, the are sooo many alternatives that are as good and cheaper it makes the point moot.
  • You're both right. It's design is top of the line so it should be more expensive than similar spec'd laptops. Surface Pro is 2 in one so this should be cheaper. It just came out though so give it time.
  • " A similarly configured Surface Pro 4 is just $25 cheaper."   Yes. And you can detach the keyboard, it brings the pen and you can actually use it comfortably for inking. This is overpriced by Microsoft standards. It's not a question of "their OEMs have cheaper equally good offerings". Here it's more "Microsoft itself offers a cheaper (even if just $25 cheaper) better option".
  • In fairness though, with this you get a bigger battery and a form factor a bit more suited to laptop mode - it's just nice that if you really wanted a Surface product, you have the option to choose whatever personally suits you better. The price, yeah it's high. Probably could be lower.. And they could've done away with the touch/pen tech to reduce it further, but I think people just expect a Surface product to work with a pen. I mean, what would the reception have been like if it didn't facilitate it?
  • The weight distribution of the Surface Pro 4 (lapability) is a show-stopper for some people, though, as is its screen size. This would have been a nice alternative for those people to whom that matters a lot. However, the Surface Laptop's awkwardness with the pen bothers me. I can think of people who would enjoy the Surface Laptop but it will keep them from using a pen when a device that makes the pen natural might have won them over. Creating a full fold-over design couldn't have added that much to the price and would have provided worthwhile choice while retaining the emphasis on inking. Maybe in version 2?
  • This is priced comparable to other premium ultrabooks from Dell, HP and Lenovo.  I don't see why you expect Microsoft to be cheaper than others.
  • Yeah, and this is only to show off the new Windows 10S. They're all giving the opportunity to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. Let's see a Chrome Book do that. It's for schools and you can be sure that Dell, HP and others will have a much much cheaper versions.
  • The new Ms only makes what they think we want..they will see soon enough..they don't listen to consumers even with there precious insider programs.
  • Well, this post is BS because listening to customers is exactly why this laptop happened. As for what people want, a lot of people wanted this and it will no doubt sell more than the Surface Book which had a couple of significant compromises and a base price of $1500, which is why it didn't sell what Microsoft wanted or needed it to sell.
  • You have forgotten the fact that Surface Laptop has a bigger screen, 13.5" vs. 12.3".  This is a big plus for many people. For people without the need of using a pen (fact: >90% don't need and don't want it), the pen is of zero value to them. And don't forget some "alternatives" laptop in the market even don't support touch. So, in the end, it is your choice.
  • Stop being logical, the mindless trolls will just vote you down.
  • The price is not a major issue.  It is targeting at college students and consumers.  But there are design flaws beyond the 5 things mentioned in the article. - Lack of a back camera - for photo taking, Skype for backside pictures and View Mixed Reality   It is funny that MS has to use SP4 back camera to do View Mixed Reality demo on stage while the Laptop doesn't even have one. - No flat Tablet mode   The video demo shows that students all draw on tablet mode laying flat while the Laptop doesn't even support.   It is strange that a $1,000 plus machine nowadays doesn't support either of above two features.  What are Panos' team thinking?
  • "It is strange that a $1,000 plus machine nowadays doesn't support either of above two features.  What are Panos' team thinking?" - then you should say Dell XPS, Macbooks are even more strange beause they don't even support touch. So why are some people still complaining a laptop lacking some tablet features???? The question is: is it Surface = tablet = pen friendly???
  • Why are people complaining that it lacks some tablet features?  Because this was presented at an Education conference aimed at K-12 and college kids. Take a look at the use cases for that market and it seems pretty obvious why tablet features are important. 
  • quote "Is 4GB of RAM enough? Microsoft seems to think so, and it lets the company hit a lower pricing tier. But we're not so sure." why dont you say the truth? Is 4GB enough? No, its not. Its a big downside + the ugly fabric around the keyboard is bad too
  • I agree that 4GB is not enough. However, I disagree about the fabric around the Keyboard. That and the 3:2 aspect ratio are the biggest selling points for me personally, since I hate to rest my hands on a metal body just as I hate using a 16:9/10 display.
  • That fabric will make your Surface smell like **** in a matter of weeks.
  • Also, surly it will eventually wear.  
  • Yes it will wear but having now had a Surface Signature type cover for a year on my SP4, it wears very nicely, and naturally. Much like a fine leather item, the wear just adds to the effect. And no, it doesn't smell. And yes, it is survives spills and accidental marks; it wipes clean provided you get on with fixing it quickly.
  • It is different from SP4.  The fabric covers the inner part of the keyboard, the outer part is covered by aluminium.  I don't think the inner part is vulnerable to dirt. By the time it wears, you will want to buy a new model.
  • It's the same material as the Pro keyboards, so no, it won't.
  • Hand sanitizer, wash your hands after using the restroom ; )
  • 4gb, yes its plenty, but depends what you're doing. Ugly, is opinion... think you'll struggle to find a single article (even from the iOS fanboys) that share your opinion. #KeepEmTrolling
  • Do you complain about that "ugly fabric" in Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes, Bentley, Lamborghini, and so on? Or do you just think it is ugly because it is not available in your 1983 Toyota? But what do those car designers know, who make billions per year from their products that are coveted by millions and even billions of people from around the world. Papple has decided it is "ugly fabric" and he knows better than everyone.
  • BMW puts some ugly leather in its high end cars, doesn't stop people buying....at all!!
  • The truth is 4GB is enough. Depending on your task. I have a 4GB and 8GB laptop in use and the 4GB version is just fine. Let the consumer decide. At least there is the option to go for a cheaper 4GB model.
  • Agreed. If you do web browsing, writing papers, e-mail, Spotify, Netflix/videos, and some picture editing, 4GB will do just fine.
  • This thing of not being able to upodate memery is stupid, just because they want to make it a bit thinner.  
  • Even 2GB is enough if just for browsing + office apps. 4GB is indeed VERY enough, unless you do extensive video editing stuff. I am quite disappointed that even some experienced nowadays claims 4GB is not enough... that's very misleading indeed.
  • Sure if you only have 1 tab open. Open up a few tabs and you are out of ram.
  • I have been using a Core M powered SP4 with 4GB of ram for over a year and everything's been pretty smooth.
  • They have option with up to 16GB of RAM; https://mspoweruser.com/heres-full-surface-laptop-specsheet/
  • Sorry Dan, very rare I'd disagree with you, but this should have been starting at a low ~£200 for an ARM or i3 device, with the option of going high spec with the current/similar pricing. This is a beautiful device (if I didn't love my SP3, I'd want one - but I work!!) but if seriously attacking the chromebook market it's WAY too expensive and over-spec'd.
  • Have you watched any of the presentation of the Surface Laptop? Or even read this article? This computer is in no way a Chromebook competitor. They announced that their hardware partners would be releasing Windows S laptops start at $189. Those are what's supposed to attack the Chromebook market. This is an Ultrabook designed to target the same demographics as the MacBook Air/Pro. It's a direct competitor to those devices and is not supposed to challenge Chromebooks at all. It's like comparing a Prius to a Porsche.
  • Positioned as such, with Full Win 10, that's fine (and I like it, as I already said), but this is specifically targeted at Education which is simply not a fit. It's over spec'd and overpriced for a WIn 10 S device. How can a Win 10 S device NOT be competing with Chromebooks (and the like) - it's functionality is otherwise too limited. Yes, OK, it's aspirational from an aesthetics perspective, but feel they've shot themselves in the foot with the Edge Lock and Pricing. The aspirational/aesthetics part is the only "Surface"-ness of the device - it isn't pushing boundaries or categories. I'm NOT against this device. I'm NOT against Windows 10 S. Simply put, IMO, this is not the device to launch at an Educational event, except to those exceptionally spoilt students who will, quite simply, get a MacBook Pro/Air etc. - especially when they see this is locked to Edge and Bing.
  • Would you rather have 20 budget devices made by various OEM's and Microsoft without any premium offerings?  You can also unlock them quite easily to become full fledged laptops.
  • The Chromebook is neither a Prius nor a Porsche. It's a Geo Metro from 1998.
  • Still if all services are on ios and android now if I'm a iPhone user....most college kids why would I use this vrs my mcbook.
