Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Is Primed to Take on Apple’s Macbook

After years of revolutionizing the hybrid world, Microsoft is taking a step back and setting their sights on a far more basic task – the inundated world of plain-old shell laptops. There are no tricks, it relies on no gimmicks. The screen doesn’t secretly pull away from the base, it is permanently attached to a keyboard, and there isn’t even the hint of a discreet kickstand tucked away at the back. It excels by simply providing a secure, cutting-edge OS wrapped in classic lines and a few new colors. While others are trying to reinvent the concept of notebooks altogether, Microsoft simply wants to make one that is light, safe, fast, and offers a battery that lasts and lasts. At first glance, it looks like they’ve succeeded.

So first off, the basics. The Surface Laptop, from the outside, looks like your standard, run-of-the-mill clamshell notebook. It’s a 13.5-inch laptop specifically designed to run Microsoft’s new Windows 10 S operating system, and even supports Microsoft’s Surface Pen. In fact, with its PixelSense display and 3:2 aspect ratio, Microsoft’s Devices Chief Panos Panay claims it is “the thinnest LCD touch model ever created and put into a laptop.” At just 14.5mm thick and weighing in at under three pounds (2.76 lbs., to be exact), it enters the market as one of the most portable high-performance notebooks currently available. In what almost seems like a direct shot at Apple, the Surface Laptop is actually lighter and thinner than the MacBook Air, while also offering a bigger screen and 10-point multi-touch and Surface Pen support. And just to add insult to injury, the 2256x1504 resolution of the Surface Laptop absolutely blows the MacBook Air’s 1449x900 resolution out of the water.

While it is nothing particularly ground-breaking to look at, it is a very well designed machine. The keyboard is Microsoft’s familiar fabric alcantara backlit keys with a 1.5mm travel, while the case itself is a smooth, sleek metal. The Surface Laptop houses the latest Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, which contribute to its extensive battery life. In fact, Microsoft claims the Surface Laptop is faster than the i7 MacBook Pro, and has “more battery life than any MacBook Air on the market today,” with an estimated battery life of 14.5 hours. Microsoft even integrated special vapor chambers in the rear of the device to keep everything cool, which allowed them to pack in all the other elements they wanted included. There aren’t’ even speaker grilles or holes – the laptop’s speakers are actually strategically placed underneath the keyboard, so that the sound comes from just under your fingers.

The Surface Laptop will come in four different colors: platinum, graphite gold, cobalt blue, and burgundy. Preorders for the high-end device started this week, with prices starting at $999 for the Core i5 version. It’s safe to say you could drop a lot more than that if you opt for the top-tier model. You won’t even have to wait too long for it to get here, as Microsoft says they’ll begin shipping as early as June 15th

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