Surface Laptop Se RenderSource: Microsoft

Microsoft has announced a new, low-cost Surface Laptop, codenamed Tenjin, and dubbed the Surface Laptop SE. It's a device designed for the K-8 education market, featuring low-end specs and not so premium design reach a vital price point $249

The education sector is rife with low-cost, low-power 11-inch laptops, and the Surface Laptop SE is supposed to fit right into that category. With low-end specs and materials, the device is officially Microsoft's most affordable Surface offering so that education establishments can buy and manage in bulk, handing them out to classrooms and students who need them.

Surface Laptop SE: Price and availability

Surface Laptop SE starts at $249 and is available to order through education channels only starting now and leading into 2022.

Surface Laptop SE: Specs

Category Surface Laptop SE
Operating System Windows 11 SE
Display 11.6 inches, 16:9 aspect ratio
1366x768 (135 ppi) resolution
TFT
Processor Intel Celeron N4020
Intel Celeron N4120
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 600
Memory 4GB DDR4
8GB DDR4
Storage 64GB eMMC
128GB eMMC
Expandable Storage None
Front Camera 1MP
Bio authentication None
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2x2), Bluetooth 5.0 LE
Ports 1x USB-A
1x USB-C
3.5mm headphone jack
Barrel-type DC port
Audio 2W stereo speakers
Single digital microphone
Battery Up to 16 hours
Dimensions 11.17 x 7.6 x 0.70 inches
Weight 2.45 lbs (1112.4g)
Colors Glacier

Surface Laptop SE ships with an Intel Celeron N4020 and N4120 CPU, with 4GB or 8GB RAM options, 64GB or 128GB storage, and an 11.6-inch 1366x768 display. The display is not touchscreen, which is a first for the Surface line.

Regarding ports, the Surface Laptop SE features one USB-A port, one USB-C port, a headphone jack, and a barrel-style AC port. The exterior is all plastic, with a full-sized laptop keyboard and trackpad borrowed from the Surface Laptop Go.

It's fair to say that this is not a powerful or premium laptop, but that's by design. This is a laptop designed for kids in a classroom environment, passed between students all throughout the day.

Surface Laptop SE: Who is it for?

Surface Laptop Se RenderSource: Microsoft

Microsoft has built Surface Laptop SE for schools buying laptops in bulk to hand out to students in classrooms and to take home. This is a PC for kids in kindergarten all the way up to grade 8, which explains the low-end specs and plastic design. This laptop is more than equipped enough for student work in this age range.

It's important to stress that Surface Laptop SE does not compete with "consumer facing" laptops on the market. You can get way more capable and "nicer" laptops for more money which have been built with more general audiences in mind such as the Surface Go or Surface Laptop Go.

But with a starting price of $249, the Surface Laptop SE is the most affordable Surface yet. Microsoft says it's only available to buy through education channels, meaning normal consumers won't be able to grab one of these anyway. This laptop is designed to be bought in bulk by education establishments for deployment to classrooms and students with OS configurations specific to their school.

Surface Laptop SE: Windows 11 SE

Surface Laptop SE ships with a new edition of Windows 11 called Windows 11 SE, designed specifically for education PCs. This is not an edition of Windows that you'll find on normal consumer or professional grade PCs, as it's a SKU that only hardware makers can order to pre-load onto devices designed specifically for the low-end education sector.

It features optimizations, tweaks, and policy changes designed for the education sector. Some of the tweaks made to Windows 11 SE include limiting the multitasking/snapping options to just side-by-side, locking down access to This PC in the File Explorer, and much more. Windows 11 SE PCs are required to be Intune managed too.