  • "while I appreciate the extra convenience of touch on my laptop I really do see why Apple has not yet bothered to add it to MacBooks" I see the next disruption that Apple is going to do. If they have the right patent library, they'll take Microsoft's ground work with touch and implement touch properly. However, I just don't see it. Touch has been around for well over two decades and it's not really profoundly different from what it was in the mid 90's. The technology is different but the basic use case for touch is still about the same. To date Microsoft has failed to really take the real-world paradigm and bring it to the virtual PC world the way Apple did with iOS.
  • @butterscotchcrematorium "same demographics as the MacBook Air/Pro" Who are you kidding? Microsoft does not have a cool factor. Why would you buy an expensive Microsoft device to run Windows? Windows runs on cheap hardware. That's its shtick and it does it well. If you're going to shell out a good chunk of cash you may as well get an operating system that "just works" with hardware that "just works" and a device that keeps its value. Windows laptops simply don't retain their value the way Apple MacBooks do. Microsoft is searching for a new niche. It doesn't have the brand loyalty that Apple does so it can't go proprietary. It's got zero market share amongst mobile devices so it has no actual leverage to affect change. Previously Windows was THE operating system on commodity/cheap PCs. It still is, but, the role of cheap PCs has changed. They're now playing second fiddle to mobile devices where Apple rules and Andoid is playing the role that Microsoft did with desktop PCs (except, Apple learned from their mistakes with the Mac and are much more aggressive about not sitting back with iOS as what they did with Macs and Mac System in the mid-90's). PCs have also shifted towards a more high-end market. There simply isn't any money to be made in the cut-throat <$500 laptop market so they've all pretty much abandoned it. Now they're duking it out with Apple in the $1000+ market, and, that's a market that Apple owns. If you're going to spend $2000 on a laptop, why would you spend it on anything but a MacBook Pro? They retain their value better and they have a social cache that a PC laptop doesn't. The winner in this story is Apple. Microsoft is still trying to figure out how to make its mark in the world that it no longer dominates. A world in which it--for all intents and purposes--does not exist! Sadly (for them, but luckily for consumers), Microsoft has missed the mobile boat, but, at least they have the only desktop OS that supports touch, however poorly it does that (while I appreciate the extra convenience of touch on my laptop I really do see why Apple has not yet bothered to add it to MacBooks).
  • Buy the cheap one from an OEM partner. Were you listening, they start at $189 which competes against chrome books!
  • It's also had things that warranted a high price. Now, we get low specs, mediocre design, and a stripped-down OS. You said yourself that it's a weird thing for MS to release in the first place, and that it doesn't exactly do anything well. There's avoiding the toes of the partners and flat-out being an Apple copycat on steroids, which a $1,000 device like this ultimately is. The Surface Pro 4 is cheaper, while coming with a pen and offering a flexible/convertible hardware design. There's 0 justification for locking down the OS, taking away a key accessory, lacking down the hardware, and coming to a higher price point.
  • According to this revised article, the surface laptop comes in several options with more RAM and larger SSD drives: https://mspoweruser.com/heres-full-surface-laptop-specsheet/
  • He's right in that, for what you get at $999 (I'm looking at you, 4GB RAM and paltry 128GB SSD), Surface laptop does not offer good value at its entry level price point. The others are debatable, but the entry level is not: it's a poor offering that at MINIMUM should have matched the specs of the Macbook Air they're comparing it against. I'm all for premium designed products, but that needs to extend to the internals. The price differential between 4 and 8GB of RAM in 2017 is not significant enough to compel anyone paying attention to choose 4GB on a premium product. That was a mistake, end of story.
  • Daniel, no offence, but you're sounding like them shortsighted apple fanatics here. Yes the Surface line has always been premium priced, but you always got advanced functionality to make that price tag easy to justify compared to the cheaper or similar priced OEM competion. That all changed with this Surface Laptop, it's joke compared to similar priced OEM competition, and even compared to the Surface Pro 4. The Surface Pro offers all of the following uses/features over it for the same price tag: - It's 3 times as versatile (a mono Laptop vs a Tablet + Digitizer Drawing Board + Laptop in 1) - Can practically replace ALL your needs for pen and paper (something Satya was clearly too stupid to realize is a big factor for Students) - 2 higher quality webcams (5 MP and 8 MP vs 1 front-facing only 720p webcam). That rear camera is extremely handy for students going paperless, especially with Office Lens in OneNote ( https://is.gd/JqZnjr ) - A higher resolution display (funny how they increased the screen size and gimped the resolution) - A convenient storage expansion port (MicroSD card slot vs being stuck with what you bought or having some dongle sticking out of your Laptop) - Comes with Windows 10 Pro regardless of when you buy it - etc. Money is not the problem here, this is simply an overpriced joke like them apple products, but this time, with a Surface Logo. There's a major difference between being able to afford something and getting separated from your cash like a fool. This laptop makes 0 sense for students compared to the Surface Pro, and I say that as a former University Student who switched from a mono Laptop to a Surface Pro (now using a Surface Pro 2 as my Tablet, Notepad, Logbook, Sketchpad, Laptop, and Desktop).
  • The laptop should be cheaper than SP4. If the screen size had been larger, then maybe there is a point, but at 1" larger, and just Win10 S (even if it is free now) , what's the compelling argument in buying the laptop over the SP4?
  • No wonder Microsoft is having a tough time when poeple like this author Daniel Rubino use highly emotive and negative titles just to stir up anger and resentment. 5 things youll HATE about the Surface laptop .... Really .-... thats the best you could come up with ... then diluting the title to '....Will not Like....' ... Really the negativitiy Windows Central Spins constantly about all things Microsoft ... are you sure your not being paid by Google.... I would not be surprised. You are your kind are responsible for trying to kill of public support and interest from Microsfot fans in things like Windows Mobile and not your at it with the latest Surface offering. Either present balanced questions about this tech, or get yourself another job. I cant read anymore of your Microsfot bashing Drivel. Your Title should have been for this article something along the lines of 'New Suface laptop curiosities' becuase the points you raise are curiosities .. they are NOT things anyone will HATE .. or even dislike!" Get a life!
  • I have an HP Envy ultrabook with less specs for more money. I disagree on the price.... just compare and you'll find out
  • It's the palm warmer, the fabric that adds to the price!
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    oo)price
  • given that they are trying to compete with the chromebook, they are really costly..
  • "I'm sure the same team could make a drool-inducing Surface Toaster and Surface Pager, too, but that doesn't mean the market needs those things."  Could they make a Surface Phone? Seems to be an actual hole in the lineup there.
  • Sure. Now what apps do you put on it?
  • They could make a Surface phone with Android. Windows might be ok on personal computers (PC) but nobody wants it on their personal phones (PP). Any Surface mobile device positioned to compete in the mobile space will be DOA if it runs Windows.
  • Because you won't buy it? I mean even all dozen of your friends are not going to buy them? That's a research.
  • How about the same apps as Windows 10 S? If the app store is good enough for the Surface PC, why not the Surface phone? You could even sell x86 emulation mode for $49, just like PC.
  • The 5 apps that you use :)
  • According to many x86 converted, but I'm with you on this one, what apps?
  • The same u wud put on a w10S
  • Oh geez, come on.  Given Nadella's comments the other day, we can all guess that a 'Surface Phone' is probably not happening. Let's stop it with the Surface Phone; it's been finally laid to rest.
  • After that Microsoft Galaxy S8 thing, it's pretty clear in what direction Microsoft is going in regards to mobile. They want to be everywhere with their services, people are just too entrenched in their Android or iOS ecosystems. Making them change for a promise of something that has already failed is almost impossible.
  • Nadella said they were working on the ultimate mobile device. Nevertheless nobody ever said Nadella is doing a good job, especially when it comes to consumers and hardware. I think Nadella has been a complete disaster regarding consumers and devices.
  • I concur, but he's a pro at azure do he should have stayed where he belongs!
  • Does it fit in the surface dock? Actually, nevermind. I assume all the ports are in the base, not the display. I am looking for reasons to upgrade my SP3!
  • It does fit with the Surface Dock, which is one reason they kept the ports as is.
