Microsoft Surface is a term that is used to encompass touch screen devices from tablets, laptops, and desktops to interactive whiteboards, designed and marketed by Microsoft.
Many were crying out for a "traditional" laptop from Microsoft Surface. The company has already demonstrated its capacity with both Surface Pro and Surface Book, and now we finally have at our disposal the Surface Laptop, that equipment that maintains the heritage of the laptops of all life. It does it with many successes, but also with some important problems that make the Surface Laptop, not for everything or everyone.
Microsoft's "pure" laptop comes with complete configurations in which you find everything you could expect from this type of product. We can evaluate the version with a Core i5-7200U, but there is a version with Core i7 and there are also editions with up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 512 GB in the SSD.
There are hardly any cracks in the hardware configuration: the screen has a lower resolution than Surface Pro 4, but as we will see later that does not represent any problem in practice. In connectivity, yes, there is an outstanding absence: the USB-C port, which is postulated as the great protagonist of the coming years.
Microsoft here argues that it is time to include it, but in our opinion, the option would have given more value in the long term to a team that without this port is something lame if, as it seems, this connector is imposed on our devices.
- Screen: 13.5-inch PixelSense resolution 2,256 x 1,504, 3: 2 ratio, 201 dpi density.
- Size: 308.1 x 223.27 x 14.48 mm.
- Weight: 1.25 kg.
- Processor: Intel Core i5-7200U (2 cores, 2.5 GHz).
- Graphics: Intel HD 620.
- RAM: 8 GB.
- Disk: 256 GB.
- Version S.O .: Windows 10 S.
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE.
- Cameras: 720p front camera.
- Ports: USB 3.0, SD card reader, Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connect, headphone port.
A Remarkable Design on the Outside and Surprising Inside
The Surface Laptop has an external design in which minimalism is the norm. Except for the elegant chrome Windows logo, aluminum dominates everything in an elegant and exemplary device. That is noticeable in its lines and in that "texture" that this material confers on all its exterior. Only a ventilation grid almost from side to side at the bottom seems to claim our attention. The rest, as we say, is a compliment to elegance and minimalism.
In this design, we find the USB 3.0 port, the Mini DisplayPort and the headphone jack on the left side, while on the right we have the SD slot. On both sides, yes, a curious note: small bands camouflaged in a gray color somewhat lighter than aluminum, and antennas that are placed in that position instead of relegating to other positions as the traditional hinge.
Precisely at Microsoft, they put a lot of emphasis on that hinge at the launch of the product: the idea they wanted to convey was that opening the laptop was especially easy with this mechanism. It is true that the screen can be lifted up with just one finger, but you have to apply a bit of force especially in that first moment, and the fact that the edge of the screen is sharper than we would like, does not become a less perfect system.
However, what really differentiates this device is not on that screen, but in the unique material with which that inner part on which the keyboard sits is covered. Here the protagonist is the fabric that Microsoft has already introduced in its Type Cover for the Surface Pro and now use it again on the Surface Laptop.
The sensations that this fabric transmits surprise in the first place for being warm, not like the cold aluminum that is used in the majority of equipment of this type. The texture is strange, porous but smooth, but precisely working with fabric and not with material like aluminum or carbon fiber of other models, make us do not worry about spots or potential scratches.
Keyboard, Touchpad, and Screen to Scene
The keyboard and touchpad are "camouflaged" in that fabric, but the material of the keys is, as might be expected, different. Here we are basically with a version adapted to the Surface Keyboard.
The touch and distribution of the keys are fantastic, and of course, it is possible to write at a very good speed in a short time. The layout of the keyboard in English is correct, although it is curious to find the on/off key almost "hidden" in the top row, to the left of the Supr key. Otherwise, we find the usual concessions to a portable keyboard, the most important of which is the space reserved for the keys to getting up / down the cursors.
The touchpad also demonstrates Microsoft's already extensive experience in this field. The MacBook trackpads may still be ahead in terms of usability and response times, but in the Surface Laptop, we have a Precision Touchpad that has behaved perfectly in the tests and also supports touch gestures with three and four fingers that can be very useful. In the interior, we are of course with that screen of 13.5 inches. The 3: 2 format returns to be a protagonist in the Microsoft team, and here we return to the question that already dominates its Surface Pro.
The problem is that this type of diagonals is interesting to work with a single application maximized, but not too much to work with two windows of the same (or different) application at the same time. You can work with a window on each side, true, but the space to do it is more limited. The same could be said of the reproduction of multimedia content, which does not go to more "square" formats, but precisely the opposite, as those 18: 9 and 18.5: 9 formats of the latest LG and Samsung phones demonstrate.
One of the highlights of that screen is almost imperceptible: the webcam that allows decent videoconferences in 720p quality is especially interesting for Windows Hello support. Here the facial recognition works in a really remarkable way.
Much less important is that support of the Surface Pen and the Surface Dial of which the equipment presumes. The touch screen of the Surface Laptop behaves in a great way, but this is not a convertible, and the angle at which we can shoot down that screen is very limited.
Windows 10 S: Goodbye To External Applications
When Microsoft introduced Windows 10 S as an integral part of the Surface Laptop, part of the user community protested this version. The fundamental difference between the two is (although there are more), as users will already know, that is only possible install applications that we find in the app store.
The idea, of course, is to be able to guarantee a much higher degree of security for users, who will have more guarantees when installing all kinds of applications and games. Microsoft is in charge of controlling and managing that store, and that control logically includes the tasks of validation and testing that theoretically will detect the presence of malware included in developments that want to be distributed through the store.
In this operating system, we also find other promises derived from that greater control over what we can and can not install: the performance of the equipment and the battery's autonomy will improve thanks to the absence of certain applications.