Is Microsoft Surface Laptop the best Windows Laptop of 2017?
Microsoft Surface Laptop REVIEW: Is this the best Windows Laptop of 2017?
If you’re in the market for a shiny new laptop now is a good time to buy one. Microsoft has unleashed its Surface laptop in the UK. The move follows on from Apple’s recently launched refreshed line-up of portable MacBooks giving them some extra grunt. Microsoft’s latest Windows powered machine is aimed at bringing premium specs and design at a slightly more affordable price. And, having had this device squeezed in our bag for the past few weeks, StarTech can reveal it is certainly worth considering if you love all things Microsoft. Windows laptops can rarely be described as being sexy, but the first thing you’ll notice is how good the Surface looks. The sleek aluminium body, with its embossed Windows logo, gives the Surface a premium feel and it will certainly turn some heads when you pull it from your bag. Microsoft has also managed to keep the new Surface rela- tively light, making it easy to lug around all day. Open up this gadget and you’ll be hit with another funky design feature as the inside is covered in Alcantara fabric. This posh material is used in cars, planes and furniture and offers a robust covering.
It may seem odd to cover a laptop in fabric, but it actually feels luxurious to use. Microsoft says it’s also fully cleanable – although we’ll have to use it for longer before we confirm if this it true. The Surface is packed with features including a fast Intel Core processor and up to 512GB of hard disk space. The 13-inch PixelSense touchscreen is a thing of beauty with content appearing bright, colourful and sharp.
Along with the beautiful display there’s some tasty speakers hidden under the keyboard. Battery life will also have the competition weeping as this thing keeps going for over 14 hours without needing to go near a plug. There’s also a clever security feature which unlocks the laptop via your face – so no need to remember a password. There’s no doubting that Microsoft has produced something worthy of your money with the Surface but before you reach for your wallet there are some niggles. Firstly, this laptop is lacking some vital ports with only one standard USB and MiniDisplay Port. Then there’s the trackpad which can only be described as feeling cheap, nasty and unpleasant to use. Microsoft Surface Laptop MICROSOFT Surface 13. 5 Touchscreen Laptop – Platinum £95900 View MICROSOFT 13. 5 Surface Laptop – Burgundy £1,19900 View MICROSOFT 13. 5 Surface Laptop – Cobalt Blue, Blue £1,19900 View Brought to you by dailystar.
Finally the Surface ships with Windows 10 S. This new operating system is aimed at making it easier to use Microsoft’s popular operating system with only Windows-approved apps and programmes allowed to be installed via the official store. There’s plenty of positives for using Windows 10 S including keeping the laptop virus-free and less clogged up with dodgy software. However, it also means you can’t download popular programmes such as Google Chrome, Photoshop or many games PC owners love. Surface laptop owners can upgrade to the full and unlocked version of Windows 10 for free, but only if they hit the download button before December – after this it will cost around £50. VERDICT: With its blistering performance, stunning screen and design the Surface is a portable PC worth considering. Microsoft has created a laptop that you’ll love using.
The Surface Laptop totally lives up to expectations. I think its the new de facto Windows laptop that most people who want a Windows laptop should get — provided they can afford to spend $1,300 for the step-up model. It strikes exactly the right balance of power, portability, utility, and design for most people; albeit at a slightly higher price than its direct competitors. To tell the truth, I dont know that theres some sort of incredible technical achievement here. Its thin but not that thin, powerful but not wildly so. Microsoft just chose to do the obvious and correct thing with this laptop over and over, even if that thing is a little boring. Then it slapped a piece of carpet on top to spice it up. I expected Microsoft to do a good job on this hardware, and it did. But the other expectation I had for the Surface Laptop is that Id be unable to actually get the apps I need from the Windows Store, and I was right.
If you buy this laptop, youre going to end up taking the upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. There are thinner Windows laptops. There are cheaper Windows laptops. There are more powerful Windows laptops. But all those laptops ask you to make more uncomfortable compromises than the Surface Laptop. The Microsoft Surface Book is a really interesting laptop. Its gorgeous to look at, incredibly well built… and comes with a hampered version of Windows and all costs a fairly considerable sum of money. In that regard its going to be mis-matched for the education sector at which it is pitched. However, upgrade to Windows 10 Pro – which is free throughout 2017 – and the Surface Laptop is a powerful, silent operator with an excellent screen and decent battery life. Wed opt for one over the entry-level Surface Pro because, pound for pound, you get more for your money in a better-looking package – if youre specifically after a laptop, anyway. But money is the issue here, because the Surface Laptop is far from cheap. Which, depending on the context in which its viewed, isnt necessarily a deal breaker. As an elite Chromebook competitor it falls into the same overpriced ground as Googles Chromebook Pixel did some years ago.
Viewed as an out-and-out everyday laptop or MacBook rival, however, and the Surface Laptop is a potentially fantastic machine for many. If we were going to buy a Windows machine tomorrow it would be the Surface Laptop. Its only the out-the-box software version that gets in the way in our view, but thats easily rectified. TECH RADAR – Microsoft is gaining a reputation for making solid, attractive and overall desirable premium products to showcase its Windows software, and the Surface Laptop continues in this vein. The thin and light design makes it easy to carry around, while the careful component considerations, and high-quality build materials, make it a joy to use. This is obviously a device that Microsoft’s designers and engineers have spent a lot of time working on, and for the most part it has paid off handsomely.
This is one of the best-looking Windows devices on the market today, and, thanks to some nifty specs that power the carefully controlled Windows 10 S operating system, its one of the smoothest Windows 10 experiences too. If you use Microsoft’s core tools, and can find everything you need in the Windows Store, then youre going to love the Surface Laptop. For those who worry that Windows 10 S is too restrictive, the ability to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro is a welcome one, and for many people this will instantly make the device more useful and flexible. It’s not quite perfect, however, and there are a few design choices that prevent it from achieving true greatness.The lack of USB-C is disappointing for such a forward-thinking device, and the lack of ports means you may have to resort to a USB adaptor hub to plug in various devices. You’re also paying a price premium for this product – so there are more powerful (but less visually appealing) laptops out there for the same price – or cheaper. Meanwhile, the glued and soldered makeup of the laptop will dismay tinkerers, or even people who just want to be safe in the knowledge that if something breaks, their expensive gadgets can be easily fixed.
As it stands, you may have to get your Surface Laptop completely replaced if something breaks – even something that would be a relatively easy and cheap fix with other laptops. If youve completely bought into Microsoft’s ecosystem, and want a thin and light laptop that performs brilliantly with the minimum of fuss, then we can heartily recommend the Surface Laptop. However, if you’d like more control over what you run on your machine, then there are other alternatives out there that would be better suited to your needs..
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Get a refined and powerful Windows laptop. Microsoft Surface devices, like Surface Laptop and Studio, can replace your PC, laptop, tablet, and sketch pad.
Microsoft Surface Laptop - 13.5" - Intel Core i5 - 4GB Memory - 128GB SSD - With Mouse: Windows 10 S; Includes a Surface Arc Mouse; 7th-generation InteCore i5 ...
While it doesn't necessarily stand out in a crowded field, the Surface Laptop has a great design and is a solid, travel-friendly clamshell PC.