  • Presume that's just the dock released at the same time as SP4, right? Even when closed, I imagine the new laptop is too big to fit in the old vertical dock.
  • Correct. They had docks there at the event and talk about it in the video announcement too.
  • Ohh, I have the old vertical dock. Bummer. An adapter looks like it would be very simple to create though.
  • Honestly, after the overpriced disappointment the Surface Laptop turned out to be, I personally decided I'd rather wait to see the Surface Pro 5 instead. Otherwise, I'm keeping the SP3.
  • Owning a SP3 (i5/128GB version), I haven't yet felt the need to upgrade. I still find SP3 or SP4 to be a better option over the Surface Laptop.
  • I have the same SP3 and the same issue. I don't use it as a tablet ever, so I would be ok with the laptop form.
  • In my opinion the only real downfall, or possible downfall, is just the price. Or maybe keep the price the same but do 8gb instead of 4 and perhaps it wouldn't be looked at as so overpriced.
  • 1. I mean it would be nice, but ive had USB-C on my PC for two years now and still dont own a single device that uses the port. The USB-C takeover is much slower than anticipated. 2. Its a laptop, and doesnt even come with a Surface Pen... who cares? 3. If i wanted a convertible i can just buy a convertible, nobody will buy a laptop they know isnt convertible and complain that its a laptop. 4. Its more than enough for the super basic functions i want a laptop for. 5. Who cares?
  • Regarding your "who cares" lots of people care. I also give reasons why it is weird. If you spent the last few years criticizing Apple and boasting about 2in1s, convertibles, pen and touch only to release something similar it's just weird messaging.
  • I read it, but I suppose I'm not sure on why you're confused as to the existence of this device. It exists because Windows 10 S needs a hero device in the high end. a device like this shows that 10S is not only a viable solution for high end hardware, but also shows developers like AutoCAD and Adobe that they are taking the Store and it's importance very seriously. Will they listen? Who knows, but it's 100% certain that they wouldn't have looked twice at this OS without a device that can actually run their software. there is also the possibility that none of the OEMs had any interest in making a high end Pixel (rip) competitor, making it so Microsoft had to fill the void. if they launched Windows 10S along with nothing but low end cheap hardware the OS would have been solely equated with cheap hardware, by releasing it on high end hardware it sends the message that this isn't JUST an OS for the low end, it works on any level, which will be important to it's survival long term.    
  • " It exists because Windows 10 S needs a hero device in the high end."
    I kind of see that, but not sure that was the original motivation. They took 2 years to make this and I'm not sure "S" was in the cards for that long. I mean, look, I'm glad they made it. I want one and it will fit into my life/work style. I'm just saying, it bucks the trend of what Surface has stood for up until now: new categories, convertibles, focus on inking. I think pointing that out is a valid observation. It means that Surface is now more than just category creation. They will also just make any high-end device. That's actually good news (well, bad news for their partners), but it's news nonetheless, which is what I was trying to convey here.
  • I got the impression it was 'ready' and they needed an excuse/event to release it.
  • I get where you're coming from, I just don't think that category creation is necessarily all that important to the Surface line, it should be more about representing the best of what each product category can be, in this particular case I think it's less aimed at ultrabooks and more aimed at Windows 10S, honestly this is the best way for them to release an ultrabook, with non Win10Pro. It gives their OEM partners an inherent advantage with power users that typically gravitate to that market while also demonstrating the full power of what 10S can be. also I find it particularly far fetched that Microsoft hasn't been working on 10S for sometime, if this device took 2 years to bring to life id be shocked if the conceptualization of 10S isnt what spurred it's creation. They even mentioned how they had reps all over the world studying the needs of schools... These two products were most likely hand in hand from jump.    
  • I said this when Microsoft first introduced the surface line; That they were taking a book from Apple's play book to slowly create their own hardware and is partner contiuned to make junk then they's be tooled to go it alone with premium hardware. That's the main reaon people purchase Apple producs because they're consider high-end. How many average Joe's buy iphones, macs, macbooks, and ipads because someone they know had it? I think Microsoft truly wants its partners to create beautiful hardware, but again they were preparing for the worst..
  • "a device like this shows that 10S is not only a viable solution for high end hardware" Really? Will there be any users in schools or higher education that will use 10S without beeing forced to do so? I guess that outside education 99% of all users will install a normal uncrippled Windows in a minute.
  • You got to remember, the sole purpose of this is for students, from the angle that schools will be buying them. Schools don't want to be handing out tablets with detachable keyboards and untethered pens. Most schools I know of have Chromebooks, so there's those that MS wants to replace. As I said before. I'm sure schools are going to see some nice discounts on these along with all the software licensing they have to buy anyway and baulk discounts. Be nice to see all these chromebooks replaced.
  • See my other article on messaging. This is not quite for students (K-12) and is not a Chromebook replacement. It's for college kids and...I dunno.
  • I'd say the "I dunno" Market is older less tech savvy people that prefer premium products. Not everyone worries about pricing and looks at budget models, these would be perfect for my parents that do minimal things on their laptops (ebay, amazon, Facebook, email, etc...) and also have money to spend. It's a real market that is much larger than most people realize I think. I have relatives that buy their kids new macbooks every year, and the most resource intensive thing they do with them is Spotify... devices like these have a place and Microsoft is offering Windows 10S as a solution for people with these use cases. You don't NEED Pro if you're not doing anything with your device, you can get a safer laptop with better performance, they'll never evolve the platform without offering solutions, which is why they made this.
  • Indeed, the attempt to offer an alternative for Chromebooks for schools will definitively not come from Microsoft and especially not from this otherwise nice Ultrabook. To be successful in schools the devices have to be cheap as the most important aspect of purchase. Therefore Microsoft worked and will work with the usual suspects to offer $ 200 to $ 300 notebooks. This Surface Laptop is only for prestige. And I do not think that in education this is a very important point.
  • double post
  • I just returned back to college and this unit really has my interest. I tried a Service 3 and hated the experience. It just never felt quite right when using with the keyboard I'm left handed and using the Pen always seemed to present issues. The docking station was constantly losing audio connectivity. So, this Student/Student Surface Pro4 is out of the question. I guess I am old school and prefer an old fashion laptop. I would love a Surface Book but again overkill for me. I mainly do Web Based stuff and run some school related software on my laptop and use my desktop for photo editing and other stuff. I worked in the reseller world for sometime and developed some brand bias. So, I don't think to highly of consumer grade products. Not to mention I always purchase an extended MFG warranty on everything. Dell, from my experiences, always fail and their extended warranty is $$$$. Every HP consumer laptop I have used has failed just after baseline mfg warranty. Which leaves me with Lenovo & Microsoft. ThinkPad's are tanks but fetch a premium based on the form factor Microsoft is presenting. Not to mention a free upgrade to Win10 professional and a great warranty for $99. So for me, this is a no brainer decision. I'm going with Microsoft.
  • Public School systems aren't going to be spending $999 per student for a premium flagship laptop. HP, Dell, Acer & Lenovo will take care of K-12 public school sector with low cost basic machines powered by Windows 10 S. The Surface laptop is targeted at college kids...and it fails there by shipping with Windows 10 S.
  • You sir, gold star for the day I applaud you.
  • 2 & 3 are related, obviously.  I am surprised that they didn't make it be able to rotate 360 degrees, but I guess then they wouldn't be able to hide the hinge as well.
  • I'm really surprised it didn't rotate around. Seems like an obvious design goal.
  • The inking demonstration was 'awkward' as shown in your photo he had to use another hand to stop the screen wobbling
  • Yes!, I was really baffled that the Laptop did not rotate around. In fact, if it had, I would have overlooked all of the flaws that you mentioned, but as it is, IMO is a disappointing device. I am a Mechanical Engineer and recently got the Surface Book to be able to work on an outsourcing project, and it turns out that the Book became not only my "workstation" but also my gaming device and, after joining a language class it also became my literal textbooks/notebook. After years of having graduated, I never experienced having a laptop opened in class, but right now I use the Drawboard and OneNote combo to make annotations and more.... Honestly, even doing it so, I mostly use it as a laptop, but there are moments in class and out of it, that detaching, drawing and taking handwritten notes is just priceless. So bottomline, this ability would have given students in college and professionals an even better tool for what they had in mind.   PS: the biggest thing I didn't like about the Surface Laptop was actually the vents position. It looks like it would make it riskier to use in bed... Something that I never had to worry before with my former Surface Pro 3 and my current Surface Book.
