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Hands-on with Microsoft's new Surface Laptop (video)

Microsoft debuted some gorgeous new hardware at its education event today with the latest member of the Surface lineup, Surface Laptop.

From the initial announcement to the tech specs, we got a good look at what to expect. But how does it feel in person? We went hands-on to give you our first impressions of Surface Laptop.

We'll definitely have more on Surface Laptop coming soon. For now, if Microsoft's latest Surface has piqued your interest, it's up for preorder at the Microsoft Store.

Preorder the Surface Laptop (opens in new tab)

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

180 Comments
  • Epic but prefer surface book no doubt, whos with me??!
  • You are supposed to... That is why the surface book is much more expensive
  • I had a choice of surface book vs dell xps when those were released, I went with xps 15. If I had choice again with xps and surface laptop, I would likely go with surface laptop.
  • Well it looks like its SOLD OUT! for most colors in low-end and high end.  its all mid-range.  Bummer. I wanted burgundy.
  • So buy the Book, then. The whole point is that different people want different features. But I'm with you on this one. For *my* usage, the Book is the most ideal, followed by the Pro, followed by the Laptop. The main reason for this is that I annotate screenshots all the time, and a pen is great for that, but pen annotation for me really works best with the screen held in hand, on my lap, or on a flat surface (no pun intended).
  • I have a SP3, SP4, SB512, and now a SL on order... If you cant decide between two, get them both!!!
  • Don't suppose you're looking to sell any of your older hardware for a reasonable price?
  • lol...not really, im a ms enthusiast....if I could draw, I would have had a surface studio.
  • YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESS!
  • It's really revolutionary when it comes to traditional laptop but I doubt it is targeted towards Students.
  • I think it is. For those going to University at least. Aside from non-Store Win32 which makes them having to switch to Windows 10 Pro, a student or rather anyone should prefer Store apps. And they will grow into that mindset into their working life. They will ask for Store apps when they make business decisions whether to develop Win32 or UWP. Back to the point, this thing may not be great for the teachers, but it can be great for students who needs performance and battery life. It sacrificed touch-first and pen-first capabilities for a touch-second, pen-second design for better performance and battery life than Surface Pro, which may not last all day in the classroom. I think it's is great fit for students while just making touch and pen take a backseat in this laptop and not taken away.
  • Why not! You think it's too expensive? Most students I see have Macs or Surface Books or Surface Pros (all more expensive).
  • I really love the vision of MS here. Democratisation of technology in terms of accessibility. Different variants are the pure example of this approach.
  • I have never seen anybody at MS getting as much applause as Panos. A key for MS vision for success in near future.
  • Panos is awesome at what he does.
  • Panos is good because he is geniunely excited about his team's creations. I do miss the "Like a Boss" guy though. He's a great software presenter.
  • Both - they are different, and have different applications. Myself, for example. Surface Book too heavy for me and don't need all the different variations with tablet use etc as I have that with my Pro 4, but this thing has what I need and that is long battery life, touch/pen ability, and good weight. Also, it just looks damn amazing. Don't get me wrong my wife wouldn't swap her SB for anything, but as I said - horses for courses! (or whatever the saying is)
  • I think this is better than the book personally...I never did like the surface book hinge.  If they made the surface laptop with a hinge like my dell 2 in 1...I think i would buy the top model right away!
  • I really LOVE the SB hinge.
  • different.
  • This is beautiful fkng laptop! Way better than a macbook, so I presume. If only it wasn't that expensive 😞 going to have to compromise though 😉
  • ....but a MacBook comes with 8GB RAM standard, can run any MacOS application, and we all know Microsoft tends to exagerrate its battery life claims.. Microsoft struck out here. It's okay to remove your blinders every once in a while. This product has no business carrying the Surface brand name.
  • It also cost more.
  • So, While that is true, the Macbook starts at $1299, and the $1299 SL is 8GB of RAM and 256 GB Storage. But the SL has a core i5 and not a Core m3.
  • Still tring to use the touch screen on my sons MacBook every time i switch from my Surface pro 4. Touch screen is worth the few extra dollars if you ask me.
