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Microsoft Unveils New Surface Laptop, Available in Canada Later This Year

Microsoft Unveils New Surface Laptop, Available in Canada Later This Year

By Simon Hung

Thin is in when it comes to laptops and Microsoft is joining the trend with their new flagship product, the Surface Laptop.

The Surface Laptop is undeniably pretty. It’s made with aluminum, glass and fabric, with a minimalist design aesthetic similar to the Apple MacBook. Although it bears the Surface moniker, the Surface Laptop has no unique tricks like past Surface products -- it’s a conventional laptop design.

The Surface Laptop comes in four colours, but only platinum will be available outside the US.

Weighing less than three pounds and thinner than 15mm, the exterior is aluminum while the lower interior is covered with Microsoft’s Signature Alcantara fabric, which they claim is stain-resistant and easy-to-clean. It looks luxurious, but time will tell how the fabric will hold up against dirt, dust and dander after continuous use.

The keyboard and palm rest are lined with fabric.

Microsoft also boasts about the Surface Laptop’s power and versatility, as it features an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, full-sized USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort connector, 3.5mm headphone jack and a Surface Connect port, which means it's compatible with existing Surface accessories, including the Surface Dial and Surface Pen. It also sports a 13.5” touchscreen display with a resolution of 2256 x 1504, 720p camera and stereo speakers embedded below the keyboard. The absence of a Thunderbolt USB-C port is puzzling on such a premium device, but the array of ports should be sufficient for most usage scenarios.

One major criticism of the Surface Laptop is its operating system. It runs Windows 10 S, which is a streamlined version of Windows 10 that only runs apps from the Windows Store. This means you’re stuck with Microsoft Edge as the web browser and can’t run Chrome, Firefox or any other conventional programs that aren’t available in the Windows Store.

Windows 10 S is the default operating system, which means you can only use Windows Store apps.

Microsoft will let you upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free until December 31, 2017 (you’ll need to pay $50.00 USD to upgrade after that), but the fact that it doesn’t run a full version of Windows out-of-the-box is a serious disadvantage and a likely deal-breaker for many, especially with such a premium price range.

The Surface Laptop is available in four configurations with up to 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD storage and only in a platinum colour (four colours are available in the United States). Release date and pricing are currently unknown -- Microsoft has stated that it will be available in Canada later this year, while prices range from $999.00 to $2199.00 USD in the United States.

39 Comments

    • If I have my own license for Win10 Pro, could I not just do a fresh install and not have to pay the $50 "shakedown" fee?
    • Report Post
    • Still regretting buying Surface RT.
    • Report Post
    • tk1000 wrote:
      May 2nd, 2017 9:08 pm
      Windows 10 ‘S’ Is App-Store-Only Unless You Pay $50
      I have to wonder if Microsoft is just trolling at this point.
      The hilarious decisions they've been making lately make me wonder if anyone is actually sane in that entire organization.
    • Report Post
    • rvs007 wrote:
      May 2nd, 2017 11:32 pm
      If I have my own license for Win10 Pro, could I not just do a fresh install and not have to pay the $50 "shakedown" fee?
      Absolutely but it's free upgrade to Pro anyway on launch through end of 2017.
    • Report Post
    • ~$1400 CAD (+$50 USD for the OS) seems steep for the base 4GB/128GB configuration and a fabric (!?) keyboard sounds grotty. Also, the choice for the devices two ports of mini DisplayPort and USB 3.0 is okay for today, but will become out of date quickly. Finally, the profile of the design looks a little clunky.

      Image
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    • How come Microsoft still wants so much money for the hardware now that their software mines more data than Google?
    • Report Post
    • Does anyone know if the Surface Laptop is in Microsoft stores across Canada yet? I went to bestbuy and couldn't find any, and the closest Microsoft store to me is quite a trek, so I don't want to make the trip for nothing
    • Report Post
    • I was at Microsoft store(the one at Yorkdale mall) on Sunday, they didn't have any.
    • Report Post
    • Pre-orders can be done now. Release date is June 15.
    • Report Post
    • If only there is a device that let you "talk" to the people at the store directly to find out...
      chevyz07 wrote:
      May 9th, 2017 9:40 am
      Does anyone know if the Surface Laptop is in Microsoft stores across Canada yet? I went to bestbuy and couldn't find any, and the closest Microsoft store to me is quite a trek, so I don't want to make the trip for nothing
    • Report Post
    • hdom wrote:
      May 9th, 2017 12:57 pm
      If only there is a device that let you "talk" to the people at the store directly to find out...
      I'm mute
    • Report Post
    • They are on facebook messenger...
      chevyz07 wrote:
      May 9th, 2017 1:02 pm
      I'm mute
    • Report Post
    • hdom wrote:
      May 9th, 2017 1:15 pm
      They are on facebook messenger...
      haha that made me laugh out loud. Until I checked and you are right...
      LOL
    • Report Post
    • Microsoft says the fabric on the Surface Laptop should be cared for like a ‘luxury’ handbag

      Image
      The idea of taking a thing you rest your greasy mitts on every day and putting any kind of fabric on top of it seems like a recipe for grossness.

