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Is the Surface Laptop's faster 512GB SSD worth the extra cost?

The Surface Laptop with a Core i5 processor and 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) for storage was the most widely reviewed model across the tech press. I followed up our in-depth review with a look at how the Core i7 variant with Iris Plus graphics improved upon the experience.

Starting on June 30, the top of the line 512GB Core i7 model with 16GB of RAM became available in select markets. The question many had was if that larger SSD was any better than the 256GB version.

Today, we'll find out.

Manufacturers differ between 256 and 512GB

As I noted in my Surface Laptop review, the 512GB SSD found in the top-tier differs from the 256 and 128GB versions.

Specifically, the 128 and 256GB SSDs are made by Toshiba (THNSN) while the 512GB model is Samsung (KUS040202M) commonly referred to as the PM971. That Samsung drive is the same that is found in the new Surface Pro as well. Both options are soldered directly to the motherboard, ideally reducing overhead and saving power too without the need for a space-consuming removable module.

Here is how they differ on paper, according to the manufacturers:

Surface Laptop SSD types

DeviceSequential ReadSequential Write
Toshiba THNSNUp to 900 MB/sUp to 200 MB/s
Samsung PM971Up to 1,500 MB/sUp to 900 MB/s

Those are, however, theoretical speeds – hence the "up to" bit – achievable only under ideal conditions. Additionally, things like firmware and driver revisions can affect such scores on a real PC. Microsoft is likely sourcing two different SSD brands for a few reasons, including just supply and demand. In fact, almost every laptop I have tested in the last two years has different SSD manufacturers often for the same amount of storage.

Without diving too deep into why SSD manufacturers can vary between models, it is common industry practice (except for Apple, who uses a custom storage controller and chips from Samsung, works in lower volumes than most PC manufacturers, and in using a custom solution isn't competing for a limited supply). Many companies, therefore, choose to substitute parts with equivalent options instead of delaying sales to consumers. Most users will never notice a speed difference in their SSD, so the PC make would rather ship with chips from other suppliers than put a popular product on backorder. Most of the time such swaps don't matter much, but sometimes they do.

See Surface Laptop at Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Synthetic benchmarks reveal a fast 512GB drive

In using CrystalDiskMark to bench the two SSDs, we can see there are some significant differences across the board. Generally, I just report sequential read and write speeds as 4K random is more dependent on environmental factors like drivers. For this analysis, however, I'll publish all four bench tests that included random and sequential results. The tests were run multiple times with the highest score chosen for each category.

CrystalDiskMark – Surface Laptop 256GB vs 512GB

CategoryToshiba ReadToshiba WriteSamsung ReadSamsung Write
Seq Read (Q32T1)649 MB/s247MB/s1,664 MB/s974 MB/s
Rand Read (4KQ32T1)168 MB/s56 MB/s500 Mb/s386 MB/s
Seq Read477 Mb /s243 MB/s899 MB/s966 MB/s
Rand Read 4K19 MB/s42 MB/s43 MB/s130 MB/s

The outcomes speak for themselves. On average, the 512GB Samsung SSD is going to be more than twice as fast for read and write times compared to the 256GB Toshiba drive. The results are especially telling for write speeds – which are used far less often than read – where the Samsung triples the Toshiba's write abilities.

For some context, it is common to find a 512GB SSD to be faster than a 256GB version. The reason is related to the structure of PCIe NVMe drives — they frequently feature a pair of 256GB NAND chips operating in parallel, versus the single chip reading and writing bytes in smaller SSDs. That is the reason why larger SSDs are typically faster than smaller ones.

That doesn't, however, fully explain the enormous jump in SSD performance here.

Looking at Toshiba's tech paper on the 512GB THNSNxxxxGTYA reveals that drive only has top speeds of 950MB/s for sequential reads and 400 MB/s for sequential writes. In other words, had Microsoft sourced the same SSD used in the 256GB version as the 512GB the performance would have only been marginally better. But because the Samsung PM971 is a faster drive at any speed compared to the Toshiba, it outperforms it in all tests at all storage sizes. So why didn't Microsoft use the 512GB Toshiba drive? There are plenty of potential reasons, from the drive not being available in the quantities Microsoft wants, Samsung offering a better price at 512GB than Toshiba, or Microsoft giving those willing to fork out for the increased storage (and the 16GB of RAM that comes with it) increased read and write speeds for the price.