  • Down vote because the MacBook does not have a touch screen clasic. 
  • That's just crap. Jealous much?
  • Jealous of what exactly? Stated that i find the MacBook,s lack of a touch screen was something I missed when trying to use it.People are not able to have an opinion. 
  • Wasn't referring to you. Sorry for mix up.
  • It's not expensive!!!
  • I like the look a lot. But if I had a choice, I would stick with the all metal/magnesium look, instead of the alcantera interior. To me all metal = premium. Then again who knows? I might change my mind when I have a chance to check it out in person.
  • I prefer to have my screen resting on the fabric. The alcantera fabric actually is very premium feeling to the touch
  • So much that some cars have it now
  • all major luxury brands has been using alcantara for at least 20 years
  • The Ford Pumua had it (around 1997 lol)
  • False argument with, "All metal premium." crap. Sick of hearing that. I have HP Elite x3, Alcatel Idol 4S, 950 xl, and 640 xl at the moment, and the 'premium' Idol is a great looking phone, but you MUST put a cover (usually plastic) on it because it slides all over the place and can drop super easy. So, it ends up looking cheap with cover, and it doesn't matter what quality of plastic you get. Opposite is the 950 xl, that looks good, but put a Mozo on it and it looks super premium and feels that too. So what's better? HP sort of in the middle, but looks VERY premium, and not as some dicks say that it looks cheap. Basically, sick of that stupid argument that you have repeated nonsensically. This SL with the Alcantra looks and I bet, feels super premium. Full stop.
  • False argument? That was a funny thinh to read. It's called a personal opinion. LoL
  • No argument as Reflexx said. Just personal preference. At no time did I say the Alcantera made the laptop look cheap. I just prefer the classic Magnesium look of the Surface line, but I'm open-minded enough to say I might change my mind when I have a chance to check the device out in person. No need to resort to name-calling simply because you don't share the same opinion/preference with other people, especially your fellow MS enthusiasts.
  • I feel this thing should be priced lower to be competitive but Surface always fetches a premium. Anyone else find it comical it supports the Surface Pen but there's no way to comfortably write on the screen with the pen?
  • That's the reason why they are not selling pen together.
  • They're not trying to compete with their partners. If you want something cheaper, there are lots of other options.
  • DING, DING, why does no one get this!!!!!!
  • I get that, except that they are competing in this case. With the Surface Pro, Book, Studio they built devices with a combination of specs and features that give a unique experience that their hardware partners weren't doing, or weren't doing well, and allowed them to show off Windows features. What does this Surface laptop offer that the existing devices don't? Yes it is built from some premium materials, but so are some of the devices from Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. - even the Xiaomi Me Notebook looks quite premium, and that in itself doesn't justify a whole new device for me. Especially when their EDU target market is generally looking at the cheaper end of the range. The Surface Laptop looks really nice, no argument from me, but I just don't understand why Microsoft would build it.
  • At this point, I think it's more of a brand thing. Surface brand on a laptop definitely carries a different perception than say Xiaomi or even a HP or Dell.
  • I do. I want and will get one, not just because I love MS, but because it fits in between the SB and Pro and that is what I NEED.
  • But can you get what you need already from other OEMs? Purely specification and form factor wise there seem to be quite a few devices out there that already fill this need, and there are some premium ones too that look and feel nice. I think the Surface Laptop looks like a really good device, and I'd seriously consider it if I was in the market for a laptop, but I think I'd have plenty of other options too. Which goes against what Surface has stood for so far.
  • From a purely hardware standpoint I can understand what you're saying, but don't forget that this is released with Windows 10 S. This combination is to target those in education and in that sense it's "new." In some ways I think it's an interesting strategy to bring attention to a "new" Windows 10 S since this is not a completely new iteration of Windows. However, even just looking at hardware alone. I appreciate it as something between surface pro and surface book. The surface book is too expensive for what you get to recommend to someone who just wants something mainly as a laptop (if you're only considering surface line to purchase from)
  • if someone values the 3:2 ratio screen - there are not a lot of options out there, IF the HP SPECTRE 360 were 3:2, I would consider it to replace my 3+ year old SP3 which keeps chugging along. I want the 360 style 2-1 and not a clamshell but I want the 3:2 ratio
  • I like options. I am considering a HP, Lenovo, the SL and others. In the end I'll weigh everything up of course, but I do have a soft spot for MS products because I love the quality.