  • I was holding one in portrait, sort of like a folio with a legal pad in it. Seems to work fine but they hid the rotation lock/unlock. I could see myself using it that way , it was light and balanced, if they allowed auto rotate.
  • So basically you wanted Surface laptop, Surface Pro and Surface book, all to turn in to tablets? Why we complain on every thing? if you want the 360 rotation, just buy surface book and leave this product for people who really want a simple laptop. with 360 rotation what would have been a difference b/w Surface laptop and Surface book?
  • Well said.
  • I love my Surface Book, and I love being able to detach it even better than the 360° hinge alternatives.... HOWEVER, the detaching mechanism, while an engineering marvel, is an "slower" process than a fully rotating hinge... (when it comes to transform from laptop to tablet)... The ability to take certain notes by hand, and comfortably make drawings is an awesome added value to my workflow everyday and it is something that should have been included in the Surface Laptop, specially since it was destined for schools. Even when I use my Surface Book 80% of the time as a laptop, it doesn't take away the great value, versatility and productivity that allows me to do the other 20% as a tablet. I truly think that this Surface Laptop should have been a rotating 2-in-1, and that would have made it worthier of the "Surface" family name.
  • I'm in the market for a "laptop" to use with my Surface Pro 3. I am mostly a keyboarder, but also use my SP3 to take hand written notes (in my experience, this is somethimes just a better, more effective, more compact way to capture ideas because of some hand-mind connection and more concretely when I need to include product design sketches and/or equations). But I would prefer to use the laptop when I'm writing a long doc in Word, or when surfing the web, where the somewhat better keyboard and larger trackpad of a laptop would be of value. (NOTE:  I've equipped my SP3 with a SP4 keyboard, which provides a good keyboard and great track pad experience) . So I could say that I'll leave inking to my SP3 and keyboarding to my new laptop and thus often need to carry around both devices. BUT, on a trip, when I'm in one room and my  SP3 is in another, when I want to watch a video on the couch, when I want to use my new laptop as a desktop with a  Bluetooth, ergomic keyboard (and thus the laptop keboard just gets in the way), when I want to bring just one device on a  trip and decide I need the features of my laptop (better keyboard, larger display, but still will want to do some inking) or when I'm in a tight seat on a long flight and need the battery life of the laptop but also want tent, presentation, and/or flat operating modes to more easily watch a video, or the 360 degree mode to take hand-written notes (another plus for the pen ... keyboarding on an airplane sometimes is not easy to do when the seat in front of you is waaaay back.). So, for those inking and non-inking reasons, I think the 360 degree hinge adds value. Surely it does for dual users (pen + keyboard). But I think it also adds value  for the rest of you. And, what is the (significant) disadvantage of a 360 degree hinge.? I'm really curious about this. Does the screen wobble more? Does the user miss the display rotation fixed stop angle. Does it add significant cost? I'm not asking this retorically. I'm seriously curious. Hope someone answers :)
  • If I were you, I would have traded (sell) both of those devices and get a Surface Book that suits you better.... Though it all depends on how often and for how long you use your device as a tablet... The Surface Book is incredibly good for typist (I am not one) and it is very nice for taking notes, reading and drawing in both Clipboard mode and "Creative Canvas" (flipped backward)... I also love the performance. The only disadvantage aganist a 360° hinge I would say is the speed of transformation... But then again using it in this form factor is a lot more heavy and uncomfortable than using just the Clipboard part. When I need confort and don't expect to use it for more than 2 hours, I tend to detatch. But when I need to take hand annotations and drawings, or watch movies, I flip it around and enjoy the extra battery life+power. Back to your question: the 360° hinge requires a bit more engineering than the regular hinge, and since it is expected to work with touch, it also needs to be more resistant to touch input... I thing it would add a cost but not so significant, and depending on the design it would add at least double the internal components of the hinge assembly (more gears, pins, screws, and so on)... Having said that I have showed my Surface Book to people who own a laptop with 360° hinge who doesn't really use them as tablet because they are somewhat uncomfortable (hefty and with the keyboard pressing as you hold them), and instead they love the ability to detatch my Surface and its lightweight.
  • "Surface Laptop is not a 'category creator'" Yeah.  My first thought is that it seems to be de-evolution of the Surface line and it isn't bringing anything new and inovative to the table.  Why did they spend time developing this?
  • I guess for the next poster.  Some people must like old style laptops.
  • I mean, I want this. Others in this industry want this, but the point is valid...just seems odd for them to make now.
  • This should have been released along with SP4 and/or Surface Book. Would have made so much more sense.
  • Just wait till next year when they announce the new Surface Desktop. At this rate, we're more likely to get a Surface Typewriter than the one Surface we actually want: Surface Phone.
  • Surface was originally a "category creator", but with the success of the name they have decided to apply it to any premium PC related hardware. Look at the Surface Keyboard launched with the Surface AIO awhile back. Nothing "category creating" about it, but they made it very premium to sell to those that desire such things.
  • @Steve...yep...people like prancing around with that Apple logo on apple devices everywhere you look...guess what,now there's that Microsoft logo...i can tell you the average consumer looking for a "nice laptop doesn't care much about messaging and category creating..more so about price..
  • To me category creator doesn't have to be specifically in device form factor. 14.5 hours battery life, thinnest touch lcd, crafted keyboard, screen withough rubber casing(though small, it makes huge difference),no visible screws. Innovative speakes also counts. 
  •  Almost perfect device,  just wish the hinge was reclining further to be almost flat on a surface (pun intended)
  • LOL
  • I see what you did there..
  • Still no comment on the worlds worst WiFi/Bluetooth chipset? I mean that is how it communicates with the world, that could not possibly matter right?
  • These weren't production machines and I can't comment on what chipset they used. I just don't know.
  • I can confirm, the demo Surface Laptops in the Microsoft store have Avastar back for what is it? the 11th Microsoft product in a row with the industries worst WiFi. Or is it 13 now?
  • I'm with bleached. There nothing here that would cause me to update and upgrade my SP3. Also if the create the surface phone it would have to be 100% better than my Lumia 1520
  • 1 - "but who wouldn't have preferred that more future-proof iteration? I sure would have." I wouldn't. I have ONE device using USB-C. And I make absolutely no question of having more. So a USB-C instead of USB-A would be absolutely useless to me. And I'm absolutely sure I'm amongst the vast majority of consumers. USB-C is only now arriving on major flagship PHONES. But on everything else? Nop. So the complete transition to USB-C will take a LONG time. Microsoft was not dumb at all here. The SD card slot...well...that one is...stupid.   2 - To be completely honest, the inclusion of the touch screen with pen capabilities on the Surface Laptop makes ZERO sense. Who on Earth will use that? If the screen had a 360 hinge, THEN sure, it would make sense. But when it's so limited in what bending backwards is possible, I think they'd have been better off saving the cost of such a screen on an already overpriced device.   3 - I still have to understand the point of the Surface Laptop. Or rather...with the introduction of the Surface Laptop, I no longer understand the point of the Surface Book. People who enjoy the detachable screen have a far better option on the Surface Pro. People who don't like that, have a better option on the Surface Laptop. I don't really see the point of keeping the Surface Book nowAb.   4 - Agreed. In fact, I'm not even recommending 6GB of RAM to anyone who asks me for advice. The minimum I'm telling people to buy in 8GB. Not because they couldn't do with 4GB, most probably could. But if your'e spending the money anyway, better to future proof the laptop for the next at least 5 years.   5 - I can't understand the existance of the Surface Laptop other than as fan-service for Microsoft fanboys (maybe to make up for the death of Windows Phone/10 Mobile). And at that, I'm pretty sure there are a niche bunch of people who will buy this and be happy with it just because it has a Microsoft Imperial Seal in it. The market, however, will not give two sh*ts about the Surface Laptop. But as long as it doesn't lose Microsoft money, I don't think they'll care either.