      “The balance there was making sure we maintained the luxury feel of the product,” Kyriacou says. “Because you can coat it with a Scotchguard or something like that and make it rubbery, but it won’t be luxury.”

      "Just like anything luxury that you buy, like great handbags or a pair of shoes or even expensive cars, there is a care that’s needed for the device. And so from the materials perspective, we will ask customers — specifically customers who might stain it or drop something on it — to go ahead and wipe that right away."
    • Report Post
    • no thanks, that fabric will probably look like crap in a year.
    • Report Post
    • Have the alcantara coating on my surface pro keyboard without issues. Just get in the habit of washing your hands if they're dirty.
    • Report Post
    • warpdrive wrote:
      May 10th, 2017 8:46 am
      no thanks, that fabric will probably look like crap in a year.
      Image
      "That greasy, grimy, oddly brown object you see in the photo above is the Surface Pro 4 'Signature Type Cover,' which also happens to be covered in Alcantara fabric. The photo was posted to Reddit a number of months ago, with the owner of the device begging for advice on how to clean it.

      Similar threads can be found on Microsoft forums and other places around the web. Fellow owners often empathize and share their own dirty-keyboard woes, claiming that they’ve resorted to everything from microfiber clothes, alcohol-soaked rags and vacuums (???) to “unscented baby wipes.” The percentage of success seems to be about fifty-fifty with any given method.

      Sure, fabric might feel nice on your wrists and avoid that “cold steel” feel of many laptops, but the trade-off is toting around a filthy gadget or performing an obviously much more complicated cleaning process than simply wiping the grime off."
    • Report Post
    • It's just alcantara...they use it in high end car upholstery and there are lots of cleaners for it and instructions for cleaning on the web.

      BGR is acting like it's some kind of non-cleanable material invented by Microsoft.

      Sweaty people are hard on laptops. You see all types of laptops with damage to the palm rests from sweaty people https://www.reddit.com/r/lifehacks/comm ... ns_off_my/
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    • Updated the opening post with configurations and pre-order Canadian prices.
    • Report Post
    • I guess the surface book with performance base performs better?
    • Report Post
    • hugh_da_man wrote:
      May 11th, 2017 4:10 pm
      It's just alcantara...they use it in high end car upholstery and there are lots of cleaners for it and instructions for cleaning on the web.

      BGR is acting like it's some kind of non-cleanable material invented by Microsoft.

      Sweaty people are hard on laptops. You see all types of laptops with damage to the palm rests from sweaty people https://www.reddit.com/r/lifehacks/comm ... ns_off_my/
      Not a problem for aluminum palm rests though.

      Also not usually a problem with properly formulated plastic ones either, although the risk is higher than with aluminum.

      This pretty much seals the deal. I won't be buying one this year. For me to even consider it, I'll want to let others be the guinea pigs first.
    • Report Post
    • I had alcantara suede on my 370z car seats before (light grey) and they eventually got more and more discoloured over time. It didn't matter what I used to clean it (tried all the brand name car specific cleaners). It's true that I didn't clean it that often and maybe that could have prevented it, but that begs the question, why would you pick a material that is high maintenance on a high contact-wear surface?

      I like the surface devices but this is a non-starter for me. I guess besides the not-easily replaceable batteries in these devices, now the exterior is practically throw away too.
    • Report Post
    • windows 10 pro free upgrade for surface laptops that come with windows 10 S till dec 31, 2017 but no downgrade back once you do that but why would you want to downgrade :) volume license/education license customers no worries about upgrades/downgrades
    • Report Post
    • 1 single USB3.0 port is a big turn off. They really needed at least 2 ports, considering the price of these laptops.
    • Report Post
    • death_hawk wrote:
      May 3rd, 2017 12:02 am
      I have to wonder if Microsoft is just trolling at this point.
      Wait a minute.
      Someone put fabric on a notebook?

      I'm speechless.
    • Report Post
    • death_hawk wrote:
      May 13th, 2017 11:58 pm
      Wait a minute.
      Someone put fabric on a notebook?

      I'm speechless.
      Its wearable tech era...
    • Report Post
    • Redsanta wrote:
      May 13th, 2017 11:59 pm
      Its wearable tech era...
      That just raises more questions.
    • Report Post
    • Windows 10 "S" is obviously a very stupid idea. I can see it:
      1. Getting a lot of backlash.
      2. Being discontinued in short order; the second gen of these things will likely just have full Windows.

