Microsoft Surface Laptop (13.5″ Touch-Screen, Intel Core i5 & i7, Up to 16GB RAM, Up to 512GB SSD)

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The Microsoft Surface Laptop will be one of the most popular or maybe even the most popular Windows 10-based laptop of 2017. Backed by computer & software giant Microsoft, the Surface Laptop offers premium specs in an attractive thin-and-light package. The most notable features of this 2.8-pound 0.6″ thin notebook include a 13.5-inch high-resolution touchscreen display, the 7th Generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, up to 16GB of system memory, up to 512GB of SSD storage space, a long battery life, fabric finish on the keyboard deck, and multiple chassis color choices.

As the most prominent part, the 13.5″ screen delivers an above-average pixel count of 2256-by-1504 (201 PPI). This means a sharper picture than on the more common Full HD 1920×1080-pixel screens. The display of the Surface Laptop also stands out with its aspect ratio of 3:2, as opposed to usual 16:9. The 3:2 ratio is better optimized for viewing and editing documents, while the 16:9 panels are better suited for movie watching. Furthermore, the screen provides active digitizer pen input support besides usual finger input. You can use Microsoft’s Surface Pen on it. The Pen is sold separately. Rounding off the great screen specs, it’s worth noting that it is covered with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Please keep in mind that the Surface Laptop isn’t a 2-in-1 PC, meaning you can’t band the screen back for a tablet-like use.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Intel i5 256GB - Burgundy - DAG-00005

Underneath the screen lays Microsoft’s exclusive Signature Alcantara fabric-covered keyboard deck. The same fabric coating is used in car interiors. It stands out in the sea of plastic and aluminum covered notebook keyboard decks. The finish resists spills and stains, according to Microsoft. The keyboard is backlit.

The available color choices for the keyboard deck and color-matching aluminum display lid are Cobalt Blue, Platinum, Graphite Gold, and Burgundy. Some configurations are available in Platinum color only.

Microsoft Surface Laptop - Cobalt Blue - Platinum - Graphite Gold - Burgundy Colors

Under the hood, the Surface Laptop packs a serious punch for the daily home and office use. There are two processor choices, both from the latest 7th Gen Intel Core family. The mid-range Intel Core i5-7200U and higher-end Intel Core i7-7660U. They both have dual CPU cores. The i7-7660U has higher clock speeds and the Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics as the most important advantages over the i5-7200U with the usual Intel HD 620. These will suffice for all the usual PC tasks. The performance of these Core i5 and i7 chips can be handy for some more hardware-taxing tasks, such as media creation. For these duties the quad-core Intel Core chips are ideal, but these require more robust cooling systems and thus bulkier casings. Available system memory sizes are 4, 8 and 16 Gigabytes. Internal SSD storage currently comes in 128-, 256-, and 512-Gigabyte capacities. A 1-Terabyte option is expected to be available, too.

The basic Surface Laptop configuration includes the i5-7200U CPU, 4GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD. It costs $999. It’s comes only in Platinum color. The second available i5-based configuration is better equipped and provides 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and all four color choices. It’s $1,299. The Intel Core i7 & Intel Iris Plus-powered configurations are also in Platinum color only. The $1,599 i7 model has 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, while the top-tier 2,199-dollar model includes 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.

Here’s a breakdown of all Surface Laptop SKUs currently selling in the US:

Surface Laptop SKU CPU / Graphics RAM SSD Color Price
D9P-00001 i5-7200U / HD 620 4GB 128GB Platinum $999
DAG-00001 i5-7200U / HD 620 8GB 256GB Platinum $1,299
DAG-00003 i5-7200U / HD 620 8GB 256GB Graphite Gold $1,299
DAG-00005 i5-7200U / HD 620 8GB 256GB Burgundy $1,299
DAG-00007 i5-7200U / HD 620 8GB 256GB Cobalt Blue $1,299
DAJ-00001 i7-7660U / Iris Plus 640 8GB 256GB Platinum $1,599
DAL-00001 i7-7660U / Iris Plus 640 16GB 512GB Platinum $2,199

You can buy these on Microsoft’s official Store, Amazon, and other places.

