Microsoft is building a new midrange Surface clamshell PC with a 12.5-inch display

Surface Laptop 3 13.5
Surface Laptop 3 13.5 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • A new, midrange Surface laptop is in the works.
  • It features a smaller footprint with a 12.5-inch display.
  • Pricing will begin between $500 and $600.

Microsoft has seen success with its budget friendly Surface Go tablet thanks to its $399 starting price, and it appears the company is hoping to further capitalize on that success with another price conscious Surface PC, this time in the form of a laptop. Codenamed Sparti, I'm told that Microsoft is working on a lightweight midrange clamshell PC designed with students in mind.

According to my sources, Sparti has a 12.5-inch display with a 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB storage in the entry-level model. It'll ship with Windows 10 in S mode and be priced somewhere between $500 and $600. I'm told that Sparti is being positioned as a more affordable Surface Laptop, similar to how Microsoft positions the Surface Go alongside the Surface Pro today.

Microsoft is essentially bringing a "Surface Laptop Go" to market with Sparti, featuring a slightly smaller footprint and significantly lower starting price compared to the actual Surface Laptop which begins at $999. Sparti will hit the market during a time where people are spending less money as a result of the ongoing pandemic, so a new lower priced midrange Surface device couldn't come at a better time.

If the information I have is correct, Sparti will fill a pricing gap between Surface Go and Surface Pro, which start at $399 and $749 respectively. With Sparti coming in somewhere in the $500 range, Microsoft will have a Surface offering of some kind in all major price brackets. Sparti is going to be Microsoft's answer to the Google Pixelbook Go, which plays nicely into its ongoing Chromebook compete strategy.

Sources who have had eyes on engineering prototypes say Sparti looks and feels like a typical Surface product, meaning Microsoft hasn't compromised on build quality to achieve a lower price. It's also very lightweight, and its smaller display means the overall device size is more compact, making it a great travel laptop.

I hear that Sparti will be announced alongside a handful of other Surface products and accessories, some codenames of which have already leaked, in the October timeframe. For now, what are your thoughts on the idea of a possible "Surface Laptop Go" from Microsoft? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads