Microsoft's Surface Laptop has caused some confusion among Surface fans, because it's the first Surface device that doesn't really do anything unique compared to other devices in its field. A lot of people think that's a bad thing and can't seem to understand why the Surface Laptop even exists.
The Surface Laptop isn't for the normal demographic that Surface usually targets when creating a new device. The Surface Pro, Surface Book and Surface Studio are all products aimed at very niche markets, such as creators. The Surface Pro targets the largest market, professionals. Apart from that, the Surface line has a very specific group of people in mind.
Surface Laptop demographic
But with the Surface Laptop, all of that changes. The Laptop is the first Surface device from Microsoft that's targeting a much wider market: college students and "normal" users. The Surface Laptop is the Windows equivalent of the Apple MacBook, designed for a much more common and normal market compared to, say, the Surface Book.
And this, in part, explains why the Surface Laptop doesn't really do anything out of the norm. It doesn't detach or flip around or have any "special" function; it's a straight-up simple laptop. It rocks a super unique and interesting design, however, making it one of the best-looking and premium-feeling laptops on the market. But apart from that, it's literally just a laptop.
And that's not a bad thing.
If Microsoft is trying to target the widest possible audience with the Surface Laptop, it needs to make a generic device, for lack of a better word. The Surface Laptop is arguably just that — Microsoft's typical, generic Surface device to pull new audiences in on the platform. It's for a much wider audience, and that's an important thing to keep in mind when comparing the Surface Laptop to other Surface devices on the market.
Microsoft fully anticipates the Surface Laptop will become its most successful and popular Surface device, and that's not so hard to believe. As mentioned above, the Surface Pro, Book and Studio are all aimed at somewhat niche markets, so for the Surface Laptop to become the most popular Surface, all it'd need to do is be aimed at a much wider, general audience. And then, of course, people need to buy it.
So, the fact that it doesn't do anything unique or special is by design. It's supposed to be a typical laptop. Surface Laptop isn't just an aspirational device for new Windows 10 S devices, it's an actual device people will want to buy. What's more, if you buy it before the end of the year, you get a free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, which is another incentive to grab one sooner rather than later.
The Surface Laptop doesn't signify the death of the Surface brand's uniqueness, however. Microsoft will still refine and improve upon its Surface Pro, Surface Book and Surface Studio lines, as well as introduce new Surface products in the future. Surface Laptop is just another product in the Surface family.
Surface Pro, Surface Book, Surface Studio, and now, Surface Laptop. That's the new Surface family.