Speakers of the Surface Laptop are located beneath the keyboard keys. Audio is backed by Dolby Audio Premium technology. The web camera supports up to 720p video resolution and enables face recognition for easier system log-ins via Windows Hello technology.

For a Windows-based machine, the Surface Laptop has a quite limited connectivity feature set. It has only one USB port, a Mini DisplayPort, a combo mic/headphones port, Microsoft’s proprietary Surface Connect jack for charging and docking, 802.11AC Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. An SD memory card reader is missing on this notebook.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Intel i5 256GB - Graphite Gold - DAG-00003

According to Microsoft, the laptop can provide “up to 14.5 hours” of video playback on a single battery charge. Judging from online reviews, in regular home and office use with reduced screen brightness, the battery life is around 8 – 9 hours.

On the software side, it’s worth noting that the Microsoft Surface Laptop comes pre-loaded with a new Windows OS version called Windows S. Windows S provides better system security and manageability by limiting program installations. You can only install apps which are available via Windows Store. If you want to overcome that limitation, you can upgrade Windows S to full-blown Windows 10 Professional free of charge (through December 2017). Also, the Surface Laptop package includes 1 year of Microsoft Office 365 Personal suite subscription.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Intel i5 256GB - Cobalt Blue - DAG-00007

Specifications of the Microsoft Surface Laptop

Here's the specs sheet of the Microsoft Surface Laptop. For comparison against other laptops, use the "Compare Specs" button.

Brand

Microsoft

Laptop Type

Traditional laptop
Ultra-portable

Screen Size

13.5-inch

Screen Resolution

2256×1504 pixels

Touchscreen

Yes

Other Display Specs

IPS display tech (wide viewing angles)

Processor (CPU)

Intel Core i5-7200U 7th Gen "Kaby Lake" Dual-Core 2.5-3.1GHz 3MB Cache (~4,700 PassMark benchmark points)
Intel Core i7-7660U 7th Gen "Kaby Lake" dual-core 2.5-4GHz 4MB cache (~6,250 PassMark benchmark points)

Graphics (GPU)

Intel HD 620 Integrated Graphics
Intel Iris Plus 640 Integrated Graphics

System Memory (RAM)

4GB
8GB
16GB

Storage

128GB SSD
256GB SSD
512GB SSD

DVD Optical Drive

None

Input

Backlit keyboard without numeric pad
Multi-touch trackpad with integrated buttons
Touchscreen
Active digitizer pen (optional)

Speakers and Audio

Stereo speakers

Camera

Front
HD 720p
Face-recognition camera (supports Windows Hello log-ins)

Wi-Fi

802.11AC

Ethernet LAN

No

Mobile Broadband (3G, 4G LTE)

No

Bluetooth

Yes

USB

1 x USB 3.0

Video Ports

1 x mini DisplayPort

Media Card Reader

No

Other Features

Microsoft Office 365 Personal 1-year subscription for free
TPM (Trusted Platform Module, a security feature)

Battery

"Up to 14.5 hours" of video playback

Weight

2.8 pounds

Height

0.6"

Width

12.1"

Depth

8.8"

Windows Version

Windows 10 S

Warranty

1-Year

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Written by on June 26, 2017

User reviews, comments, and Q&A on the Microsoft Surface Laptop

Below you can read and submit user reviews, comments, questions, and answers regarding the laptop. Thank you for your contribution.

  1. Ajay Joshi

    I recently bought a Microsoft Surface Laptop from the Microsoft store in Bellevue Square Mall. Specifications are i5, 8GB, 256GB SSD and the SKU code is DAG-00003. I want to know if I can upgrade the SSD to 512GB. If this is not possible, will my laptop speed get slower as the data increases?

    Awaiting your response..

    • Danijel Z

      Unfortunately, SSD and RAM upgrades aren’t possible, since they’re soldered onto the motherboard of the Surface Laptop. Generally, SSDs tend to get slower as you fill them up with data. It’s commonly believed that they get slower after reaching 75% of used space. But, on my current ThinkPad laptop with an SSD, I have only 15GB free out of 256GB and I don’t notice slowdowns. Benchmarks would probably show slowdowns, but in the real life I simply don’t notice any lag.

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