  • "I wouldn't. I have ONE device using USB-C. And I make absolutely no question of having more. So a USB-C instead of USB-A would be absolutely useless to me. "
    Look at the photo I posted of a Surface Laptop prototype with TWO USB Type-Cs and ONE USB Type-A. That's a very different choice.
  • (Didn't see it, read the article on Reading Mode) Hmm. Well then it begs the question: Was that actually a working prototype or just an empty shell? If it was a working prototype, then the excuse for the "use case" is just an excuse. Because whilst few people use USB-C, even fewer use the Display Port (I used it but on the Surface Dock). Once this is out, I'm looking forward to see the thing torn open. I'm curious to see how much of the interior design solutions of the Surface Pro 3 is actually in this (Since this was 2 years in the making). Maybe they cut a corner there instead of going through the redesign of the entire internals.
  • Surface Book maybe comparable to Surface Pro, but it's a device that you can use for heavier work. And I'm not talking about specs. I'm talking about ergo-usability. The Book and Laptop, both should not have existed. Book does look and work like a laptop. Even has the performance version that work better with that bigger battery and NVidia card. All they needed was a lower spec Book, priced and spec'd like the Surface Laptop's lowest end version. Maybe they should have introduced a non-detachable but a 360 version of it... maybe a Surface Book 360.
  • I'm hoping the next generation of Book and Pro are a single device with just different keyboards/power bases. Purchase a Pro, use it as a tablet, add a touch cover for versatility, add a power base for power/gaming and added battery.
  • 1. USB-C: Same with me. I could not care less. But why on earth did they leave out the SD Card slot ?? I use my notebook mostly on holidays. For webbrowsing, Email and foto handling. I *need* a SD card slot for this. 2. Touchscreen: ZERO sense for me too. At least without a 360 hinge. 3: Why a Laptop at all? Well, there are a lot of users who still prefer a good notebook to a detachable or a tablet. For them this is a quite nice machine. But, yes, it is indeed overpriced for the specs it has. But quite a few prospect buyers obviously do not care that much. It is not the most expensive of its kind. 4: 4GB: This is simply stupid. only the cheapo chinese mini pcs these days come with 4 Gb RAM and 32 GB eMMC. Every decent machine these days should have 8 GB. And better 256 GB SSD than "only" 128. 5: Market share prospects: I do not expect this to become a sales success. It runs into seasoned good competition devices. Even the more expensive Macbook Pros will probably not loose much market share to this Laptop.
  • What uses USB Type-C as a peripheral anyway?  Seems to only be on the other side of the cable right now.  The computer side is always Type-A.
  • Oh, I guess you could buy a type-c cable with both sides yourself, but no one does that.
  • Some newer external drives use it. And for now, that's about it.
  • "Microsoft's Head of Industrial design for Devices Ralf Groene told us that USB Type-A is used by more people today than the more modern Type-C." Maybe because no devices that are out come with USB-c connectors. Maybe we should all go back to spinning drives too because more people have those. That's not sound logic.
  • On the one hand it is the traditional Hen vs. egg thing. But for users like me, that have zero USB-C devices there is indeed zero neccessity to grab a device with USB-C or even worse only USB-C (what you could see with a few devices already. And not only smartphones.)
  • My only 2 usb-c devices are a galaxy s8 and 950xl..i have no plans to charge my phone off my laptop
  • I agree with all the points except the 4GB RAM is not enough one. It's perfectly fine for the OS, multimedia consumption, some work in office, web browsing, and even some light gaming. It's another question, that you can get the same specs for a much lower price though.
  • 4 GB is good enough if you stick to Windows 10 S... but if you switch to Pro and use Chrome on it then you'll be out of memory as soon as you have more than 4 tabs open ;-)
  • I have an SP4 with 4GB.  The solution?  Stick to Edge browser.
  • So use Edge.
  • I would have considered buying this if it was convertible. A bit head scratching that they made a traditional laptop at this stage of the game.
  • Or it would have been equally fine if it folded 300-320ish degrees so that you could use the keyboard as a kick stand for use with a pen, or on a plane.
  • I'd argue the category creator is "this device leads Microsoft into the education market with a device designed specifically for that purpose." None of the other Surface products get them into that market.
  • Except the Surface Laptop isn't aimed at education. Microsoft talks about college students but even those won't be spending over 1000€ in a laptop for college (and those who already can afford them at 18, will buy better laptops).
  • (I'm disputing my earlier comment, but...) "Mummy and Daddy" already buy them iPads and MacBooks to go with their iPhones (in droves!!).... so, maybe the cost isn't the issue we all think it is.
  • No, a "category creator" was not born with the Surface Laptop. But a nice Ultrabook with a differrent/nicer screen because it has a 3:2 screen ratio and very good dpi. And it would have been even much taller, if it had a 360 degree hinge, because then it could also be used in portrait mode as a tablet. As it comes right now (forget the silly Windows 10 S, I would get rid of it in the first minute) I do not see any major improvement compared to my quite old Sony Vaio Pro 13 SVP. That is even considerably lighter (under 1 KG). I will rather change over to a tablet as the Huawei Matebook (My current brand new Chuwi Hi13 is far to heavy - 1.1 KG without keyboard for its nice screen).
  • To expensive
  • You missed the biggest fail - why the **** have they locked 🔒 Win 10 S to Edge and then further locked Edge to only allow Bing as search provider. Absolutely ridiculous! Ok, yes limited UWP browsers currently, but this is a headline grabber that will kill their chances.
  • If that's really an issue for the buyer, then they can upgrade to W10 Pro for free through December. After that it's just $50. It's an extra step to do, but it's not really an issue.
  • I agree, but that is irrelevant when almost every tech writer and newspaper has already started to focus on this. Bad press is bad press. Those of us in the know won't care, but Microsoft deciding to do this is a big PR blunder when they are already facing an uphill battle regarding PR and public opinion.
    It's also a very strange choice when MS were very publicly FORCED to actively suggest alternative browsers to their customers (Europe-wide, not sure where else).
  • The editors here and the fans are focussing on the 50$ upgrade part which means w10s is useless (due to its store) so in long run it just doesn't help the store or uwp in any manner.
  • They actually said in the reveal that 10s devices will run any browser in the store. Making those two things default allows them more security
  • ALL of these complaints DO MATTER. WTF is happening over there at Microsoft. I can't even imagine releasing this thing without a fold over screen. HP Spectre didn't have much of a problem pulling that one off. It completely goes against everything they have been doing for this ecosystem. The Hero day for me would have been this device with a fold over screen and a pen dock; a new Surface, and a Surface Pro 5, AND a Surface Phone AND f-ing Cortana Speaker while your at it. Way to follow Apple by giving us less than we expected. I would trade in that new Surface if they gave me god#$%^%^ Contact Groups in the People app. They need to stop patting themselves on the back over there and start pleasing the fanbase. So sick of this sh&*t. My Niece who is a student in 10th grade does ALL of her schoolwork on a folded down SP3. She took one look at this device and said NO. So did I.
  • I totally agree.
  • I think this is for either students ( college/school) or enterprise users that wish to replace laptops/ultrabooks. No comparison to Surface/Pro/Book.
  • I am really liking the Surface Laptop. It is exactly what I have been looking for to replace my old laptop. I love that it has a pen support. Even though the pen may be awkward to use on it, with my current setup I have often wished that I could just use the Surface pen to draw (underline, highlight, etc) something quickly on my laptop's screen. Therefore, I see the pen support as an added bonus on this laptop. I am however skeptical about the 3:2 aspect ratio on something that I will not be using as a tablet. Does anyone have any experience or comment about that it's like to work with a 3:2 laptop? I feel it would give me less horizontal space to put documents side by side.
  • Its well knows to all that Microsoft is well known for screwing themselves.
    The price tag doesn't match the compromise of OS, missing ports, configuration.
  • Why is 4GB of RAM not enough? It's double what Windows 10 requires to run. My 2006 laptop that maxes out at 2GB runs it perfectly fine. My old wifi card is the only thing holding the laptop back.
  • I want a Surface Phone. This product is garbage -- an old fashioned laptop with one USB port? You can't even use this like a tablet. Microsoft is really losing the plot. No updates to HoloLens, MS Band, Surface phone/pro/book. Instead we get an expensive laptop nobody asked for running a locked-down operating system that nobody wants. Nadella needs his head examined -- he has no clue that computing is going mobile. The last two Surface products are far from mobile computing. Microsoft is going to fall very far behind if they keep putting out 20-year old product categories while cancelling every portable product in development.