  • Lol.... You are right about that.
  • If you lay it down where the screen is flat on the table it doesn't seem like the body and keyboard would be too heavy to not be able to draw on it
  • When using the pen it should disable the keys and trackpad in case you are leaning on them to write
  • "If you lay it down where the screen is flat on the table it doesn't seem like the body and keyboard would be too heavy to not be able to draw on it"   but it doesn't lay flat!
  • Hello. Because there is an education discount available, it does come out cheaper.
  • Doesn't Microsoft offer an educational discount for all their PCs on their website? I got a great deal on a Dell laptop for my college student with the student discount.
  • That's the main downside. Maybe it should have had a screen that folds all the way back. I have a Surface Pro 3 now and would be tempted to wait for a SP4 or SBook refresh/replacement. The book is hideously overpriced now w/ performance base. If it wasn't using previous gen hardware I'd think differently and be tempted by one. I could get one if I wanted it but don't think I'd pay that for 6th gen CPU and last generation GPU (965M IIRC). There's also (in the traditional laptop area) great deals on the XPS13. For £1,100 roughly there was an outlet deal with the high dpi touch screen, i7, 16GB and 512GB SSD. The surface laptop is nicer and has pen of course
  • I disagree. I checked, tilting my Pro 4 to the approx. max of the SL and it's fine. Of course it will have limitations compared to the Pro or Sb, but if you are that way inclined then people should get a Studio!!!
  • Yeah. Awkward pen use there.
  • On the surface, Surface Laptop is being sold as an educational pc considering its high price even for college students, but in reality it is just another $1K+ laptop competing with Apple and Google...
  • Does Google make anything with these specs?
  • Chromebook Pixel, but it hasn't been updated in 4 years.
  • When my daughter started college she was requried to purchase a MacBook Pro.  It cost me $2400+ and that was with the student discount 5 years ago.  So high price for a college student? Don't think so.
  • Absolutely love this thing already. But alas, no good real way to write on it so... Not a contender for me.
  • Probably should have made the screen fold right back....maybe the next model will. Problem is Pro 4 and Book are stuck on last gen hardware at the moment. No clear upgrade path from my SP3 i7 in my eyes :( The Pro 4 just won't be noticeably quicker
  • Yeah. I'm going to buy a 2-1 soon. Guess I'll stick with the HP Specter. Really wanted 3:2 though.
  • The only problem is it feels thick for some reason, though it is not. If you hold the laptop unside down, The wide slant edge on back makes it looks really thick laptop. Just expected a little more from Panos' team surface. 
  • Whaaaaaaat!
  • The back is 14mm thick. Are you from another planet?
  • Did you even read my comment? I said, it feels thick though it is not. Looks make difference. 
  • Hahaha. What happened to..."Microsoft isn't a hardware company". Really? They find time and revenue to push this garbage out. This thing will flop big time...far to expensive. Great direction, Nutella. Get out already.
  • Go away troll.
  • Troll is someone who posts to get a rise out of someone. I just post the truth. So sad.
  • Not all of your posts are trolling, but don't say you aren't trolling or are speaking the truth when you do things like spell his name as "Nutella", that's far from whatever truth you are speaking of.
  • Hey. When he starts being honest and not only worrying about his pocket book, then he will have earned the right to be addressed as he wishes. Until then, he is Nutella....the greedy, lying pig.
  • Your truth isn't THE truth.
  • Man, this would be THE moment to go with USB-C (including charging)... :-(
    BTW, it seems the charging connector is still the same custom from Surface 3, 4, Book, right? Kind of a bummer...
