Microsoft takes on Apple with new $999 Surface Laptop

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The Surface Laptop is a device aimed at college students and other prospective buyers looking for a Surface-branded laptop.

Microsoft launched a direct competition to Apple's MacBook Air and MacBook Pro (lower version) at its EDU event yesterday. As reports suggested, we're expecting to see Microsoft's own answer to Chromebooks and even Google's Chromebook Pixel. The device offers 14.5 hours of battery life and it is available in four colors: platinum, burgundy, cobalt blue, and graphite gold. Microsoft has previously focused on the laptop form factor with Surface Book.

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The laptop comes out into the markets with a base version that runs the Intel Core i5 processor along with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage.

Windows 10 S is created to run well even on lower-end laptops: Microsoft recommends a relatively modest 4GB of RAM and 64GB of hard drive space for classroom machines. The keyboard deck has an Alcantara surface and keys that match what's available from the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover. Microsoft claims it to be the "thinnest LCD touchscreen display" on any laptop.

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It features a 13.5-inch touch-screen display, 14.5 hours of battery life, and boasts a quick startup, fast performance, and luxury fit and finish. It's soft on the wrists, and Microsoft says it should be more resistant to fingerprint smudges than other materials. For those who fancy a Chromebook alternative, Microsoft has also collaborated with a wide gamut of OEMs ranging from Asus to HP to build new Windows 10 Education PCs starting at roughly 189$.

You want to buy your Surface Laptop before 2018 because Microsoft plans to let users get a free year of Microsoft Office 365 and an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro through the end of the year. Developers will have to package their existing apps and provide them through the Windows Store for users to install them. Every log in after the first to Windows 10 S will be under five seconds. The laptop features a 13.5-inch PixelSense display with a 3:2 aspect ratio.

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Microsoft hasn't provided a complete pricing breakdown for the Surface Laptop, but we expect to hear more information about the cost as we're getting closer to its June 15 release. The best part? It's completely free for schools, with the only catch being they have a legitimate version of Windows 10 Pro on the administrator systems. Ports include: one full-size USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, Headset jack and Surface Connect port (that allows expansion to the Surface Dock.) The Surface Dock is priced at $199.

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