May 4, 2017
By Northern Micro Staff
On Tuesday, Microsoft announced this new addition to its Surface branded line of products. From the videos and pictures available so far, the device looks beautiful and will be a great addition to the Surface Lineup. Microsoft’s hardware design and engineering team should be proud of their accomplishment. Northern Micro’s product management staff have summarized the currently available information for you here. We look forward to testing the device out in person!
Here is a list of things you should probably know:
General Info & Availability in Canada
The good news for Canadians is that the Surface Laptop will be available in Canada as a launch market – for a full price list, see the spec sheet on the sidebar:
- Release date June 15th in Canada.
- Canadian pricing starts at $1,449 CAD for the Core i5 7300U 8GB/128GB
- Premium design with full version of Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors
- Not the less expensive, fanless Core m.
- Claimed to be faster than i7 MacBook Pro
- Claims to have 14.5 hours battery life (video playback) – more than the current MacBook Air
- Runs on Windows 10 S – Microsoft’s new cloud based Windows OS
Intended Market – University and College Students, Definitely.
It’s quite clear that the Surface Laptop is a direct attack towards the Macbook Air:
- Designed to meet the needs of students leaving high school and entering post-secondary institutions – taking aim at Apple laptops
- Designed for the individual consumer, not the commercial customer.
- For Education customers, Windows 10 S is a qualifying OS. Details of how to switch to Windows 10 Pro will become available soon.
What About Surface Laptop for your Company? It Depends…
Surface Laptops could be a good fit for commercial customers in the following scenarios:
- The organization is using a cloud-based infrastructure and is using Azure AD, Mobile Device Management and the Windows Store for Business. Domain join is not supported.
- All of the apps run by the customer are available on the Windows Store.
- To preserve security and performance, traditional, Win32 apps are not supported.
- The customer uses the Office Online products available through a web browser.
- Office Pro Plus, the version of Office aimed at businesses, which features desktop applications like Skype for Business, is not currently available through the Windows Store.
- The customer uses modern peripherals which have drivers available through Windows Update.
- Custom drivers such as legacy printer drivers cannot be installed to preserve performance and security.
- For the best possible experience, Microsoft recommends that customers only purchase Surface Laptop if the value proposition of Windows 10 S aligns to their needs.
- If customers are looking for a premium device to run Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise they recommend devices that ship with Windows 10 Pro – i.e. the Surface Pro and Surface Book.
- The Windows 10 S Operating System is not designed for corporate use but can be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro.
- Currently, for a limited time, the upgrade is free but it will cost $49.00 US in the future.
The Surface Laptop’s Physical Characteristics – Simply Beautiful Dimensions
Microsoft engineers and designers have hit it out of the park with this one:
- Clamshell design – four colours available (platinum, graphite gold, burgundy and cobalt blue)
- NON-detachable 13.5” screen (not a 2-in-1 design like the Surface Book)
- Invisible hinge with No kickstand
- Just over 2 lbs.
- Aluminum finish on the outside of the clamshell
- Italian Alcantara stain-resistant fabric keyboard base similar to Surface Pro 4
- Thinnest LCD touchscreen ever put into a laptop and is also pen sensitive – 3.4 million pixels
- Speakers integrated underneath the keyboard – invisible to user
- Inconspicuous fan vents at back of laptop
- Ports are Surface connector (same one on Surface Pro 4), USB, Mini DisplayPort and headphone jack – No USB Type C
Windows 10 S Operating System – the S is for “Something?”
Windows 10 S is looking like a real challenger for the Google Chrome OS:
- OS is Windows 10 S – this is a scaled down version of Windows 10 Pro that Microsoft claims was streamlined for security and performance (not sure what the “S” stands for but we bet MS would say either “security” or “streamlined”)
- Designed to only run apps from the Windows Store – eliminates worry about security since MS verifies the security of all apps on their store
- The Windows 10 S Operating System is not designed for corporate use but can be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro. Currently, for a limited time, the upgrade is free but it will cost $49.00 US in the future. With a Microsoft Account, the customer can manually apply the switch at the Microsoft Store.
- For Commercial customers, Windows 10 S is not a qualifying OS, which means they must take additional steps to re-image to the licensed Windows OS of their choice.
The team at Microsoft Surface continue to show why their devices are one of the best choices of Windows PC on the market today. Adding yet another option that’s actually attainable will surely make a splash in the broader market. Although the device is definitely targeted towards Education and consumers, we do think there is the possibility of using the Surface Laptop in a commercial environment, but only if the conditions are right.
Northern Micro is one of Canada’s top suppliers of Microsoft Surface devices since 2013 when the Surface Pro 2 was released. We are proud to be a partner with Microsoft Surface and we work closely with our customers to efficiently deploy large fleets of devices within their organization.
Got a question about the Surface Laptop in Canada, or want a demo unit to test out for yourself?
Reach out to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us at 800-563-1007.