Looking at sequential read and write times across all Surface devices for greater context, we can see where the 512GB Surface Laptop falls:

CrystalDiskMark (higher is better)

DeviceSSD SizeReadWrite
Surface Pro512GB1,284 MB/s963 MB/s
Surface Book1TB1,018 MB/s967 MB/s
Surface Laptop512GB899 MB/s966 MB/s
Surface Pro256GB847MB/s801 MB/s
Surface Laptop256GB486 MB/s244 MB/s

Interestingly, even when controlling for the same SSDs, the Surface Pro is still significantly faster for read times than the Surface Laptop even with the same CPU and GPU. That suggests there may be optimizations yet for what the Surface Laptop is capable of with some driver updates down the road – or it may be just some different hardware differences with their controllers.

Does the speed matter?

For some users, they will want the absolute best performance they can buy. In that regard, one should opt for the Surface Laptop with Core i7, 16GB of RAM and that faster 512GB SSD. Of course, that model is the only one with 16GB of RAM, which is the other selling point for that version.

A word of caution, however. Although the benchmarks here reveal a significant difference in real-world applications, the results will be less intense. For instance, in an ordinary task like copying a large file from a USB thumb drive to the Surface Laptop does not yield any differences.

In this test, I used a SanDisk Extreme 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive, which itself has very fast read and write speeds, to push the Surface Laptop. The file transferred was a 2.96GB ZIP.

A large file transfer via USB did not reveal performance benefits with the Samsung SSD.

A large file transfer via USB did not reveal performance benefits with the Samsung SSD.

Both SSDs transferred the file at a sustained 226 MB/s to the Surface Laptop concluding the task in about 13 seconds. There were no differences between the two. The 512GB Samsung SSD is certainly faster in a vacuum, but there are other bottlenecks that will prevent it from ever reaching the theoretical max speeds.

There are some other situations like video rendering where writing to disk could be better for video output. Moving larger files around on the drive could also be better with the 512GB model, but these are niche cases for many users. When it comes to launching apps, games, or even doing relatively large file transfers the differences between the 256GB and 512GB models will be difficult to discern.

Wrap-up: Surface Laptop Core i7 and 512GB is the fastest

It should make sense that if you are going to lay down $2,199 for the top-tier Surface Laptop with Core i7, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage it gets the best overall performance compared to the lower tier models. And that is what we find in looking at the one differing feature between the two Core i7 variants – the SSD.

Other benchmarks relating to CPU and GPU performance don't differ with the i7 models as the SSD rarely affects such tests.

While the Samsung SSD is faster on paper, it is unlikely that such differences will translate into discernable experiences – at least for most users. That's not to say the 512GB model doesn't have more "pep" - I think it does - but it's not a dramatic difference either. Let's face it, any PCIe NVMe SSD is "fast" compared to most systems. Those pushing boundaries of the Surface Laptop may come across a particular situation where the Samsung SSD is "better," but it's not evident this drive is something to gnash teeth over if you're on the 256GB model.

At least if you do plan to grab the best Surface Laptop, you know what you are getting for your money. Whether the $600 premium you pay for 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage is worth it over the $1,599 model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is a personal one. All else being equal — including price — there is no downside with the highest tier.

See Surface Laptop at Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

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.

