How Microsoft Is Positioning the Surface Laptop in Features, Price

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How Microsoft Is Positioning the Surface Laptop in Features, Price

Microsoft is taking a rather curious approach to trying to win back sales in the education market for Chromebooks. On May 2 it introduced the Surface Laptop, which comes with a 13-inch screen and runs on Microsoft’s new Chrome OS alternative Windows 10 S. With a thin, lightweight frame, Microsoft is hoping the Surface Laptop will be popular with students at multiple education levels. But the fact remains that with a starting price of $999, this laptop isn't aggressively priced to compete with much less costly Chromebooks. This slide show will discuss the new Surface Laptop's features and its position in Microsoft's product line.

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At $999 It's an Expensive Chromebook Alternative

Microsoft is pitching the Surface Laptop to the education market as an alternative to small, inexpensive Chromebooks that access most of their software resources from the cloud. But the Surface Laptop is priced at $999, considerably higher than most Chromebooks. Microsoft’s advertising for the laptop indicates it is also being marketed to consumers and business users.

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It’s Running a New Operating System

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop is its first to run Windows 10 S, which is Microsoft’s answer to Chrome OS. This new version is a stripped-down Windows 10 experience with streamlined functionality. Microsoft designed Windows 10 S with performance and security in mind.

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It Delivers the Full Surface Experience

Although it’s running a different operating system than other Surface devices, the Surface Laptop has many of the same features. It supports the Microsoft Surface Pen for digital writing and works with other Surface accessories. Upgrading to Windows 10 Pro gives the Surface Laptop the same functionality as any other Surface device.

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The Display Looks Nice

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop features a 13.5-inch PixelSense Display, a touch-screen with 10-point multi-touch support and compatibility with the Surface Pen. The screen has 3.4 million pixels and 201 pixels per inch, delivering high resolution.

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Intel Is Inside

The Surface Laptop should offer ample power for most users. It runs the seventh-generation Intel Core i5 processor, and users have the option to upgrade to the Intel Core i7. Users also can configure the device with an Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 chip and up to 16GB of memory.

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It Includes Several Storage Options

The Surface Laptop comes with a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD) that can be boosted to 256GB or 512GB at the time of purchase. Considering most Chromebooks rely mainly on the cloud for storage, that’s a big differentiating factor.

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Its App Support Is Limited

Because the Surface Laptop runs Windows 10 S, the number of apps the device can run is limited. Only apps that are available through the Windows Store are compatible. Those hoping to run other apps on the Surface Laptop are out of luck unless they upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.

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The Device Promises Long Battery Life

The Surface Laptop’s battery life will vary depending on the device is used, but Microsoft is promising lofty results. According to the device’s product page, users will be able to watch video continuously for 14.5 hours on a single charge, on a device running an Intel Core i5 with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.

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Microsoft Is Offering a Cloud App Deal

To entice buyers, Microsoft is offering one year of Office 365 Personal for free with the purchase of a Surface Laptop. After that, the cost is $70 per year or $7 per month for access to the bundle’s apps, which includes Word, Excel and Access, among others.

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Microsoft Will Start Taking Surface Laptop Orders in June

While some other third-party Windows 10 S devices will be priced in the sub-$200 range, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop won’t come close—Microsoft will offer the Surface Laptop for a whopping $999. It is expected to be available for order June 15.

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Microsoft Rolls Out Windows 10 S, Surface Laptop to Win School Sales

The popularity of Chromebooks in the education market forced Microsoft to introduce Windows 10 S, a stripped down edition of its PC operating system to win back school sales.
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