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Microsoft takes on Google, Apple in education market with new Surface Laptop

By Heather Wright
Wed 3 May 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Microsoft is looking to go to the top of the class with its new Surface Laptop, unveiled overnight in New York and featuring the new Windows 10S operating system, as the vendor looks to take on both Google’s Chromebook and Apple’s MacBook Pro.

Panos Panay, Microsoft devices corporate vice president, says the Microsoft Surface Laptop was created ‘to refresh the classic laptop form factor that our customers, especially college students, have been asking for; and make a Surface that works seamlessly to showcase the best of Windows 10S’.

The Surface Laptop weighs in at just 2.76lbs and 14.47mm at its thickest point, and features a 13.5” Pixelsense touchscreen display with 3.4 million pixels and edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and an Alcantara-covered keyboard.

Performance wise, it includes a 7th generation Intel Core processor, and Microsoft claims the laptop packs up to four more hours of battery life than a 13” MacBook Pro, at up to 14.5 hours.

Panay says the device ‘is the most personal and balanced Surface we’ve ever made’.

“This Surface perfectly blends fabric and function, power and portability, beauty and performance.

“It does all of this without compromising on the things we know are important to higher education students: battery life, display quality, storage and portability.”

On the operating system front, the laptop comes with Windows 10S, a full version of the Microsoft operating system, but only running applications from the Windows store to provide a more locked down offerings.

Microsoft says the operating system was ‘inspired by students and teachers’.

“It’s the best Windows ever for schools.

“It’s also a great choice for any Windows customer looking for consistent performance and advanced security,” Microsoft says.

“By limiting apps to those in the Windows Store, Windows 10S is ideal for people who have everything they need in the Windows Store and prefer the peace of mind that comes with removing the risk of downloading apps from other places.”

Pre-orders for the Surface Laptop opened in 20 countries, including New Zealand and Australia today. The device will hit China later this year.

Pricing will start at US$999.

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