80 Comments
  • No, these devices and many of them (laptops, pros,books,studios) are way to expensive already. Surface laptop is a unnessesary device with cheap alcantara which is for furnitures and boating. They dont sell at all in my country but pros have some demand
  • Tell me how to convince a buyer that i5, 4Gb, 128Gb ssd for 1200€ is worth buying? Is MS taking advantage of some cheap alcantara?. Atleast they are not selling here. There are better options at that price point here.
  • Ask Apple. They've been doing it for years. Seems like your projecting your budget constraints onto everyone. Have you tried or used Surface Laptop? it's impressive hardware. Is a $90K car "worth buying"? These are silly questions in free market to ask, sorry. I feel you are just venting, but if I gave you a Surface Laptop you'd be fine with it. Anyway, glad I put all this hard work into benchmarks and analysis for you to ignore and dismiss it. Thanks.
  • I'm not complaining at your works, I'm just being realistic as a consumer outside US. A 90k car aint either worth buying.... And yes I'm venting when there are hilarious price settings compared to the markets in the US. Therefore I sad it isnt worth buying because of expensive specwise too other brands.
  • Couldn't agree more.  Your points are all valid and should be respected, not diminished and re-framed in the narrow-mindedness of the Microsoft hardware cult vs. Apple hardware cult.
  • Rather funny you mention narrow mindedness then generalize a group of people as a "cults". Here's the difference though: PC users have dozens of similar Ultrabooks to buy instead of the Surface Laptop. So, the point is moot. You don't like it? Can't afford it? Here, buy one of the two dozen other choices on the market instead. Apple, OTOH, is locked to THEIR hardware, so users need to justify the price since they have no choice. Everyone here is uses Windows 10 _has a choice_. So, just use it and stop denigrating others who are fine with spending their money on this hardware. You're no better than those who mock low-end PCs because "they're junk".
  • Funny how you think it's all about your narrative. There is a cult following that does not require some phantom generalization you seem to have convinced yourself is being made. The cult behaviors are clear. We don't need your permission to talk about them.
  • Why compare to Apple? The only other brand that likes to gauge customers even more then Microsoft; how about compare it to other PC makers, like Dell, HP, Asus, Lenovo, etc.. and not a Mac maker. Just look at how the original Surface Pro 1 was priced, compared to how the latest Surface Pro 5 is; the prices have just gone to insane land at Microsoft.  
  • Because Microsoft is not competing not trying to undercut their PC partners; just look at the Surface ads...who do they target Dell or Apple? It's Apple. It's been that was since 2012 this is not new or news. Yes, the Surface Laptop is meant to compete with the MacBook Air, not an XPS 13. YOU may compare it to the XPS 13 or HP Spectre and decide "better value", which is fine. Microsoft is not trying to put their partners out of business. Again, nothing I have said here is unique or new. Been that way for years.
  • I'm a window's programmer and after have crap problems with Dell computers in the Earliy 2000's I decided to give Apple computerrs a try due to the design.    I really have liked their reliability and always ran VMWare fusion to anything windows related.   But I really like the designs of the New Surface Pro and Surface Laptop.   I'll definately be picking up the SP with LTE in the fall.   I think the SP line has helped raise the designs and quality of microsoft's OEM partners.     (I'm looking forward to the Alcantera Keyboard in Maroon.    Aluminum has gotten boring.  Apple knows this too thats why some laptops come in Grey and Rose Gold) By the way Daniel, this article is great.   Good to know there is another advantage to the i7 with the faster drive to make up for the fan.  
  • Aside from Apple also comparing directly with PC's which include Microsoft, consumers do it too. These aren't being compared because they simply feel like it and had been going on for years and years. Microsoft themselves don't represent all OEMs but all OEMs will sell devices that have windows 10 on it. To consumers that doesn't matter though, one bad experience with a particular OEM and they'll usually generalize their experience to the OS itself too.
  • "Ask Apple"
    When the high road should be taken in considering the thoughts of another human being, trot out the robotic strawman argument instead.  Well done.
  • Not a straw man, it's at realistic market force that Microsoft is competing against. It's fact. Counter it.
  • "Not a straw man, it's at realistic market force that Microsoft is competing against. It's fact. Counter it."
    You don't have a point to counter. The person who made the comment was neither talking about Apple nor the erroneous twist on market forces that you prefer to trot out. That's your agenda. You completely diminished the commentor's concerns in favor of your own, as if your thinking is what should frame the commentor's interests.
  • .
  • If you can't afford it, or you're not interested, just let it be man. No one's forcing anyone to get anything :-) The world is full of so many different people with different tastes and personalities. It's free choice, take your pick and let me take mine.
  • Yeah exactly thats why we are only venting👍
