Microsoft Surface Laptop Review
Microsoft has been attracting its customers by manufacturing more hardware, apparently, the company has introduced a touchscreen clamshell laptop. The latest Microsoft Surface Laptops is more affordable and even more non-detachable version of the Surface Book.
Although any person of any profession can use these laptops Microsoft has specially manufactured these laptops for students, obviously, it is not a Chromebook or cheap laptop rival but the company proposed discount for eligible ones.
It is probably as best Windows version of Surface family, as these laptops are thin, light and even having good decent performance along with good battery life.
|CPU||7th-generation Intel Core i5 7200U|
|Operating Systems||Windows 10 S|
|RAM Upgradable to||16GB|
|Hard Drive Size||128GB /256GB|
|Hard Drive Type||SSD|
|Display Size||13.5 inches|
|Highest Available Resolution||2256 x 1504|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 4.0 LE|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Headset jack|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Mini DisplayPort|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Thunderbolt 3|
|Size||12.13” x 8.79” x .57”|
|Battery Life||14.5 hours of video playback|
Pros & Cons
|Captivating design||SSD on the slow side|
|A Bright and colorful display||A Fan can get loud|
|Comfortable keyboard||Colors cost extra|
|Very good battery life||Windows 10 S has several limitations|
|Nearly instant face recognition login|
There are four different versions to choose from so, to an extent, you can customise what you want in terms of the processor, memory, and storage. We’ll look at these in detail in the hardware section below.
But in the US, the starting price of these laptops is $999 and ends at $2,199. The cheapest version of these laptops will cost you almost $1323.82 and it is clear that large no of users won’t be able to get them.
However, the latest Surface Pro is affordable at price $1057.73 but the Surface is not much worse if you can afford buying Huawei MateBook X at $1852.02, the Acer Swift 7 at $1322.49 and the MacBook Air at $1256.30.
The Surface Book is having a very similar look just like normal laptops but its screen is very powerful and has all processing powers as it contains a clever mechanism which separates it from Keyboard.
These laptops look more attractive just because of a conventional clamshell design along with a fixed hinge. This is what you can expect from a normal laptop.
Just like MacBook Air, these laptops are having a faded design which makes these laptops 14.5mm and 7mm at thicker and thinner ends respectively.
Read More: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Moreover, the company has made it lightweight as it weighs almost 1.25Kg which makes these more portable as compared to all other laptops. As always, the Surface family is one of a recognizable laptop family in the market as these laptops are having a stylish design.
These laptops feature aluminum casing which is quite similar to rival machines like Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air but the mirrored Windows logo on the lid is the main difference between them. But, both appear to be more professional and fashionable at the same time.
The stand-out feature in laptops’ design is that it should be an Alcantara fabric cover which al round the laptop which gives it a similar look just like Surface Pro 4 Type cover and it suspects that the company keeps it luxurious.
The Microsoft Surface comes in four colors, the one I am reviewing is having a grey color, all other colors include Graphite Gold, Burgundy and Cobalt Blue. The aluminum matches the grey color perfectly.
Below is gold version:
And this one is Blue:
It is even not a bad thing to use Keyboard from the Surface Pro. In the chassis of Surface Laptop, these machines are capable of providing a smooth, bouncing and comfortable experience along with a nice distance of 1.5mm on side of every key.
The keys sit in an immersed section which matches with palm rest position. This machine features backlight having three levels of brightness.
The use of trackpad from the Surface Book is absolutely adequate as it is large in size, even more, responsive and gives pleasure if we use it with Windows 10 gestures along with basic two-finger scrolling.
But, one thing which is odd that the button click produces a loud sound. Else, it is good to use if we ignore the loud noise button click.
You can be able to stretch out the screen to 135 degrees which is pretty nice stuff, even, the extraordinary angles of the display provides you more pleasure to look.
Performance And Other Features
The stylish and lightweight design is a good start, but the Surface Laptop needs to provide some impressive hardware to warrant it’s price. Let’s take a look at what Microsoft has chosen and how the Surface Laptop performs.
The performance and other features of Microsoft Surface laptops include stylish and lightweight design, but these laptops need to provide more and impressive hardware functionalities for warranting its price.
