The student demographic is probably some of the toughest consumer crowd for tech companies like Google, Microsoft and co to break into.
Products that they demand must be stylish, functional, and mostly affordable.
For most students they are often stuck with bulky, under-powered machines that pretty more or less gets the job done.
Microsoft wants to change that.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop
Since the Surface Studio, it is clear that Microsoft isn’t afraid to use its Surface brand for things other than the signature convertible Surface Pro and Book devices which it is known for.
Today the Surface Laptop joins the family, and Microsoft wants this to be a full out laptop designed for the college student.
You cannot detach the screen from the keyboard on this one, so think of it as a Surface Pro 4 with its type cover stuck on. That’s because the Surface Laptop features the same fabric-lined keyboard as the one in the Surface Pro 4.
This new device is a beautifully chiseled piece of aluminium that weighs just 1.3kg, perfect for undergrads to lug it around campus, and with its 14.5 hours of battery life, is guaranteed to last a full day of classes and lectures.
Depending on your budget, you can expect the latest Intel 7th generation Kaby Lake i5 or i7, 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB of RAM, and 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB in storage.
That’s the only difference between between the different configurations, all other specifications are the same, and as with any Surface, touchscreen comes as a standard.
On that note, student gamers, don’t expect to play the latest top-shelf games on this beautiful thing – they do not come with any discrete Nvidia or AMD graphic cards.
The Surface Laptop is available now in the US and prices start from US$999, and in four colours – Platinum, Burgundy, Cobalt Blue, and Graphite Gold.
Introducing The Microsoft Windows 10 S
Microsoft also took the opportunity to also announce an all new operating system to be shipped with the Surface Laptop.
Called the Windows 10 S, many are billing it as the direct competitor to Google’s Chrome OS for laptops.
In a nutshell, this is a version of Windows 10 that even laptops with low-end hardware can fully utilise, and the OS in itself is geared towards the education market.
The Windows Store will be central in Microsoft’s new OS as new programs will need to be downloaded and installed from it. For students, they will by default have the education version of Minecraft and Microsoft Office 365 for free.
If the Surface Laptop and its US$999 price tag is a little too hard for you to swallow, Microsoft says that upcoming laptops running the Windows 10 S will cost as low as US$189.
The Surface Line Grows
With the quiet disappearance of the Surface (RT), we were wondering when would Microsoft announce something that would fill that disappointing void.
Well they now have one, and it’s a beautifully crafted one at that.
The Surface Laptop joins the Surface Studio, Surface Books, and the Surface Pro that started it all, in an ever expanding family of devices designed to rethink the way someone sees a Windows powered device.
We truly hope Microsoft brings this device to this part of the world. The success of the Surface Pro should warrant enough interest that the markets here do want a piece of the Surface action.
Up until now, there is no mention of the Surface Book and Surface Studio in Singapore, let alone in Asia probably given how in-demand these are in other parts of the world
We’re waiting on you Microsoft, make it happen. We want the full Surface experience.