  • Why vent? Plenty of computers priced in $300-500 range. Live in a poor country? We don't care. Go blame your government.
  • We are having much better here than you have, but probably much more taxes, bettr healthcare, education, descent sallarys ....yes I live in Finland and we are not a poor land.
  • @hellstrm_robert is wrong and @Daniel Rubino is correct. This isn't even really a matter of opinion. Market clearing prices are, by definition, the prices at which customers want to buy the same quantity as producers have to sell. That's Econ 101. If customers won't buy the Surface Laptop, then it's priced too high for the perceived value held by customers as a group. If they do buy it, it's a good deal for what it is. Period. Any other attempts to defend or criticize the price are just noise. Further, MS is in an unusual situation in that they are not trying to profit maximize sales of the device in question. They are trying to profit maximize Microsoft, which means helping their OEMs sell Windows systems profitably too. In this case, if MS can release a high-end system and price it for relatively low volume at the high end (where Apple also happens to operate), it actually helps their OEMs (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, etc.). @hellstrm_robert, is inadvertently proving Microsoft's wisdom -- he simultaneously denies Apple is the price-competitor, which means that he is comparing alternative Windows machines, which he finds to be good deals in contrast to the Surface. Ergo, MS has succeeded in making other Windows systems seem like good deals.
  • Microsoft pats themselves on the back for all the fancy engineering for surface hinges, cooling, optical stack yet they can’t be bothered to design it with a door on the back/bottom to make the SSD field replaceable. It’s just a money grab and a big reason they failed moving into corporate/enterprise sales with surface.
  • Lol, you forgot education upper level👍
  • Have you been to any US colleges? They are litered with Apple MacBooks and MBPs. I fail to see your point.
  • Yes, who would have thought - a company trying to be profitable and make money.
    Absolute madness. They should make this stuff at a loss, and post it to your house by your logic?
  • Actually, a few companies including Huawei, Apple, and Samsung are using soldered on SSDs for two reasons (1) thinner devices with more battery (2) most normal people NEVER SWITCH OUT SSDS. I mean, come on already. You'll be seeing much more soldered-on SSDs in the future because niche power users do not determine nor drive the mass consumer market. It's that simple.
  • And there is why we don’t see Huawei, Samsung, and apple dominating on corporate campuses. I don’t believe for a second that making an M.2 storage device field replaceable would have held them back from thin and light design goals. It’s 100% to ensure the upsell to the marked up SKU’s. As for “most normal people”, well then the addition would not have hurt them while at the same time helping Microsoft play in the biz/enterprise space where the IT department might “come on already” need to swap a drive out from time to time.
  • As for “most normal people”, well then the addition would not have hurt them while at the same time helping Microsoft play in the biz/enterprise space where the IT department might “come on already” need to swap a drive out from time to time.
    Exactly!
  • "I don't believe for a second" I'll leave the justifications to the engineers who make and design the components. As far as "corporate campuses" what has that to do with anything here? HP, Lenovo, and Dell both make a wide array of PCs for that market that meets that market's needs. Surface Laptop is not going against the X1 Carbon or HP EliteBook, which have vastly more features focused on enterprise and security.
  • Well then, lets have you talk to the Microsoft engineers about your caviler technobabble statement on power and overhead (whatever overhead is in this context I don’t know). How much ideal power savings do we get from soldering down a module over M.2? “ideally reducing overhead and saving power too without the need for a space-consuming removable module.”
  • Actually, Panos told me that himself in person when he showed me the Surface Pro back in early May. Having a separate module to power e.g. TB3 does use more power, plus it's also larger taking up room that can be used for a larger battery. The Surfaces are packed so tightly that you cannot even fit a credit card between components. So yeah, space is premium in these. Whether you believe any of this is not my concern. You seem content to armchair engineer this discussion, so you do you. I'll go with what I learn when I interview and talk to the teams behinds these devices.
  • Even worse is the battery not being removable; when that thing dies, you can pretty much trash the whole system, because there is no way to replace it.
  • Honest question: Do you think people who can afford this, and I mean really afford it, the kind who just buy it and have no issue throwing down $2K...even care? I think people who financially struggle to make this purchase would care.