  • I would never buy one, but it's not intended for professionals who use X86 software not found in the store (STEM) or gamers. I'm skeptical of said software / apps entering the store if these devices are only used in education. Universities would likely upgrade to 10 Pro, or its successor, and purchase the required X86 software required just as industry does. Centennial apps on mobile would be great, but it's the chicken and egg conundrum all over again.
  • They're valid but irrelevant because MS has other products that do fulfill these requirements. This one is simply to fill the lineup. And some people should find it perfect. It's actually really good. For example, it's equal or better to Apple thin laptops (don't care about their model naming, sorry).
    But in the end, it's not to sell millions of units, I think this was released mainly to introduce S with some hardware option. Granted, I would have preferred a small Surface 5 running ARM, but well. I trust in MS, this is not a mistake.
  • Unless you do heavy video editing and stick with store apps, which the Surface Laptop comes with, the 4GB are more than enough for way more than most users. Even for the ones that aren't aware of it. Good hardware and efficient OS does that... If I had to chose between USB c and the traditional I'll chose the 2 USB3 ports like most. I have a gazillion peripherals with USB in my disposal and a tiny few with usb c. I already an, like anyone that finds a USB C such a necessity, adaptor which is tiny from USB to type C. It's way more practical than trying to connect all the USB 2-3 devices on a USB C slot. And for those moaning I guess you want something so expensive and new and yet plan to stick with it more than those four years that it'll take you to replace all your regular USB peripherals..? I think not. If could have both? I'd love to. If I had to chose? They got the right idea for the students and their flash drives they are aiming for. I think if you want a Pen so much you wouldn't get the laptop Surface. But I would love it to flip like a Yoga. Then again... The Book make more sense maybe? Now, as in why? I think that's the easiest one. Panos emphasized it very clearly. "We heard you loud and clear. You asked for a laptop and we made a laptop". It's obvious there was a demand for it and most media ( not even the students he referred to ) already state "this is the Surface I've been waiting for". Even if that was built surely based on research on indeed what students preferred. MS has proved that at everything other than phone, they know what they are doing the past few years. I found it pretty obvious this time too. I'm sure that you weren't as amazed, just like me, by this product as their preview ones but it makes total sense for the general public and non MS enthusiasts.
  • #3 would have solved #2. Sadly this is the first Surface device that I have seen that did nothing for me. Other than the Studio, I've owned every other Surface at some point. I don't understand the thinking behind not making this a convertible. They added touch and Pen support but no real convenient way to use them? huh? smh
  • 1. Agreed.
    2. For a new device, I want pen to be included.
    3. For me nothing else than at least a convertible, but preferably a detachable tablet or keyboard cover.
    4. Exactly, any serious use of Edge burns RAM, 8 GB is the minimum.
    5. Agreed. But, I don't want one.
    6. I would have preferred a SHD with more storage. I think not only students might want one, but it might be great for the Enterprise masses as well.
  • hey there, 1 thing i want to address: #5- im very happy with the kind of hard drive they chose for this laptop, because a laptop hard drive (be it hdd or ssd) is rather large. having a hard drive soldered on to the motherboard frees up space dramatically for a huge battery. i do agree with you on more storage, but i would have been fine with the burgundy model having a 512 gb option.
  • 4GB or RAM is plenty, I think you forgot who the device is targeted for. You're average student (probably) won't be running anything that would need more than 4
  • Here's a reason from a discussion with an engineer I had a few weeks back about why manufacturers are using single ports. It comes down to battery consumption. Each USB 3 device attached can consume up to 150mAmp per socket (up to 6 devices) (excluding the circuitry power drain), and with USB 3.1 it's more complicated depending on if you're looking to provide USB-PD to the 20w or 100w spec. and when you're creating a device this small then every power drain has to be examined and rationalised. Not a satisfying answer, but it does make sense. Another consideration is the heat dissipation especially for high speed transfers, especially for high power draw USB 3.1. A USB-C receptacle would be nice, but many people conflate the receptacle with USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt, both of which would require a lot more engineering and the extra circuitry to handle the extra power demands required by the standard. In addition there's a lot of concerns about the safety of the actual USB-C cables on the market (I've seen first hand a scorched socket from a bad cable, one of the reasons we now use a USB-C cable checker). In addition do you want USB 3.1 with a USB-C receptacle, or do you want a Thunderbolt socket with USB 3.1 through a USB-C receptacle as what Dell does with some of their laptops (and can cause serious problems with booting with USB devices due to the Thunderbolt backbone). Then you have USB-PD as mentioned above. So the answer isn't black and white as people make out. MS keeping the old Surface power connector makes sense as they can readily upgrade the dock to USB-C when there's sufficient momentum in the market to warrant the transition and offset much of the risks inherent with USB-C at this present time.
  • Yet somehow Apple has managed Thunderbolt on Macbooks for years w/o complications.
  • Is it ddr4? If it is im okay with the 4gb of ram. No reason to use ddr3 since it's so old.
  • I thot I heard Panos say DDR3 during the introduction of Surface Laptop, which I thot was weird. Maybe DDR4 is used for the 8/16GB models while the 4GB uses the cheaper DDR3.
  • 1. No USB-C is fine for so many practical reason, although in the spirit of forward thinking one of each would be nice, like in place of the display port so it could function as display out, power in, etc
    2. On this form factor touch is hardly even necessary let alone a pen. This is fine.
    3. Not only does Microsoft have 2 other devices that are convertible. The lazer focus target of this product is the 2012 MacBook student considering upgrading. I have yet to touch the screen on my XPS15.
    4. They have many other configurations that add more RAM for anyone that wants or needs it. Short version, it has enough RAM. That said, has anybody tried to only use Windows Store apps? I suspect 4GB is plenty. It's plenty for the iPad Pro for instance.
    5. It was never supposed to be a category creator. This device rounds out the product offerings many people were asking for. The reaction to this device seems so crazy to me, I think it's an amazing design and perfectly relevant in every way. Compare the price of Apple products before uttering a complaint. This is the high end design and fashion what we expect from the Surface line. I'm not sure it's ever been about the lowest cost - feature ratio. There are so many options in the Windows ecosystem, Microsoft is no doubt happy if you buy a Dell or HP you find better suits your needs. As it is, this device is a direct alternative to the MacBook customer in it's various configurations.
  • Thank God, a reasonable voice. So agree, just sick of people complaining - complain when MS doesn't and complain when they do. 💩😞
  • Ggiven the space premium for ports they should have included WiGig and made an accompaning WiGig Dock.    
  • No Type-C is DUMB... If people want type A then let them have an adapter, hell, chuck several in for free as they cost 99p each.
    But to have a 'state-of-the-art' NEW laptop that can not and will not ever support full quick charging is also dumb. That price too... I know the principle of Surface but that is extreme and again dumb. At £600 for the base model sure, I would even take the previously mentioned sacrifices and be happy with that... but at that price point... NO. NOT EVER! The most worrying thing is just how wrong Panos and his team got this WRONG! It does not bode well for any future devices.
  • Who the hell uses usb c? Not the majority yet. Not in next 3yrs as well.
  • MS did the right thing with the port. Some people just want things for themselves.
  • Dan, you're missing the point on Bullet No. 5. The Surface Laptop isn't the category creator; Windows 10 S is. The Surface Laptop is just the container for the new OS. The software is the star here, and Win 10 S will be a fascinating experiment for the Company. Think about it; they created an iOS competitor just by stripping off a few features from Windows 10. How many iPad users wish they could run full OS X? With a Surface Laptop, they can do just that for less than $50...
  • Ios competitor with a barren store??
  • SSD integrated directly into the motherboard? I expect other thin laptops also do the same thing, it seems like a step backward to be honest, certainly at that price point. SSD is still in pretty early days and while the ones I have got have have lasted ok, the reliability of SSd is still not proven.
    I also expect the battery is impossible to change as well.  If I ever get another laptop it will certainly not be one of these micro thin things like the surface.   
  • It's pretty that's why I want one 💁.
