Microsoft Surface Laptop review: The alcantara finish palmrest gives a warm feel compared to cold meta
The keyboard is perfect with even backlighting and nice travel.
Specifications: Aluminium body, alcantara covered palmrest, 13.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen LCD (2256 x 1504 pixels), 10-point multitouch with Gorilla Glass 3, 7th Gen Core i5/i7, 8/16GB RAM, 128/256/512GB/1TB SSD, Windows Hello, 720p webcam, WiFi ac, BT4.0, backlit keyboard (1.5mm travel), 1.25 kg
Pros: Sleek design (slimmest touchscreen), alcantara finish soft-touch palmrest, hidden speakers (directed at you through keyboard), tactile backlit keys, compatible with Surface Pen (not included)
Cons: Expensive, uses proprietary Surface Connector, longevity and stain resistance of alcantara fabric is suspect, comes with Windows 10 in S mode (restrictive)
Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD – Rs 86,999
Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD – Rs 1,14,999
Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD – Rs 1,44,999
Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD – Rs 1,96,999
Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD – Rs 2,33,999
Surface laptop is a more traditional form factor laptop but a very nice one — with premium feel and materials. It’s a slim and lightweight design with a soft touch alcantara fabric on the inside. The fabric is laser cut around the keys and gives it a unique ‘warm’ feel rather than the typical feel of cold metal. It weighs just 1.25kg and has a high resolution (2256 x 1504 pixels) touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio. This aspect ratio is more suited to web and documents rather than multimedia.
The keyboard is perfect with even backlighting and nice travel. The screen is great and performance is great for most work (excluding gaming). Ports are limited: one USB 3.1, mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm jack and Surface Connector. Another downside is that Surface Laptop is powered by Windows 10 in S mode. Microsoft says that this version of Windows is streamlined for security and performance but it is restrictive because it limits you to apps from Microsoft’s store. You can only use Microsoft Edge as the browser and Bing as the search engine.
What else can you buy?
It’s a good idea to compare these Surface machines to the MacBook Pro range.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at Rs 1,04,900 (Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD) and tops out at Rs 1,65,900 (Core i5, Touch Bar, Touch ID, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD). The 15-inch Macbook Pro starts at Rs 1,99,900 (Core i7, Touch Bar, Touch ID, Radeon Pro 555X, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD) and tops out at Rs 2,31,900 (Core i7, Touch Bar, Touch ID, Radeon Pro 560X, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD). Microsoft’s machines build on Windows’ strengths like including a touchscreen with dedicated tablet mode or by giving you a detachable option — both of which are not offered by Apple. If you want to consider other premium Windows machines, there’s Asus’ Zenbook Pro 15 with the innovative display inside the touchpad (Rs 1,79,990 onwards) and the beautiful Dell XPS 13 (starting at about Rs 90,000).
And in conclusion
Having complete control over a machine’s software and hardware has numerous advantages — it’s one of the many reasons why people choose Apple products! Both these machines from Microsoft look great and perform admirably but they both also have their fair share of downsides. If you appreciate good design and want a premium Windows machine, give these two a look.