  • You mean Surface Pro 3/4, Book.  The Surface 3 uses a microusb charger.  And I'm in total agreement about USB-C (thunderbolt)
  • Oh, yeah, true! Forgot about that. Fixing the original comment. Thank you :-)
  • Sounds like the iPhone problem. If you are charging it, you can't put in your earpiece. If you're charging the Surface Laptop with USB-C, you can't use the port unless you're using the Surface Dock.
  • Stick 2 x USB-C and 2 x USB 3 std
  • They didn't have enough room to do something like that
  • I wouldn't say its the same issue. I mean any device with a single port would have the same issue. My suggestion here wouldn't be using USB-C for charging, but the ability to do it if needed. Nevertheless the USB-A can't be used for charging.
  • It will likely work with existing Surface dock.
  • It does.
  • USB-C is not a magnetic connector. I refuse to buy portable devices now that would sit on a table and require a solid charging connector with the ability to destroy the device if the cable is tripped over. The mag connector actually means some consistency in their device line and support for docks across the current device range. The mad rush to USB-C is baffling when it has some major shortcomings. It's not the epitome of connection.
  • Agree, mag connector is fantastic.
  • One of the reasons I went for a MacBook way back when was because my previous Toshiba had the charging port broken from tripping on the cable in class. Gimme magnetic chargers anyday.
  • Yes, thats a good point you made. But anyway I see no big issue on having the magnetic connector as long USB-C is there as an alternative (not the intention to just replace it). But keeping the custom non retro-compatible (doesn't work on my old SP2 and its cables) while releasing a Laptop with USB-A sounds almost more of the same (talking about ports, of course).
  • Great Devices: Finally also in Italy!
  • Sadly, €/$ exchange rate is unfavorable these days 😞
  • Viva Italia!! So, the Alcantra travels from Italy, all over the world to be able to return to its home :)
  • Nice video, but disapointed with the product.  For education, a pen should be central.  And having USB-C makes sense in 2017.  And $999?  Wow for what it appears to be.  Still, it permits the other manufacturers to continue to excel.  Have to say my Spectre x360 is the machine to beat, and is likely better for education too!  Altough I really love the 3/2 screen profile Surface lines use.  Would prefer if other companies start using that. Really curious as to the Education features in Teams... ;)
  • Another interesting thing is there are several other manufacturers going with Windows S. That means the real cheap versions will come from them. This is good!
  • http://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-shows-windows-10-s-laptops-acer-...
  • See my reply above about USB-C. tldr: USB-A is better where you have the space, and don't get me started again on no magnetic options...
  • Regarding the pen being central, they already have the surface pro and surface book for that.
  • It may be just me, but I really think that touch and pen support (even if it won't be included) don't make much sense on a normal laptop. IMO they could have left it out and make the device a bit cheaper. Also, I think it was the perfect time and device for Microsoft to go USB-C instead of those old ports. 2 USB-C ports (one on each side) and the headphone jack would have been just perfect.
  • If you look at the whole Surface lineup, everyone of the devices are touch enabled.  I think Microsoft is just continuing the tradition.  10000% agreed on USB-C.
  • agree, use the pen from your Pro/Book...
  • type A type C ditch de mini dp that is why you have a type C
  • See my reply above about USB-C. tldr: USB-A is better where you have the space...
  • I use pen on my Surface 3 while in laptop mode. I think the 3:2 aspect ratio is what makes it not that difficult to write on the screen, even while you're not using it as a tablet.
  • the kickstand that the surface options have make writing on the screen stable. I expect doing so on a laptop screen will require the off hand to hold the screen otherwise it will be tippy
  • Need touch all the time on everything now. Can't deal baby, can't deal.
  • Nice video guys ! Another gret devie from Microsoft. Excellent specs, Different materials. USB-C is not a deal breaker at all. Looks like a really nice screen. Seems like I can use my Surface charger and dock. Hopfuly some big boys wrap their win32 apps in the bridge for the store. This will make adoption much quicker.   I actually find myself now searching and installing apps from the store first as they have less overhead. easier to uninstall and cause no issues. This gives my Surface pro 4 a bit better battery life. I am waining for Surface Pro 5  (or Surface Pro4 Refresh) with Kaby Lake. Thats my target device.