  • I'm seeing a lot of comments of why would Microsoft create the Surface Laptop and charge such a high price? Just speculating, but maybe... Microsoft didnt want Windows 10S to only cater to the budget market ($150 - 400). If they only showed up with a bunch of cheap laptops to replace Chromebooks it might box Windows 10S into a budget only name. Something I think Microsoft doesnt want as I think they see the 10 S OS as the operating system of the future. Dumping the x86 architecture for every day users. If 10S was initially thought of by the public as the cheap OS, it might take years to unravel public perception (right or wrong) to get it to be the OS everyone should use. If they sell a premium laptop with 10 S installed it shows its not just budget driven. Just a thought...
  • Good point. I was expecting the SL to have low specs, but it doesn't, so for me the S OS could be perfect.
  • Imagine this: At build they showcase how the screen magically detaches, how the mechanism is so well hidden..:D kinda like the surprise with the Surface book :p
  • I understand what you're saying Dan but sorry to say it sounds like complaining for the sake of it. You yourself said you'd get one, that makes mist of your points invalid. I want one because it fits my purpose, and by the looks of sales and what people think there are many others who think the same, so...just accept it, look for the good and move on. MS people complain way too much. Why should it be like the Pro or SB? Why does it have to be made for pen? Answer: It doesn't. The fact that you can is awesome, the fact that it's touch is awesome. The way it looks and I assume feel, is awesome. We have a company in Australia called JB HiFi that sells almost everything, but they have a huge stock of laptops all laid out in rows. You just have to stroll down that aisle to see how they all blend into one - looking like a bland mess with the occasional HP slightly standing out, but otherwise it's ******* clear that MS did a fantastic and much NEEDED thing, even if just for designs sake. Writing about tech doesn't necessarily mean complaining non stop. You're not helping the image of MS at all. I think it might be time to change the title of the site to Tech Central or something else.
  • Blah blah blah...
  • FIVE THINGS YOU WILL LOVE ABOUT THE SL!
    1. Weight.
    2. Battery life.
    3. Colours and design.
    4. Touch and pen enabled.
    5. OS streamlined.
  • Not the pen. Without a 360 degree hinge or detachable keyboard, a pen will be awkward to use with this laptop. Which is really too bad for us folks who like to use a digital pen with their laptops, for example to sketch 3D shapes or write and manipulate equations. Otherwise I agree with your assessment :)
  • How about Windows central stop complaining and fix the bugs in the app!!
  • They don't care abt windows app, due to its low usage;)
  • my app seems to crash 2-3 times before it opens. every time now
  • I don't think they need to always make a "category creator". This is probably the device I was waiting for with the specs maxed out. I purchased the XPS 15 because the surface book was just not what I needed, but if I had a choice of Surface Laptop then, I would of likely went with that over the others. The XPS is a nice device but I still had wanted the premium Microsoft product.
  • I'm concerned about serviceability in regards to the battery. Every device I've owned has had battery degradation. E.g., my Surface Pro 4 has had 17% battery degradation after 1.5 years. That, while normal, is significant when you consider when new, the SP4 only had 5-6 hours real-world battery life (so now I get only 4-5).
    .
    Most laptops can be taken apart without too much difficulty to replace the battery for a DIY cost of ~$40 (the cost of a battery). E.g., the Dell XPS 13 and HP Elitebook only require removing screws and clips to do so. Even the HP Elite x2 (Surface clone) can be taken apart with a torx driver and suction cup. The Surface Pro 4? Almost impossible. Everything is glued together, including the display and battery.
    .
    The Surface Laptop also looks to be a nightmare to replace the battery. Panos Panay made a big deal about how there were no screws or even seams.
    .
    Panay also claimed the Surface Laptop would last a student 4 years, but with everyday use, the battery could degrade by 50% during that time. I'm not sure how much Microsoft would charge to replace the battery, but if it's like the SP4 reports of $200-450, the poor serviceability would be a dealbreaker for me.
  • I didn't even think about that! I had a Dell latitude in college and used 3 batteries over the course of 4 years, many of my classmates had the same laptop and anyone who didn't replace their battery at least once could no longer power their laptop without plugging it in, extended daily use destroys a battery. My Surface Pro 3 has held up well, but it's not used daily and gets charged and average of twice a week instead of daily.
  • This is the reason I bought a Surface 3 vs Surface Pro 4. I'm prepared to buy a new one every 2-3 years. I still own a Fujitsu T4215 TabletPC. I had upgraded the CPU/RAM/Bluetooth/HDD and battery multiple times. It's running Win 10 Insider now and I used it daily for 6 years until I changed to a Surface 3.
  • Points 1, 2, and 4 are correct. Points 3 and 5 are nonsense. There is no rule that I'm aware of that says a new Surface has to create a new device category, regardless of what Microsoft implied in the past. The Surface Book didn't do anything new either. There were ultrabooks on the market that did everything the Surface Book did. There were displays that doubled as a detachable tablet. There were ultrabooks that had a pen. As for it being a non-convertible? Again, who cares?
  • The lack of a 360 degree hinge is a real bummer. A pen will be very awkard to use with this laptop. And I need pen support in my laptops. I use the pen with my SP3 often for sketching product designs, writing equations, and capturing ideas before they float out of my head. In addition, it lacks the flat, presentation, and tent positions that are useful to all users, not just inkers. I am in the market for a laptop that I can supplant (but not replace) my tablet (Surface Pro 3). But there is no way this product meets my needs. And Surface Book 1 is too expensive, and still uses 6th gen Core  Intel processors, which scare me a bit. So I'm thinking that an HP Spectre x360, 15 inch, will be my next PC. It may be a bit big for travel (but that's where the SP3 excels). On the other hand for around the house (home office) and for occasional travel where I need a big screen laptop, it fits all my needs. Again, bummer, because I'm a real Surface fan. What was Microsoft thinking? 
  • Yea I called out the 1st 3 when I saw it. Microsoft always finds a way to screw things up....always.
  • It expands the Surface family.
  • I might be solo here but I think this is a broader message from Microsoft that they are building products THEY want to use.  I think it's why there's no interest in building just another Lumia right now (and why they might be plowing software they like into iOS and Android).  And it did cross my mind that this was a vote of no confidence in their 3rd party contributors that they aren't "getting" it.  This device - to me, on paper obviously and I'll be exceptionally interested when Daniel and team can shake it down thoroughly - seems to be the actual target state most of us want out of an ultrabook, excluding the type-c port.  It "promises" all day battery life, more than FHD, touchscreen, instant on, zero drain in a sleep state (for days), a screen size that approximates the old 14" laptop with sub-three pound weight and is running a full U chip, not a Y (or M).  Add that together and I don't know what else is doing that (all), especially that touch + resolution + weight + battery life.  That's pretty much what I would make for me if I could.  Would I wish it would open at least 180 deg and had a type-c charging port?  Yeah.  But the 4GB (to me) seems fine as it's plenty for the stated target audience (4 year college student MS would love to have sliding a Surface Laptop out of their bag vs a Mac Book Air) running Windows 10 S.  And besides, it's only one price point that has that limited RAM (think the XPS 13 does the same thing no?). For all the furor I read about this being a miss, it's the most excited I've been for a Surface device since I bought my Pro 2.  This seems like a perfect replacement for those of us that haven't bumped up to the newer 3 & 4.  And I don't know that I'd need more than the i5 with 256GB.  It's actually only 2oz more weight than my Pro 2 with type pad, it's many oz lighter than it w/ the power keyboard, and it's got way more screen real-estate, power, and battery than I have now and I think it's effectively hundreds cheaper (considering what I paid for my keyboards).  So count folks like me in as the target audience that bought those SP and SP2 that haven't traded in yet as getting a whole lot more than we had for less cost.  And that they went with category continuer vs changer might be because many folks were finding out they so rarely used the detachability that they'd be easy targets to attract with this device.    