Let’s have a look at the features and their performance as introduced by the company.
First one is a screen, the screen of Microsoft Surface provides you an unusual display. The screen of these laptops is a 13.5in PixelSense screen similar to the one introduced in Surface Book having a ratio of 3:2 rather than a traditional one of 16:9.
However, this may not be an ideal display if compared it to a widescreen but it is having a fine display. The main thing is that it works perfectly with most of the software especially if you are performing your tasks on a word document or spreadsheet.
According to the company, it is an edge-to-edge display but the bezels of these systems are very small, surely they are bigger and more visible as compared to its rival laptops.
The PixelSense display utilizes a 2256×1504 resolution on these laptops, therefore, it creates a pixel density of 201ppi.
The display is really cool and it does feature 10-point multi-touch and good support for a Surface pen.In terms of on-screen use, the Surface laptops are not harmonious with the Surface Dial.
Processor, Memory, And Storage
As it is mentioned above, the Surface Pro is powered by 7th generation Intel Kaby Lake processors. However, you need to choose between Core i5-7200U and Core i7-7660U.
Both systems comprise dual-core chips having a 2.5GHz base frequency, therefore the only differences between both are that the Core i7 features higher Turbo speed of 4- and the Core i5 constitutes 3.1GHz.
Moreover, Core i7 is having Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics instead of HD 620 used in Core i5 one. Eventually, Microsoft says that you can even enjoy playing a game with it.
The memory and SSD come in three different sizes and users aren’t allowed to choose any one of their interest, as Core i7 comes with 16GB of RAM.
However, you can be able to choose many other combinations and the company offers them too.
But, the main problem in these machines is storage issue as you need to figure out that how much space Window 10 will take and although, a model with 256GB storage provides you 187GB space for windows and other applications
Following four laptop models you can choose:
- Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD
- Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
- Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
- Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
Benchmarks And Battery Life
The performance of Microsoft Surface laptop is pretty impressive, so it is better to buy Core i5 instead of buying Core i7.
In benchmark results, Core i5 performs exceptionally well as compared to the Microsoft Surface Pro having Core i7 which is almost $1000 more expensive.
In short, the normal users will not go for Microsoft Pro with Core i7 model unless until they want to perform some intensive tasks or they want a big storage of almost 512GB. Well, you can be able to play games on Microsoft Surface laptop rather AAA PC gaming.
As the company proclaimed that it has added surprisingly a larger battery life in Microsoft Surface laptop due to which these laptops can last for almost 14 hours and 50 mins of video playback.
Depending on the prints of the video, the laptops’ battery time changes. For instance, if we play a video at a brightness of 120cd/m2, the laptop can last for almost 16 hours.
Ports And Other Features
The thin and tapered design of the Surface Laptop makes these laptops more beautiful and it helps these laptops in reducing their size, but the issue arises when it comes to connectivity.
The laptop performs well at front of wireless connectivity as it is featuring an 11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 LE. Microsoft is having only one USB 3.0 port, mini DisplayPort, and a 3,5mm headphone jack.
Which shows that it is not having any SD card slot or USB-C. According to Microsoft, it did not choose Type-C standard port, claiming that it is not mature enough, rather it uses magnetic surface Connect Port.
All other features include a 720P Windows Hello webcam which can also be utilized to log in automatically by using facial recognition. It is also having dual microphones and Omnisonic stereo speakers along with Dolby Audio Premium.
Windows 10 S
The downside of Surface Laptops is that it is having Windows 10 S. Windows 10 S is a slightly new version of operating system and it is almost same except that it is having few restrictions.
According to the company, due to restrictions, the users will be more safe and secure. The annoying thing is that you can only install apps from Windows Store only.
Which means that you can’t be able to use any of the alternative browsers like Chrome or Firefox. The only browser you can use is Microsoft Edge.
The small print regards that “Some accessories and apps compatible with Windows 10 may not work, and performance may vary,” and “Certain default settings, features, and apps cannot be changed.”
Fortunately, Microsoft provides its users with a free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for covering up the huge blunder of bringing these machines with Windows 10 S. The last date for upgrading Windows 10 is December 31, 2017.
Along with these laptops, one year of Office 365 Personal is also included whether you upgrade to Pro or not.