  • There are rich people, who might not care; Then there are rich people who care, and most importantly middle class people who care a lot because they don't like wasting money throwing out something that is still working just because the battery died. Middle class people can afford it if they save money for some time, but that also means they want as much use out of the expensive investment as possible; non-removable battery destroys that proposition. And telling them to just get some other lower end device is an insult, because why should they not have that one nice piece of tech like other who can afford it without hesitation? As an example, I still have my 10+ year old higher end laptop that I used at uni, few years ago I gave it to my parents who just need a laptop to browse the web and use office, the thing still works perfectly, just had to buy a new battery, which was not a problem, got one from amazon for $30; now if that was a Surface, 10 years on, I would be ****-out-of-luck because the battery would be dead and there was no way to replace it; now that is a waste of a lot of resources trashing a perfectly good tablet/PC just because of poor design having a solid built in battery. Companies should take some environmental responsibility and stop making devices that can be used for 2 or 3 years and they go to the dump; that is what is killing this planet and companies like Microsoft should take some corporate responsibility to try to eliminate the problem of tech waste, not make it worse. Maybe that is something you could research for your next article. ;)  
  • -->Surface trade-in program. Took 2 seconds to Bing. "Microsoft encourages the recycling of rechargeable batteries and is working in conjunction with Call 2 Recycle to provide customers with a cost free and convenient recycling program. To learn more about battery recycling and to find the nearest return location visit www.call2recycle.org or call 1-877-2-RECYCLE. "
  • Tech waste is a fact of life. It started with the light bulb over a hundred years ago. Everything is disposable in this world, even us.
  • Hey Dan! Wasn't MS targeting students, education with this device? Do they have 2k to throw away? Probably loans over their ears for their education, dont think so👍 Sorry dont take it that hard this time👍....or is it only MS that dont have a clear vision to handle their enterprise?
    I gladly help paying my childrens school and besides that I'm paying my houseloans monthly, so I cant afford devices like this ones, there you are right👍Right now Im using a Lenovo, 12Gb Ram, amd10, 240ssd bought for 250€ used and enjoy it fully
  • I suggest you actually visit a college campus in the U.S. Students regularly buy Apple products including iPads AND MacBooks for college. That is the issue, in fact. Many younger people get a Mac for college and STAY on a Mac because they are familiar with it. Coffee shops are littered with 20-somethings and Macs, not beat up thick Lenovos. And yes, the DO put it on their Student Loans because often colleges sell you the laptop thru the store and it can be added to your school account. It is like that for the last 10-15 years. Seriously, what is a $2k laptop vs $1k on an $120K education? You think people mince over that? So, you are wrong there. What you can afford, what you deem as "value" is your call, but the free market ultimately decides the fate and value of a product, not individuals.
  • Lol, you have to do something to that expensive school system! What education will you get for 120k? I managed with app.7.5-11k 20 years ago tho and got graduation as building engineer
  • Microsoft was targeting students with Windows 10S. The Surface Laptop is just reference hardware that is purposefully over-priced so Microsoft's partners have room in the market for their devices. Microsoft isn't looking to sell a ton of hardware. They just want to keep their partners sharp.
  • This. Others are really overthinking all of this stuff.
  • Hey bleach, spot on.
  • Thanks for the well informed, well analysed article. The quality of articles both in terms of technical and liveliness are great here. Lovin' it!
  • Thanks. Was a lot of work on this one, glad someone here is getting something out of it ;)
  • Yea, Dan, thanks for replying. The article quality in Windows Central is now One of the Best on the internet nowadays. It's great to see you guys get recognised more and more. This kind of unique article shows how far you guys have come. All the best~
  • It may worth the extra cost with both ssd and ram upgrade, but not the total cost...
  • Not anytime soon in my country!
  • Loving my Surface Laptop and no complaints yet.
  • My HP x360, 1TB Samsung SSD PM961 runs quite well.  The larger the SSD the faster generally. Will users notice a difference for daily tasks, no.  But given the drive is soldered on the board, you have to get the size you can live with forever now.   -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    CrystalDiskMark 5.2.1 x64 (UWP) (C) 2007-2017 hiyohiyo
                               Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    * MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
    * KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes    Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) :  3073.650 MB/s
      Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) :  1763.816 MB/s
      Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) :   341.377 MB/s [ 83344.0 IOPS]
     Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) :   363.849 MB/s [ 88830.3 IOPS]
             Sequential Read (T= 1) :  1634.038 MB/s
            Sequential Write (T= 1) :  1699.134 MB/s
       Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) :    40.843 MB/s [  9971.4 IOPS]
      Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) :   112.544 MB/s [ 27476.6 IOPS]   Test : 1024 MiB [C: 76.2% (718.0/942.2 GiB)] (x5)  [Interval=5 sec]
      Date : 2017/07/06 12:45:55
        OS : Windows 10 Enterprise [10.0 Build 15063] (x64)
     