  • Daniel, every Surface fan projects their own feelings about what the Surface products are about for Microsoft. I do too. I've heard various Microsoft officials talk about creating categories but I've never heard them say Surface was about only making 2 in 1s. And while Microsoft has talked a lot about the pen in recent years and has done more to make it important than anyone else, the fact that the pen isn't ideal on a laptop doesn't really diminish their committment to inking, which involves Windows as well as devices.  One blogger took your concern even farther by noting that they didn't demonstrate if the pen could even stick to the edge of the screen. Nit, meet pick. Whatever other goals Microsoft really has for Surface, one of them is about making money. I heard Panos Panay mention how often customers had told them they wanted a traditional laptop from Surface. So it could be that they chose to make one because they figured they could sell some and still do a premium device with some design innovation.  Also Daniel, watching your video, I heard you comment on the T-shaped markings on either side of the Surface laptop base. I'm told by a Softie that those non-metalic fillers mark the locations of the Wi-Fi antenna.
  • With all due respect to the nice design, this product is the tombstone of all the Microsoft ambitions for Windows in the last few years. Think about it: Surface -> Surface Book -> Surface Laptop.  I mean, all these years to come back to this? First they claimed they created a new thing with the Surface and Windows 8 (a tablet, so what's new about that, meh), then wow  you can attach it to a keyboard! no wait it's got a hinge! wait again, we invented the laptop! At the same time they backtrack on Windows 8 basically going back to Windows 7. Not to mention Windows Mobile which is dead already. Now they introduced.. a laptop with Windows. Ok. Your R&D is a bit depressing. I hope the HoloLens works out at least.
  • Quote "The fact is, PC users have an overabundance of hardware choices." The fact is, anyone who wants to buy a Windows laptop with a 3:2 screen aspect ratio, they have an overabundance of 2 choices: Surface Book and now Surface Laptop, both 13 inches. At 15 inches, the overabundance is 0 choices. :]
  • To be clear, I was never a fan of Ultrabook. Been using TabletPC since 2003. I've been introducing the Surface Pro to friends and clients for a long time. Some bought it because they see the value, BUT there is still a very big group who prefer a clamshell laptop for many reasons. The Surface laptop is that device that shows that the laptop does NOT have to be too hot or too cold when you put your hands on the keyboard/base of laptop. That alcantara is used in Sports cars as seat material. It feels nice to touch and insulates the heat from the CPU underneath. That is a bigger thing than many people give it credit for. The stereo speakers underneath the keyboard is also a pretty new concept. Surface's front firing speakers are awesome and I'm hoping Dan gets the SL real soon for a real review. So yes, it's not a revolutionary device, it's a rethread but what a rethread and I'm sure OEMs would learn a few tricks here and there. And with the Shanghai event coming with the long awaited SP5, the Intro of SL at the education event is well-timed. I can't wait to see BUILD 2017 and what other tricks Panos will pull out of his hat May 25.
  • Well that 4gb is little as a college student believe me 4gb won't last three third of the year from my school cause their a things you will be eager to try on your pc. I would like to see(get) a 16gb ram 2tb rom which I know they wouldn't consider... The only things am afraid is the price because Microsoft can get brutal when it comes in pricing their product.
  • The thing that impresses me most about the Surface laptop is that Microsoft seems to have beaten Apple's record for the worst performance-to-price ratio (I honestly didn't think that it was possible). For the same price as the cheapest Surface laptop, my laptop has: An i7-6700HQ instead of an i5 (they don't even put the CPU model on the product page, so I assume that it's not even a particularly good i5). 4 times the quantity of RAM (16GB instead of 4GB). 17 times the storage space (double the SSD capacity and a 2TB HDD). A discrete GPU (an Nvidia GTX 960M with 2GB of GDDR5 and 640 CUDA cores) with more than double the performance of the Surface's integrated GPU. I won't hide the fact that the Surface laptop is much more portable, but if you're sacrificing so much power for portability then why not buy a Chromebook and a far more powerful desktop for the same price?
  • Yep. This is what I'm afraid Microsoft will become. Out of the 4 major Surface categories, only the Pro is deemed slightly affordable for a standard 256/8gb configuration. MS is innovating form-factor fosho', but is indeed becoming stingy like Apple in terms of price ratio.
  • Well, the price for 8GB+256GB in Europe is very high. You can get a macbook pro for that if you have that money and you can get something from another OEM, like Dan said. With several hundreds EUR to spare, at least in Europe you have other options
  • Is 4GB of RAM enough? Microsoft seems to think so, and it lets the company hit a lower pricing tier. But we're not so sure. LOWER PRICING TIER??? 4GB ram for 1k Dollars???  I can get way better specs pc wor way cheaper..
  • For me, the reason the Laptop does not have USB-C is because otherwise it would compete with the Pro and Book. For sure both of them will ofer USB-C asap.
  • So your last "complaint." Not a category creator. Seems positioned to be a Mac Book Air killer. How does it stack up there?
  • Great write up, Dan. #blessed to have a plethora of options as a Windows user
  • Why aren't the colors offered for every configuration? I want the cobalt blue with an i7 and 16GB of RAM.
  • once u have upgraded to pro u can not go back to the S version
  • No, No No and no, no
  • dds
  • Major disaster type 3 USB.  I'd love to see this type port disappear in favor of something less fragile.  Anyone with a smartphone must be aware of this accident waiting to happen.  If they want to miniaturize they need a major improvement in durable design. BTW, I'm totally exhausted by planned obsolescence too.
  • No wonder Microsoft is having a tough time when poeple like this author Daniel Rubino use highly emotive and negative titles just to stir up anger and resentment. 5 things youll HATE about the Surface laptop .... Really .-... thats the best you could come up with ... then diluting the title to '....Will not Like....' ... Really the negativitiy Windows Central Spins constantly about all things Microsoft ... are you sure your not being paid by Google.... I would not be surprised. You are your kind are responsible for trying to kill of public support and interest from Microsfot fans in things like Windows Mobile and not your at it with the latest Surface offering. Either present balanced questions about this tech, or get yourself another job. I cant read anymore of your Microsfot bashing Drivel. Your Title should have been for this article something along the lines of 'New Suface laptop curiosities' becuase the points you raise are curiosities .. they are NOT things anyone will HATE .. or even dislike!" Get a life!      
  • Cheetos, Doritos, Hostess.. These ARE for education, right? Have you seen a kids hands? How do you clean the fabric? Keyboards are already some of the most disgusting things ever...
  • It does define a category, now I think of it a bit more: The 3:2 screen, which I love in my SB, is a new category!
  • I agree with what you said and the first thing I thought was touchscreen but not a convertible. 4 GB Ram I mean why not just start with 8 GB for this price. But it looks perfect but I will probably pick up something else.
  • Microsoft is not a primary OEM
    Microsoft just creates a platform and sets a standard Are there any fabric draped laptops in common market? NO!
    Now, Microsoft is telling the world you can have a fabric draped premium laptop
    what other OEMs do? We can make a better specd, better feel, better touch screen laptop at an unbelievable price
    consumers, who want a high priced, show-off device can buy a Surface Laptop
    a student or a consumer who wants more for less can get it from other OEMs BUT, A 4GB RAM? Unacceptable... even mobile phones have more RAM
    Not even 1TB of SSD or even a Hybrid SSD? - Ridiculous
  • A bigger screen surface with more power and performance would have been a better choice than this tragically poor offering. If you want to write on the screen then you need the kickstand to stop it wobbling , even at the event this wobble was evident and the surface book suffers horribly from the lack of kickstand. There is no sense in this laptop format, though I do marvel at the internal innovations of the machine's structure, but that is just geekery, no one needs this item. MEH! ;)
  • Shocked today that Windows based computers (step up models, not low end models), come with 4gb of memory, I would expect today a minium would be 8gb... Anyone running Windows 10 would know, it runs OK at 4gb but, it runs very well at 8gb..
  • Do Microsoft actually have a clue what they are doing? It's seems there are making decisions on the flip of a coin...
  • Thanks man for that story. Superb! And the conclusion "You have plenty of other options. That is likely a big reason why you're a Windows PC user, after all." beats it all!
  • hopefully Dell, HP, Lenovo and others will follow the 3:2 screen offering in Surface. It sitll is unique that way.
  • I need to get to a Microsoft Store after they have these to play with. I have to wonder how it works with the pen if you lay it down like a book with the screen side flat on the desk.
  • 4GB of RAM is just enough. it all depends on your usage.
    Another thing to consider is the fact these laptops are primarily for college students.