  • Love the apps from the store, not sure why so many people complain. My Pro 4 is all apps baby.
  • Looks very nice. With the processing hardware in the base it should be more stable than the Surface Book. It also looks like the screen folds back far enough to allow inking without being too uncomfortable. I assume the surface dock will work with this too. That would make a decent dorm setup with an external monitor and mouse and four additional USB ports. I do wish it had USB-C though, that seems to be the connector for the future. With the Book, Pro, and Laptop it looks like Microsoft has all the bases covered for college students.
  • Doesn't look bad but the price seems a bit high. I'll probably grab a 2nd gen refurbished down the line when my OG Surface Pro finally bites the dust.
  • If your OG Surface Pro has survived this long than you'll be waiting a while.  I got tired of waiting for mine to die and got a SP4.  The original Surface Pro has been turned into a media device for the bedroom.
  • The markings on the side are for the antennas.
  • I don't see why everyone here is harping at the price.  While there's nothing special about this ultrabook, I find that it's priced very similar to other ultrabooks. Surface Laptop - i5 with 2265x1504 touch screen - Starts at $999 Lenovo Ideapad 710s - i5 with non-touch 1080p screen - Starts at $899 Dell XPS 13 - i5 with non-touch 1080p screen - Starts at $999 HP Spectre 13t - i5 with non-touch 1080p screen - Starts at $1179  
  • You get more spending same money on Macbook air... one of it's main targets.
  • Let me see the MB Air has: Older CPU, slightly smaller and much lower resolution screen, is heavier, does not support pen, doesn't have touch, nor SD card slot or facial recognition camera, same amount of RAM, same amount of storage, although likely slower.... Yeah, I can see you get a lot more from a Mac Book Air.....
  • Less RAM, I'll believe the MacBook Air is slower when i see reports, less ports, blah, blah, blah. Weight? you are crying about .1kg? Hit a gym. And Nutella's name is attached to this thing. Most people have zero faith in this hardware being backed anymore than the other Microsoft Hardware he has crapped on. I'm a Microsoft fan, but I'm not dumping the same amount of money into anything Microsoft with this idiot at the helm, when I can get something comparable from another company that has shown far more backing for their own products. No thank you.
  • As your purchasing decision has nothing to do with the device itself, commenting on the device seems pretty pointless.
  • Nutella Trumps Timmy Cook
  • Why?   HP Spectre 360 - i7, 8GB, 256GB, touch and pen input (pen included), 360 foldable screen (to, you know, make sense using the pen and touch in it), Windows 10 Pro - 1500€ Surface Laptop - i5, 8GB, 256GB, touch and pen input (pen NOT included), non-fondable screen, Windows 10 S-hitty - 1500€.   It's worse and more expensive than already existing Windows 10 devices. Why does it even exist?
  • Bro, you can upgrade to Pro for free until December 2017, actually is not an upgrade, is just a slider button that enables Pro functionality, on other laptops devices like Surface Pro 3/4 this already comes on Windows 10 Creators update, if you want you can convert your system today to Windows 10 S with 1 click of a button.
  • You can upgrade for free (yes, it's an upgrade. Windows 10 S-hitty also comes locked down to Edge as the default browser - even if there was another browser in the store - and that pathetic joke that is Bing as a search engine) IF you buy until the end of the year.
    If someone buys this in January 2018, they'll be paying a lot for a laptop with a crap version of Windows.
  • that spectre is heavier than the Surface Laptop no Windows hello, thanks but no thanks..and it has an HP logo on it not the premium Windows surface logo... millions pay for outdated iphones every year when they could get a more capable android for cheaper...no different here...
  • You must be drunk if you think HP doesn't do premium devices. And you clearly never saw the Spectre.
  • Dell XPS 13/15>>>>>Surface laptop.
  • Anyone what catch Dan saying it has SD slot?i think that's the charging port... Not SD
  • If you look at the specs for the device it has an SD Card slot.
  • Weird cause in the video it also shows it plugged in on that same port
  • Where? Don't see it... https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https2F%2Fclick.linksynergy.co...