      I don't understand why they don't just charge $50 more to begin with because no one will even notice the difference--$1350 v. $1300 is a less than 4% increase and anyone crazy enough to buy a laptop over $1k to begin with, is simply not going to notice. What they are going to notice is when you discount the price by that same less than 4% and then have a hobbled/adware/incompent version of the OS. Apart from that (and the people in marketing and accounting that should be fired over this surefire snafu) it seems pretty nice...if you're one to buy a $1k+ laptop that is.

      As for the Alcantara, it's allegedly not hard to clean. I have Alcantara seats in my car but have never had any problems with them; however I've also never had anything of note to clean off them to begin with. Worst thing was I spilled a bunch of green tea (no sugar) on one seat but apart from the mop-up/drying, they seem fine afterwards.
      warpdrive wrote:
      May 13th, 2017 9:02 am
      I guess besides the not-easily replaceable batteries in these devices, now the exterior is practically throw away too.
      All consumer laptops are basically throw away.
    • Report Post
    • Putting an "app store only" version of windows on a premium machine and asking $50 to get regular windows is bullshit, and I wont support any company that thinks so little of their customers.
    • Report Post
    • I don't like Apple dominating the market, so in a way, I'm rooting for MS to succeed, but definitely the fabric material and the upgrade fee from Windows S is totally stupid. Two steps forward, two steps back. That's the way MS seems to work these days.
    • Report Post
    • ES_Revenge wrote:
      May 15th, 2017 7:10 am

      As for the Alcantara, it's allegedly not hard to clean.
      If it's at all harder than plastic or metal, it's "hard"
    • Report Post
    • death_hawk wrote:
      May 16th, 2017 1:58 pm
      If it's at all harder than plastic or metal, it's "hard"
      yes the issue is discoloration. Oils from skin will eventually discolor or stain it. Unless you can launder the material with bleach, any porous material will absorb the sweat and it will stain. It happened to my car seats (stupid of me for choosing a light color alcantara....never again).

      Of course, since it's disposable maybe you'll want to toss it in a year anyway, which makes it a moot point
    • Report Post
  • Gee
    • warpdrive wrote:
      May 16th, 2017 12:14 pm
      I don't like Apple dominating the market, so in a way, I'm rooting for MS to succeed, but definitely the fabric material and the upgrade fee from Windows S is totally stupid. Two steps forward, two steps back. That's the way MS seems to work these days.
      Where did you get the idea that Apple dominates the market?

      Microsoft dominates the market on the PC, Android on mobile, and Apple just sells a lot of iPhones
    • Report Post
    • Gee wrote:
      May 16th, 2017 2:19 pm
      Where did you get the idea that Apple dominates the market?

      Microsoft dominates the market on the PC, Android on mobile, and Apple just sells a lot of iPhones
      ok poor choice of wording, but they lead the PC market as far as profit margin...their profits on Mac alone is probably more than everybody else combined.

      Microsoft is starting to change that with premium PCs that can challenge the Macs/iPads as premium devices. But I shake my head at this device.
    • Report Post
    • invite wrote:
      May 10th, 2017 2:40 am
      Microsoft says the fabric on the Surface Laptop should be cared for like a ‘luxury’ handbag
      I wonder if Microsoft ever considered using the laptop in a healthcare environment? We'll just wipe that down with a bit of disinfectant ....
    • Report Post
    • warpdrive wrote:
      May 16th, 2017 2:10 pm
      yes the issue is discoloration. Oils from skin will eventually discolor or stain it. Unless you can launder the material with bleach, any porous material will absorb the sweat and it will stain. It happened to my car seats (stupid of me for choosing a light color alcantara....never again).
      This can be said for car interiors with light colours of any fabric though--cloth, leather, whatever. I never understand ppl that get beige, [light] grey, or white coloured seats/interiors. First off they look bad most of the time, secondly they get dirty/worn such that they look even worse. Not to say black can't get worn and look terrible too, but the light colours are always the hardest to work with (from a cleaning/detailing standpoint) and look the worst with minimal use/staining.
    • Report Post
    • Gee wrote:
      May 16th, 2017 2:19 pm
      Where did you get the idea that Apple dominates the market?

      Microsoft dominates the market on the PC, Android on mobile, and Apple just sells a lot of iPhones
      Not to mention they only sell a lot of iPhones in Canada, US, and UK. Rest of the world doesn't get a damn about garbagy iPhone. 50% of the market in these places, 25% of the market worldwide...largely bolstered by the popularity in a few markets.
    • Report Post
  • Gee
    • ROYinTO wrote:
      May 16th, 2017 8:36 pm
      I wonder if Microsoft ever considered using the laptop in a healthcare environment? We'll just wipe that down with a bit of disinfectant ....
      I would Scotch Guard it as soon as I take it out of the box
    • Report Post