  • When comparing speed, this is not an apples to apples comparison since the manufacturers change. Typically, larger SSDs are using some form of RAID: i.e. 2 of the same 256 NAND boards with a controller doing striping between them. It's much more complicated than that, but comparing the others sizes of each within both manufacturers. This would help yield the differences in features and performance at each size. Obviously, if speed is the only factor, bigger is better
  • I only know of one "popular" laptop that uses a RAID SSD: The $4K Razer Blade Pro. What you are describing is what I mention: multiple NAND chips running parallel. That's not quite the same as RAID.
  • nearly every msi notebook has ssd raid on board. use msi since years. great article btw
  • GTK, oddly the one MSI I have is SSD/HDD :/
  • I would rather have a removable drive, even if it takes up a bit more space.
  • Unfortunately soldered ssds are becoming a trend in laptops and tablets. And that prevents you from upgrading the storage.
  • Lol $600 extra for it, who in their right mind would pay that, when you can get a Samsung 960 PRO Series - 512GB PCIe NVMe for $300;  
  • You are literally making the argument that DIY and upgrading PCs yourself vs. buying prefab is cheaper. The same argument that has been valid since 1982. We all know doing your own upgrades is cheaper, but that's not the point for many regular people who (a) have no idea how to do that (b) have no desire to do that (c) have enough money to care about such things. It's like telling someone who pays for a cleaner to clean their house that's it's cheaper to just do it yourself. Yeah, of course, but that misses the point of why people hire cleaners in the first place (a) they can afford it (b) they want the convenience. I'm sorry, but so many of you here in comments live in a tech bubble that is very unlike the real world of computer users and consumers. You're PRO-sumer, recognize that. Go up to any regular human and say a "Samsung 960 PRO Series - 512GB PCIe NVMe for $300" and see their expression.
  • We have this car to sell and welded the rims on, we could not have possibly used lug nuts and made the vehicle as thin and light otherwise. It comes in two trims, trim A with 15” rims is $25,000. Trim B with 18” rims $45,000. Aftermarket 18” rims are $2000 but you can’t install those. That’s the proposition. Saying everyone is not a pro, or apple does too changes nothing.
  • That is not the proposition. People change tires regularly and often, people do not swap out laptop batteries or SSDs often. It's niche. Changing tires is not niche. The proposition is this: Does Microsoft sell enough of these to people to make money? Are they well reviewed? Do people give good reviews and buy Surface products again? Debating in comments is nothing compared to what the market reveals. So, let's see.
  • Rims dan, rims, get it right. most people dont swap out rims either but we dont weld them to the wheel hub so the car gets thrown in the trash when one gets bent.
  • Bad analogy. You can't change the tires if the rims don't come off. The life of the car far exceeds the tire, so tires need replacement. Besides, a computer is only a few thousand dollars, basically not worth repairing yourself.
  • Not a fair comparison. It's more like how many people are going to buy a car and change out the cam shaft?
  • An SSD is field replaceable, so is a rim/tire. A cam is not. Try again.
  • I think you miss the point on this one Daniel. He is absolutely right about the cost differential. It is a way to get higher profit margins for options that they know consumers will want... The reality is if Microsoft went to Samsung and said "I want to buy 50 million 960 Pro's to stick in our laptops" Samsung would be happy to sell them to Microsoft at a bulk discount significantly less than they charge the consumer market simply because of the volume. These deals happen all the time. While it makes perfect sense for Microsoft to charge an upgrade cost of $600 when people are willing pay it... It still leaves a sour taste in the mouth of those that know what similar components cost... And since most of us that know that information are the same people who purchase the high end equipment (not the $400 Dell laptop at BestBuy) it does pose a bit of an issue.
  • The problem I have here is this: People are trying to determine the VALUE of the Surface Laptop across the board, as opposed to a personal opinion. It's fine to say "I don't think Surface Laptop is worth it for me" another to say "Surface Laptop is not worth it for me...nor anyone else" The funny part is it's all pointless. We have a free market to determine the value of goods, not individuals in comments on a tech site. If Microsoft sells these, makes money, and people are happy then the VALUE is worth it for the market. If, otoh, it flops, people don't buy them, and are unsatisfied, THEN AND ONLY THEN is the value determined as negative.
  • Fair point; but I still think its hard to justify the more then double price tag by Microsoft; sure make it bit more expensive, I have no issue with that; but $300+ on top of what the components cost by themselves, and that is already taking into account Samsung is making decent profit on the $300 price tag. I just can't see how such a huge price hike can be justified for any reason, and still come of as non-scummy.  
  • I'm quite positive I can make the same argument, however, for literally all luxury items in existence. Have you seen NYC fashion shops that sell raggy t-shirts for $240? Not hard to find. There's a reason why these things exist though.
  • I never heard of a Samsung 960 pro before.
  • Is it worth it? Not really for the general public. For business, maybe if you can make a usage case for it like needing lots of apps. If