  • I can't believe that someone from Windows Central thought the surface connect/power port was a SD card slot. If it really is SDCard then how does Dan think the device gets charged? 
  • Nice work Daniel..!!
  • So Microsoft actually had a hardware team available with budget to develop a new device and they said "I know what we need, let's go build a Windows Store locked $1,000 clamshell laptop!" Really?
    .
    They could have worked on a new wearable based on Window 10, or a new smart speaker system (not running Linux), or maybe a Windows 10 based iOT smart home controller ("Cortana... turn down the thermostat by 3 degrees"). Or, maybe (crazy right) some form of small handheld mobile device that ran Windows 10 but could use a SIM, and make phone calls (I hear they're popular). What about a Microsoft Surface Smart TV running Windows 10? If I can make up a few new ideas, I'm sure everyone can. But... No, no, no... they thought the best value for that hardware teams time and money was to go after the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre 13t? This company is lost... SMH
  • You do realize this was an education event... ? SMH.
  • Yea, no excuse either... SMH twice, then sigh and roll my eyes
  • Those things on the side are antennas for the WiFi and Bluetooth.   The laptops look nice BUT there's no way on earth they're worth 1170€ for the i5/4GB/128GB version nor 1500€ for the i5/8GB. Specially when they come with Windows 10 S-hitty.   For those 1500€ college students would be better served with the HP Spectre 360. Brings the same storage and RAM but a core i7, a pen, a 360 foldable screen and a decent version of Windows in it. I still haven't understood the reason for the Surface Laptop to exist, honestly. It has absolutely ZERO new stuff and ZERO aspirational stuff.
  • This is a nice laptop, especially for students. The only pause for me is the lack of USB C, but not a dealbreaker. Some might also want the screen to fold completely back, given the touch screen, but not an issue for me. 
  • 4Gb of Ram, No HDMI, No USB type C, crippled Windows 10 Slim edition and 999$. Dead on Arrival alert.
  • actually, win 10 pro until end of year
  • Drool worthy. Heading to a MS and check it out. Probably get one to add to my SB, SS, SP4.
  • great minds....
  • upvote for "piqued" not "peaked", Dan, THANKS. I see that far too often.   good video anyway mate. Where does one put the Surface Pen?
  • Microsoft is trying to relive its old glory days, when the PC was people's main computing device. The fact is, although people still own PCs for power intensive computing tasks, the phone is now the main computing device for most people. People spend most of their times on phones.
  • Hint: This is an education event. People actually need to do work in schools and a laptop of this form factor is perfect.
  • And in terms of education, the surface Pro is better than the surface laptop ,cause you can use pen in many ways,even though pen can be used on Surface Laptop,screen is just a laptop screen not a 2in1
  • beautiful device. the top model would probably be priced at 3500 in australia  
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  • Microsoft is doing well in every device category, except in the most important these days...Mobile.
  • Microsoft is dead on mobile phones, wearables, Smart TV's, smart speakers, car audio systems, home automation... if only there was OS that could run all of these devices while bringing together your digital ecosystem and your digital services.
    .
    As Nadella stated at the Wall Street Journal's WSJD Live conference, "We clearly missed the mobile phone, there's no question," Nadella said. "Our goal now is to make sure we grow new categories."
    .
    Nadella stated his innovative vision in the Business Insider interview, "So when we talk about Windows 10, it’s not about a device operating system anymore, it’s an operating system for all of your devices. That’s how we’re trying to not only tackle the innovative challenge of bringing new things to life, but also deal with the social complexity of a lot of devices in your life."
    .
    The only problem is that he's missed again. There already is "an operating system for all of your devices". It's easily and cheaply available in stores across the planet, and on all the devices I mentioned, it's Android.
    .
    Today, Nadella unveiled a $1,000 clamshell laptop.
  • You must be one of those people who think that the majority of the world care about those things you've mentioned, aside from mobile (who the hell gives a stuff about speakers, really?). The point of MS is setting the bar for OEMs.
  • Nice investment then, I'm sure the OEMs would have never thought of a clamshell laptop design.